Thursday, January 13, 2011

Organize your Life

Life can get pretty crazy, especially when your not organized.  When people find out that I work full time and am a full time mom, first I thing I get is the look that I am a bit crazy.  At times I do have to agree... When you find yourself not sleeping so you can get everything done or running around like a chicken with its head cut off, then yes, it gets a bit crazy. 

But, honestly, what mom does not go through this?  No matter what your lifestyle is, I think every mom finds herself running a bit haywire at times.  So... in hopes of helping you other mom's... here are a few of my tips on how to handle everyday issues to help keep your life a bit more organized and to be able to do those extra things you enjoy most.

TIP 1: Working at Home with Children
This is probably the most asked question I get.  Here are a few things that work for me.

When working at the computer... try setting up a small table with a childs chair next to your workspace and tell them "This is your desk".  Setup a kids vtech laptop so they can "work" at their computer while you are on yours.

When working with paperwork... give your child some paper and a pen (kids love using pens vs. pencils because that is what mommy uses most.)  Tell them to draw you a pretty picture that you can hang next to your desk, refrigerator, where ever.  If someone's birthday is coming up, have them make that person a card.  This keeps my kids busy forever!  Oh... and make sure you give them plenty of paper, because there will be several "drafts" before the real card is done.
When working with fabric... Make an area special for your child.  If you child is old enough, set them up with their own sewing machine, whether it is a toy or real deal. I love using Charm Packs {5" squares} or the Petit Fours by Moda {2.5" squares} with my kids.  I give them a small pack and tell them to lay them out into a beautiful quilt while mommy works on her quilt or other project.  You just might be surprised at what they come up with.

When working in the kitchen... Let your kids help where they can.  If you are working on the stove, I set my daughter up with a mini skillet on the counter next to me and I pour the spices I am using into her tiny skillet and she uses her play kitchen utensils to stir and cook like mommy. 

Little kids love to mimic their parents, so provide little spaces for them like yours so they can "help" you by staying busy and having FUN! 

I know every single one of you has looked at your kids room and wondered where the heck did all these toys come from.  Grab a garbage bag, box, whatever will hold a lot of toys.  This will become the SELL/DONATE bag.  Tell your child that you are going to play a really fun game called KEEP or SELL.  My kids LOVE this game.  I love it too because it clears up old toys and gets them to clean and organize their room at the same time.  Best of all... you are not doing it for them! Start with one toy... ask your child "Do you want to keep this toy or sell it?"  If they say SELL, then have them pick it up and put it in the SELL bag.  If they decide to KEEP the toy, then show them how to organize their toys by separating them into different bins or locations, such as balls, stuffed animals, barbies, cars, etc.  Do this to EVERY single toy they own. 

I am amazed at how many toys my kids end up putting in the SELL bag.  You can then Donate the toys or put them on your next garage sale. We play this game twice a year... right before Christmas and sometime during the Summer.  I have found that this solves many issues such as... 1. They are not surprised to see their toys for sale at the next garage sale; 2. They become responsible for keeping their rooms clean since everything has a place and there is a place for everything; 3. They learn to NOT be hoarders.
This game does not have to stop with the kids... Mom and Dad can play this game with all their "toys" and knick knacks too!  Set the example and show your kids how it is done.

TIP 3: Chore Charts
I have recently started doing Chore Charts with my kids to, not only teach them how to be responsible and dependable, but to keep my insanity.  There are days where all I feel like I have done is pick up toy after toy, washed clothes after clothes, and cleaned bathroom after bathroom.  NO MORE!  YOU make the mess... YOU clean it up.  So here is a little freebie I want to share with you all... a printable Chore Chart
By gosh, every kid must have their own colors for their chart. I first started with the multicolor, but my daughter insisted she have a pink and purple chart. So, I created a few different versions to fit each style of child.  Place a sticker in each box they complete and at the end of each week, give them a reward or allowance for completing all their chores.

TIP 4: Closets
When was the last time you wore those MC Hammer pants or Units... seriously! You should go through your clothes on a yearly basis.  Anything you have not worn in the last year or two, get rid of it!  Donate it, sell it, give it away... something.  There is no need to keep clothes in closet that take up valuable space that could be used for other items. 

I learned this trick from a good friend of mine and IT WORKS!  Start by turning all your hangers backwards on the rack.  As you wear an item of clothing, wash and hang it back up the right way.  When the year is over, take a look at your wardrobe.  Do ya have a lot of backward hangers?  Everything that is still hanging backwards has not been worn in a year. Go through those backward hanging items and decide what you want to KEEP or SELL.  Be honest... are you really going to wear that mini skirt or parachute pants again?
Do the same thing with you kids closets.  Kids tend to outgrow their clothes every year anyway... I like to go through my kids clothes at least twice a year... spring and fall.  That way you are not caught off guard when the snow hits and realize your kids don't have any warm clothes to wear.

Color code your closets.  You may think this is a bit extreme, but you will be surprised at how quickly and easily it is to find things... not to mention that it looks much nicer and well kept.

TIP 5: Get your finances organized.
Use a budget software such as Quicken. We use Quicken and it saves me a lot of headaches and stress because I know exactly what we have coming in and going out at all times.  It also helps to know where your money went each month, such as Medical, Groceries, and more.

Now... tomorrow {January 14} is National Organize Your Home Day, so get a fresh start on the New Year and go organize your life!


  1. Thank you for the wonderful post on organisation. There are some great tips.

  2. Oh, Angela. This is a great post. I hope if you have MC Hammer pants that you do still wear, you will show them to me :) I would really enjoy that! ha. Thanks for the download!

  3. this pic is so cute, i love booth

  4. I don't have kids, but I loved the last tip. I love purging my clothes, but sometimes find it really difficult to decide. This makes it easy! Thanks!

  5. WOW! lots of great ideas here :) thx!

  6. Wow you really are very organized! I am very impressed! Great ideas!

  7. I have tried to work at home with my children and I know the struggles and dedication you need to stick with it. Wonderful suggestions - my little ones do follow me everywhere!


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