Most of us moms live daily in a role that I like to call "The New Supermom". We have kids, we are working, we are running small businesses, running home-based businesses, running.the.world(s) around us.
I started my journey to be an organized mom and simplify EVERYTHING in my life over two years ago, and I feel strongly about the positive impact it has had on my family life and overall wellbeing so far. My world was filled with too much go-go-go, and not enough presence.
How I'm Becoming An Organized Mom
What exactly am I simplifying in my day-to-day?
(+) Removing clutter from our home
(+) Making a conscious effort to not over-schedule our lives
(+) Finding more free time to spend QUALITY time with my kids
(+) Finding space in my own head to feel calm, organized and happy.
Here are 5 of my tips to feel more organized and calm as a mom, plus, a list of all my favorite resources that have helped me along my journey so far.
1. Decluttering Can Change Your Life
You don't need to look very far to see the widespread trend of decluttering. I believe that decluttering our lives (both physical objects and mental clutter) is an ongoing process (I'm still working on it every day) but in general, it has made our home easier to clean, maintain and feel more peaceful on a daily basis.
2. Simplifying is a Journey: Start Small and Keep Going
I haven't quite been able to get on board with the extremely popular Marie Kondo method of simplifying - with two small kids, the idea of putting everything in the centre of the room just doesn't work for me. My personal preference has been to tackle and declutter small areas, and be consistent with the process.
While patience isn't my strongest suit, patience is the key to success here. I started the decluttering process in our home over two years ago, and I'm still going. I recommend starting small with areas like these:
(+) Closets (one per day, or week, or whatever free time you have, you will know your timeframe once you complete one or two)
(+) Bathroom vanity/drawers
(+) One kitchen drawer/cupboard at a time
(+) Bookshelves (books are hard for me to let go of!)
For me, the more I declutter, the easier it gets (it's less overwhelming). I have decluttered some areas of our home several times now, and each time, I simplify more. This is completely achievable for you too, just start small and keep going.
3. Figure out a Calendar System that Works for You - then use it DAILY
I am obsessed with my calendar. Personally, I use Google calendar because all of my e-mail (work and personal) is Gmail based and it's the easiest for me. Find a calendar that you like, and stick with it.
EVERYTHING goes in my calendar, appointments, special days at school, birthdays, birthday parties, reminders, AND chores. (YES, you want to know my Mom secret to being organized? I schedule my chores. Yes. In my calendar. Now you know!) If you look at my personal calendar, you will see task reminders like "clean bathrooms" and "change bedsheets". I schedule them in once, on a permanently rotating basis, then I just (try) to follow my schedule. I'm not perfect, but it does a good job of keeping me on track.
I spend 5 minutes with my calendar each night, adding in new items and reviewing things that are upcoming for the next day, week and month. I honestly have no idea how I would function without this system.
4. Keep Lot's of Blank Spaces In Your Family Calendar
Blank spaces, or open time in your calendar, allow for special family outings, free play time, relaxing and just being together. It is especially important to me, as an introverted mom, to have "down time" - racing my kids (and myself) around from activity to activity is an absolute nightmare for me and leaves me feeling extremely stressed at the end of the day.
As our family grows and our kids get older and become involved in different activities, keeping blank spaces in the calendar is continually changing. We experiment with our schedules throughout the year, as time and opportunity allows, making adjustments as necessary. Right now, some of the ways that I keep us from over-scheduling our family time are:
(+) Always being conscious of the calendar and how many things are planned for any given day (having a super-organized calendar really helps here!)
(+) Not being afraid to say no to new activities or invitations, or to suggest another time.
(+) Keeping weekends as open as possible - right now, our daughter has 1 weeknight activity and 1 weekend activity.
(+) Doing household errands like grocery shopping on weeknights.
5. Get Inspired:
Throughout my journey to simplify, I have discovered many inspiring resources, so I decided to compile a list of my personal favourites, including recommended books, specific blog posts, podcasts, videos and more. Sign-up to receive the list of 15 of my recommended inspiring resources for moms who want to be more organized, slow down and simplify, with clickable links directly to the source.