I think we all feel the same way when we first decide to become a stay at home mom. We think to ourselves “I’m gonna have so much time!” (Queue laughter) After months of chaos, I finally came up with…
10 Ways to be an Organized Stay at Home Mom
1. Get Up Early
I’ll admit, this one took me a while to accomplish. I love sleep, more than most things, but now that I’ve tried it, there’s no going back. This time in the morning is genuine free time. My husband and the baby are sleeping so I feel zero obligation and anything I do will make the rest of my day easier. Talk about motivation to bust out as many tasks as possible! Lately I’ve been assigning my blog tasks to this time. Since I can do many of these on my phone, I don’t even have to get out of bed!
This is the number one way to be an Organized Stay at Home Mom for a reason. There’s something to be said for starting your day off right and it doesn’t include being groggy and still in your pajamas. By the time I make breakfast and get my son out of his crib, I am dressed and ready to start the day. If you take nothing else from this list, please take this one.
2. Plan Out Your Month, Week and Day
Plan, plan, plan – and then remember to look at your plan. While I love planners, I’ve found that I just get frustrated by their inflexibility – so I just use a notebook and do my thing. Every week I write down my to-do list. I include tasks that might not even need be done that week (such as monthly tasks) and make a note next to them of when they need to be done. Then I make separate lists for each day of the week, pulling tasks from my master list. Each day, I cross off whatever I accomplished (from both the daily and master lists) and move whatever I did not to the next day. I am absolutely obsessed with Kate Spade Notebooks like this one. PIcking out a fun notebook makes me want to write in it and more likely to stick to my plan.
Get your FREE Organized Mom Printables HERE, including a copy of my Weekly To Do List!
3. Multitask Like You Never Have Before
I used to think I was a good multitasker. Now I’m convinced that I didn’t even know the meaning of the word. Having a baby changes the way you do things forever. Though it didn’t take me long to learn how to get things done with a baby on my hip, it did take me a while to learn how to get a lot of things done at the same time.
For example, I have recently started pairing my new workout plan (see My 16 Week Weight Loss Plan Part 2: The Workout) with daily chores. I’ll do a set of squats, then make the bed during my one minute rest period. Whatever chore I am doing, I stop at the one minute mark and go do my next set. When that set is over it’s right back to chores for another 60 seconds. It’s amazing what you can do in one minute! By the time my workout is complete, the house is also mostly clean, plus the cleaning between sets can kind of double as cardio since you have to hustle. If you ask me, it’s a win-win!
4. Batch Tasks
Think about what tasks go together and do them all at the same time. Going downstairs for something? Maybe you could grab a load of laundry and get it started while your down there. Making lunch? Take a few minutes to prep for dinner so that you don’t have to worry about it later. Also, I know this kind of goes against number 2, but you can’t plan everything. While you are currently tackling one specific task on your list, it doesn’t mean you can’t venture out. Being an Organized Stay at Home Mom also means going with the flow sometimes (something I had a VERY hard time adjusting to).
5 Meal Prep
I like to take a meal prep day each week. I make ahead breakfast and lunch for the week and prep for dinner that night all at once. Then when I make dinner, it’s usually enough to give us a couple of days of leftovers. This frees up a lot of time in the late afternoon/evening. Meal prep also simplifies grocery shopping and can even help you cut costs. I usually go through the local grocery ads/coupons and try to find a few key items and then base my meals off of those items. I highly recommend prepping for dinner early in the day. Better yet, get one of these bad boys and you can program dinner to be ready whenever you like!
Get your FREE Organized Mom Printables HERE, including a copy of my Weekly Meal Prep Worksheet!
(Need to shed some pounds? Check out My 16 Week Weight Loss Plan Part 1: The 5 Food Fundamentals)
6. Don’t Let Tasks Pile Up
This is huge. After every meal, wash the couple of dishes in the sink and get it over with. Do laundry frequently (I’m on a 3 day a week schedule) and fold it and put it away as soon as possible. Pick up toys before more toys get taken out (I usually clean up after my son when he’s about to take a nap/go to bed – I have him “help” me so that eventually he can get in the same habit). Also, maintaining the house is so much easier than deep cleaning. If you wipe down surfaces daily and dust and vacuüm at least weekly, then cleaning is relatively quick each time. But if you let things build up, that’s when you have to scrub hard and long to get things clean. It’s worth the daily effort to prevent the inevitable later.
7. Group Tasks by Efficiency
In my last job, before becoming a stay at home mom, I worked a lot on systems and processes (riveting, right?). This knowledge seems to have transferred over to my new mommy role. Think about when it makes the most sense to complete a task. Is it something you can do with a baby on your hip or does it take about 100 times longer that way? I try to find out which tasks will be easiest to complete while my son is awake and do as many as I can. Then, nap times are reserved for the tasks that are impossible or extremely challenging when he is awake, such as working on my blog, taking a shower, or taking out the trash.
8. Take Care of Yourself
Just remember SEED (Sleep, Exercise, Eat & Drink). There is NO way you will be productive if you don’t take care of yourself – at least not for long. You need to get enough sleep or you won’t be able to get up early. Exercise helps with that too. Pair exercise with regular, healthy meals and plenty of water throughout the day and you will have enough energy to take on your anything. Don’t forget to focus on your mental health too! Meditate, read a book, or do something just for yourself every day.
Time to simplify! Yet another use for my process planning skills. Run your home like you would a business (well, in some ways). Think about the process you use for each task, and then think about how to simplify it. Do you keep all your cleaner under the kitchen sink and then run back and forth to the kitchen every time you need to clean another space? Why not keep some cleaner/paper towels in the bathroom. Maybe keep a duster tucked away somewhere in the living room. Making it more convenient to get tasks done will increase the likelihood that you will complete them.
Set your priorities and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get everything done. My husband and I are both on the same page about what is most important. First off, I need to get ready each day (at least a little bit) and feel like a human, even if I’m not going anywhere. That comes before cleaning. Secondly, evening and weekend family time is a huge priority for us. That means that if a task is going to cut into that time, it can wait.
A successful day for me is one in which I prep dinner early and leave myself with very few dishes to do when we are done eating. Within 15 minutes of eating dinner it’s time to stop with chores and focus on family play time. Then when my son goes to bed my husband and I get our own downtime. This has also been incredibly important in making our marriage a priority after having a baby.
These tips have been vital in keeping me organized as a stay home mom. I can’t tell you the difference I feel in my mood, and in the general household mood, since I started following these guidelines. Tasks are complete, my son and husband get the attention they need from me, and I still manage to get time for myself! Not every day is a success but with these 10 Ways to be an Organized Stay at Home Mom, you’ll be on the right track.
Are YOU an Organized Stay at Home Mom? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below!
New Stay at Home Moms – Check out my recent post Transitioning to a Stay at Home Mom: Redefining Your Self-Worth
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