Being a mom is a tough gig. You never get to clock out and you have to clean up after your boss all the time. As moms, we keep an endlessly busy schedule filled with late nights, early mornings, and lots and lots of chores. It’s tough to keep things going and keep our families on track. We need all the help we can get! To keep your ship afloat and sailing smoothly, here’s a list of clever mom hacks and organization ideas for moms that are sure to be a big help!
Get in the Right Mindset
We’ve all been told that if you’re on a plane that’s going down, you should put your own air mask on first before trying to help others. This principle holds especially true to being a mom. When your mind is full of worries, stress, and negative thoughts, you struggle to be the mom your kids need. Keep track of your mental health by adopting healthy habits. Meditating five minutes before you begin your day can help you feel relaxed and able to handle whatever life throws at you. Keeping a gratitude journal (we swear by The Five Minute Journal!) and writing about positive and negative experiences can also be a healthy release.
Let Go of Crazy Expectations
Motherhood is a crazy ride. Sometimes you’re killing it with your pumpkin spiced latte in your hand, dropping off the kids, picking up the groceries, and doing it all with a smile. The next day you can find yourself a weeping mess, dealing with behavior issues and sitting in a pile of dirty clothes. No two days are ever the same, and that’s why it can be good to let go of the crazy expectations. As long as your kids know you love them, and you’re doing your best to take care of them, everything will work out fine. Relax and give yourself a break if you don’t manage to get all of the dishes washed, or if you didn’t make all of the errands. Let it go, and get back to it tomorrow! You don’t have to be perfect.
Get a Totally Cute Planner
Keep track of dates and important deadlines in a cute and colorful planner (we love our Day Designer!). Many planners come with spaces for daily list keeping as well as calendar views for keeping track of monthly events. Make a habit of updating your planner whenever you find out about a new event. Whether you carry it in your purse or on your smart phone, a planner can help you stay on track and not forget about things you need to do!
Get in a Routine
One way to make things run smoother is to get in a routine that helps you stay a step ahead. Mornings can be one of the most difficult times for moms. To make your morning run smoothly, prep the night before. Have your kids pick an outfit from head to toe and lay it out. Pack lunches the night before and make sure all bags and purses are ready to go. While it may add to your afternoon workload, it will decrease the mayhem the next morning, and ensure you get everyone out of the door on time.
Make Use of Your Crockpot
There are literally thousands of crockpot recipes that can be made in a matter of minutes (click here for some of our faves!)! Just add your ingredients first thing in the morning, set it, and forget it. You’ll walk in the door to a fully cooked meal or main course, allowing you to focus your attention on other things. This can be especially useful when kids are playing sports or participating in other events that make nights hectic.
Exercise with Your Kids
We all have aspirations to get on the perfect workout routine, but with kids, it can be difficult to carve out the time. One solution is to find ways to get moving with your kids! Go for a run and let them follow on their bikes or scooters. You can also join in on the fun if you have older kids and challenge them to a basketball game or game of catch. Whatever sport or activity you play, your kids will enjoy the quality time and you’ll get the benefits of working out!
No matter how long you’ve been a mom, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve had to clean up some kind of accident. The best way to be prepared for these spills and messes is to stay a step ahead! Purchase waterproof mattress protectors and extra sheet sets. The protector will make those bedtime accidents less stressful and make cleanup a breeze! Carry tissues or wipes with you in your purse and car. Your kids will thank you when they have a sticky or dirty cleanup job while on the go. Keeping books and card games in your car or bags can also help pass time on long trips! Always keep antibacterial creams and band-aids in your purse for those unexpected knee scrapes!
Do Your Shopping Online
Many grocery stores now offer free online shopping services that can cut down on stress and workload for busy moms. Shopping for your groceries online also helps you avoid the “going to the store hungry” syndrome where you buy everything in sight! You can better keep track of items you’re adding to your cart as well and keep an eye on your total. Have a birthday party or holiday coming up? You can now order practically anything off of Amazon, and with their two day Prime shipping on most items, you’ll have your present ready without having to brave the mall!
Is your laundry pile so big that your kids play king of the hill on top of it? One solution to cut back on the washing workload is to simplify and declutter closets. Go through wardrobes and if something is a little tight, or hasn’t been worn in over a year, let it go! You might have some hesitation to part with a little black dress that you’ve always liked, but if you haven’t worn it recently, chances are that you won’t miss it once it’s gone. Having a few, cute, staple items can make getting ready in the morning less of a challenge as well. Try creating a capsule wardrobe for yourself and your kids! They help you look trendy and cut down on the amount of clothes you are washing per week!
Set a Schedule for Cleaning
Keeping the house clean can be one of the biggest challenges for moms! One way to make things easier is to set a schedule for when each task should be done. This can make you feel like you’re on top of the clutter, instead of being overwhelmed by trying to do it all at once. Every day when you get home, set a timer for ten minutes. Clean up as much of the visible clutter you can find within that time frame. Enlist the help of your kids too by giving them age appropriate chores! It can help to get in the routine of always picking up the living areas each night before bed. Bins and storage baskets can be a great help for keeping items in a safe place and out of sight!
Prep As Much As Possible
One way to cut down on early morning chaos is to pack lunches for the week on Sunday. Dole out baggies of chips, fruit, and sandwiches. Each morning you can just grab and go instead of having to rush to make your sandwich!
Become a Minimalist!
One of the biggest reasons we spend so much time cleaning is that there is so much to clean! Cut down on your work load by getting rid of non-essential items in your bedroom or shared spaces. Try to keep your furniture and decor as minimal as possible in order to have fewer surfaces to clean when the time comes for housework!
Stock Up on Vaseline
Don’t scrub your eyes trying to remove old mascara and eyeliner! Just spread a layer of Vaseline over your lids and easily wipe away makeup. Besides being used as a makeup remover, Vaseline can also be used as lip gloss, moisturizer, to calm split ends, or even to remove gum from hair! It truly is an essential beauty product!
Take Advantage of Online Coupons
Many stores now offer online coupons that can be downloaded right to your smart phone! When it’s time to check out, if you’ve got a downloaded coupon that can be used, a quick scan of your phone will have you saving cash! Plus, with the coupons being digital you can avoid having to carry around all those paper ones.
Pinch Your Pennies
The coins that come out of your pockets each day can add up over time! Keep a jar or bowl where everyone knows to put extra change. At the end of the month, use it to go grab lunch!
Keep Track with To-Do Lists
A great way to stay on top of what you need to do for the day is to make to-do lists using a simple tool like The Productivity Planner. In the morning, sit down and list all of the things you know will need your attention that day. Refer back to it throughout the day to ensure you don’t miss anything.
Use Hidden Storage and Totes to Stay Organized
Bins, totes, and pull out drawers are your friend! Store shoes, toys, books, and school supplies in baskets or totes and pull them out whenever needed. This makes cleanup easier as well because everything has a place of its own.
Get Your Kids to Eat Healthy Without Them Knowing
Have picky eaters? There are tons of great recipes that include hidden veggies! Spice up breakfast with real green eggs and ham! Using a food processor, mix up a few fresh spinach leaves with your eggs before cooking them. They will have a great green color that would make Dr. Seuss jealous! Kids feeling a little crummy but you can’t get them to eat anything? Pedialyte Jello and homemade fruit juice popsicles are a great way to sneak in a little hydration.
Use Play to Distract
Give your kiddos kitchen toys to play with in the tub while you bathe them. That keeps them learning, experimenting, and distracted while you get them squeaky clean! It also helps you avoid spending money on bath toys.
Clean as You Go
When you’re taking a shower, grab your cleaning sponge and use body scrub to wipe away soap scum and grime. You’re killing two birds with one stone. Getting yourself clean as well as your tub, and since you’re using shower gel, you’re not being exposed to chemicals!
Learn How to Say ‘No’
It’s okay to not be available for every social event or play date. If you have had an especially busy week or know your kids are tired, have the courage to say no, and know that it doesn’t make you a bad person. Sometimes you just have to say no to some things in order to say yes to others.
Create a Weekly Menu
Before you venture out to the grocery store, or begin your online order, create a weekly menu for your family. You can experiment and try something new, or make sure you’re all stocked up for a family favorite.
Use Natural Products to Clean Your Home in a Pinch
Need to do some cleaning but all out of Pine-Sol? Vinegar can be used to clean sinks, toilets, and floors when diluted with water. Lemon juice serves as an antibacterial agent as well. Just mix a little in a squirt jug filled with water and you’re ready to spruce things up with a light citrus scent!
If you find that you are always having a hard time getting the kids to bed on time, begin your routine a little earlier. It can be difficult to stay on track 100% of the time. Starting earlier ensures that even if things get a little crazy, you’ll still be pretty close to your schedule.
Nine out of ten times, if you put off your workout until after work, you won’t end up getting it done. There are so many distractions and things that can pop up to keep us from staying healthy! Stay on track by knocking your exercise out first thing in the morning. As an added benefit, none of the kids will be up yet and you can do your downward facing dog without a kid on your back.
It can be a lot of work running a family, keeping relationships running smoothly and making time for yourself. These clever mom hacks, tips, tricks, and organization tools will make tings easier and ensure you get to spend more time doing what you love!