Being a mom is HARD. It seems like there are always competing responsibilities, social engagements, appointments, and activities, and no time to get half of them done. While I can't promise to help you find more time in your day, I can recommend strategies that have helped me feel more on top of life, and it all starts with organizing your schedule. Here is how!
Pick the Right Planner
The right planner makes all the difference! You can buy one, or make one quite easily using printables (such as those in my free resource library) and a binder, or a journal and bullet journal strategies. If you love graphic design and flexibility, choice a blank journal and create a bullet journal. Love the ability to change things up, but want to try a variety of templates? Use printables and a binder (like those in my free resource library). Like things neat, tidy, and easy? A traditional planner does the trick!
You can find many types of planners on the market. I recommend something that you can make your own. I usually pick something with plenty of room for notes, sections for goals and to do lists, and blank space for decorating.
I've found stickers to be one of the easiest ways to personalize my planner, and keep myself on track. With planner design becoming a true hobby (and not just a necessity), there are tons of options on the market. Here are two that I've used and love.
Get Your Key Words and Sections Planned
What key words will you use to keep yourself on track? I like separating my To Do list from my To Contact list and separating those from my To Buy list and appointments. I also like setting goals for the week or day. Sticking with 3 seems to be the sweet spot! I've continued this practice whether bullet journaling or using a traditional planner. Do what makes sense to you, but make sure it is something that is helpful. If you are new to the practice of organizing your week, play around with different ideas. There is no shortage of examples on Pinterest or Google!
Here is some examples of how I've broken up my responsibilities:
Need more inspiration? Here is a list to get you started!
And don't forget to take some time to celebrate your accomplishments or log memories! Think of including some of the following in your planner!
Make your planner your own! Add decorative stickers, washi tape, or draw designs or pictures! Here are some of the products I've used and designs I've done in my bullet journals/planners.
What About My Phone Calendar?
There are a variety of great apps for phones and computers available on the market, including the Google app suite. Don't get me wrong, the automated reminders are SUPER helpful, and I use them. I also use my phone calendar on the go. But when I get home, I transfer everything into my hard copy planner. Here is why:
What are your best planner tips for busy moms? Be sure to comment to share!
I'd love to update this article with YOUR tips! Not comfortable commenting? Feel from to use my contact me form, or reach out to my on social media!
Then, share this with a busy mom who would love these tips for staying on top of their schedule!
Find even more great ideas for your family on my Family Life page!
Mask Organization Station (Plus Tips for Keeping Your Masks Clean While Traveling, Tips for Washing, And More!)
Family Mask Station
An inexpensive and convenient way to keep your family health and organized.
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With my husband back at work and my child and I leaving the house more and more (now that our area is mostly open with extensive precautions and community spread is extremely low), easy access to clean masks and a good place to drop dirty ones when getting home became a necessity. We were storing masks somewhat haphazardly, throwing dirty masks in a laundry bin in our utility/mud room along with other clothes leaving them prone to getting misplaced, and were often left low on mask stock when masks didn't get washed, or having difficulty finding masks when it came time to leave the house.
I knew we needed a better way to store our masks.
Where else would a mama to look for organizational goods during social distancing (when not really shopping much in person) but the internet? I found a great farmhouse wire shelf with hooks (click here or on the image below to learn more), and then scoured the internet for the perfect basket to pair with it (click here or on image below to learn more). I couldn't be happier with how the mask station turned out (scroll to see).
We used doggie poop bags to line the basket closest to the door for a dirty mask drop. We've found them to be the perfect size, and we have them on hand anyway because of our pups. Using bags helps ensure germs don't transfer to the basket while masks await being washed. Keeping them in the basket instead of the laundry helps avoid the issue we were having of masks getting mixed in with clothes and lost (masks are the new socks!). Of course, sometimes we do at least remember to put masks in a delicates bag when washing them. This helps them not get misplaced while washing, at least! Please note, the CDC suggests placing masks directly in the washing machine. However, if you live in a home like mine where some clothes are washed on cold and others on warm (you will want to wash your masks on the warmest setting possible, not in cold water), or if you don't have a washing machine, the plastic bag method will help ensure segregation of masks (thus hopefully avoid contamination).
A center basket holds rolls of extra bags. Clean masks hang on the far side (closest to the door into the house, so closest to the direction we'd be heading in if leaving). The spacing between clean and dirty masks ensures germs from dirty masks don't transfer to clean ones. My husband and I also have our masks separated right now (hence why some are hanging outside the basket in the image above).
The wire shelf we bought has two compartments. In the larger one we've placed an adorable carry bag I've been use for my clean masks (I also keep a ziplock bag in there to store masks if they become dirty or saturated while out, and always carry spares for myself and my child). While mine came with a skincare kit, you can use any small makeup bag to carry your masks (see some highly rated solutions below). There are also packs of sanitizing hand wipes for easy access if we don't yet have some in my purse or the diaper bag. This ensures we can quickly grab and go, rather than having to search for sanitizer. In the smaller compartment I've placed dried flowers for decoration, as well as a large jug of hand sanitizer. This ensures we can easily clean our hands the second we walk in the door (though we also keep sanitizer on our person and in our cars, and have a sink in the utility room). We also use this larger hand sanitizer jug to refill smaller containers before we leave the house. Once we are able to find more lysol spray we are planning to store that on the shelf as well, so we can regularly sanitize the space without having to grab cleaner from somewhere else in the house (other than the masks, of course; you don't want to spray those with disinfectant!) I also hung a wire and sea glass piece we got during one of our visits to Peaks Island from the shelf. Even if we can't visit Maine this year we can still find ways to remind ourselves of one of our favorite places!
Highly Rated Products You Might Like for Your Mask Organization Station
Doggie Poop Bags
Have your mask storage system set up? Be sure to check these evidence based sources for how to keep your mask clean, and other tips for staying healthy while out of the house.
Why do we not store gloves in our organizer? Per the CDC, gloves aren't recommended/necessary during everyday activities such as running errands. They should be used when cleaning or caring for someone who is ill.
Instead, simply make sure to wash your hands regularly and well. Always wash with soap and warm water, scrubbing between fingers, under finger nails, and up your arms, for at least 20 seconds.
Hand sanitizer may be used in cases where it is not possible to wash your hands, or after hand washing.
Keeping our families safe and healthy in the pandemic era can feel overwhelming. This mask storage solution has helped us feel just a bit more in control of all the extra things that need to be done before we can walk out the door.
WHAT STRATEGIES HAVE YOU FOUND HELPFUL FOR KEEPING MASKS ORGANIZED?
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May 2020 (Prior to 5/31)
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