Tuesday, December 6, 2016

8 Secrets to Being the Queen of Organization

If you're like me there always seems to be too many things to do and not enough time to do them. Whether you're a busy mom, working lady, or boss babe rocking your own business, it can be tough to get it all done and still have enough time to do the things you love. 

Today I'm going to share with you the 8 secrets of reigning your kingdom as Organizational Queen.

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1. Prioritize

I'm a high school Personal Finance teacher and in my class we watch Dave Ramsey videos as part of the curriculum. One of my favorite metaphors he uses is in reference to paying off debts. Dave says that you should pay your necessities first and where the money runs out, everything else is "below the line" and it doesn't get paid. I like to think of chores in a similar manner. My "necessities" are the things that absolutely have to get done and at some point my time runs out and everything else is "below the line" and these things don't get done.

I'm a working momma and I'm willing to lower my expectations on household chores so that I can spend a little extra quality time with my son.  I prioritize my chores in the following order:

Food and Bath

My top priorities in chore world are to get me and my little ready for the next day. This means taking his dirty clothes out of his daycare bag, packing his and my lunch, and both of us eating and being bathed. I've seen numerous blogs about moms who say they don't have time to shower... Come on mom, give baby to Daddy and take a 5-minute shower. No one wants a stinky mommy.

Dishes and Laundry

The inspiration for my blog title came one day when I was doing these two tedious chores. Every day I go to work, come back and it seems as though the dishes and laundry have made babies. I pack lunch for myself and my little each day so we do end up with numerous containers that we used to transport our food. For more on how to make your own baby food check out our post: 10 Homemade Entrees to Feed Your Baby. In our house the dishwasher gets run and dishes put away as needed. I only do mommy and daddy laundry on the weekends, but baby laundry gets done throughout the week...usually when all of baby's security blankets, outfits, or crib sheets are dirty. 


Buying groceries instead of eating out is a great way to save money. (See the post 100 Ways to Save Money for more suggestions.) Buying groceries also means that we eat healthier. Once a week either my husband or I go to the grocery store. If we don't get what we need on that grocery run, it's just too bad, we wait until the next week to get the item we were missing. This cuts down on needless trips to the store and wasted time that could have been better spent loving on our little.

Vacuum and Swiffer

Once a week we vacuum and swiffer the floors. I absolutely HATE dirty floors. Now that my little is on the move he's constantly sticking anything and everything into his mouth. If he finds a piece of mulch or leaf that's blow in the door, he's going to stick it in his mouth. These chores are "ABOVE the line" for me, meaning they have to get done for me to be a happy mommy.

There are numerous other chores that I LIKE to get done, however, sometimes they're "below the line". In a past life (aka before baby) I managed to get all my cleaning chores done on a weekly basis, but now that I have a little who needs a lot more attention and love, not all of these chores are a priority. You decide what falls "below the line" for you, but organization for me is all about prioritizing.

2. Lists

I am a huge list maker. I have a Lilly Pulitzer Agenda and it is filled with lists. These range from tasks I need to accomplish at work, chores I need to get done, and errands that need to be run. Again, be sure you prioritize the things on your list, doing the most time sensitive first. I love the feeling of checking an item off my list. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and a method to my madness.

3. Food Planning

Just because you're short on time doesn't have to mean that you have to eat unhealthy foods. Before our weekly grocery store run I make a grocery list. Grocery lists serve two purposes. First of all, they help control your spending because instead of being tempted to throw unneeded items into the shopping cart you know you can only get what you truly need. This doesn't mean that I don't include the occasional guilty pleasure on the grocery list (I have a secret love for chocolate and my hubby loves chips). Secondly, I usually write on the back of the list what we are going to have for dinner each night. I like to save more elaborate or time-consuming meal options for weekend nights and quick, easy ideas for week nights.

A week of dinner meal plans for us might include:

  • Monday: Grilled chicken on a salad
  • Tuesday: Salmon, baked sweet potato, and a salad
  • Wednesday: Turkey burgers (no bun) and corn on the cob
  • Thursday: Asian stir-fry with chicken and veggies
  • Friday: Freezer pizza (cheap, but a splurge for the surviving the week)
  • Saturday: Skirt steak and butternut squash
  • Sunday: BBQ pork chops and kale chips
As you can see, your plans don't have to be detailed, just a snapshot of what you're going to have each night. I like to check out the grocery store ad when I'm making out my list so that I can see what items are on sale and add these to my list. It really helps with produce so that you make sure you're purchasing items that are in season or have some sort of deal that week.

4. Keep a Calendar

As I mentioned before, I'm a huge fan of the Lilly Pulitzer Agenda, but any calendar will work just fine. You can even use the one in your phone if you're electronically-minded. I prefer to have it handwritten, but that may be because of my love for lists. Regardless of your method, write all of your appointments, meetings, sporting events, parties, birthdays, weddings, tasks, trips, reminders, dinner dates, etc. in your calendar

If you're the type of person who has trouble making it on time to these outings, set yourself an alert in your phone that will remind you when it's time to leave. You can also set these up through your email with most systems.

5. Finding a Home for Your Things

For years I've kindly reminded (some might call this nagging, but it's always filled with love) my husband to put away his things in their "home". I truly believe everything has a place. As I said before, I'm a high school teacher and the same applies for my students. After you are done using something it needs to go back where you found it or to it's "home". 

I will say the one area I let this slide is with toys. I'm sure you've seen the decorative signs that say "Excuse the mess, our children are making memories" and I do think this is one area things can afford to be left a little unkempt. As far as mine and my husband's belongings go, all things have a place that they need to return to after use. The tape measure's home is not on the side table in the living room, the dirty cups go in the dishwasher, and laundry goes into the hamper. While I do like the toys to go into the basket when we tidy up, I don't lose any sleep at night if a toy didn't quite make it to it's home when my little was done playing.

6. File It

While we're on putting things away, financial documents and receipts have a home as well. I use an accordion folder divided by months to store important records. You never know when you'll need to find these things and it is so much easier if they're in their home. Every week or so I empty out my purse and file away my receipts for safe keeping.

7. Preparation

Every night when I get home from work, I not only put away everything from the day, but I also set out everything for the next day. My basic to-do list includes:
  • Pack my lunch and my son's lunch and set it aside in the fridge
  • Set out our lunch boxes and my cooler for pumping bottles
  • Pack the diaper bag with extra clothes for my son
  • Set out my own clothes for the next day
In addition, I may move meat from the freezer to the fridge to de-thaw. I like to get everything I can ready the night before to make mornings a bit easier and seamless.

8. Know When to Throw it Away

Not all things need to be saved. This one is super hard for me because I'm a hoarder at heart. You never know when you're going to need it again, right?! Not... if it's not a necessity toss it. I'm especially guilty of this when it comes to coupons from the mail, I just might decide to use that one to that place I've never been! Jokes aside, toss the junk and simplify your life. If it's something of value that you don't need give it away to charity instead.

You're Ready to Reign Your Kingdom

After your training I know you're ready to go out into the world and reign as the Organizational Queen of your own life. These 8 secrets only work if you follow through. Enlist your husband to help and get started on reigning your kingdom.

Check out these great products to help you on your organizational quest:

Thanks for stopping by our corner of the web! Here are some other posts you might enjoy:

How to Change Your Attitude With a Gratitude Journal

The Ultimate Guide to the Diaper Bag

Budgeting for Millennials 



  1. I love your tip about showering. I'm a geographical single mom with 3 boys and 2 under 2. We also eat and shower. The rest of the evening goes well when we are fed and bathed. I also like to laundry tip! Thanks!

  2. Super tips!! We are working with our kids that everything has a home and to put it away. Lists do help for seamless mornings. Wonderful reminder.