Get organized to reduce stress.

Organizational Tools for Mothers

by Barbie Carpenter

Life as a busy mom might seem like a whirlwind. You're managing your family's schedule, maintaining the house and hopefully fitting in a little "me" time as well. With so much going on, you might struggle to stay organized. Fortunately, several organizational tools can help you keep your family's schedule -- and your home -- in order. With a less cluttered calendar and home, you can focus on enjoying quality time with your family instead of dealing with chaos.

1. Managing the Calendar

Whether you're a new mother or a seasoned mom of three, you know that your kids' schedules can be as busy as yours. From doctor's appointments and school plays to sporting events and birthday parties, your little one's calendar fills up quickly. Find an empty wall in your home to create a large monthly family calendar. Use a different-colored marker for each child's activities so that you can identify any overlapping events. If you're technologically inclined, you can create an online family calendar that you share with all members of the family so that everyone can have access and contribute to it as needed.

2. Creating Storage Solutions

When you have kids, you have clutter. No matter how big or small your home is, you're going to step on a stray block or sit down on a baby doll at some point. When you create an organizational system in your home, you can at least keep the clutter contained. Shelving units and large plastic bins are minimal investments that go a long way in helping your organize the clutter. Label bins and fill them with art supplies, puzzle pieces, miniature race cars and doll accessories, keeping these items off of the floor. Fill a closet or even just a corner of your playroom with these simple organizational tools for a cleaner home.

3. Pushing the Paperwork

You empty your kids' backpacks every day, often to find graded assignments, art projects, or newsletters and notes from the teachers. These papers might end up in a cluttered pile on your dining room table or kitchen counter, never to be properly put away. A few file folders can go a long way in organizing the paperwork. Create a file folder for each family member, label it, and slip important papers in the folder after you've read or responded to them. You'll eliminate the pile of paperwork and -- better yet -- know where that important paper is when you go to look for it months later.

4. Embracing the Spreadsheet

The mere thought of a spreadsheet might scare you, but these documents are easy to create and supremely helpful for the busy mom on the go. Rather than having a kitchen drawer filled with business cards or a carelessly put together emergency contact list for your family, a spreadsheet can house all of these important numbers in one easy-to-access location. Go through all of your contacts, especially those you don't have saved in your cellphone. List their names, company affiliations and contact numbers in the spreadsheet. Next time you desperately need your air conditioner fixed on a Friday afternoon, you won't have to go scrambling for a phone number. Just open up your spreadsheet -- or grab the hard copy version -- and make that phone call.

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