Question for Moms over 40 - What's Your Biggest Organizing Problem?

Updated on October 31, 2012
S.B. asks from New Braunfels, TX
24 answers

If you're a mom over 40, what do you find to be your biggest organizing challenge? Too much clutter? Balancing time with work and family? Finding room for your hobbies? Dealing with memorabilia, kid's things you want to keep? I would love to hear what your biggest dilemmas are!

ETA - I asked for "over 40" for an article I'm working on. 20 yr old moms have different organizing needs than 50 yr old moms with teenagers or kids out of the house. Thus, the age question.

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answers from Portland on

Just wondering what's with the age group? Does this specific age group have more of a problem than anyone else?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My biggest problem is myself!! I allow myself to get distracted too balancing my time is often a challenge. I work full time and therefore time is extremely valuable to me. There is never enough!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Too much stuff in general. Things that might have been useful when my kids were home are no longer needed. It takes so much time to go through every item and decide whether to keep it, donate it, sell it, throw it away, etc. When I start to go through stuff, life doesn't stop and I end up getting behind in other things... Ugh!

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answers from Chicago on

Hmm, are organization problems different for moms under age 40?

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Why is it different for mom's over 40? You can't lose your mind at 35? Cuz I am! I have all those issues and now feel like a loser since I am not quite 40! LOL

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I'm supposed to have hobbies?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Taming the paper tiger and the flat surfaces in my house.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

Getting rid of clutter. It is my pet peeve. I feel as if every flat surface in my home has my husband's stuff piled on it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

50 yr old with sentimental clutter. Where does stuff from relatives long departed go? If I can't recognize who is in the picture can I toss it? Will they haunt me?! Will my grandkids appreciate I saved stuff from my kids toys? Does anyone but me care about those clothes my kids loved? Who gets that China gramps left?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I'm not sure I understand what age has to do with being organized (?)
Any-hoo, I have found the biggest key to staying on top of the mess is to constantly de clutter. I get rid of stuff all the time, toss, donate, consign, re gift, re purpose, whatever.
That, and I have baskets EVERYWHERE in my house, in every room. They are pretty, easy to move around and extremely versatile. I use them for shoes, books, towels, toys, craft supplies, you name it!
ETA: I'm 44 :-)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

My biggest organizing problem is getting others on board with decluttering. My husband and I share an office and we have way too much junk. I like to go through it a little at a time and decide: keep/toss/donate. But he likes to keep more stuff (old magazines he never looks through again, old electronics he never uses, etc), and when I give him a few things to make a decision on, he puts in on his desk to do later.

One of my daughters is the same way, but at least I can exert more authority with her.

To do lists (work and home) are another big challenge, but I've been using and I've got it mostly under control.



answers from New York on

I'm over 40 but not sure how this is different if you're under 40 but anyway, seems like two different questions... ie: I don't have much problem keeping "things' organized. I'm a bit of a neat freak and also anti "stuff" so I'm good about not letting things piles up. I purge often and then most other things have their place. So our house is quite organized. Time is harder... I work FT and feel that I should basically give all my nonworking time to my children. So I don't work out or have hobbies (except mamapedia while at work). I keep saying "next year"... Overall I figure I'll have lots of years later for hobbies and all and then likely be bored bc I don't have a passion for something like photography or painting etc. And being over 40 and starting a family on the later side, I figure I had lots of years before kids. But it is an area I wish I could balance better.



answers from San Antonio on

Keeping the house picked up. If it weren't for my 17 year old daughter, I'm not sure if we'd have clean dishes. Between being a full time college student, two part time jobs, a research project as part of a scholarship, and two more research projects on the back burners simmering and stewing for next semester, I can either spend time with the girls or clean house. I choose spending time with the girls. Just keep in mind, if you come to my house, please don't judge. ;-)


answers from Columbus on

All of the above and what BD said!!! my kids have to many toys and until I pitch them I won't be able to seem clean. I also need to get rid of all the magazines that I still haven't read and I also need time on my own without kids so I can accomplish something.
Anyway, got to go because I'm taking time from work to write this ;-)
Good luck to you all!!!


answers from Rockford on

I'm going to answer all of your questions...YES. To all of it! LOL! I run a home daycare so organization is non existent! It's not that I don't know how, it's just that the mess is so far gone, I don't know where to begin! My house is CLEAN, just disorganized! I keep saying, one day I'll get to it...I feel accomplished when I clean one pile of clutter and throw things away! I think my biggest dilemma is the daycare desk is a HUGE three sided beauty that the kids feel is a good place to put everything! And toys and books...O boy...I truly do try to pick up every day and have my big kids help, but anyone w/ smaller kids knows that they are mini tornadoes! hehe! is what it is and there will be time for cleaning someday, right? Now, where is that paper I need???? hehehe!



answers from Albuquerque on

Well, I'm not quite 40 but I figure my problems are going to be the same in a year and a half so I'll answer. No problem here with clutter - both DH and I are on board with organizing and donating stuff we no longer need. The problem for me is getting the general stuff done (laundry, yard work, cleaning out closets seasonally) so that I have time and space for fun stuff. I'd love to find time and room to leave my sewing machine out, but it hasn't happened yet.


answers from Houston on

Beenthere and I are twins on this one. Both my parents are gone. I have LOADs of their notes, toiletries, medical notes, etc.

I still have dad's work boots on my front porch. I live(d) alone so I wanted it to look like a rough Texas man lives there. The rainis beating them up. But I LOVE seeing them there.



answers from New York on

All of the above! I work full time and a much as I want to come home and clean and organize, I'm often just to tired to do it. So my house is much messier than I'd like it to be. It sucks. It really does. And my husband is a pack rat - I'm the opposite. So all of the papers and junk that he doesn't toss makes me insane.


answers from Williamsport on

I'm a single SAHM, 42, with three kids 6, 4 and 3. I worked for 17 years in garment industry painting in spare time. I wanted to move to cheaper location than NYC to have kids, stay home and paint-not knowing divorce would be looming....Now I homeschool because we are in lovely location but terrible district.

My challenges are: Time for painting, spending so much time every day prepping meals and cleaning to maintain "moderate" order, papers, papers, papers, cleaning, papers, home maintenance, and trying to have time to paint. And cleaning. And papers. And laundry.

I prioritize school work for kids and activities for kids. So everything else is a basically a challenge. My soon to be ex travels ALL the time, so I have ALL household responsibilities 24/7. I'm overwhelmed and I don't even "work".



answers from San Antonio on

Keeping my kids from fighting they get days in tv room, computer, and wii away from each other. And they have problems in keeping there room clean both girl n boy so if they dont keep room clean they get none of the three but they get mad well keep room clean it only last a day clean. Dont know what to do with teenagers.


answers from Dallas on

Yeah I don't get the age thing either.


answers from Detroit on

I have gained a lot of ideas from

The one of many things I am still trying to master is my ME & me & girlfriend time.......



answers from College Station on

Definitely the clutter and memorabilia. I used to scrapbook religiously and it has fallen by the wayside as life has gotten in the way.

As for the clutter- my boys are slowly outgrowing all their "kid toys" and it's just a matter of getting it out of the house to the church garage sale. We missed it last year.



answers from Roanoke on

I have several big organizing challenges. I have always, even before kids, had huge trouble with paper clutter. I call it my "pile" - coupons, bills to pay, articles to save, magazines I haven't read yet, etc. (If anyone here can solve that, please let me know!!) But since kids we have toys everywhere and, worst of all, ART SUPPLIES all over the place. Also - I can get the laundry done, but not put away, it seems, so each of us has a pile of clean clothes in the laundry room. Yikes - after reading this, everyone is going to realize what a mess my house is!!

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