Real moms share their organization tips

May 16, 2010 at 3:27 p.m. ET

Moms are among the busiest people on the planet and among the most vocal when it comes to sharing the strategies that work (and don't work) for them. Real moms just like you share how they organize just about everything from their schedules, coupons and computers to baby and kid rooms.

Woman with agenda

Organize your schedule

Lisa in Texas is one of those moms who write everything down. "I use a master planner for the schedule of activities and appointments, a notepad for to-do lists, and sticky notes for everything in between," she says.

Organize your car

"I keep an organized car by having plastic bags, wipes and tissue in it at all times," tweets Kara from Indiana. Great idea: Use the plastic bags for trash, wipes for those grimy hands and tissue for those runny noses.

Organize your baby's room

Baskets come in all shapes and colors, and they are a must-have for a baby's room. New mom Jenny is an advocate of using the baskets to keep the diapers, Onesies, wipes and bath items stored away but still within reach when she needs them.

Organize your child's room

Here's an organizational tip that so many moms agree on: Invest in plastic bins to control the madness of children's toys. You can buy the smaller ones for the toys with small pieces, larger ones for stuffed animals, and large, flat containers to store toys and other miscellaneous items under the bed.

Organize your coupons

Debbie, a Milwaukee mom of four, swears by coupons and uses a simple alphabetical method to keep them organized. She suggests getting an index card holder with letter tabs to insert the coupons by item. Other ways to organize your coupons is by expiration date or type. For example, if it's a food item, put it under a tab marked "food." If it's a cleaning product, place the coupon under the tab for "cleaning."

Organize your closet

"I am a freak about keeping my closet clean and clutter free. If I don't, I always end up saying I have nothing to wear!" says Katie, our California mom. She hangs as much as she can and sorts the items by type; she keeps the pants, skirts and blouses separate and uses a hanging canvas storage container for her evening dresses.

Organize your computer

Work-from-home mom Rhonda knows that the key to staying organized in your home office is keeping your computer organized. She clearly labels her virtual desktop folders and goes through her email inbox at least every other week. Rhonda suggests setting up a separate email account to use when registering for websites that you may visit only once or from which you buy items only infrequently to cut down on junk mail.

Organize anything

Moms overwhelmingly agree that zipper-close bags are the secret weapon in organizing. Check out some of their stories:

My favorite thing is Ziploc bags for travel. I put a complete outfit -- shirt/pants/socks/underwear -- in a bag, which makes it easier to unpack at the hotel, and the kids can get themselves ready because every bag is a complete outfit. I have the organizers for school clothes, too, so we can pick it all out Sunday night and not fight over it each morning.
-- Lisa V, via Facebook

Ziploc bags -- absolutely! After the girls' first year at camp, I did the same thing: Put an outfit in every bag. This prevented all their clothes from coming home covered in dust and dirt.
-- Hollee M, via Facebook

Perhaps the best resource moms have for keeping and organizing their homes is other moms. Debbie says, "I think my biggest resource is my friends. Having two girls involved in competitive dance, a boy in a traveling football team and another whose pastime is finding the molecular structure of a "whatever,' I almost have to rely on my friends to help cart them around. When I was sick, they would just show up and take the kids where they needed to go."