Six simple ways busy parents can stay organized
Being a parent can prove challenging, especially if you struggle to stay organized. Eliminating clutter sounds easy, but children are known for making a mess, so staying on top of things is often easier said than done.
Parents have to prepare for unplanned occurrences. It’s hard to predict what your children are going to do next, so being organized is a necessity. If you fail to organize your home, being a parent is going to become overwhelming. It can take its toll, both on your mental and physical health.
However, this doesn’t mean you have to change your entire life. Simple changes, like the following six suggestions can make parenting easier. To avoid over complicating things, introduce changes one step at a time.
1) Put labels on everything
When children go to school, daycare, or to the playground, they often leave items in different areas. Other children often pick these items up assuming they belong to them. Sometimes these items end up in lost and found boxes, and getting them back can be tricky.
However, parents should avoid putting too much information on clothing labels just in case these items fall into the wrong hands. Include the child’s first name and their initials of their surname on the label. You should also consider including their teacher’s name and their class number too.
Although it might be tempting to put their home address, you don’t want strangers knowing where your child lives. Unfortunately, there are a lot of predators out there, so you will want to avoid putting private information on the label that could put your family in danger.
If you are comfortable with strangers having your number, then you should include it. However, don’t put your home phone number on the label, use your cell phone number instead. This way, when they call, you will be able to answer the phone instead of your kids.
2) Invest in an instant pot
Making time to prepare and cook healthy meals for our family is another daily challenge parents face.
Instant pots have grown in popularity over the past decade. These multifunctional kitchen appliances are designed to cook great tasting meals in a short space of time. All you need to do is add the ingredients to the pot, set the timer, and when you hear the bell, your family’s meal will be ready.
Today, over twenty percent of Americans own an instant pot. Surprisingly, instant pots have developed a cult following, and there are several websites and social media accounts dedicated to the modern cooking appliance, so finding new recipes is easy.
Unlike other kitchen equipment, instant pots don’t require a lot of electricity, so you won’t have to worry about being hit with increased utility bills. You can purchase a quality instant pot online or in traditional electrical stores for less than $200.
3) Create a to-do list
Parents often feel they have a million things to do, so you should consider grabbing a pen and paper, and start writing down all the daily tasks that need to be done.
Forgetting to do important tasks is normal when your children are craving attention. Trying to keep them entertained while you prepare food or clean the house is not going to be easy. As soon as you give your children the attention they have been wanting, the important things that need to be done will often jog your brain. Writing down a list will help you stay focused.
If you like being traditional, a standard notepad and pen will do the trick. But you should store the pad in the same place so you know where to look for it when you are under pressure. Keep the notepad out of reach, so children don’t end up tearing pages out of it or end up drawing on all of your notes.
Most parents these days keep their smart devices on them at all times. Instead of using a notepad, consider storing all your notes on your phone or tablet, whichever one you use the most. There are several notepad apps readily available, so experiment with a few until you find one that suits you.
4) Organize your car
Many parents spend hours in their cars. As children get older, most parents become private taxi drivers, bringing their kids throughout the day to their different activities.
Keeping supplies in your car is a great idea. Toddlers and babies often get frustrated being in a car, and keeping them calm can be difficult. Keep some spare toys in the car at all times. Travel games and coloring books can keep children entertained for hours.
Cleaning your car might seem like a never-ending task, so you should put a trash can close to where your kids sit. Encourage them to use the trash can, and after the journey, don’t hesitate to ask them to help you clean up.
Predicting the weather isn’t easy, so storing umbrellas and raincoats in the trunk of your car will prove beneficial if it starts to rain.
5) Organize their wardrobe
Keeping your own wardrobe organized isn’t easy, let alone your child’s wardrobe! It’s best by starting on a clean slate, so when you have a few hours to spare, empty all of the items in your child’s closet.
Create two separate piles, one for clothes you want to keep, and another pile for clothes you want to get rid of. Because children are constantly growing, you’ll come across clothes that don’t fit them anymore. If you have younger children, you might want to keep the items for them, however, if you don’t, these items are taking up space that could be used for something else. You can either sell old clothes, donate them to a charity, or throw them in the trash.
Once you have decided on what clothes to keep, don’t just put them back in the wardrobe. Create different sections in the closet. School clothes can go in one area, and casual clothes in another. During the summer months, there is no point in having winter clothes inside the wardrobe.
Consider storing them elsewhere, and when the winter months begin, you can put them back in the closet. If all of your children share the same wardrobe, you might want to use hang tags so you know who owns what.
6) Ask your children to help
Although children can be messy, don’t hesitate to ask them to give you a helping hand. If you are lucky, your child might be a natural organizer, but unfortunately, not all kids are. However, by teaching your children, they can develop skills to get things done. Kids often copy what their parents do, so if you lead by example, hopefully, your kids will do the same.
Even toddlers are able to organize stuff. Get a basket for their toys, and once they have finished playing, tell them to pick up their toys and put them into the basket. It is important that you stay consistent, so the child understands that organizing and cleaning up is something they must do every day.
Make organizing fun for your children. Try getting excited when it comes to cleaning, and compliment them every time they do something right.