Keeping a family organized is a full time job. The crazy thing is that most of us have OTHER jobs too!  Whether it be a job outside the home, working from home or volunteering at school, there are balls moms juggle that make even the simplest tasks at home difficult to manage. 5 Ways Moms Can Stay Organized - Kids Activities Blog And we all know how when something goes awry, it can affect the entire family!  Accidentally leaving a lunch on the kitchen counter can create a domino-effect of chaos that is still falling into the evening. Inspired by Microsoft Office 365 {Kids Activities Blog sponsor}, here are my favorite ways to stay organized…

How to Stay Organized at Home

Here are some tricks and tips I use to keep my house from falling into a big, overwhelming mess! family mail organization Mail Management – I am always amazed at the amount of mail that comes into our mail box.  You would think that with so much of my family’s life being online, that this would be phasing out!  But every day a pile o’ mail arrives and one of the most challenging things is to keep it from creating a mountain on the kitchen counter! My solution is to walk straight to the recycling bin and go through the mail before I set it down.  90% of the flyers, magazines, catalogs and envelopes can be disposed of immediately – those never even touch a flat surface in my house.  The remaining is sorted into two piles – one for me and one for my husband.  My husband’s pile moves to his office and mine to my desk where I have files that can further sort the mess away. family calendar - Kids Activities Blog Family Calendar – This seems so simple, but it took me awhile to figure this out!  My husband and I share a calendar that has everything on it – from my work deadlines to his work schedule to the kids sports events.  EVERYTHING is in one place and can be modified where everyone can see.  My oldest is 13 and he will soon have access to the calendar as well so that he understands that when a time slot is filled, it isn’t a great time to call and need a ride home! Your Files Anywhere You are - Kids Activities Blog   Files Anywhere You Are  – This takes the shared family calendar idea to a hyper-level – you can have all your files available to yourself or whomever you designate no matter where you are with Office 365 Home.  So, the applications you use on your desktop or laptop – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, Access – can now be on up to 5 PCs or Macs, in addition to 5 Windows tablets or iPads.  You can even install Office on multiple smartphones for easy access.
The subscription benefits, such as full Office applications and extra online storage can be shared with 4 other family members.  So, that paper that my oldest son wrote at home and forgot to take can be pulled up on his phone and printed at school.  Or the email that I am waiting on can be viewed in carline.  Or the shopping list that I made on my iPad can be accessed by my husband at the store from his phone. kids in charge in the kitchen - Kids Activities Blog Kids in Charge in the Kitchen –  I have strategically created areas of the kitchen that are kid-friendly allowing them independent {or supervised from afar}.  The breakfast cereals are all on a low shelf, there is a snack box with mom-approved snacks in both the pantry and the fridge.  It has encouraged them to be a part of meal-making since that is not my strong suit. My kids have also been in charge of packing their own school lunch since they were in Kindergarten.  It means that they might take oatmeal in a thermos for an entire year, but it has also made them responsible for the lunch which has created a situation where they remember it every day! set home office hours Home Home-Office Hours – Even if you don’t work fully from home, you work AT home!  Creating office hours that you keep at home can help coordinate things that you need to be home to accomplish.  For example, you might set aside Friday morning as office hours and then schedule any repair work, make that call to the IRS that will have you on hold for 45 minutes or schedule some laundry time.  I have home office hours 3 days a week and it helps me funnel home-based activities into those time slots.  Oh, and don’t forget to put those hours on your family calendar so no one expects you to do carpool during that time. set away office hours - Kids Activities Blog Away Home-Office Hours – Clustering errands around other out-of-the house duties can help me from feeling like I am wasting my time coming and going.  Creating blocks of time that are designed for outside the house will coordinate this as well.  Monday morning is a time that I expect to be running around town and I have created time slots that can work for a dentist appointment, dropping off something at the mailing center, or that errand that looks easy enough, but may turn into an hour event.  Wednesday afternoons after school are set aside for errands the kids may need to run with me or appointments that I arrange for them.

 Keeping the Organization Momentum

There will always be days when I feel more in control than others, but there are two keys to staying on top of things.  The first one is to delegate when possible and the other is to say NO more often.  I have to remember that there is a point when I just have too much on my plate to be organized! Ready to organize the entire house?  We LOVE this declutter course by a mom of four! It’s easy to follow & perfect for busy families! Thanks so much to Microsoft Office 365 for inspiring and sponsoring this post.  Check out all details on how Office 365 can make your life more organized…and simpler!

More Ways To Keep Your Family Organized From Kids Activities Blog

Create a great family command center to keep your family organized!  

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