How to Stay Organized: Parenting Tips for the Modern, On-the-Go Family

Life as a parent is a constant juggling act. Between work, kids’ activities, household chores, and trying to have some semblance of social life, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and disorganized. However, you can regain control and make your life run smoother by following a few simple strategies.

Establish Routines

Routines provide structure and predictability, which can help reduce stress and chaos. When everyone knows the drill and expectations are clear, there is less friction, and family life runs smoother.

Take the time to establish morning and evening routines that work for your specific situation. This could include things like setting out clothes and packing lunches the night before or having a set bedtime routine to help kids wind down. The morning routine should allow a buffer for hiccups and follow the same series of steps daily. Similarly, an evening routine brings order and calm to the often hectic post-work/school period.

Use a Family Calendar

In our busy, overscheduled lives, a shared family calendar is essential for keeping everyone organized and on the same page. Whether it’s a physical wall calendar or a digital one, make sure to enter all appointments, activities, and important dates. Assign a different color to each family member to easily see who has what is planned and to minimize scheduling conflicts. Checking the family calendar should be part of your weekly routine, just like making your hair shine again with a nourishing hair mask.

Implement a Command Center

Designate a space in your home as a command center. This is where you’ll keep the family calendar, and a message board or whiteboard to jot down reminders, grocery lists, or any other notes for the family.

You’ll also want to keep other organizational essentials in this command center like bins for mail/paperwork, charging stations for devices, and general office supplies. It should be in a high-traffic area so everyone sees it.

Meal Plan and Prep

Meals are another major source of weeknight stress for busy families. That’s why you should set aside time at the beginning of the week to plan out meals and do meal prep. Chop veggies, marinate meats, and portion-out snacks. The goal is to have as much of the prep work out of the way as possible. With this head start, weeknight dinners become as simple as throwing together pre-prepped ingredients.

Declutter Regularly

A cluttered, disorganized environment can weigh heavily on the mind and contribute to feelings of stress and being overwhelmed. That’s why it’s so important to make decluttering a regular habit. Set aside dedicated time each week to go through your home and deal with any areas that have become messy or accumulated too many unnecessary items. Go through every room, surface, closet, and drawer, making piles for things to keep, donate, or throw away. 

Teach Responsibility

Don’t try to do everything yourself. Assign age-appropriate chores and responsibilities to your kids. Even young children can handle simple tasks like making their bed, cleaning up toys, or helping set the table. As they get older, increase their duties to include things like laundry, yard work, home maintenance tasks, or meal preparation. This not only lightens your load but also teaches your kids valuable life skills, instills a strong work ethic, and fosters a sense of teamwork within the family. 

Schedule Downtime

In the midst of all the chaos, scheduling downtime for yourself and your family is important. This could be as simple as an evening movie night or a weekend hike. The activities you choose for downtime can be simple — the key is making them a regular occurrence that everyone looks forward to. Taking time to relax and recharge together can strengthen bonds and create lasting memories. By prioritizing downtime, you are nurturing a healthy work-life balance for yourself and your loved ones. It’s an investment in your family’s overall wellbeing.

Progress, Not Perfection

Implementing the tips and strategies outlined here will only magically solve some of your family’s organization and scheduling challenges overnight. However, by committing to developing better systems and habits, you’ll be well on your way to a more streamlined, low-stress life as a busy modern parent.

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