Let’s face it I have my hands full. Any mom with a handful of kids knows the feeling, add in homeschooling, and working from home and sometimes I feel in way over my head. My to-do list grows daily and don’t get me started on the stuff. Laundry, toys, and random odds and ends seem to multiply like bunny rabbits while I sleep. Over the years I have learned a few tricks to help keep the crazy from taking control.
Simple tips to organize your family.
My planner is the most important tool I use to keep things going smooth. My planner goes everywhere with me and I use it to track everything from appointments to deadlines, and cleaning schedules. I keep my planner pretty by add stickers, doodles, and quotes that inspire and lift me up.
I love having a central family calendar where my husband and I add important dates and get text reminders sent to both of us so we never miss things. This is vital because he works a lot of random dates mixed into things and it helps me not freak out when he is home late because he forgot to tell me when he got the list from work and he never misses his Saturday. We use Cozi for this.
One trick that helps keep things under control with the children is to color code them. They each love their own color coded toothbrushes, baskets, cups, sandwich boxes, pencil boxes, etc. For things, I can not find in the colors we need I use colored duct tape to label them. Having young children color codes make it easy for them to see what is theirs helping reduce some of the fighting that happens when a child uses something that belongs to another sibling.
Stock up on storage bins, and other storage solutions. When you have kids you can’t get rid of clutter completely. All they become attached to all of those toys, pictures and crazy things that make you wonder why they kept them in the first place. Filing things into bins helps keep it out of the way.
Take photos of artwork, school projects, and other things your children love and want to keep. Load these to your computer and store each child’s files on a memory stick. They will love that they can “Keep” any of those projects they want and you will love that you don’t have to have them running around the house.
Buy filing boxes to organize papers you have to keep. A fire proof one is perfect for storing Birth records, banking, and insurance information. File papers you need to keep the moment they come in the door and pop the rest right into the recycling bin. You don’t have time to do it later after it has created a mess and gotten out of control.
Put the kids to work. No reason the chores should all be on you. Grab a chore chart and assign age fitting chores to each child. Your child benefits from learning that everyone needs to do their part for the family and gets basic skills they will need when they are out on their own.
Organize toys and puzzles. To keep puzzles organized I take the time to make the back of each piece with a number allowing the children to always know what puzzle each piece goes to. This also helps me when I find random pieces running around the house. Using large bin I rotate toys helping me control how many how many toys are running around the house at a time.
Declutter often. Clean out the toy box, organize the pantry and regularly purge clothes from the closet. Toss broken items right away. You know if you shove that toy with a broken part in a drawer you will never get around to finding a spare part for it. Don’t forget to keep a box for donating things that are still in good condition. Not only are you keeping stuff out of the landfill and helping others, you are also scoring yourself a tax deduction.
Use all available space to your advantage. This means give hanging baskets, bookshelves with storage bins and baskets a try. Don’t shy away from adding hooks inside cabinets and closets to hold additional storage. Fill your fridge, freezer, pantry, and even the bathroom can get benefit from baskets, buckets, and small storage boxes to keep neat and tidy so you can find what you need.