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.