Organizing Tips and Resources
I put this page together to go along with a live talk at The Motherhood about getting organized. What a great 30 minutes it was...my co-hosts were Christine Koh of Boston Mamas and Meagan Francis of The Happiest Mom. If you missed the talk, here's the talk summary.
Don't try to keep everything in your head. Use a calendar and a to-do list to clear mental space.
Parent Hacks has lots, lots more tips for getting organized.
Wherever you can: simplify, contain, routinize, and delegate. You can't (nor should you) do it all! Delegating is a lot easier when there's a specific place for every item in your house (labels are a great help) and kids can reach things they need to use and put away.
Put your random bag collection to work by creating "activity totes" (tons of great ideas in the comments)
Different routines work for different families. For my family, the crucial ingredients are:
- Delegating! My husband and I share the washing-drying folding jobs, and my kids empty their hampers and put away their folded clothes daily.
- Easy-care clothing. NO IRONING, dry cleaning or fussy washing instructions.
- Lots of socks of one brand and color
- Lots of underwear
- Folding in front of the TV or while on the phone (get a headset so you've got both hands free)
- Putting clothes away instead of letting them stay stacked in laundry baskets (another good task to delegate)
Parent Hacks has a bunch of great laundry tips.
Feeding your family doesn't need to be a gourmet affair no matter what the food and lifestyle mags and blogs would have you think. If you love to cook, go for it. If you don't, or if you're just tired of all the mental work involved, it's absolutely fine to keep it simple! Much of the freshest, healthiest food is the quickest to prepare.
Simplifying food- and meal-prep comes down to this:
- Plan your weekly menu
- Cook simple weekday meals, doubling up and freezing when you can
- Keep a running grocery list
- Keep a well-stocked pantry
- Have 3-5 easy meals you can throw together using pantry ingredients
Tips for grocery shopping.
My favorite quick-and-easy cookbooks:
and a nod to Jamie Oliver because I admire his passionate desire to spread the word about easy, healthy cooking:
The Six O'Clock Scramble (meal planning help)
Helpful Apps and Services
Things (Mac, iPhone, iPad, $9.99 for iPhone)
Google Calendar (Web and mobile, free)
Remember The Milk (Web and mobile, free)
HomeRoutines (iPhone, iPad, $3.99)
Springpad (iPhone, iPad, Android, free)
Parent Hacks has lots, lots more tips for getting organized. Have a look around!