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Busy Mom Life Hacks {Organization}

Busy mom.  Sounds kind of redundant doesn't it?  I don't know the last time, if ever, I met a mom who wasn't busy or feeling overwhelmed.  It starts when you go through the nesting phase, and continues on.  Some tell me it never stops!  Let's hope that was just some meaningless mom hazing though.  Personally, I go through periods where I feel like I have everything together, and then everything comes crashing down.  Each together period usually coincides with me actually having all the time I need to prepare in advance.  Meal prep:  check.  Groceries bought:  check.  Hair cut/colored/styled:  check.  Clothes stylish/ironed:  check.  Bills paid and you can find your tax documents:  check.  You know what though?  The older my kids get, the LESS time I have to be put-together, much less on top of things.  However, 8.5 years into this momming thing I have found or been told about a few hacks that help me fake having it together.  Some I discovered on my own the hard way, and others I have been fortunate enough to catch in a Pinterest article or benefit from another friend's advice.  So, without further adieu, here are my busy-mom-of-three bonafied hacks!  

Organization is the launching point for all hacks because you really do need some kind of foundation to start on.  My family foundation is a joint calendar.  We are all going a million different directions, and I can't keep up with it all in my head.  The minute I do is the minute something crashes down.  Like forgetting to pick up my son, Doug, from gymnastics.  And getting a nasty glare down and email from the instructor.  Ouch!  It's hard to recover from the mom-shamers, folks!  Get ahead of them and get a calendar.  Our family utilizes a shared Outlook calendar.  I tried paper for a long time, and it worked for a while, but when I switched to electronic, I was blown away at how much easier it was.  Paper meant I had to be at home with the calendar to update it, and had to remember what was on it before I left the house for work.  Or enter it into my own personal calendar.  Either way, it required double entry which equals double time.  Ain't no one got time for that!  Literally.  I also like the shared Outlook calendar because I am not the only one responsible for entering events.  My husband and I both work outside the home, so we need to know each other's schedules to see who can handle emergency situations or special events for our kids.  With the shared calendar my husband and I can each enter from our phones whenever we have downtime, and we have the information in our hands at all times.  

My next organization hack is having a place for everything.  Your house doesn't have to be huge, but just identify a place for all the things to eliminate clutter, which can make you feel like you are crashing down in your own home.  The key to finding a place for everything, is having your family share input.  Warning:  It may will annoy them.  I have interrupted Dora to ask where princess costumes should go.  Mario and Luigi have come to a screeching halt to talk about what makes sense for school papers. If my husband knew how many conversations about mail spots and closets were in his future, he may have added a few disclaimers in his vows!  However, having input from your family creates buy-in.  You don't possibly have time to put ALL the things in ALL their places ALL day.  If it makes sense to your family it will come more naturally for them to help.  Unless it involves their bedrooms.  Then it's every man for himself.

Final stop on our organization journey, purging.  When ALL the things don't have a place, purge them.  I am not joking.  If you can't find a place for it, it means you don't value it enough to create a place, or use it enough for it to have a place already.  Let someone else find use for it by donating it or selling it if you are interested in earning some extra cash.  My general rule for donating or selling is if it was donated to me I donate again.  If it is similar to something that was donated to me I donate it.  For example, I have benefited GREATLY from hand me down clothes for my kids, so I always hand down again if they are still in good shape, and if it's clothes I purchased, I try and help someone again by donating.  If the item is something I just changed my mind on, and still has great value, I try and sell to either fund the purchase of what I really want or to put into savings.  

So there you have it.  Nothing mind blowing for sure, but helpful hacks nonetheless.  Catch my next installment of Busy Mom Life Hacks soon, and comment to let me know if you want to see the Beauty, Meal Planning or Household edition next!

 

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