I was on the computer one day when this flashed across the screen: 12 Mom Tested Organizational Secrets. Well, I had to find out what they were! I’ve been teaching on this subject for over twenty years and I asked myself, “Could there be some I didn’t know about?”
1. Homework Station for the car. A smart mom turned an empty plastic bin into a homework station with paper, pens and pencils, etc. so that her children could start on their homework while driving to after school activities.
2. Large Weekly Calendars. Calendars have always been a big thing for me to share. These were actually color coded with each day a different color and showing a full month. I would add using different colored markers for each child’s activities so you can see in an instant who needs to go where.
3. A Notebook/binder for Coupons. I have heard of this tip forever and it’s one that I think is a time waster. I collect coupons so I do know their financial importance. But to put each one in a special place just takes too much time for me. I keep them all in one envelope and can look through in just a few seconds. And now you can even sign up for specials on line and the discount is given automatically at check-out! My husband showed me this new way. At Kroger.
4. Junk Drawer. I believe every kitchen has a junk drawer! But it can be organized. Get some organizing trays with different size sections. And then, empty the drawer and go through each item by either throwing away the item or putting it back in the drawer but this time in a special place! Great for batteries, glue, tape, etc.
5. 5-10 Minutes every night organizing. This was invented by me!! I call it my 5-Minute Quick Clean and it works. Every morning before you head out the door, do a quick clean through all the sleeping areas of your house. Yes, it can be hard when you are running late. But if you can get in the habit of checking bathrooms for curling irons still on, picking up trash and dirty clothes, and making sure beds are made and lights are out you will be way ahead of the game! Then, before you go to bed at night, do the same thing for the living areas of your home. I even would get out breakfast dishes for the next day and back packs by the back door. Then when you walk into the kitchen, you will feel ready for a new day!
6. Quarterly Closet Cleaning. I had always taught to do this cleaning twice a year but I think quarterly is even a better idea. I promise you that when you have your clothes, shoes, belts, etc. straightened on shelves, on hangers and in drawers; you will save yourself so much time and money. How many of us go and buy more clothes only to get home and find that we already had them?! And when my closet is organized, I can get ready for the day in half the time. This is a great task to do with your children in their own closets to help them learn how to take care of their things.
7. Cozi.com. This is an online calendar and menu planner that many of the young moms are using. Great idea! I’m still old fashioned and use my own recipes to make up my meal planning but if on line works better for you, go for it.
8. Pencil Case. This tip is to use a pencil case or small make-up bag for medications and to keep them attached to your key chain so you always have your medications. Obviously this is for someone who needs them throughout the day but it may be a good idea to keep in your car also.
9. Daily System Products from Pottery Barn. This tip could have been the advertiser! But the picture of this system is actually very good and is similar to one of my favorite tips: Have a command center in your home!!! A stay at home woman is a Working Woman! We have to have one place where we command all the coming and going of the home. This system shows a beautifully appointed command center but if you can’t afford it, don’t let it stop you! Many of the young girls I’ve talked with have gone out and found an old table and fixed it up and made it a perfect command center!
10. Color-Coded Bins. This is a great idea for a family. Each person has their own color bin so that their laundry, clutter, homework, etc. has a home. Great idea for keeping children responsible for their own things and helping with the upkeep of the home.
11. Keepsake Bins. Another idea I suggest when I speak to groups. Most of us don’t have the time to make a scrapbook for every activity your children are in. I used clear bins with my child’s name on the bin and then any special award or keepsake is in a nice and safe zone. I also use these bins for hobbies, bathroom and kitchen items to keep them in a particular place.
12. An Organizational Binder. This is a good idea especially if you live in a state high with natural disasters. This binder (or metal bin) keeps all your medical folders, family yellow pages, important documents, insurance, banking, bills, receipts, etc. If an emergency happens, your cell phone or computer may not work and you will need paper work of your information.
I believe you can’t learn too much about organizing your life! But the main ingredient in getting organized is your own personal motivation. And that can be hard if you are going through a rough patch in your life or too much work at your job or your health is poor.
This is when we have to pray and ask God to give us the strength or someone to come alongside us and help us. I’ve been so overwhelmed at times in my life I remember wondering if I could ever get my life straight again. And let me tell you that you can.
God cares for you and wants to give you an abundant life. Just give your life to Him and let Him make miracles for you.
“I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.” John 10:10