Organization: Steps to an Organized Life

parentinghome management

If you ask most moms what they never have enough of, the answer just might be time. As moms, we are constantly on the go; attempting to do our best as a mom, a wife, and a friend. One of the ways that we can save time is by organizing our lives.  Now, I am not one of those people naturally organized, so I set upon a quest to find ways to better unify my life. The first person I asked for advice was my good friend Christine, who has one of those houses that can be photographed for a magazine at any time of the day. Can you hear the envy coming through my words? She has been a preschool teacher for over 17 years and she is just one of those organized types who make it look easy. She had some great suggestions for us who are working on keeping on top of it all.

Steps to an Organized Life

Take Baby Steps

One of the ways she keeps on top of things is by doing a “Spring Cleaning” four times a year. She will go through each part of the house and analyze if an item is something they need and use or if it is just taking up space. Set aside three large boxes that are labeled Trash, Donate/Give Away, and Sale. This will help you to separate the items quickly and not place them at random spots around the house. I have been known to do this, so this idea has really worked for me! The item could be something nice that you know a friend would really enjoy, so you can put it in the Give Away box.

Ask for Help

You can also incorporate the help of your family members. At first, you might need to sit with your child, and even husband, and go through their toys and clothes together. The idea to make money on something that you or the family is not using is usually enough incentive to put the item in the Sale box. We have a yearly neighborhood garage sale and my friend mentioned how at first it was hard for her son to part with certain toys, but he was so excited when he realized he could get some money for items he was no longer using. By the time the next garage sale came around, he started organizing things he wanted to sell all on his own—with price tags and everything!

Take it Room by Room

My organized friend recommends working through each room in the house, one room at a time. This includes closets and all the clothes we don’t wear. By sifting through our closets and getting rid of clothes we haven’t worn in over six months to a year, we are better able to see what we really have. Also, go through drawers, under the sink, etc. Try not to get too attached to things that are taking up space. By freeing up our space, we are freeing up our ability to really enjoy things and not feel overwhelmed by all the clutter.

Make it Fun

I love technology just as much as the next person and would be lost without my iPhone or iPad, but when it comes to writing down things I need to do, I am old school and write in my journal. Erin Condren of makes absolutely the best journals and calendars that help busy moms stay organized. I spoke to Erin a few months ago and she said she gets a lot of satisfaction when she is able to cross items off her lists of things to do. I am the same way and was even able to get a picture of my daughter for the front cover of one of Erin’s Life Journals. You should check it out as Erin has made it simple and stylish for you to get and stay organized.

Keep Up with the Photos

If you are like most parents, you have hundreds of photos stored up on your iPhone or iPad. I came across an app recently that was designed by a mom, called Kid-Capsule by Zen Labs Apps, that helps you keep your photos organized. This app allows you to create and edit events, add journal entries for every event and milestone, create profiles for each family member, and even add videos to the galleries. This app allows you to keep a journal of your life and your children's lives who are growing up right before your eyes! It is a bit like journaling but without the paperwork or the time commitment. You can read more about this cool app at

One of the things my good friend said that stuck with me is that “If you have too much stuff, you don’t see what you really have, which in turn makes it hard to really enjoy it.” This is so true! In Feng Shui, they talk about getting rid of the clutter to keep the mind and body sound. Here is to taking baby steps to starting afresh! I plan to take it day by day, room by room, and not have a deadline as this might put too much stress on me. Good luck with your journey and remember that by organizing your space and life, you will have more time to enjoy all the magical moments of truly living! Keep me posted.

What tips and tricks have helped you organize your home and life?

Featured image courtesy of Flickr.

Melissa Northway, M.S. Human Nutrition writes children’s picture books and apps.  Her daughter was the inspiration for Penelope the Purple Pirate as Penelope - and her daughter are all about the adventure!  Penelope was recently chosen as a 2012 Readers Favorite Award Finalists and is one of five children’s preschool books chosen.  You can contact her at:, @melissanorthway and on Penelope’s Facebook Page: Sign up for her newsletter as she hands out pirate booty to her subscribers.

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