I know I’m a little late in posting this, but it’s that time of year again when people are trying to get their lives back in order. Everyone is thinking about their goals and resolutions, and most of all…ORGANIZATION!! It can be so difficult to stay organized on a day to day basis, especially as a parent. And I am one of those scatter brained parents with such high anxiety, and overly active kids. So, I wanted to share the tips, tricks, and charts I use to help put my life in order and organize our day.
I first started using charts and scheduling our day after my second son was born. When we first started, it was a little difficult. It took a few days to adjust and work out the best schedule for us.
Now, I just want to remind you that not everyday will be perfect. We try our very best to stick with our schedule, but every now and then life likes to throw some chaos our way. And as I’ve said before, as parents we juggle so many things a day and sometimes we drop a few, but that’s OK! The point of this post is to help you get your ducks somewhat in a row, and hopefully turn these organizing tip/tricks into everyday habits.
Related: See “Lazy Parenting Hacks“
I’m the type of person that likes to use a daily agenda. I don’t know why; I think I just need something tangible. I’ve been using them ever since elementary school, and at this point my mind has been programmed to work better when using a day planner. The best day planner to me, is one that breaks down the month and also breaks down each day. Now, I know bullet journaling is really big right now and if that works for you, great! But, for me I prefer something that is already laid out, because that’s less work and thinking for me.
The following are planners I’ve used in the past and currently use.
This planner, like I said above, shows you the month, as well as breaks down each day. It helps you keep track of the events for the day, and keeps you focused on the top three things you want to accomplish. There’s also a small quote on each page, which I thought was very unique. Another thing they included on each day is a gratitude section. I love this because it reminds you to stay thankful for what you have, and puts you in a positive mind space.
I highly recommend this one for anyone who wants a planner that is already laid out, keeps them on track of their goals, and helps them maintain a positive attitude.
This is a very simple day planner. The beginning of the planner has all the months laid out, and has the following sections for you to fill out: key points for you to remember for the month, your to do’s for the month, and projects to work on for the month. After the monthly break down pages are lined pages. These pages you can get creative with and fill out your day however you desire. You can use a page just for one day, or you can fill it out for the week. This style is great, because some days you may have so much going on, your schedule fills up an entire page, and other days you might have very little going on, and only use three or four lines on the page.
The Organizher Planner is perfect for anyone who wants to quickly glance at all their events for the month on one page, but have the freedom to be creative with the daily/weekly schedule.
As I’ve said before, I created daily charts after my second son was born. I was worried about how I would accomplish anything while having to juggle my preschooler’s schedule AND my newborn’s schedule, all while tired out of my mind due to all the nightly breastfeedings. My schedule had to somehow fit all the cleaning, daily events, daily outings for the boys, and the loads upon loads of laundry! It took a few days to learn what would work best for us, but I figured it out, and I still use it to this day.
The daily schedule shows exactly when I get up and get dressed, when I wake the kids up, and an approximate time of when I breastfeed the baby. Three days a week I babysit in the morning and late afternoon, so that is displayed in the chart, as well as what we do during that time on the days I’m not babysitting. It shows the naptimes for each of my children, although now my 4 yo doesn’t nap anymore 🙁 . Each day I have a special activity for the kids to do around 1pm. The schedule displays every mealtime/preptime, chore time, and bedtime.
When you create a daily schedule, keep in mind that it will change slightly as the children grow. Also, some days you might not be able to stick with it, but try to stay as close to your routine as possible. I know my kids and I function much better when we know what’s going on each day!
I developed this chore schedule after my first son was born. When you bring your first baby home from the hospital, your whole life changes in many ways. How I maintained a clean house changed with baby as well.
With this chart, cleaning the house was no longer such a big task. I divided up my chores, so I was only cleaning a little each day. I still use this chart, and basically clean one room a day now. This method has helped to keep my house clean (not mess free mind you — kids 🙄 ), and helped me to not feel so overwhelmed.
Daily Goal Chart
On this chart, I write all the events of the day. I have this chart, along with the daily schedule and daily chores, hanging up in my kitchen to remind myself (and my husband!) what needs to be accomplish for the day. This chart displays my top 3-5 goals for the day, my to-do list, my daily tasks (ex: checking emails, reading my devotional), appointments, and workout of the day. I also have a visual reminder to drink water displayed on the chart. Having this chart in the kitchen helps me stay on track throughout the day!
Utilize your phone! With everything I have on my mind and in my schedule, I can be very forgetful of some things. Anyone else forget to drink enough water, or forget the laundry in the washer, or forget to leave the house on time? I found a few apps that helped me solve these problems!
Water Drink Reminder App
Even though I have a visual reminder to drink water displayed on my daily goal chart, I’m not always in the kitchen to see it. I discovered this app a few months ago, and now I use it everyday. An alarm (which sounds like someone pouring water) goes off every hour to remind you to drink. Now I’m reminded throughout the day to stay hydrated, which helps me to feel more energized and ready to take on my kids! I highly recommend this app for anyone who has trouble remembering to drink water, especially if you are always on the go.
Laundry Time App
Have you ever put a load of laundry in the wash, walked away, and became distracted by everything else in your life? Then, your husband starts asking where his jeans are, and that’s when you remember you forgot to put them in the dryer, and now they smell like mold. Oops!! I cannot tell you how many times this has happened to me, actually I’m a little embarrassed by it, haha! Maybe you don’t have that problem, but if you do, get this app now. With this app, you can set an alarm for the washer/dryer, and be reminded to retrieve your laundry on time.
Now, I have used the regular timer on my phone before, and that may work for you. However, for me, I would turn off the alarm, get distracted, and forget the laundry. I don’t know why, but this app just works for me. It must be the actual image of the washer and dryer that forces me into action right away. Yeah, I’m weird like that!
This app is such a great GPS! You get instant updates about traffic, accidents, and police. However, the most important feature, I believe, is the ability to set your destination for a later time. By doing this, the app will alert you when to depart. This is so beneficial for anyone who needs to be reminded when to leave. Just enter your destination and what time you need to be there, and Waze will remind you when to leave the house. It’s perfect for people who tend to arrive late…like me.
Now, I know that was a lot of information thrown at you, but with the combination of the planner, charts, and apps, your life will no longer be disorganized. For the most part, everyone knows what is expected to be done each day. No more running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off. Our day to day is always organized and on task.
So what do you think? Will you try out any of these tips, tricks, or charts? What do you do to keep yourself organized on a day to day basis? Let me know in the comments below what you think. Also, if you’d like free printables of our charts, just hit that subscribe button!