The Busy Mom's Guide to Getting Organized‚ and Staying that Way
Your home doesn’t have to be perfect, but it can be organized enough with the right game plan. We’re all so busy working, taking care of kids, trying to have a life outside of work and kids‚ it’s no wonder that keeping our homes organized sometimes falls to the bottom of the priority list. Yet we know that having a chaotic home just makes everything harder. I’ve been helping clients‚ many of them working mothers‚ get organized in Manhattan for nearly 20 years. I hear it all the time: I know how to get organized. The challenge is keeping things that way. Heck, some say, I don’t even know where to start! It’s not as bad as you think. My first piece of advice: Don’t try to do it all in a day. The best strategy is to make a habit of spending small chunks of time tackling a specific area. Even 15 minutes will do. Here are my best high-impact, low-investment strategies for getting organized, even when you are super-busy.Written by Amanda Sullivan for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.
When you have 15 minutes:
- Tackle the stack of paper on your kitchen counter (or where ever paper piles grow in your house). As you are sorting and purging, ask yourself why it always ends up there‚ and how you might avoid the same pile happening again.
- Run things back to the rooms they belong in. Don’t worry about putting them away, just aim them get everything close to where they belong. If something doesn’t belong anywhere, ask yourself if you even need it.
- Tackle a bowl, drawer or other catchall full of miscellaneous stuff. Put stuff where it belongs, or purge it. If there’s stuff that doesn’t have a place, make a place: What category (tool, toiletry, office supply) is it? Where you keep that category?
- Eliminate junk mail. Go through your pile of catalogs and ask to be removed from the mailing list.
When you have 30 minutes:
- File papers you need to keep, and create folders if you don’t have them already.
- Arrange to pay bills online.
- Look through your children’s books to see if you can get rid of ones they’ve outgrown.
When you have an hour:
- Go through your child’s dresser. Do the contents of the drawers make sense? Does everything fit the child? Does everything fit in the dresser? Does your child need all those clothes?
- Go through your pantry. Purge old stuff and items you are never going to use. Create zones: Baking, Pasta & Grains, Oils & Vinegars.
- Go through the coat closet or mudroom. Purge single gloves, too-small boots, equipment for sports your kids no longer play.