The Best Organizational Tools for Moms
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Finding an organizational system that’s just right for you
No matter if you considered yourself an organized person or not prior to becoming a mom, parenthood can throw your organization skills for a loop. It is hard to stay on top of everything between taking care of yourself, your family, the household needs, personal life, or work life. The list can go on. The good news is there are many organizational tools for moms out there. The challenge is finding the ones that are just right for you AND actually applying them in your life. The keywords here are just right for you! Because honestly, there are millions of organizational tools out there! Just Google it, look through Pinterest, and search through books and magazines. You’ll find an overwhelming amount, which can be a good thing, but also a daunting task.
Every person’s way of organizing is different. And every person’s organizational goals vary. All we can do is try our best with the systems that work for us, and that will help us reach our own goals.
Some questions to ask yourself first:
- What organizational systems do I currently have in place? (If you’re laughing at this question because it’s non-existent- Hey! No worries! No judgment passed because being organized is definitely not something all humans are born to be).
- Part two to this question is: IF there are any organizational systems in place, are they working? Why or why not?
- What areas in my life do I want better organization?
- Do I need to better organize my calendar of events?
- Do I need help keeping the house clean?
- Is my mind a mess with so many projects and tasks to keep track of?
Here are various categories of organizational tools that are described in this post. This is where the answers to the reflective questions above come into play. The priority of which section below is unique to your needs. Whether it’s one, a combination, or all that you want to conquer, it’s best to tackle your goals, one step at a time.
- Planning (events and tasks and meal planning)
- Mind organization
De-cluttering your way to organization
I personally dislike clutter and it bothers me to see things that are not in their proper place. However, it is one thing to not like it, and another thing to not have it. Although I do not like clutter, I have learned to be lax now that I see it is impossible to have a baby or toddler without some clutter somewhere in the house. If you’re reading that line and thinking “Well then, why bother if a clutter trail follows having little ones in the house?” The point is having zero percent clutter for every minute of the day is probably not a reality, but there are ways to minimize the clutter.
When there is an excess of unnecessary things such as clothes, toys, food, etc. it requires finding a place for all of those things. That means less space for the items you do want to have, and also more to clean up and put away. Here are some helpful resources below to support your path to de-cluttering:
The Clutter Buster Kit from Power of Moms includes a proven 7-step manageable plan for organization. It also has tips, worksheets, posts, and podcasts on how to organize your home and ideas on how to get your kids more involved. It is normally valued at $18, but it is currently FREE. Click below to get your Clutter Buster Kit:
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Maria Kondo is the #1 New York Times’ best-selling guide to de-cluttering and organizing. She shares her KonMari method and category-by-category approach as innovative ways to keep a clean space.
365 Days of Decluttering & Organizing Your Home by Jamie Stewart. Just as the title states, it is 365 days with simple tasks broken down to achieve organization. Looking at it one step at a time makes the HUGE overwhelming goal of decluttering your whole home more manageable.
Attaining Organization through Planning
Is your main goal to organize your life through better planning? There are tons of planners and planning apps to help with this goal.
Digital Planning Apps
If you are a digital kind of gal, here are some FREE apps (that I’ve personally used and love):
Cozi is a great tool for the whole family because it has it has everything to organize your life. It includes tabs for your calendar, shopping list, to-do list, meal plans and recipes, messages, journal, contacts, and birthdays.
Every member of the family can clearly see the shared information, making communication seamless if you are on the go, and need to check everyone’s commitments and plans. Some features that make Cozi more distinct than other “to-do list” and “calendar” apps are its ability to save recipes, to send messages, and to keep a journal to reflect on fun family moments.You can save and organize your recipes here, and drag and drop the recipes in the handy meal planner within the app. There is even a Cozi Family Journal for busy families to capture fun moments quickly by writing quick stories or adding pictures as well. Cozi is extremely user-friendly with its clear interface. It can be used on a mobile device and on the Web on a computer.
With the Meals tab, you can save and organize your recipes, rate the recipes and make notes about them. Recipes can also be dragged and dropped in the handy meal planner within the app, making it easy to map out the days and weeks ahead for what to eat. The ingredients can also populate in the Shopping List, making the process streamlined.
There is even a Cozi Family Journal for busy families to capture fun moments by writing quick stories or adding pictures as well. Cozi is extremely user-friendly with its clear interface. It can be used on a mobile device and on the Web on a computer.
Out of Milk
is another free organizational app that can be used on your own or shared with other members of the family. It has a place to enter your to-do list, shopping list, pantry list, and includes nearby deals.
Multiple stores can be added to the Shopping List, helping you to clearly see which items to buy when you are at a specific store. This is much more organized than having one gigantic shopping list of everything you need to buy. The items can be sorted by categories, quantities and price can be entered as well.
The To-Do List can include more than one list if you want to group your tasks by category. Reminders can be set if desired and there is space for additional notes.
The Pantry List feature in this app allows you to keep a digital inventory of the food in your kitchen. This helps when you are at the store, see something you would like to buy, but do not remember if you have it already at home. The Pantry list can be entered manually, or you can also scan the barcode on certain items for it to populate automatically.
Non-digital planning tools
If you like the feel of something more tangible that is not on your mobile device, here are some useful tools:
Using a planner is an excellent place to mark down events, appointments, and to-do lists on your calendar. There are numerous types of planner sizes, and features, depending on what you are looking for.
I am a planner fanatic and have been since I was in school, looking forward to writing down assignments, projects, and birthdays. I still get that same giddy feeling looking for my Teacher lesson plan books, and homeschool planning books. Not geeky about planners as I am? That’s ok because there are so many styles out there that suit your personality. Solid colors, print, soft cover, hardcover, pocket-sized or mid-sized. There is probably a planner for everybody.
Much like other planners, it has monthly calendars and weekly planning pages. Apart from many planners, it includes goal-setting pages, and space to map out and track your actionable steps towards your goals. In addition, there are organized spaces for project planning. What also sets this planner apart from others is because the Brilliant Life Planner is more than just a place to jot down your appointments and events. It is also a keepsake with pages for you to jot down memories, struggles, and how you overcame your challenges. Therefore it is like a planner and journal combined. They come in four beautiful designs and the planner has a durable hard cover to last through life’s wear and tear. There are also interior pockets to keep additional small papers, cards, or pictures. If this sounds like a planner to help you with your organizational goals, you can go here to learn more. As an added bonus, following that link will get you an extra $5 off.
When there is a build up of clutter, tasks on your to-do list, appointments to keep track of, and pending projects, it is understandable that the mind can feel cluttered as well. It is stressful to hang on to all of that information. The tools above, if implemented effectively, should alleviate the mind clutter. I sometimes feel like a web browser with hundreds of tabs open, trying to keep track of everything when I am not making a deliberate effort to write things down and implement organizational systems.
In addition to the organizational tools described above, there is also a course to support your path to organizing your mind. The Mind Organization for Moms (M.O.M.) from Power of Moms is an effective 2-week course. You choose when you would like to start your 2-week timeframe. Once a time frame has been chosen, you will receive an e-mail each day with manageable steps. The e-mails include worksheets, videos, podcasts to follow. Click the image below to learn more.
Organizing = More Time for you
Although it will take some time to start your organizational movement, having systems and routines in place will save you time in the end. Hopefully one of the recommended organizational tools for moms described above helps you target at least one of your goals. Remember, put your blinders on, choose one goal and focus on that.Feel free to share which tool works best for you, or if you have any other recommended organizational tools not listed here.
Good luck in your journey to de-clutter your home, mind, and life!