Monday, April 12, 2010

10 Tips for Managing and Organizing My Family

If you ask my husband if I am an organized person, I can be fairly certain that he will laugh hysterically while trying answer that with a resounding "NO!". However, that is simply because his definition and mine generally vary quite significantly. Doc's organization is very methodical. If you were to walk into his office you could probably find just about anything you needed quite quickly. His organization is patterned and has an obvious structure to it. My organization is also quite clear . . . to me . . . in my head. I doubt that anyone else could walk into my "space" and find anything. I, on the other hand, can find things quite easily. While methodical organization is not typically my strong suit, I do realize its importance. In fact, after the arrival of my munchkins I began to realize that it is not only important to be methodically organized, but vital to my survival. If other people can't figure out your pattern of organization, then they simply can't help, which means you don't get a break. So, here are my "disorganized mom" tips for managing and organizing my family:
  1. Plan Meals: I'm definitely not the perfect mom, and we probably eat out more often than we should, but generally we know exactly what (or where) we'll be eating for the week when it starts.
  2. Plan Clothes: Check the weather and pick out your clothes the night before. When you start in a rush, it sets the tone for the day.
  3. Plan Cleanup: Personally we like to do all of our laundry in one day. While other families might choose to do one load a day, we like to get it out of the way. Either method is fine, but make sure you know when you're planning to do each of your weekly chores so that you don't feel overwhelmed as undone jobs pile up.
  4. Give everyone a job: Divide and conquer! Give everyone a job they can handle and make it the norm. My girls never complain about matching socks or folding towels because those are their jobs. When I'm cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, the girls vacuum the floor before they can play. It is just what we do.
  5. Stick to a schedule/routine: While it will be necessary on occasion to deviate from a set schedule, it is very important to have one. Making sure you and the kiddos are getting enough sleep, having enough free time and giving yourself enough time to get your daily work done is vital to keeping everyone healthy and happy.
  6. Prioritize: Not everything will get done every week. Sometimes things come up that will throw off all your best plans. Decide what is most important to you and don't worry about the rest. Life is too short.
  7. Create written goals: This is important for children as well as adults. Know why you're doing what you are. If you can't see the reason for a particular task, you are less likely to feel motivated to get it done.
  8. Pare down: Sometimes when we really take time to evaluate our lives we find that we have too much, are doing too much, or are wasting too much time. Evaluate your written goals and get rid of those activities, jobs, and things that are unnecessary.
  9. Have fun! Stress is the biggest issue in our family for making us feel disorganized. If you can, have fun while you're getting work done. In addition, make sure you have plenty of fun time built in to your week.
  10. Re-evaluate: Periodically you need to reevaluate your plans, lists, goals, etc. As any good manager knows, when goals change, plans must also.
This post is part of a blogging contest from the TwitterMoms community. There is a chance this post could be randomly selected to win a $50 Target GiftCard, so wish me luck! For more details, you can view the contest page here ( You can also find more information on IconApps here.


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