How do some moms do it? Dote their well-dressed toddler in one arm, their iced almond milk latte in the other, with perfectly kempt hair and—if you had to bet—wearing matching socks?
They‘re not superhuman. They just figured out the system.
Motherhood isn’t easy, and it’s especially difficult for new moms just entering the game. But rest assured that amid all the chaos and disorder, you can indeed find balance and harmony.
The first step to taking control of your stress (and life in general) is to get organized and stop allowing yourself to succumb to the chaotic whirlpool of tasks surrounding you. Here are some organization tips for how.
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- This first tip is the most critical: Write. It. Down. You have a million things on your mind, and you’ll be kicking yourself when you realize on your way home from the grocery store that you forgot that one specific item, or that Friday was show-and-tell at school.
Get yourself a daily planner into which you can jot down appointments, reminders, shopping lists, to-dos, and notes in general. You may swear to remember a certain obligation, but with so much on your plate, nearly all thoughts are fleeting—regardless of how important they may be.
- Using your planner, set a schedule and stick with it. Baseball practice on Tuesdays, piano lessons on Thursdays, and play dates on Saturday afternoons. Seeing it all laid out before you will make a routine much easier to follow. To avoid having errands cut into your schedule, try doing all of them on one designated day, working off a list and taking the most efficient route. Help yourself out and limit your personal computer time to stay more efficient. Pro tip: schedule your child’s doctors’ appointments in the morning; you’re less likely to encounter a long wait time.
- Does it feel like you’re constantly racing around in life? Spending all your time in the car chauffeuring to one place then the next? Solution: carpools. Contact the parents of your kid’s closest school friends; they likely live in your area if they fall within the same school district. Assign yourself a day or two then switch off with the other moms on rotation, and use the extra 30 minutes to yourself to indulge in a face mask or a good book. You deserve the well-earned me time!
- When it comes to getting your life together, don’t be intimidated by the all-encompassing disarray. One step at a time. Head to Target and get yourself some organizing bins, boxes, or filing cabinets. Designate one for menus and coupons to your favorite restaurants, one for bills, and one for important documents such as tax returns or medical files. Go digital wherever possible to downsize messes of paper, including automatic bill payment.
- If you clear the clutter, you’ll feel significantly more in control. Make sure everything has a properly assigned place where it can be neatly stored. If it doesn’t fit, chances are it’s excessive, so clear out whatever came before it. Try to make it a general rule of thumb to get rid of one bag of clothes, toys, and books for every bag of stuff that comes into the house. It means less stuff to clean up!
- Do you have a gathering to attend and want to appear calm, cool, and collected, despite your inner anxiety over what your little one might try to put in their mouth next? To avoid being the helicopter mom constantly hovering, shop travel bassinets for babies that double as an everywhere crib. Simply pop it open and allow your child to safely play with their toys in peace so you can (try to) enjoy yourself.
- Keep in mind that one of the most common traits found in effective, organized moms is the ability to say no. Don’t feel pressured to agree to everything; constantly saying yes to helping out at school, play spends, splurges outside of your budget, and all the extra things life throws your way will make you go crazy and set you off course. If you don’t think you can squeeze something in, simply say no.
When you’re ready to take the reins and recover your disorganized life, use these tips to help. Remember: no one is perfect, and even that Starbucks mom is guaranteed to have a messy day or two.