With young kids, it can be hard to be and stay organized. While it’s impossible to keep it together all the time, having some plan helps to keep things from falling apart completely. Here are some of my favorite organizational tips for moms and the best planners for every budget.
Flexibility is a constant tip I tell anyone willing to listen. If there is one thing I’ve learned in my four years of being a mom and five years of being married, it’s that flexibility will keep you from going insane. It’s not just an organization tip; it’s a life tip. Too many times, I’ve organized something perfectly, and then I get thrown a curveball a.k.a the girls get a gift. Now I need to find a place for it among the exact shelf or drawer I just organized. However, it’s not an issue because I left room for this exact thing. Which brings me to my next tip.
Streamline and prepare
The last thing anyone wants to do at the end of the day is to prepare for the next day, but as parents, it’s inevitable. For me, this includes having my girls’ clothes picked out for the next day, as well as mine. I still make the main entree for their lunches in the morning, but I’ll prepare their lunch boxes with side items like fruit cups or squeeze pouches. Meal planning is very helpful in being prepared. I try to have my dinner ingredients prepped, too, so that when I get home from work, I can throw everything together quickly and with less hassle. Also, being prepared gives you extra time to do the next tip.
Use the extra time you have from streamlining to take care of yourself. Be selfish. Self-care is always so important, so use the time you save for chilling or relaxing. Use it to recharge. The better you feel, the easier it is to stay on top of things. So make sure you take care of yourself. You can even do the ultimate preparation by scheduling your “you” time. Every night I plan time after my girls go to bed to do some yoga. It helps me reflect on my day and prepares me for sleep. Speaking of sleep and schedules, this next tip is my favorite.
Use a Planner
Whether you use an electronic planner, a paper one, a wall calendar, or a desk calendar, a planner can be your best friend. Most planners are customizable to your needs. Here are some of my favorite planners for every budget:
- Erin Condren – This one is my favorite planner. It can be customized in various ways, so you can make it your own. All planners include extra pages for your thoughts and motivational quotes throughout the planner. There are also a lot of accessory options, including stickers and markers to decorate your planner. In addition, I use the Erin Condren Wall Organizer system, so that I can quickly look at a month at a glance. It’s a great supplement to my planner. While this one is on the more expensive side, it works well for me.
- Good Housekeeping – This is a newer planner that I haven’t tried yet, but it includes tips for home, kitchen, and beauty. It has a 4.5-star rating and is mid-range in price. Reviewers liked the beautiful photos and all the suggestions throughout the planner.
- Happy Planner – Happy Planner is much like the Erin Condren planner in that it is customizable with extra packs you can get for fitness, meals, holidays, etc. The designs are beautiful and use a disc binding. The discs make it easier for you to take pages out to write on and then easily put them back. The Happy Planner also has accessories available for decorating your planner. The Happy Planner is in the mid-to-high price range, but still, it is a great option that many moms love.
- Simplified by Emily Ley – This planner is straightforward and easy to use. Like some of the other planners mentioned, there are accessories available to customize the planner. Although this is also in the higher price range, this option might be right for someone who doesn’t need anything too fancy, but still wants something nice and sturdy.
- Bullet Journal – Many people turn a regular notebook into their planner. You can use Pinterest to find some ideas if you’re not sure how. Bullet journaling is great for anyone on a budget who needs to get organized. You can get a journal or notebook from various stores, ranging from $1 and up.
- In-Store – The other option is to go through a store that sells planners and see what you like. Most retail stores will have some planners at a lower cost, especially since they aren’t entirely as customizable. However, if you don’t need a lot of customization, this is a great option, and you won’t break the bank.
Having some flexibility in how I plan and prepare helps me to stay organized, especially with young children. I’ve found supplementing my planner with my phone calendar and a wall calendar has helped my husband and I with appointments and upcoming events. There are so many options out there, so I hope this list helps you organize this year!