As a mom, you probably feel as if there is not enough time in the day. Whether you are a mom with a career outside of the home or a stay at home mom, taking care of your household demands and meeting the needs of your family can become overwhelming. By following a few simple organizing tips, however, you can make each day a little less stressful.
One of the most critical organizing tips you can implement is to plan. Advanced planning can help you avoid problems with your daily routines, which will make your day run more smoothly. Before going to bed each night, for example, you might want to have your children take out the clothing that they plan to wear the next day. This way, you can be sure everyone will have the socks, underwear, shirts, and pants he or she needs for the day. You don’t want to discover your children are out of clean clothes when you have some minutes left before the bus arrives!
Organize yourself: Make a schedule and stick to it. I try not stress myself by allowing a certain amount of time to run errands. I plan my route of time to minimize drive time between stops. Estimate the amount of time your chores will take and stick to it! This eliminates unnecessary stops, browsing or other things that keep you from your appointed rounds. Make a shopping list to keep your task focused. If you run into someone you know, limit your chat time, tell them you are on a schedule and be disciplined about it.
Eliminate clutter: I know this is easy to say but can be challenging to do. The best way to tackle any big task is to break it down into segments. There are many types of clutter – things, junk or mail, so there are many different solutions. However, one good example is mail. Rather than letting mail pile up which eventually leads to an unmanageable and time-consuming task, I pull out all of the junk mail every day and immediately throw it away. This leaves bills and other information mail. Bills go in one pile, and the “other” goes into another pile. I set aside one day per week to pay bills and to go through the “other” pile. I make sure that I pay, address, respond or file EVERYTHING on that date, so nothing remains.
Be smart scheduling appointments: Schedule doctor’s appointments at optimal times of the day, if you can. Appointments should come first in the morning or right after lunch tend to go faster since the doctor or dentist hasn’t had time to get behind yet. The worst time to schedule appointments is mid to late morning or late afternoons. Also, make reasonable goals when setting your schedules and give yourself plenty of time. If you know that you have to be at your kid’s school at 7:00 p.m. for conferences, do not schedule a 4:00 p.m. doctor’s appointment.
Set time for yourself: As with many busy moms, I feel guilty if I am not doing something constructive for myself daily. But, I have learned that if I don’t take time for myself, I start to shut down and my time becomes much less productive. Everything takes time because I am so tired! Read, watch TV, take a walk, play with your kids – whatever you need to do to decompress will help you become more efficient during the times when you need to be.
Write everything down on your calendar as soon as you schedule it or as soon as you know about it. I write down everything from having to bring cupcakes to school to picking up my dry cleaning. It is a natural habit to form. Make sure to view your calendar every evening and every morning. And, don’t just look at the next day – keep looking forward all week. It is incredible how much time and stress this simple step will save you!
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