In the early days of parenthood organization seems futile. You’re adapting to the nuances of a tiny, little person and to be honest, you’re lucky if you get a shower most days. But, after experiencing nearly two years of motherhood, I’m here to tell you that organization is possible and it’s really not as hard as it seems. Once you fall into that parenting groove a bit, these simple tips will help you get and stay organized. Tiny tweaks in your everyday routines can make life run much more smoothly. Here are a few tips and tricks that have helped me stay more organized with a little one.
7 Ways I Stay Organized with a Little One
Staying organized with a little one can seem daunting, but with a few simple tricks it is completely possible!
1. One in, one out
Cleaning up after a little one can seem like an endless task and can add stress to other daily activities. Ridding your house of unnecessary items can make things feel much more calm. I like the rule of “one in, one out”. When my little one gets new toys or clothing, I go through and get rid of a comparable item – perhaps a shirt that’s too small or a toy she’s outgrown. It will keep your space much less overwhelming and more manageable during clean ups.
2. Empty on arrival
Purses and tote bags are pits for disorganization, so I have an empty on arrival rule. When I get home from an outing, I put everything away before I do anything else. That spare pair of socks, or those goldfish crackers all go back to their respective spots and then I don’t end up with a disaster purse where I can’t find anything.
Toy boxes and diaper bags can be an endless abyss for “stuff”. Where is that binky or that favorite Minnie Mouse toy? Who knows when it’s buried underneath mountains of other toys of at the bottom of a bag! I love consolidating and sorting items. I keep items in my purse in multiple pouches — kid items in one, my items in another, diaper stuff in another. Then at home I keep items sorted in various bins throughout the house. Play food in one, stuffed animals in another, puzzles in yet another. Keeps things much easier to find.
4. Plan your day in segments
Having a plan for the day tends to make things go infinitely smoother and keeps me on track so I don’t get overwhelmed by my tasks. Breaking up the day also keeps your little one (and yourself!) from becoming stir crazy on days when you stay home all day or too overwhelmed on days when there are a ton of errands. Break things up throughout the week to make it more manageable.
5. Have go-tos
Having “go-tos” is one of my best organization tricks. I have go-to meals that I always keep the ingredients on hand for – breakfast smoothies, chicken divan for dinner, peanut butter and jelly for lunch. I also have go-to gifts for last minute birthday parties and showers. I have easy go-to outfits and go-to date ideas. Having as many go-tos in your arsenal as possible can help you prepare for last minute situations.
6. Make a list and break it down
Lists are fantastic for staying organized, but if you’re anything like me, you tend to make super long ones that quickly become unmanageable. Break down your to do lists over the course of the day, week, and month. If you have a specific time to get that laundry done, or wrap that gift, you’ll be much more likely to actually get it done.
7. Give everything a place
When everything has a specific “home” it makes it easier to keep track of things and easier to include your little one in the organization. If your child has a specific art area they will know where to put those stray crayons away. You can also take it a step further by pasting photos of the items to their respective shelves to make it even easier for family to see where items belong.