Top 10 Organizing Tips For Parents

Today’s post is from parent and guest blogger, Melissa Schmalenberger.

I love giving talks to parents’ groups as I feel like I have been there done that.  I had three babies in 5 1/2 years and the fact that I came through the experience only partially damaged has a lot to say about how great my husband is! Recently I was able to visit my MOPS group that I was a member of over 9 years ago…..where did the time go?  Today instead of having a baby spit up on my shoulder, I was the presenter to this fine group of parents.  I promised them I would share my outline as they were busy taking notes during my talk.

Here are some sanity savers that I have found over the years.

1. Set a Timer:

  • Do 3 bursts of 5 minutes each and you will get it done so much faster.
  • Set the timer for yourself and tell the kids that they cannot bother you until they hear the timer go off. This allows you to make dinner, take a nap, read a book, catch up on work, etc.

2. Lazy Susan:

  • This is a great place to put all the first aid and daily medications on.
  • Use those hard-to-reach areas for items you don’t want kids to get into.

3. Good Calendar:

  • Keep track of milestones
  • Schedule playdates
  • Keep notes on when the last appointments were, yearly checkups, etc.

4. Use the tear test:

  • If your child’s paper brings a tear to your eye, then keep it, if not toss it.
    • When tossing children’s items please use black garbage bags so that a wandering eye doesn’t spy anything.

5. One in one out:

  • This counts for toys and clothes.
  • The 80/20 Rule – you use 20% of your stuff 80% of the time.
  • Have kids help you go through their toys.
    • Go through them before Christmas and pick out ones for Santa to take back up to the North Pole to fix and give out to other boys and girls next year.

6. Make time for your spouse:

  • Your kids need to know that you make time for each other.

7. Family mealtime:

  • If you are not having family mealtime 4 nights a week you or your children are probably over-scheduled.
  • For instance, studies show the importance of family mealtime and keeping kids out of trouble.

8. Baskets:

  • …..a basket where the items for getting ready in the morning are placed, hair combing and teeth brushing
  • …..a basket where seasonal books are placed
  • ……a basket where rotating toys are placed
  • ……a basket that is assigned to each child for when you place an item in it, it is up to them to put it away where it goes
  • In addition, place a laundry basket in each child’s bedroom and when it is laundry day, go around and collect each basket, or each child has a day where their laundry gets done
  • …..errand basket
  • …..a donation basket
  • ……a first aid basket so that even the smallest members of the family can grab it when the time comes

9. Sharpie markers:

  • Label the back of puzzle pieces so you know what piece goes with each puzzle.
  • Similarly, label the tags on clothes.

10. Label maker

  • help with pre-reading to place stickers.

I have been there - done that. Read my 10 sanity savers for parents. Click To Tweet

In conclusion, I hope you can use some of these tips to keep your family organized.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger, can be found at http://www.mssimplicity.com/.

Share this post:

Janet Schiesl

Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization.

She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client.

Janet is a Past Board Member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals and a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO were she has been named Organizer of the Year and Volunteer of the Year.

Janet Schiesl

Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization.

She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client.

Janet is a Past Board Member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals and a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO were she has been named Organizer of the Year and Volunteer of the Year.

12 Comments

  1. Jana Arevalo on January 31, 2022 at 9:25 am

    Great tips! My kids are older now, but I love the idea of picking toys for Santa to take back to the North Pole. That’s a lovely way for kids to think about it. Thank you for the tips, I’ll be sharing!

    • Janet Schiesl on January 31, 2022 at 8:05 pm

      I think it’s a great motivator for kids to go through their toys before Christmas and birthdays. I used to say, we need to make space for all your new things.

  2. Sabrina Quairoli on January 31, 2022 at 10:06 am

    Great tips! I agree with all of them. The label maker is my favorite! If not for anyone else in the house, it helped me stay focused and know where things went when my husband traveled and I was raising two 20 month apart children.

    • Janet Schiesl on January 31, 2022 at 8:06 pm

      I also think labeling is important. It communicated to everyone (or just you) where things belong.

  3. Linda Samuels on January 31, 2022 at 10:17 am

    These are wonderful tips. I especially love the one about labeling the backs of puzzle pieces. I can’t tell you how many puzzles I’ve helped parents sort over the years. It often has involved DOING the puzzle to see if there are missing pieces. But if the pieces were labeled and a stray piece ended up somewhere other than with the puzzle, it would be so much easier to have it rejoin the others. 🙂

    • Janet Schiesl on January 31, 2022 at 8:07 pm

      Yes, I do have to say, it’s a good idea, but I’d be more likely to just toss the puzzle.

  4. Seana Turner on January 31, 2022 at 2:04 pm

    I’m laughing as I read Linda’s comments. I’ve done a few puzzles with clients myself! Great idea to label the ones that will be played with multiple times. Do it right when you first get the puzzle, right?

    • Janet Schiesl on January 31, 2022 at 8:08 pm

      Wow! I’ve never done a puzzle with a client. You and Linda have me beat!

  5. Julie Bestry on February 2, 2022 at 2:27 am

    Logical, fun tips. And unlike Linda and Seana, I’ve never done any puzzles, but I’ve certainly had to puzzle out mystery items and how they fit together. To #4, I’d laugh a tear to the eye or a belly laugh. I’m not a parent, but I know that my mom laughed more than she got misty; I was a wackadoodle, and the papers and work I brought home from school were more likely to elicit a giggle. And yay for baskets (and bins).

    • Janet Schiesl on February 2, 2022 at 7:31 am

      Thanks Julie. I’m sure your mom marveled at what you brought home from school!

  6. Jill Katz on February 3, 2022 at 8:28 am

    Wow- there are some really great gems in here! I love the nod to family meals and overscheduling. Baskets or a place for the items listed are so key. I’m working with a client now and we are hiding her donations (as well as labeling them donations) until pickup day because last time they got pulled back into her toys by both her kids and (believe it or not) her inlaws. So putting them in a place where kids can’t see it (like a garbage bag) is sage advice. Great tips that all parents can benefit from.

    • Janet Schiesl on February 3, 2022 at 11:05 am

      Thanks Jill. All the tips are helpful for many people.

Leave a Comment