I get it, you're busy. REALLY BUSY. As a modern working mom, I understand see things from your perspective because I too am a working mom. For the last five years I have spent my forty hour work weeks as a Corporate Recruiter for a billion-dollar gaming technology company and there are times I've had to make really difficult decisions to choose between my family time or a deadline at the office. But over the sixteen years of experience that I have had as a working mom, there are seven things I've learned I MUST do each week to not only survive as a working parent but thrive.
7 Weekly Must-Do Organization Tips For The Modern Working Mom
1. Clear the clutter in your house, your purse, and your car. This is one of the biggest things to tackle in any home and life, but it's by far one of THE most important. How can you possibly focus or find anything in a messy house? How are you able to manage your time when you take far longer than others wasting time to search for things in a messy environment? I've found keeping these main areas of my home clean and organized make for an easy morning with the kids and sets a good example for them to follow (because children follow what you do, not what you say):
*IF ALL ELSE TIP: Keep these areas clean daily and you won't spend hours at a time cleaning – it takes just five minutes!
Have toiletries readily stocked and in their rightful place
Fresh towels hung
Keep sinks, toilets and showers clean.
Have laundry baskets neatly tucked away from view and have a color system in place (whites, darks, delicates)
*IF ALL ELSE TIP: Never have dishes left out on the sink overnight and make sure your countertops, stove tops and dining tables are clean and crumb-free
Always know where to find things by having your kitchenware stored together by cabinet and drawer and in areas that do not require extra time to reach for.
Skip the prewash and save 30-minutes of handwashing by using the dishwasher daily. You'll thank me later.
Have an efficient cooking process that cuts cooking time down by having all your ingredients readily out and available when it's time to cook.
*IF ALL ELSE TIP: Make sure your bed is made and there are no clothes, toys, or junk lying around the floor – do this each night to prevent hours of cleaning at once – it takes just five minutes!
Wash your bedsheets each week, because nothing makes me happier than fresh linens and that happiness turns into inspiration and clarity.
Keep your blinds dust free by dusting them and your floors lint free by vacuuming them
Living Room –
*IF ALL ELSE TIP: Toys, toys, and more toys! Get a storage ottoman where you can store their toys and keep your living room clutter free and organized.
Your couch is neat and clean.
Magazines are in a rack
Coffee Tables and End Tables are free from crumbs and clutter
*IF ALL ELSE TIP: Have everyone's outfits picked out the evening before, or better yet, the week before. Put it on a separate rack section so that it doesn't get mixed in with the other clothes. This will save your sanity and save you time each morning. Spray wrinkle releaser if they look mildly wrinkled, but wrinkled clothes should definitely be ironed the night before.
2. Get enough sleep (8 hours minimum).
This is THE most important one. I have felt the difference in how I feel when I get four hours of sleep, six hours of sleep, even seven hours of sleep compared to eight hours of sleep. It literally is what will set each day apart. Getting enough sleep creates better focus and clarity and aids in stress and prevents you from getting sick.
3. Serve in your community by volunteering time 1 hour each week
Oh, the power of giving. Transform your mind by taking time out for charitable volunteer work – this is not an option. The power of giving means the time you gave to others will come back to you ten times more, and there's no better feeling than helping others. Our minds and bodies were made to give our time and serve others. And I always leave feeling humbled and more grateful for what I have. This all translates to a better work/life balance for you.
4. Eat healthier
Obvious, I know, but do you really do it? It can be hard for me, but when I take time to make the right choices each week of what I put in my belly and how much I put in my belly, I find myself losing weight and having more energy naturally. Who wouldn't want that? If you're a stress eater, put that chocolate bar away and choose fruit. It's okay to do it once in a while but if you're eating well 80% of the time, you will notice an amazing transformation. Oh, and want to know what I did to drop five pounds within 2-weeks? I stopped drinking soda. Put these to the test and see for yourself.
5. Be more stylish on-the-go and shop online
No need to drive to the mall or shopping center for a new outfit. All you need to do is go on Pinterest for new trendy outfit ideas and then go to each retailer's website to purchase or buy it all on Amazon. If you plan to make a ton of purchases on Amazon, invest in Amazon Mom (which is the same with Amazon Prime – 2 day free shipping!). If you don't know your sizes, you'll definitely need to go to the store to play dress-up in the dressing room but cut time each week by opting for online shopping once you know your sizes.
6. Teach your children how to (name what you will teach them)
As a working mom, I understand the feeling of being selfless. And you want to teach your children the same, but they won't know how until you train them. Teach them chores and organization early on, and they will keep at it through their adulthood. Teach them the power of giving, and they will naturally give when they're older. Think back to when you were training at your new job – your manager wanted to equip you with the right tools and processes to be successful at your job, right? Training your child goes the same way – you want to leave a legacy behind and that starts with your children.
7. Don't be so hard on yourself
This one's my favorite – it's called “Me” time. And yes, you're totally allowed to have that once each month. Get a massage, get a mani/pedi, watch a movie, walk around the park, write in your journal at your local coffee shop, go to the gym to blow steam. Whatever you call your “Me” time, embrace it each week and you'll allow yourself the much needed time to decompress and regenerate.
What are some must-do items that you do each week? I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.