My Tips for Staying Organized & Sane {Plus a Giveaway!}

Last month, I was approached by fellow Lower Mainland mom / Vancouvermom.ca Top 30 Blogger, North Shore Mama, about  The Organized Mom Awards. It was my first time hearing about the awards, so I looked them up online and learned that they are an organization that promotes moms sharing tips and ideas that make them feel most organized. What’s not to love, right? A a busy mama, I’m always looking for new tricks to help me stay on top of my many commitments and projects while making the most of my time.  

So when North Shore Mama (be sure to check her out – she’s a pretty organized mama herself!) said she’d like to nominate me to be in the running for this year’s Organized Mom Award, I was beyond flattered.  What an amazing and inspirational group of ladies to be a part of!

The winner of the awards wins $1000 cash, but in order to be eligible for the grand prize, I need to be one of the top 10 voted for mamas. If you have a moment to spare, please click HERE to read all of the nominees’ stories and tips, then vote for your favourites! (Or click on the button below to go directly to my entry.)

As a heads up, I want you to know that you do have to use your Facebook info to log into the Organized Mom Awards app, which I know some people aren’t too keen on (trust me, I hear ya!) But here’s the good news – in exchange for you visiting and voting for your favourites, I have TWO $50 GIFT CARDS (with 2 more to come) to Stuck On You, a company whose products I’ve been drooling over for months.  All you have to do to win 1 of the 2 gift cards is vote for your favourite organized Mama, then come back to this post and leave a comment saying “Voted!“.  For an additional entry, leave a separate comment sharing one of the ways you stay organized or maximize your time. The two winners will be chosen at random one week from today, on the evening of Saturday, August 11th. Good luck!

And if free stuff isn’t prize enough for voting, I’m also going to share my top organization tips with you as an added bonus. ☺  

Moms Awards Banners 782x90 I m nominated

 

As a Kindergarten / Grade One teacher turned stay-at-home mama and Etsy shop owner, being organized has always kept me sane, happy, and on top of all of the things I need/want to get done. It also means happier kids and more time for playing and going on adventures (win-win, right?)

Here are my tips for being an organized mama:

1) Plan Ahead

One night each week, I sit down for about an hour, computer on lap, and loosely plan out the dinners I want to make for the upcoming week (breakfasts and lunches usually come about with staples I always keep on hand and dinner leftovers, so I don’t normally plan those).  While I’m at it, a find a couple of cooking/baking projects I’d like to do with my soon-to-be 2 year old little lady, as well as a couple of toddler-friendly activities to do outside of the kitchen. With this meal/activity list, I then make a shopping list of everything I’ll need to pick up on my shopping trip the next day. The meal/activity list goes up on a bulletin board in the kitchen and the shopping list goes in my wallet.  I don’t always follow my plans exactly (in fact I seldomly do), but it’s really nice to have some ideas (and the required ingredients/materials) on hand when dinner’s got to be on the table asap or I need a fun activity to do with my little one in a hurry. 

2) Jot It Down

Call me old-fashioned in this technological world, but keeping a large family calendar and pen on our fridge keeps me sane.  It’s host to play dates, birthdays, events, appointments, library due dates, my hubby’s work schedule, and anything else that is date specific. I also use my Notes app on my phone to jot down quick things while on the go – addresses, Miss G’s milestones, and gift ideas are a few of the things that can be found on my phone, and the best part is that I always have that info with me.

3) Everything Has a Place

In our house, everything having its own spot eliminates having to search for things and makes for smoother exits.  As long as things are put away in their places after being used, retrieving them the next time they’re needed is a snap.

4) Clean As You Go

Tidying throughout the day is essential for me.  If I’m headed to the washroom, I grab the recently folded towels and take them with me. If I’m headed to the kitchen, I grab the empty sippy cup sitting on the coffee table and put it in the sink. If we’re done with an activity, we put everything away before starting a new one (never too early to start having your little one tidy with you!)  The result is a reasonably tidy home at the end of the day, instead of one that looks like a tornado hit it. Then, once your little one’s in bed, you may only have a sink of dishes to do and a floor to sweep rather than having an entire house to clean.

5) Do it Now

As a semi-obsessive list maker, there are few things I find satisfaction in more than crossing a job off a list.  But here’s the thing – some tasks take longer to write down than to just do. Rather than adding another item to your {already long} list of to dos, why not just get that quick/easy task out of the way now rather than leaving it for later?  Things like taking the trash out, filling the ice cube trays, throwing a load of laundry in, or making a bed probably take just as much time to add to a list as they take to do, not to mention that many of these jobs are little helper-friendly.

6) Think About Tomorrow

Each evening, before I call it a night, I think about our plans for the following day.  If we need to be out of the house fairly early, things like packing the diaper bag, laying out needed items, and packing a lunch make the morning much easier.  Even if we don’t have big plans for the following morning, having a rough idea of what we’re doing the next day helps me mentally prepare for the day ahead and leads to more time for fun and play and less time for planning/deciding what to do.

Now what are you waiting for?! Go and vote, leave a comment here saying you did, and be in the running to win a $50 gift card for anything from Stuck On You, a company that specializes in the coolest labels and personalized gifts. Remember, if you share your organizational tip in a separate comment, your name is entered TWICE!  

Good luck!

 

20 thoughts on “My Tips for Staying Organized & Sane {Plus a Giveaway!}

  1. Following Jennifer’s tips makes life alot easier. My own organizational tip is to get the timing right – especially with two kids in tow. Life goes much more smoothly if I set the older one up with an activity he can do himself first, then look after the needs of the younger one. When the younger one is happily engaged in something and no longer needs all of my attention, then I can go back to the older one for some one-on-one time – even if he doesn’t strictly NEED my help. If I can time most of our activities this way, then it keeps the chaos at bay and both kids have had some connection with me.

  2. Great tips Jen! I definitely need to think about tomorrow more often. 🙂
    Something that keeps me organized is “Remember the Milk”. It sync’s with my Google calendar and comes as an app as well.
    Check it out!
    O and, voted! 😀

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