Organizing Your Week as a Busy Working Mom

Organizing Your Week as a Busy Working Mom
Organizing Your Week as a Busy Working Mom

I’m a firm believer that being a working mom does not make you any less of an employee or a mom. However, it does take a skill set ripe with organization and efficiency and is not for the faint of heart.  As a working mom, I have a super full week but still manage to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep most nights and do things I enjoy. Here are the steps I take for organizing my week to do it all.  Make sure you are doing these things when organizing your week.

If you want more working mom tips, check out this post!

1. Plan Your Meals

As a busy mom, the last thing you want is to be trying to figure out meals.  Designate a couple hours one day a week to plan what the entire family is going to eat for each meal and snacks for the next week and go to the store.  When you get home, prepare what you can ahead of time.  Put your ingredients for crockpot meals into gallon freezer bags so you can just thaw and dump. Wash and cut fruits and veggies for snacks. Prepack bulk snacks into single serving bags. Pre-make lunch sandwiches, just leaving off the condiments.  These things make many of your meals grab and go.  By doing it all at once, it also reduces your dishes.  Instead of dirtying a knife and cutting board every morning when preparing lunches, you only dirty one on your meal-planning day.

For how to meal plan, check out this post.  If you want to meal plan for baby, grab my meal planner for baby here.

2. Have a Weekly Family Planning Time

If your family is anything like mine, you have a million things going on each week with people going every which way.  Take time (I think it works well when meal planning) to have a quick family meeting. Discuss and write down all events going on during the week.  Include who needs to be where and when and how they are getting there.  You can then take this into consideration when planning meals.  By planning the week as a family, you decrease the number of forgotten events and can mentally prepare for what to expect.

3. Cut Down on Your Store Trips

By planning your meals and activities for the entire week, you can make a shopping list that really covers everything that is needed.  If you only go to the store once during the week versus 3 times, you will save a ton of time. 

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4. Make To-Do Lists with Priorities

If you want to get enough sleep, you don’t have time to lay awake thinking of everything you need to do tomorrow.  I use the Wanderlist app to keep track of what I need to do which allows me to have lists for work, my blog, stuff at home and a shopping list.  I then share all relevant lists with my husband, so he can view and add/delete things from the lists.  Despite this, I still really like a hard copy planner, but having an app for my to-do lists means that I have access to it whenever I have my cell phone handy.  That way I can add things as soon as I think of them (mom-brain is real!).  Within these lists I prioritize.  I order things in which I plan to do them(the app lets me rearrange).  I take 5 to10 minutes on Sundays (our meal/family planning day) to determine what must get done during the upcoming week and what extra things I plan to accomplish in my free time.  Because we have just done our family planning, I have a decent idea of how much time I will have to work on various things.  At the end of each day during the week, I spend about 5 minutes planning what I’m going to accomplish the next day.  If I have a plan in place, I can go to sleep feeling ready for the next day and hit the ground running in the morning (after coffee). 

5. Write Down Due Dates and Commitments in Lots of Places

I love my paper planner, but I’m not looking at it every second.  A cell phone calendar can provide helpful reminders, but if technology fails for some reason, you are out of luck.  Never rely on just one place to write down everything.  Write things lots of places.  I put things in my cell-phone and outlook calendars, my paper calendar and on my whiteboard calendar on my office wall.  This way I am sure to see where I need to be and when so that nothing gets lost in the shuffle.

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6. Identify Activities Likely to Have Downtime and Put that Time to Work

You can’t add any more hours to the day, but you can make the most of everyone.  Think about things you will be doing that will have downtime. Do you sit in traffic during your commute?  Use that time to listen to an audio version of the book you need to read for a book club or catch up on the news through Podcasts/radio.  Do you drive your son to and from practice every day?  Have a whiteboard and dry-erase markers in the car for your son and use the time to quiz him on his spelling words or multiplication tables.  Use your lunch break to run errands or go fora walk. You get the idea – now get creative on how you can use the time that otherwise would be wasted on activities you don’t care about. 

7. Work Efficiently

This is ideally a byproduct of the above tips.  If you have a plan for your day and make a habit of identifying and utilizing your downtime, you should be able to work more efficiently.  However, it’s so important, so I wanted to give it its own point.  You need to have the habit to maximize your efficiency.  Cut down on your social trips to the water cooler or your social media time in favor of getting more done.  This may seem like a sacrifice if you enjoy those breaks.  However, you can look at it as working efficiently now, so you can do what you want later instead of worrying about what you didn’t get done. 

If you are just getting ready to head back to work after maternity leave, make sure to grab the tips in this post.

8. Do Not Welcome Boredom

I get a lot of different projects done at work and am consistently product.  However, I don’t put in a lot of extra time outside of work. Instead, I fill downtime with something I need to do.  If I have 10 minutes between meetings, I’ll spend it answering emails or brainstorming a project.

9. Determine How You Are Spending Your Time

If you are still feeling like you don’t have nearly enough time or find that time keeps getting away from you, take a look at what you are filling the time with.  Often the culprit is social media.  The new iPhone update tracks your phone usage by categories, so if you regularly use social media on your phone versus other devices, you can see how much time is devoted to that.  Another culprit is getting sucked into a TV show someone else turned on.  I don’t turn the TV on very often, but if someone else in the house has it on, I can easily lose 30 minutes watching something that I never would have put on myself.

10. Keep a Schedule

You can find plenty of resources talking about why kids do well with schedules.  However, they can be beneficial to everyone in the house. For example, my son goes to bed at 7pm every night.  During the week I get home from work around 6:20. Therefore, I know from the time I walk in the door until I put my son to bed, I’ll spend it with him.  Once he goes to bed, I have a solid 2.5 to 3 hours to do everything I need/want to do before going to bed.  By giving myself a bedtime of 9:30 – 10, I ensure that I’m not getting lost in TV or social media instead of getting the sleep I need.  If you don’t have a schedule in place, it may take a little trial and error.  However, once you find one that works for your family, it will have huge benefits.

11. Delegate

My last tip is to recognize that you won’t be able to do everything, and you shouldn’t be expected to. Ask your partner to cook dinner a couple of times a week if he gets off before you.  Divide and conquer with errands on the weekend.  Take turns helping kids with their homework.  You get the idea.

12. Rest

As a working mom, I’m sure you are overwhelmed with a to-do list that is impossible to complete in the 24 hours each day allows. However, skipping rest and relaxation in favor of trying to do as much as possible is a recipe for burnout. I definitely struggle with this because I like to constantly feel productive. However, I find that scheduling time into my week where I give myself permission to just forget my to-do list is a lifesaver. Sometimes this is reading a book, relaxing with my husband or just going to be early. I do sometimes struggle with getting my mind to shut off though. There are days when I try to sit relax and I spend the entire time overthinking things for myself and everyone else. If this sounds familiar, here are some awesome tips that help to quiet your mind.

What are your tips for organizing your week?  Let me know in the comments!

If you want to hear from other working moms that make it work, check out this interview series. I was even included as one of the interviews. You can view mine here.

If you found this helpful, make sure to sign-up for my newsletter in the sidebar, so you don’t miss any great content!

Organizing Your Week as a Busy Working Mom
Organizing Your Week as a Busy Working Mom

Mom Organization Hacks

Mom Organization Hacks

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Mom Organization Hacks

Who knew that babies came with so much stuff?  Certainly not my husband and me. 

As you start collecting baby stuff, you will need to become a master at organization if you have any hope of maintaining some order in your house.  But as a new parent, mastering organization is likely falling pretty low on your list of priorities.  Therefore, I’m here to help. 

If your kids are a little older, still check out the tips in this post, but also grab these tips on teaching kids to declutter for themselves.

I’m not going to solve your organization issues by telling you to get rid of a lot of things.  However, there is no doubt that it’s easier to organize when you have less stuff.  If you want tips on decreasing your things, check out the Marie Kondo show on Netflix or grab her book here

In the meantime, keep reading for my tips and ideas on how to organize all of the baby items to minimize clutter.

If you want some personal motivation and small steps to get the clutter under control, join my free one-week organization challenge here.

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Organizing Hacks

Pack away things that are not appropriate for your baby right now. 

Most things that you have for baby are needed frequently, so you want ready access.  However, you likely have some clothes and toys that your baby has outgrown.  Pack these away.  On the flip side, you may also have clothes that are too big or toys that are too advanced for the current stage.  These can also be packed away.  I keep a small storage tote in the back of my son’s closet for clothes that are too big.  I then also keep a box for clothes that he’s outgrown.  Once the box fills up, I move the clothes to space-saver bags.

Baby clothes in storage bags then shown in space saver bags.
We took two large, overflowing storage totes and condensed them into 3 space saver bags which then shrunk down to be thin enough to fit two per storage tote with room left over.

Maximize your storage space. 

Identify where you might be able to store things that don’t need to be readily accessible, and then make the most of that space.  If you have a closet, find which size storage tote fits best and then get a bunch that are the same size.  By using a uniform storage tote size, you will have easier stacking and therefore, can fit more.  I also highly recommend these storage bags.  Use these for all of the soft items like clothing and bedding.  You can then put them into the storage totes if you desire.  If you have a garage to store items, consider shelving or even overhead shelves to maximize the space for totes and boxes.

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For large, odd-shaped items, save the boxes. 

Many baby items that are used short-term are had to fit into storage totes.  For these items, save the boxes.  Just breakdown the boxes and store them up against a wall behind a dresser or storage tote.  Then when you are ready to pack away the item you have a perfect size box for it.  We did this with the newborn swing and the jumperoo

Store accessible items off the floor when possible. 

A crib, rocking chair and dresser take up a lot of space in a small nursery.  Therefore, decrease the items needing floor space as much as possible.  For stuffed animals, grab an animal net like this oneThis keeps all the stuffed animals contained without taking up any valuable floor space.  For books, get a couple of floating shelves like this or this.  They give you great storage without taking up any floor space.  If you have a closet, you could hang a lot of your baby’s clothing to decrease the size of the dresser you need.  Regardless though, use your closet as a place to put plastic storage drawer sets to increase your storage.  You can likely fit one high underneath of hanging clothes, or you may be able to stack a couple if you aren’t hanging clothes.  These are helpful for storing various items like diapers, wipes, formula, baby food, etc.

Roll clothes. 

When storing clothes in a dresser, you want to fit as much as possible but still be able to readily find all the cute outfits.  I found that rolling each item maximized the amount I could fit in each drawer while still making it possible to see everything. 

Mom Organization Hacks
With the items rolled, I can quickly find whatever I’m looking for by being able to see all the shirts at a glance.

Skip the diaper changing caddy. 

Instead of having a designated cart for all your diaper changing essentials, dedicate a top drawer of the dresser to diaper changing items.  This means one less item taking up floor space.

Diapers and gloves in a drawer.
The drawer on the top right of the dresser keeps diapers organized and readily accessible.

Get multi-purpose furniture. 

In the past, once baby was ready for a toddler bed the crib got stored for the next baby or sold/donated.  However, that’s no longer necessary.  There are a variety of cribs that are well-made and convert into a toddler bed, then a full bed.  A crib plus two small conversion sets provides a bed until your baby is ready to move out.  This means there is much less to store compared to storing an entire crib after the first couple years.  It’s also more economical than buying a completely new bed every few years.  These conversion cribs also often have matching dressers that double as changing tables.  The dresser we got for my son has a changing table topper.  Another way to decrease the amount of floor space taken up.

Take advantage of cute storage boxes. 

There is a good chance you will want an end table next to the glider.  When you get one, grab one of these that has an open space to fit a storage box.  You get the table and you can pick out a cute box to match the nursery décor. The box then works as a place to store items in a readily accessible way.  If you like the look of these boxes, you could even do larger shelves with them (either floating or regular if you have the floor space.). You could even use this awesome hack and roll the clothes inside the cube boxes!

Mom Organization Hacks
These are some of my Target favorites.

Use multi-purpose toy storage. 

For keeping toys contained, grab an ottoman like this one.  It looks nice in your living room and doubles as extra seating. 

Store puzzles efficiently.

Those chunky baby puzzles are great learning toys, but finding a way to store them and not lose the pieces can be challenging. I use plastic legal-sized envelopes that are see through like these. They are great for the Melissa and Doug chunky puzzles. You can then fasten them closed and store in a decorative box.

Repurpose containers. 

Some food containers make great storage!  I repurpose the Costco animal cracker containers for toy storage simply by making a label to cover the current one.  I also use drink mix containers to store small toys or diaper bag snacks.  If you want a baby-proof container, Tide Pod plastic containers work well.

Mom Organization Hacks
After my little piggy finishes the giant container of animal crackers (with hubby’s help) I put it to use because it’s really a great container.

Use small storage trays to keep drawers organized. 

When storing small items in drawers, it’s really easy for them to become disorganized.  Grab some of these plastic trays to compartmentalize your drawers and keep small items organized.  I also love these storage containers for keeping small toys contained inside an ottoman.

Mom Organization Hacks
Black storage baskets look nice in a drawer and keep hats, shoes, baby leggings and socks organized. Pro tip: Zip Tie the baskets together in the middle to keep them from sliding apart if they don’t completely fill the drawer.

Try to limit baby items to what is actually necessary. 

For what I’ve learned about which baby items you actually need check out the articles here, here, here, and here.

Final Thoughts

There are my tops tips and organizing items.  One final thought, when designing a baby nursery keep it practical with regards to storage.  So many nursery designs emphasize the cute but aren’t practical for storing all the items you will accumulate.  When designing your nursery, try to incorporate bins/baskets, drawer space, floating shelves and storage under the crib.

What Next?

I know the concepts seem easy, but actually having the motivation to tackle organization can be challenging. I’ve got two motivation solutions for you to try!

Right Now

Head over the YouTube and find some cleaning/tidying channels to follow. I really like Anna O’leary’s channel because watching her videos actually makes me want to go organize.

Overwhelmed at the Thought of Starting?

Mom Organization Hacks

If you are reading this, I’m guessing you are a parent, and I’m guessing you are tired. The thought of trying to organize when everything has gotten so far out of hand can be overwhelming. I want to help you tackle everything in a week. Join my free organization challenge where I break everything down into small tasks spread out over the course of the week. You get emails with simple tasks you can work through to tackle just one group of items at a time. If you follow along, you will make huge progress by the end of the week. You can sign up below or read more about the challenge here.

Organization Email Challenge

Join the completely free organization email challenge.

Do you want motivation to finally get all the baby/kid clutter under control? Sign up for the challenge and get daily tasks directly to your inbox.

    We won’t send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.
    Mom Organization Hacks

    Happy Organizing!

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    Mom Organization Hacks

    Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase.