Introduction to The Power of Organization

 

During September, we’ll be focusing on The Power of Organization at The Power of Moms.  We’ll offer all sorts of great articles plus we’ll unveil a new series of “Deliberate Mothering Tip” videos to help you organize the way you do things in your family.

I’ve always admired “organized” moms. In Allyson Reynolds’ “The Perfect Mom,” she describes that ideally-organized woman to a “T”:

“Her household is on a very tight schedule. She exercises, does laundry and starts dinner before the kids leave for school. She never misses an appointment, is always on time and lives by her planner. She has trained her children to dutifully check off their chore charts and complete all required after-school responsibilities before they engage in ‘free time.’ Calendaring is a weekly family activity.”

It’s not possible to be 100-percent organized 100 percent of the time, but I spent years trying. I typed up strict schedules, invested countless hours de-junking and scouring my house, kept a close eye on the clock so as not to miss our 1 p.m. naps and 7 p.m. bedtimes, and constantly pored over my to-do list, hoping that somehow every item would get checked off before bedtime.

In many ways, I was organized, but I was also a basket case. The Power of Organization is an essential, beautiful, exciting thing, but I had to learn to become organized in a family-friendly way.

I’ve now learned that being organized doesn’t mean my house has to be perfectly clean, but having some sort of routine in place reassures me that I’m not doomed to live in a pig sty. Organization isn’t the antithesis of spontaneity; instead, an organized mind allows me to bask in fun, impromptu moments.Having “a place for everything and everything in its place” is a great rule of thumb, but letting my house be “messy enough to be happy” is also a great rule of thumb.

At The Power of Moms, we believe in organization the kind of organization that leaves a mom feeling calm, purposeful and able to focus on the people in her life who matter most.We organize our minds, our family systems, our homes and anything else that will help our families.Here’s a glimpse of the types of content we’ll be focusing on in the month of September:

  • “Power Hour in our house goes as follows: After everyone (including me) has eaten breakfast, showered and gotten ready for the day, the kitchen timer gets set for one hour. My children have the choice to do what they wish: watch a movie, play quietly in their room anything that will keep them happy and self-entertained to allow me to do what I need to do.  I get things done that are on my to-do list during Power Hour, everything from responding to e-mails, to making phone calls, doing laundry, cleaning a bathroom, organizing a closet, dusting, blogging anything that needs my undivided attention. You’d be surprised at how much you can get done when the timer is ticking. When the timer goes off, I stop whatever it is I’m doing and spend the rest of the day with my kids. The timer works great for kids like mine who need a countdown for changing activities.” (Miken Harding)
  • “I once learned about a system used in the Eyres’ home where each child had their own peg board with tasks written on it. Each peg represented a task they needed to do in the morning and evening. When they completed the task, they put the peg in the board, and then in the evenings they took them off (or vice versa). They explained how this eliminates the need for parents to nag.  I made the idea work with the resources I had. Because we had three young children at the time, I went through a lot of diaper cream, ketchup, syrup, shampoo, lotion and honey, and I realized I could use the lids from all of these bottles. My idea was to write the task that needed to be done in the morning on the outside of the lid.When they were done with the task, they opened the lid symbolic for opening our eyes and waking up. On the inside of the lid, I wrote the task that needed to be done at night, and when they were done with it they would close it symbolic for closing eyes and going to sleep. I know, I am brilliant!” (Pamela Palmer)

There are lots of smart moms out there, women who have figured out how to organize in a way that benefits the whole family. We’d love for you to share your tips and tricks, as a formal contributor to our site, as a “Deliberate Mothering Tip” video contributor, or in the Comments below. Here’s to an organized (and happy) life!

CHALLENGE: Make comments and contribute ideas this month that will offer other moms the organization ideas you’ve got.


 


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Comments

  1. Melanie Vilburn says

    I love “the powers of” articles on this site!  It helps season whatever area of focus our family is in the midst of.  The kids are pretty good at chores, yet presently we’re working on developing good habits of follow through when it’s not chore time.

    There are 8 of us and I think the top organization challenge we have here at our house is just making sure we get enough “I love you forever” and hugs in!  The days zip by SO fast!  If the kids are hugged and reminded we love them, it does A LOT to keep our hearts connected.

  2. sarah says

    Something that has helped us at our house with 4 little kids is to have toys grouped in similar categories and put them in see through bins with lids. That way, when the kids want to play with something, they (or I) have to pull it down and they can play, and when it is done it all goes back in the same bin. If I have to clean it up, then it goes in the garage or high shelf for a while for time out because I hate nagging for clean up. This also works well if you want to rotate your toys. Our bigger toys just go in a toy bin so they are not so organized. If only I could organize my own stuff so easily and have it all fit nicely in little see clear bins!

  3. Shawna says

    I play around with different ways to organize household chores. These days, I’m finding the simpler plan is the more effective plan.
    Here’s what is working right now for our family of 3 young kids:

    -“Saturday morning chores” is a whole-family activity, focusing on whichever areas of the house need the most help, usually the bathroom and all of the vacuuming, floors etc.
    -I do two loads of laundry on Saturday and two loads on Tuesday. Usually, I don’t have enough clothes to fill two loads, so I fill in with towels and blankets, sometimes adding a third load. I just love not having to worry about laundry the other 5 days of the week!
    -Wednesday is my “bump” day, where I clean the house according to mommy standards (slightly higher than kid-standards). This helps our house to stay mostly clean through the week.

    I’ve also found having a solid underlying organization throughout the household helps the whole place be easier to clean. I had my sister come help me organize the household to be easy to clean, and it has really helped!

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