Need Organization Ideas

Updated on February 06, 2009
J.P. asks from Dallas, TX
26 answers

I am hoping that some of you can help me. I am new to the SAHM world and need guidance on getting my days organized. I feel like I drift around from one project to another and look up to find that I haven't really worked with my toddler much and now it's time to go pick my oldest up from school. How do some of you organize your days/weeks? Do you commit Mondays to cleaning, Tuesdays to shopping, etc...? I also have a business that needs tending to (i.e. putting together website, marketing, etc.). I am all ears!!!

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So What Happened?

I can't thank all of you enough for all of your responses!!! I am slowly finding my way with organizing my days. The tip to do a little each day with the cleaning has been most helpful. My house is staying clean this way. Also Flylady.net is pretty hard-core, but I am doing her 31 days for beginners and incorporating them into my day.

Thanks again for all of your help!

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

I would suggest going to www.flylady.net. You'll find lots of ideas and suggestions to make organization possible.

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V.C.

answers from Lubbock on

Here is the schedule that I follow, it has helped me to be able to get all the things done each day. You will need to adjust the times or activities according to your family needs but this will give you a basic idea so that you can get things done each day.

Monday – Kitchen – Darks

Tuesday – Living Room – Jeans

Wednesday – Our Room – Whites

Thursday – Kids Room – Lights

Friday – Bathroom – Sheets, Towels, Rugs

Saturday - shopping

7:00 – Wake

7:30 – Breakfast & clean up kitchen

9:00 – 11:00 – Balance Checking & pay bills, start laundry of the day & play with baby

11:00 – Prepare Lunch

12:00 – Eat Lunch & clean up kitchen

1:00 – Nap time

1:00 to 1:30 – clean room of day, finish laundry of the day & work

3:00 – pick up school age school, play & homework

4:00 – finish work or cleaning if needed

30 minutes before your husband arrives home pick up clutter and toys (have children help)

5:30 – start Dinner

6:30 – eat Dinner & clean up kitchen

7:30 – Bath time for kids

8:00 – 8:30 – kids in bed

2 moms found this helpful
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S.W.

answers from Dallas on

In Vandi C's schedule there's only 1 hour of the day she spends playing, interacting socially, or reading to the baby! Not good.

Plan your laundry to do 3x/week, pick your days. Use Sat/Sun to sort and organize the loads. In the time you're not doing laundry, during kid(s) naps, pay bills, clean 1-2 rooms (if kid(s) are older than 3, have them help). The other 2 days should be taking your kid(s) to the park, crafts w/ them, walking in the neighborhood w/ them, singing and dancing w/ them...whatever you and they like to do. If you prefer to groc shop during the week, do that on those 2 days w/ your kids in tow, if they behave well, promise a park visit after naps, trip to petting zoo, etc. Your kids will soon be in school all day; make the most of the time you have with them now to bond with you. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

T.F.

answers from Dallas on

I am a SAHM with a 14 yr old daughter, 3 dogs, running our corporation from home and busy hubby.

Sometimes I joke and say I have ADD or something because I honestly do move from chore to chore. Sometimes I feel as though I got nothing done, But I have. I NEED help!!

I do a LOT of filing and it is one of the easiest things to pile up. SO, I have my main filing cabinet set up in my closet area but I have small Sterlite pull out files in my pantry. Each day when mail comes in I sort into the 6 boxes I have. Company, banking, taxes, investments, and 2 of "to file". When the "to file" ones start getting full, I file them in the closet file. The others, I maintain all year and then when tax time and maintaining books need to be done, everything is in 1 place. I also keep a separate sterlite box for Items to Shred.

Someone said calendar....I SO AGREE. We all have Iphones and laptops. We coordinate our Iphones on outlook so that we know all of daughter's practices, cheers, concerts, etc. I make sure they have all of my dates to remember such as meetings, when I am scheduled to substitute, etc. Hubby does the same and we sync so that we all have the same info. Hubby and I email each other a LOT and on weekends we go through what is planned for the week.

Records....I keep a regular smaller sized college ruled notebook and I write down anything I want to make sure I keep track of. I keep track of phone calls I make, who I spoke with, confirmation numbers, etc. I note what I do during the day so I don't forget anything. I started keeping a notebook WAY back in my corporate days as a CYA file and I have found it to be an invaluable part of my daily routine. If I have to call someone back for whatever it might be, I have my book to fall back on for data I need to speak with the company again. I also keep a daily list in this book and try to keep to it.

Everything cannot be done and you are not perfect. I straightenup as much as possible daily, usually run the vaccum daily (downstairs only where my dogs hang out), make dinner. I try to do a "big job" which can be shampooing carpet (as I did today) to cleaning out a closet, deep cleaning something around the house for routine maintainence. I also make time for ME. I go out to lunch, shop, massage, or something...that is just ME during the week. DO not forget You.

Sorry for the long post, I saw this request as I was cleaning up my office space to prepare for our dinner.

Hope I have an idea that helps and I look forward to seeing what others say!

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H.R.

answers from Abilene on

I'm a SAHM and have a few tips. I make a to do list each night of the things I need to get done. I make sure the list is reasonable (it's much shorter than I think it should be!), but doable. I try to clean something every day (or at least that's been the plan...starting to change that) so nothing ever gets too dirty. I'm starting a household notebook to get everything (address book, to do lists, cleaning tips/to do lists, medical info, etc.) in one place.

I'll be happy to answer any specific questions you might have.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.G.

answers from Jacksonville on

I do find it easier to organize my week, but it doesn't always go as planned. I try to do more htan one thing at a time, but not too much.

Ex. Soak dishes in hot or hot & soapy water, start a load of laundry, then do something else while the laundry is going. Take a short break and or have a healthy snack (eating small portions helps with weight). Then I'll switch the laundry from washer to dryer, start another load, then do the dishes or some of the dishes until the dryer stops. Then I'll sit down and fold laundry and watch TV or a movie. I'll pause the movie and put the close up, because I have stairs I'll take up small bundles of clothes at a time to get in some exercise. I'll see if I have time to do some more dishes and do another load of folding or I'll do some paperwork. Oh yeah I don't have little ones, (my youngest is 8), but when I did I would include them have then put up a couple socks, let them play with the broom(as if they were sweeping), I would get them into a craft or something and sneak off the put up clothes or go to the bathroom. You can fold clothes while they play and sing the ABCs and or they can play on the kitchen floor. Most of all be creative. I have a friend with a 4 year old and her house is spotless, she only cleans in the room her daughter wants to play in. She's always with her daughter, but she only has the one. I'm a Christian women, so I believe praying 1st thing in the morning and giving your work over to Him helps get and keep you organized. I pray throughout the day, for my husband, family, my friends, other people and myself, for the good and the bad, and read the bible, and study the bible. I really hope this helps, it does for me and I'm no where close to being perfect or having all the answers.

1 mom found this helpful
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D.R.

answers from Dallas on

There is a website Flylady.net that might help

1 mom found this helpful

M.C.

answers from Dallas on

[email protected]____.com I get their email weekly and they have great ideas!! hope this helps.

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

I've heard that 'fly lady' is good for this...you can use google to find her site.

P.W.

answers from Dallas on

Get yourself a big calendar. A family calendar. Ask your husband to include anything that will affect you on the calendar. You can put things on the list you want to get done, but don't feel bad if you don't.....just move it to another day. The necessities will be filling your time before you know it. Make time every day for yourself and for exercise. Be with your boys when you can. They will notice that you are around! Ask your husband for help. Staying home doesn't mean that you are a slug or must take care of EVERYTHING. I ask my husband to make the salad every night that I cook. That one thing helps me so much. Nobody leaves the kitchen without helping with something. The kids can wipe the table if nothing else. Let the rest happen. I tell myself everything will get cleaned really well once per month. I used to think I had to do it every week, but soon found I had better things to do. Sometimes I clean again in 2 weeks, sometimes 5 weeks....The kitchen floor gets cleaned more often, etc.. I don't worry too much about perfection anymore and you will know when it is time to do something. If it makes you feel better then plan on getting the whole house done the first week of every month, then just do a little each day.....if it goes into the 2nd week....so what? If you still have extra time then think about something you have always wanted to do.....write, read, crafts, knit, a tutorial on the computer to become the first female President.....whatever does it for you. Whew! I may have gone on a bit. My goal was to give you some organizational ideas, but caution you not to over worry. Enjoy your time.

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G.W.

answers from Dallas on

Hi J..
I like to be organized, and feel overwhelmed when I look around and find too many jobs to finish. I am not always organized, but I do like to be. My MIL found a tool for me that helps. It is called Cozi from bhg.com (Better HOmes & Gardens). It is basically a family organizer. I have put jobs on there that I do, and it automatically keeps track of them. Like, if you clean your bathrooms on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month, it will always put them on the second and fourth saturdays of every month. You can enter birthdays, appointments, reminders, make shopping lists (which can be sent to your phone via text message or voice message if you leave the list at home), you can create a family journal, and you can sync it all with Microsoft Outlook, if you use that (I don't).

What I usually do is, I have input all my chores around the house. I also have added birthday reminders. As meetings come up, I add those in too. Then, on Sunday, I print out the calendar for the week ahead. The full calendar is accessible on my computer, just by starting up the program, but at least I have a copy on paper to look at throughout the week.

BTW, I have a feeling someone here will recommend the Fly Lady. She's kinda popular. BUT my experience is that she is TOO high maintenance. She delivers a ton of email reminders every day, and I want to get my jobs done, not check e-mail! Just my opinion.
Hope that helps.

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A.C.

answers from Dallas on

Lots of good ideas in the posted responses!

If you are still having serious trouble after a year or so of trying to implement the ideas, you might want to check out Julie Morgenstern's book: Organizing from the Inside Out. It helped me understand why it was so difficult for me to stay organized and clutter-free. I'm still working on things!

One thing that has helped me is to have a computer "To Do" list. I print it out at the beginning of each week and it has several components, each with a place for a checkmark to indicate whether I've done it. The components are: a list of daily items (7 checkmarks), weekly items (1-3 checkmarks), weekly errands (usu 1 checkmark), and empty space for listing special projects (I update this weekly on the computer and daily in pencil).

I'm very forgetful and this list helps me remember what to do next. Before I started this system, some days I would wander around the house trying to figure out where I left my cup of coffee (usu in the microwave) and wondering what I was supposed to be doing! Actually I wasn't THAT bad, but sometimes it felt like that!

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

I am big on organization. I have a 13-month-old and watch a 24 month-old and do not have time to just run around like my head is cut off so I set a scedual and stick to it mostly. Exp
7-8 free play ( I get b-fast ready and check my e-mails)
8-8:15 B-fast
8:15-8:30 Story time
8:30-9:30 free play (I get things do that I need to do)
Ect. This is how I do the whole day. I make adjustments as needed but I can get much more done when I set a scedual and stick to it rather then just see what the day holds. If you need more help please let me know.
Good Luck

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S.W.

answers from Amarillo on

I agree with Vandi C's outline. If you can, plan your dinners in advance and put them on a monthly calendar. I made up 5 weeks worth of dinner meals and then would shop for the needed items after checking the pantry. I would shop heavy once a month (military and paid once a month) and would do small bits during the month with a list. If it was not on the list it did not get bought. Use the left overs from the previous night for lunch the next day. Or freeze for later in the month.

I would start dinner around 3 in the pm and take my kids to the park in summer one in stroller and the older would walk, hubby would pick us up on the way home.

Once you get a good routine going, you can keep it up and do more than you listed and get a 'day off' for yourself.

Post me if you would like more info. The other S.

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

HI and welcome to the sahm world! It will take a bit of adjustment, but I hope you will love it as much as I do. What helped me at first was to type up a schedule. For example, each day of the week, I would pick a different cleaning chore like cleaning the bathroom, dusting, vacuuming, etc. I would also include the everyday-clean kitchen, cook dinner, pick up toys, etc. I would also fill in times for other things I did weekly like workouts or playdates. This helped me focus on my at home work. 3-1/2 years later, I don't use the schedule anymore but just follow a more loose one in my head. The schedule helped in my transisition to my sahm work duties. It is different staying home because there is always a mess since you are always home. The best thing is that you can switch things around as needed once you get used to the basics. Enjoy!
Also-my friend Andrea (a wahm) has her own web design business, Wanted Web Design. Her email is [email protected]____.com if you are interested in using her to get your website up. She has very reasonable prices since she has a passion for helping other wahm's! That is the main reason she started the business. She designed the website for my tutoring business. YOu can look at it to see how talented she is. It is www.acceleratekids.com. I also used godaddy.com for hosting and vistaprint.com for business cards and car magnets. Andrea can help you with logo design and the design for business cards and car magnets too.

L.B.

answers from Dallas on

J.,

I am a professional organizer, family coach, and speaker. I go in to homes and teach families and individuals how to managage it all. From time management, paper clutter, scheduling vs. planning, organizing ideas for your home and even organizing tools you could use.

If you are interested please visit my website at www.GetOrganized.ws

Then click on Organizing Services and move your mouse down to pricing and information... It will give all the information you need to know.

Oh,,, and by the way home business is one of my areas I work in. I also have 5 other woman that work for me as well.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

L. B.

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A.E.

answers from Amarillo on

By all means -- organize your day, your week, your month.

Start listing activities, specific cleaning chores, laundry, child care, cooking, bill paying, personal time, date night, etc.
Then group them into daily, weekly, monthly activities,

Then schedule them accordingly. I stayed home 4 years, and this method worked wonders for me. I also still organize my time now that I work full time plus a part time job, although I do have a cleaning lady for the weekly tasks such as vacuuming, mopping, bathrooms.

Also, check out fly-lady -- great organizational website, and Pam & Peggy, at She's on Track. My first ideas came from them -- they were on after lunch, so I nursed my baby and watched them, and we both napped a bit too!! (I think they are still around -- that was in 1982!!)

I did some looking -- it's Sidelined Home Executives, Pam Young and Peggy Jones. They are sisters, and very funny!
A.

A.

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H.L.

answers from Dallas on

J....let's talk. I'm a WAHM of 2 and a husband in f/t school at nite. Schedules can be rough, but I can help. Call me or email me. Hugs, H.

[email protected]____.com
###-###-####

We'll hook up or chat online for ways to organize your calendar and prioritize your day for everyone to get taken care of, even you!

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C.T.

answers from Dallas on

Don't try to clean your whole house in one day. It won't happen with small children. At the beginning of the week, I make a list of the BIG things that I need to do like clean bathrooms, vaccum, grocery shop, mop kitchen and mail birthday invitations. I don't assign each one a day. I just pick the one I want to do that day depending on my mood, the weather and my kids. As I complete each chore, I mark it off. I try not to put more than 5 things-one for each day. Even less is better when you're just starting to organize your time. Your lucky if you get it all done, since you have your daily chores, too. I take advantage of my son's naptime, too. That is when I mop, clean baths, or do things that require concentration or phone calls or computer time. Maybe this is when you could do your business stuff. Most of all be flexible, you can't expect every week to go as planned.

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R.T.

answers from Dallas on

I am a sahm mom to three kids, 4 and under, and do occasional free-lance work, and I am in the the middle of trying to get more organized with my days to feel like I accomplish something also. Many responded with helpful suggestions for cleaning. I've just started writing down chores and errands to get done on certain days. But I also find I get into a groove cleaning and getting projects done that I don't spend much time playing with my kids some days. I am trying to involve them more in helping clean up. Good training and habits to begin now. But I also find it helpful if I write down things I want to do with them that day, and maybe say to myself, after morning clean-up we'll do playdough for half an hour, then move to another project. I don't want to get too busy that I forget to read with them too. I did make a chart with the days of the week, and little picture ideas of things to do that velcro on, to remind me, but also lets the kids go pick one or two out and bring them to me. I have several arts and craft ideas, and others like cook something together, go on a walk, play a game, build with blocks. I do want to keep a tidier house, but I realized I will always have something else to clean, and I want to make sure that teaching and playing is my priority over cleaning. Having a flexible schedule written down to keep me focused has helped.

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C.E.

answers from Dallas on

Defintely agree with Flylady. She can help you develop routines, use a calendar, plan menus and all without beating yourself up if things don't go as planned. She also uses the power of a timer; you'd be amazed at what you can do in 15 minutes (including play with your kids).

The plan spends a week on each major area of the home-you still have to do your daily routines, but this is for more detailed cleaning. For example, this week covers the front porch, entry and dining room. So this week, you would spend a little more time working in those areas.

There's a lot to look at on her webiste-just take baby steps and read a bit at a time. When you're ready, you can subscribe to her emails. I have all her emails go directly into a special folder, so it doesnt' get mixed up with other emails. They will seem like a lot at first, but once you get the hang of it, you can just read the title of the reminders and delete. "Where's your laundry?" (Oh yeah, I need to go flip it into the dryer, then delete the email.) "Do your morning routine" (already done, delete email), etc.

It's been a lifesaver for me!

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N.L.

answers from Dallas on

Greetings JeanieL

I so understand what you mean. I am also a CB doula and need assitance with organizing my days. Maybe we can get together and brainstorm some ideas to help rearrange our lives. I don't stay home, but I work for an agency that offers free doula services to AA women in Tarrant county. I am a community health doula, but want to branch out on my own. There are a few networking workshop around the community. I would love to share my insight. I'm on vacation til 2/10 and will be out of town til then, but feel free to call me next week.

Love and blessings,
N.
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C.H.

answers from Dallas on

I try not to overwhelm myself with cleaning.. Some of my friends have spotless houses and I wish mine was just that but I am getting better. I clean for 30 minutes a day so I don't just overwhelm myself. I also make sure my 7, 11, and Daddy pick up behind themselves as well which was one thing that had me cleaning all the time. Take it one step at time, one cabinet at a time. Get rid of the I don't need stuff as well. This has really helped me a lot. I hope this helps a little.

Have a great week!

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A.G.

answers from Dallas on

Hi J.,
I am in the same boat as you. I have had some luck with Fly Lady when I am faithful to following her- www.flylady.net Someone else posted that they thought she was too high maintenance. You can just go to her website and see what your tasks are for the day. She has something called a control journal you can print from the website and never get an email from her, or you can get the emails in digest form so you just get one for the day. She really encourages you to manage your life in "baby steps"-- simple routines that take small amounts of time. I am currently not following her and should be. I should take my own advice, LOL! I do have a friend who is starting a new business hiring herself out to coach on this sort of thing, or help with light housework, organization, grocery shopping, meal preparation, that sort of thing. If you are interested, I can share her contact information with you. Good luck to you-- I feel your pain!
A.

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S.C.

answers from Dallas on

Go to flylady.net! Free, will help you get organized and focused with daily emails. It's FANTASTIC!

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L.M.

answers from Dallas on

I can't read the responses before I post, so I'm sure this is a repeat...........(great minds think alike!)

www.flylady.net

I found this site puts chores into their proper place, freeing me up to have fun and explore the world without being held back by dirty laundry piles, empty pantry & fridge, and hungry family!

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