Lori Lori is a work-at-home mom of three living in Noblesville, Indiana.

So many moms have a similar problem: we have too few hours in the day to get everything accomplished, and accomplished well.  We are stepping on puzzle pieces, tripping over baby dolls and have socks in our drawers we’ve owned for a decade.  I am both a stay at home mom, and a working mom.  I have two kids ages two and under at home, and also work several hours each week from home without childcare.

I don’t really mind the chaos, and am enjoying these moments while the kids are little.  The fingerprints, sticky hands and sounds of laughter are what make parenthood the amazing journey it is! But I have to stay on top of things or the house will quickly because a disaster! From one busy mama to another, I share with you several tips I have incorporated into my daily life that help me save time and stay organized so I can be less stressed and enjoy more time with my family:
  • When I load the dishwasher, I take time on the front end to separate the silverware so when I go to unload it, the spoons, forks and knives are all already together and can be easily placed in the drawer.
  • I keep baby wipes and diapers in the rooms they are needed the most often.  Instead of having to run upstairs to change a diaper, I can do it on our main level.
  • We open mail on a daily basis, as well as make it a point to go through the ads and coupons. I can’t stand to just toss the coupons without at least peeking at them first, so I make myself go through them on a daily basis so I do not end up with piles of mail.
  • I fill my SUV up with gas before the tank is empty.  While I am sure I am not alone when I say that filling my car up is not #1 on my list of fun things to do, it is even less fun to have the gas light come on when I am running late.
  • I make lists. They keep me organized; they also give me the feeling of satisfaction after I can see what all I have complete.  It saves time because it prevents me from say carrying laundry into my son’s room and getting distracted and putting books on a shelf instead of heading to the next room with laundry.
  • Speaking of laundry…I wash almost everything on cold, so we have less piles of laundry.  I use a mild detergent, so I can mix clothes and aren’t obligated to wash the kids clothing separate from the adults.
  • I make one or two big meals on the weekend when my husband is home to help with the kids.  This means we have a few nights worth of leftovers, so it frees up evenings during the week and cuts down on eating frozen pizza or fast food out of desperation.  If you cannot eat the same meal a few times in a few days, freeze one of the servings. It’ll come in handy in a month!
  • When I need to get a birthday, congratulations or anniversary card, I buy several for the next few months.  There is nothing worse than needing a card and having to make a special last-minute trip to the store to buy it (with children in tow!).
  • Replenish the diaper bag when you get home from shopping or a day out with the kids.  Put wipes, diapers, snacks and even some toys in it so you don’t have to do it last minute before you leave.  You do not want to find yourself away from home without something you need.
  • Go to the grocery store…alone.  I try my best to get up early and go when I have no children.  This allows me to quickly get the food I need, and also helps keep me from forgetting things when the children distract me.  Even with a list, if I have children, I always seem to come home without something we REALLY need.
The playroom after the kids helped put away their toys.
  • Let your children help with chores around the home. It teaches them about responsibility, and beside, they usually like to help.  If you make it fun and a routine from a young age, it helps prevent resistance and children feeling like chores are a form of punishment.  Even now, at two, my oldest loves to help clean up as long as we sing the Old Faithful: “Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere.”
Now you have some ideas of things that are easy to do (hopefully a couple of these ideas are new ones you can add to your routine!), to save you some time.  These tricks work for me and I hope they help you.  If you still do not know where to begin, start by making a list of tasks to do for the week. Dedicate a day each week to a specific chore, such as washing bed sheets (FUN!) on Sunday’s.  Prioritize things by importance.  Sometimes you may have to slightly navigate from your plan, but try and stay on top of your chores and you will notice your home looks (a little) better, and you feel less stressed. Of course, life if always crazy with small children underfoot, but that is what makes parenthood so fun!

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Category: Home

Tags: declutter