12 Things That Organized Moms Make a Habit Of
We all have a mom in our lives whose level of "togetherness" we secretly (or not so secretly) envy. She shows up at school drop-off looking like she was dressed by a stylist and had time for a blowout, has no problem chairing a fundraiser on a whim, and has a successful day job, too.
There are two truths that this mom would love for you to know: That A) no one has it all together, even her, and B) she's got a few tricks up her sleeve. While we can't tell you the last thing that caused her to melt down or lose her cool, we do know a few reasons that there seem to be more hours in her day than everyone else's.
Here's the scoop on how to channel your most organized self.
Use your smartphone as your secret weapon.
It's your one-stop communication center, calendar, personal organizer, and keeper of all things related to family, work, and life in general. Sync up your schedule with that of your significant other (and kids, if they're old enough), and don't stress about writing everything down in 10 different places. If it's on here, you're good for it.
But not your entertainment center.
When we read how deleting the Facebook app from her phone impacted one of our writer's lives, we were beyond intrigued. Follow suit with any other time sucks on your phone, keeping just one or two backups in case you're stuck in a long line or have a child with you who can't be calmed down in any other way. (We don't judge!).
Deal with mail (both snail mail and email) right away.
Promising yourself that you'll follow up with someone by the end of the day or pay a bill by the end of the week (only to let it sink to the bottom of a pile of catalogs) is more than likely to backfire. Take a few minutes to act on these things as soon as they come your way — a little time spent now will save you more time later on.
It sounds like a lot of extra work, right? But meal planning doesn't have to be done with military precision. Sit down on Sunday morning with your family's agenda for the week, and come up with a broad plan of attack as to what you're going to eat and when you're going to eat it, then shop accordingly.
Stay on top of your laundry and dry-cleaning.
If you've ever fallen asleep the night before a big meeting or event with the perfect outfit in mind, only to discover the next a.m. that the pants you had planned on are in desperate need of a dry-clean, you know how frustrating it can be. Run a tight ship when it comes to the clothing department, and you'll never find yourself scrambling around at the last minute.
Set doctor's appointments for first thing in the morning.
You're much less likely to have to deal with a long wait this way.
Get up at least 20 minutes before the rest of the family.
If you're not a morning person, we understand that you want every last minute of sleep you can get — but once those first couple of minutes of drowsiness are behind you, you'll forget all about how good your pillow felt, and you'll more than appreciate the jump start on your day before little ones are pulling on you and screaming for breakfast.
Get the kids' school stuff in order the night before.
Plow through backpacks to ensure that any exams or field trip permission slips are signed, and check the calendar, so if it's crazy hair or pajama day in the classroom, you'll be more than prepared.
Get your own stuff in order the night before.
Go through your own bag — whether you work or are home with the kids — so that when it's "go" time, you won't be digging around for your keys or subway card.
Book your sitters the second you know you'll need them.
That said, if you've lined them up far in advance, be sure to confirm a day or two before they're needed.
Keep your devices charged.
Stock up on several extra chargers (including one for the car) so that you're never out of juice when you need to stay connected.
Set up autopay for as many regular charges as you possibly can.
It saves time, stamps, trees, late fees . . .