The Best Way to Get Organized for Back to School

The Best Way to Get Organized for Back to School

The Best Way to Get Organized for Back to School

 

Looking for the best way to get organized for back to school? Me too! See the thing is, every summer the same thing happens, I let go of our routines slightly, get a bit unorganized, allow the house to be more lived in and messy and just enjoy. But systems and routines help so much for getting ready for back to school. 

 

But there is something magical about the start of the school year.

 

It feels just like the start of a New Year to me. Everything seems brand new, I want to work harder on my goals, finish the year strong and we start to get used to our new routines and schedules. And this year, on top of my stepson going into middle school and that adjustment, my 2.5 year old is starting PRESCHOOL!

 

I know, I know… cue the tears!

 

She’ll be going 3x a week from 9-12 which means adjust our normal schedule where we’d go on playdates or run errands, praying my 11 month old keeps his current 2 nap schedule for a bit (which means he’ll nap 9:30-11:30!! Imagine the possibilities with 6 extra ‘kid-free’ hours a week!)

 

Speaking of my 11 month old, we’ll also be starting Tot School at home in September  which means figuring that routine out and when we’ll not only do activities but having to plan them out. (We use ABC Jesus Loves Me for our ‘curriculum’ and love the flexibility it gives while providing structure to make it easy for moms)

 

With my stepson staying at the same school, not much changes for his schedule but now that it’s time to add in more sports, clubs and activities and it’s a recipe for disaster when it comes to remembering everything and just feeling on top of life.

 

trello back to school

 

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

Using Trello to Get Organized for Back to School 

Enter Trello!

If you’ve been hanging on my page at all lately, you know I am OBSESSED with Trello, heck I even teamed up with my girl Elisa from Meal Planning Blueprints  to make an entire COURSE around how it can help moms! Click below if you want to learn all I know about Trello!

 

 

Trello is going to be a mom’s best friend for back to school and I’m so pumped to be able to use it for the first time this entire school year. Trello eliminates having to have papers everywhere, forgetting dates and to-dos and losing things you know you need.

Trello will also allow you to share your Back to School lists and to-dos with other family members so if you have older kids, it’s a great way to communicate and if you need your spouse to pick them up from practice or your mother in law to attend a school event, you can keep it all streamlined!

 

 

 

Trello allows you to make BOARDS that you can organize with various lists and tasks. And because I know you don’t have a ton of time to do things, I’ve set up a Trello board just for you to copy for FREE!

 

Just click this link and you can snag my Back to School board (you’re welcome!) Just COPY it to your account and it’s yours to edit. If you don’t have Trello, just go here and get a free account! Between the website and the app, you’ll be in your Mom Organization Glory! 

 

If you’re not sure about Trello or want to see how I organize my board, I did a video for you to give you all the tips on making this board work for you and your family! You can watch that or check out the step by step ideas below!

 

 

 

 

How to Copy Boards On Trello

 

 

If you want to copy the board, you’ll need a Trello account to do so but it’s free!  Once you log in go on over to the right where it says SHOW MENU. Next, hit the MORE button and hit COPY BOARD. When you copy the board, you can decide if you want to rename it and where you want it to go. Feel free to use it as a template, to get ideas, and customize however you want!

 

 

copy-trello-board

 

How to Create a Back to School Board on Trello

 

Step #1 Create Lists on Trello

 

 

trello-back-to-school

 

 

You’ll want to start with making lists for all the things you want to remember, Look at these as your categories. My board has lists that include;

 

IMPORTANT

 

SUPPLY LIST

 

SCHOOL LUNCHES

 

THINGS TO BUY

 

IMPORTANT DATES

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

 

ROUTINES

 

HOMEWORK STATION

 

You can add as many as you want and even organize this board by kid or month.

 

Step #2 Customize Cards on Trello

 

trello-back-to-school

 

 

Now that you’ve created your lists, go though and customize each card.

 

Some of my favorite ways to do this is to add links of ideas I see on Pinterest  (because we all know we’ll pin a ton of things and forget to do them all) , link to my meal planning boards, and create master shopping lists.

 

You can do this with multiple checklists on each card, adding in important dates, sales you see, organization ideas or adding attachments with specific links!

 

Step #3 Add members to Trello

 

trello-back-to-school

 

I think one of the best features of a back to school Trello board is adding members so that you can all be on the same page. You can add your spouse, babysitter or whoever and if you want them to be responsible for a task or just let the, know of a date, use the @ sign and add their name. This way they’ll get a notification!

 

There are limitless possibilities when it comes to Trello for back to school and know that you can be a less stressed mom ASAP! Now go grab this FREE back to school board, copy it and start to customize it for your family!

 

 

 

Trello Boards and Ideas

The Best Way to Plan a Birthday Party with Trello 

How to Organize Your Goals with Trello 

Organize Your Kid’s Schedules with Trello 

The Ultimate Christmas Planner with Trello 

How to Organize Your Prayer Time with Trello 

 

More Trello and Back to School Resources 

Organize Your Life with Trello

Free Productivity E-Book

Ultimate Productivity Bundle

 

How to Have a Productive Weekend so You Can Have a Productive Week

How to Have a Productive Weekend so You Can Have a Productive Week

 

 

How to Have a Productive Weekend so You Can Have a Productive Week

 

It’s important to have a productive weekend so you can have a productive week. This allows you to get more set, set yourself up for success and feel like stressed. Systems and routines allow you to live less stressed life and give you freedom to get done what matters.

 

I intentionally take one day off a week. I started this practice 2 months ago and am so thankful that I did. Prior to this, I was just go, go, go and didn’t rest, felt myself pulled by my to-do list, and was starting to burn out again. I knew the feelings of burn out, I had been there before. 5 years ago, I left teaching to become a full time entrepreneur and work at home mom because I felt the same feelings start to creep in. Now that I’m running my own business and family, I decided I needed some preventative measures to make sure that I was still taking care of me.

Hence… my Saturday’s off. I decided to take Saturday ‘off’ so that I could really just do what matters. The only work that I do on Saturday is what I just feel like doing, no pressure or to do list. On Saturdays if I don’t want to do laundry, house cleaning, or other ‘mom duties’, I don’t. I don’t really make too many plans unless it’s something we really want to do. Oh… and I take a nap.

 

I really love my Saturday nap.

 

But in order to make my Saturday rest day really work for me, I needed to make sure that I had a system for being very productive the rest of the week so I could relax, guilt free. And once I decided that I was going to schedule out a day of rest, it became so freeing. The week started to go more smoothly because I knew that I had a day to chill coming up, I didn’t feel guilty anymore about letting myself decompress, and I just started to laugh and enjoy our family time more. I learned to use my weekend to set my entire week up for productivity and keep it moving.

 

I chose to have my rest day on Saturday rather than Sunday for a few reasons.

 

On Sundays since we go to church, I still have us on a schedule to make sure we get out of the house on time. My husband delivers the newspaper as a side job right now so, he works Sunday mornings and I want to make sure I can give him rest time when get gets back at 6am before we go to church. Sundays are also my day to set my week up for success.

 

I may do some grocery shopping (though I often like to do that on Saturdays. I actually really like grocery shopping because I love to coupon and it’s a hobby for me and on Saturdays I get to go without kids!), I’ll meal prep so that I can save time during the week, and I’ll work on organizing my week, my planner, and other work tasks that I need to have a super successful and productive week.

 

Related Post: How to Meal Prep in 2 Hours or Less

 

 

productive-weekend

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

 

How to Have a Productive Weekend

 

There are a few things that I make sure to do over the weekend that help me have a productive week. I tend to spread them out over the weekend but you can create a schedule that fits best for you. You may have a busy Saturday and want to use Sunday as your prep day or you may spread it out – it’s up to you!

 

Tips for a Meal Prep System

 

The #1 thing that I suggest you start your Sunday with is meal planning and preparation. I actually have a system where I make the meal plan on Friday, shop on Saturday and cook on Sunday so that I don’t do it all on one day. This saves me time and decreases the overwhelm that I can face when it comes to getting it all done. 

 

However you decide to do it, make sure you plan out your meals for the week. We keep it pretty basic and have a rotation of 2-3 breakfast, lunch and dinner options each week. My husband doesn’t mind eating the same thing each day and it’s easy to be predictable with the kids.

 

Related Post: Healthy Toddler Breakfast Ideas

 

I’ll spend some time doing some basic preparation like cutting up fruits and veggies, making salads, cooking up rice, steaming veggies, browning some ground turkey for quick lunches, and boiling some eggs.

 

I then make sure that I have listed out what’s for dinner each week so that I can check the fridge and see what I still need to get at the store. I try my best to make our plan from what we already have to save money and not have to go to the store as much.

 

Honestly though, I cannot stand cooking dinner. I struggle so much with thinking of what to make and it was becoming super stressful. This month I’ve started using the Theme Night System from my friend Elisa at Meal Planning Blueprints. This allows me to sit down one time and create a monthly meal plan. I thought this was going to take way too long and be a waste of time but it’s proven to be a game changer! You can check out theme nights here!

 

I suggest even packing out as many salads for lunches in tupperware as possible (even if you stay home) because then you can grab and go instead of preparing things. This helps a ton if we decide last minute to go to the park, or meet up with friends because the food is ready to go. It also prevents me from running out of what we need or knowing what i have to stop for. These are the ones we used in the picture below!

 

meal-prep-bento-box

 

 

 

Weekend Cleaning Routine

 

Even though, I have a cleaning routine where I do a little cleaning each day so that it doesn’t pile up that doesn’t mean I don’t do anything on the weekends. Often, after my Saturdays off, my house needs a little more TLC since I probably didn’t do as many dishes or pick up as much. What I have now just come to accept as a mom is that my house will probably always be covered in stuff, things will be out of place, and everything will just be sticky.

 

Related Post: The Best Digital Cleaning Routine for Moms

 

But just because my kids will always make a mess, doesn’t mean that I  won’t try to make it just a little more clean and tidy. I also find that when the clutter builds up, my anxiety peaks and for me ‘outer order leads to inner calm’ so taking time on Sundays to clean up really helps.

 

 

My suggested Sunday system includes laundry (I do 1-2 loads each day so that it’s easy to put away so my Sunday laundry is normally the same), sweep and mopping the floors, vacuuming the playroom, and doing a Zone clean up.

 

 

We do a Zone Clean Up as a family after church on Sundays where everyone is in charge of a room or area (My 11 year old or husband normally does a zone with my toddler). I put on a 15 minute timer and everyone is in charge of putting away things that don’t belong in their zone. This really helps all of the out of place items to find their way back home and means that I”m not the only one picking up the books that have been on the floor for 2 days and everyone walks around (you know what I’m saying!). If you’ve never done a 15 minute pick up, read about how it can change your home here!

 

Before I go to bed on Sunday, I make sure that I’ve done my typical evening routine and an additional 15 minute clean up. There is nothing more exciting for me (I know this is going to sound really nerdy) than waking up on a Monday morning where there are no dishes in the sink, my kitchen table is cleaned up, and the clutter is gone. It’s really my favorite way to start the week and having a productive weekend is the first step in having a productive week!

 

 

 

Organize Your Weekly Calendar and To Do List

 

The last thing that I do to set my week up for success is make sure i have a plan in place. Often, people ask me how I can be so productive and get so much done and, while I have some hacks that help, one of the things that helps is that I always take the time to plan.

 

I took a training with the Franklin/Covey system once that really changed the way that I planned. I learned all about the power of weekly and nightly planning and have since been implementing it for years. It’s what I do in my life, what I teach the moms that I coach and what I teach in my e-book and course; Design Your Day; Time Management for the Busy Woman 

 

time-management-cover

 

On Sundays, I take out my planner (I use a mix of a paper planner from Erin Condren , google calendar, and Trello) and look at my week ahead.

 

I start with putting in all the dates of things that I cannot change like doctor appointments or meetings. We use a family calendar in the kitchen so these things always get written on their first and then transferred to my digital system.

 

After those dates are in, I then plan out what tasks I want to accomplish that week. I create a list of personal items, business items, and projects (around the house and for work) that I want to complete. I break them down into 20 minute tasks so that I know they are manageable and easily can be accomplished in a day, rather than over planning myself and getting frustrated when it doesn’t get done. 

 

organize-trello

 

I then go into my planner and actually assign 3-5 tasks for each day. I split them up so that I Pick 1 personal task (call grandma, put pictures in frames etc….), 3 work tasks (write blog post, create images, email clients….) and 1 project task (brainstorm ideas for birthday party, work on mother’s day scrapbook etc….).

 

Assigning those things to a day BEFORE the week starts allows me to know what is going to happen and have a plan. This way, when it’s nap time and I get to work, or I have free time after dinner and want to work on a project, I’m not wasting time thinking about what to do, I can just take action.

 

Trust me when I say that if you set up your week for success you WILL be able to get more done, feel more accomplished and actually take a day off to rest and not feel the mom guilt! You can have a productive weekend for a more productive week!

 

I challenge you to start using this system (or one that works for you) to take more control in your life!

 

 

 

 

More Productivity Tips for Mom

How to Find More Time to Be Productive as a Mom 

The Ultimate Checklist for a Productive Week

Evening Routine for Breastfeeding Moms

Morning Routine for Work at Home Mom 

 

Productivity Resources for Moms

Design Your Day: Time Management for the Busy Woman

The Ultimate Productivity Bundle

Organize Your Life with Trello 

Erin Condren Planners

 

 

 

Sample Morning Routine for a Breastfeeding Mom

Sample Morning Routine for a Breastfeeding Mom

Sample Morning Routine for a Breastfeeding Mom

 

When you’re a breastfeeding mom it can be hard to have a morning routine. You’re most likely very sleep deprived depending on how old your kid is, you have a lot of tasks on your already busy plate and the last thing you might be thinking about is having a routine that works for your mom life.

 

But trust me when I say, having some sort of routine can be a lifesaver when breastfeeding!

 

I remember what it’s like when you’re breastfeeding your newborn, you use the timers on your phone, track which side the nursing session finished on, and want to make sure that your baby is eating enough. And while so much of your time is focused on growing that little baby, at some point, you can start to get back to a routine that helps your self care as well.

 

When I talk about routine for new moms or breastfeeding moms, I’m not talking about an hourly schedule. There is so much that is unpredictable when you have a baby and trying to keep to a structured schedule is setting both you and baby up for failure.

 

This is the time when you are allowed massive amounts of grace. If you’re like me, the transition from being super Type A to having to be more ‘go with the flow’ is tough. I wanted to be in control of everything. If I was supposed to track nursing sessions down to the second I would. I was going to make sure I had control as much as possible.  I quickly learned that it’s impossible when you’re a new mom.

 

But what’s not impossible is having a flow and routine to your day. Having this semi-structure, allows you and the kids to know what to expect and start to get back to a ‘new normal’.

 

Below, I am going to list some ideas for a sample morning routine that could work for a breastfeeding mom. In this example, let’s imagine the baby is past the newborn stage and not cluster feeding. Mom and baby aren’t sleeping through the night and feedings are happening every 3-4 hours.

 

Again, this is a sample. There are going to be days when you want to just curl back into bed — that’s okay. There are going to be days when you feel like crying — that’s okay. And there are going to be days where you are on top of the world — that’s okay.

 

Use this as a guideline to help you start to get your feet under you as a new mom, start to get back to whatever ‘normal’ is going to look like and allow you to focus on breastfeeding your baby and taking care of you!

 

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

What to do if your baby doesn’t sleep through the night?

For many breastfeeding babies, nighttime feedings are a norm. They like the comfort, depending on their age they might still require the nutrients for their little stomachs, and their circadian rhythm is still backwards where they think day is night and night is day.

That means for mom, you probably aren’t sleeping through the night either. That can make thinking in the morning hard, it makes decisions tough, and it makes you feel like a zombie. By planning out a small morning routine in advance, you’ll find that you will start to go on autopilot with your daily tasks. This allows you to slowly get back habits you need to run your home and take care of you.

 

Related Post: 7 Tools to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night

I suggest starting with just 1-3 tasks for a few weeks while you are still trying to figure out how to live life with little sleep. Don’t create a massive to do list each morning – your main goal is to keep the tiny human alive.

By choosing a few tasks to complete, your sleep deprived mind can figure out what is most important and what needs to get done. If your baby isn’t sleeping through the night, I recommend a snooze feed to start your morning.

A snooze button feed is essentially one that happens around 4-6am and helps them go back down for hopefully another hour. It’s up to you whether you pull your baby into bed with you or nurse them in a chair. I tried my best to not have my baby in bed with us but I found with my second, I was more willing to do so. Safe sleep practice are key when co sleeping at all (even if just for an hour) so please research them first!

Starting your morning with a snooze feed lets your baby get a little more rest and you to either sleep with them or slowly begin your day with quiet time. Many of the times my kids would go back to bed after a laying down nursing session, I would try to close my eyes with them but sometimes, I just couldn’t sleep!

Instead of just mindlessly scrolling social media, staring at the ceiling or online shopping, I did my best to use that time to start my day for me!

 

Need help getting you baby to sleep through the night? Check out the tips on my friend Jilly’s site by clicking the banner below!

 

Reading and Prayer Times for Moms

I truly don’t know what moms did while breastfeeding without smartphones! Our phones as such a great tool while we’re nursing or trapped in a chair with a sleeping baby!

While there is nothing wrong with spending time on Facebook or checking emails, I suggest you add some reading and prayer time in your morning routine. When you’re breastfeeding, you can use reading apps to start your day right.

My favorite apps include Kindle Unlimited (get a free trial here!), Scribd, or Hoopla. Many of these give free trials or are free (Hoopla attaches to your library card!). If your baby has fallen asleep, reading a book is great time for mom!

 

As much as I love fiction (and I’m a huge reader!) I try to use times when I’m trapped under my kids as self development times. This is when I read books that fuel my soul and mind! This allows me to be a little less crabby, feel more intentional when it is time to wake up and less annoyed at my little sleep.

 

Related Post: 30+ Must Read Books for Christian Moms

 

You can also use this time to do a prayer or devotional. All of these apps I mentioned have great devotional downloads or you can use the YouVersion or First Five app to get free bible plans! I found the time when I was breastfeeding my kids to be a great time for my bible reading and prayer because it was quiet, I could be super reflective as I stared at their little faces, and really got closer with God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breastfeeding Schedule for Infants

Once your baby wakes up, it’s time to start the day!

Don’t feel the need to jump out of bed, enjoy a slow start with your little one! So often we just rush the day but it’s okay to take some time for you and them to charge up!

If you were already awake and did some reading, I bet that you’re in a good place to jump out of bed. If you slept with them, allow yourself a minute to stretch and gear up for the day.

Your baby should be okay now for at least 2 hours before he or she wants or needs to nurse again so it’s a good time to start the day. (Remember though that every baby’s needs are different so use these as suggestions)

When thinking of a morning routine that you’d like to have as a breastfeeding mom, think of your morning in chunks. Ask yourself, “what do I want to get done before the next feeding”? Instead of trying to plan a whole day or even 4-5 hours, start with creating your 2-3 hours morning routine around nursing sessions.

After you are up and change their diaper and clothes, make sure to take time to take care of you! I don’t mean you have to put on a full face of makeup, curl your hair or wear a dress but get out of your pajamas – even if it’s into your ‘daytime yoga pants’ — oh come on, you know you own them too!

In the beginning it can be self care to just put in contacts, brush your teeth and change your clothes. I find that I am immediately in a better mood if I feel less sloppy and remember that I’m ‘more than mom’.

While you get ready, don’t feel bad about using a crib, pack and play or swing. Between those, bouncers and play mats, we had one in almost every room so that I could put the baby down! If your baby isn’t ready to be put down, give baby wearing a try! It’s super magical to be hands free and have your baby snuggled in close!

 

Breastfeeding Meal Plans

 

Now that you’re ready to head out of the bedroom, it’s time to eat! In order to keep your milk supply up, you need to make sure you’re taking in the right amount of calories. And I get it – you’re starving when you’re breastfeeding but make sure you are putting the right types of food in your body too.

 

Ive been able to lose 50 pounds after having both my kids AND nurse them for 19 months each so it is possible to lose baby weight, keep your milk supply up, and not starve!

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to check out any of the meal plans or programs that I did from Beachbody (including 21 day fix, 80 day obsession, 2B Mindset and more) you can check out the links below! I give you a sample meal plan and tips for how to keep your supply up!

 

Related Post: Weight Loss Tips for Moms

 

One of the biggest tips I can give you thought is you have to drink a LOT of water and you have to eat! Once you head downstairs, go right to the fridge and chug 8 ounces of water! If you need to keep a timer on your phone to go off and remind you to drink water, go for it! Breastfeeding was my habit trigger so, whenever I fed the kids, I chugged water and it helped a ton!

 

Since you’re probably going to be holding baby a lot, I recommend meal prepping when you can ahead of time. It would work to do this on the weekend when your spouse might be home so that you can get 1 hour to get this done. You can make things like make ahead omelets, overnight oatmeal, or smoothies! This way, when it’s time to eat you can do it fast and easily!

 

Playtime with Your Infant

 

Now that you’re up and moving, you probably have another 90 minutes before your baby might want to nurse again. We typically followed the eat-play-sleep routine with all of my kids. This is when after they ate, we would play for a bit and then they’d nap. I liked to do this so that it didn’t create any nursing associations with them and I did my best to make sure that they didn’t fall asleep nursing or need it as a crutch to fall asleep.

 

Since you’ve both ate, it’s time to play! This is a great time for them to do tummy time, you to read books to them, or play with some noisy toys on a mat. With my first, I literally was glued to her for 6 months. I didn’t give myself permission to do anything when she was awake. I felt like I had to be on top of her or I was a bad mom.

 

Let me give you some permission right now — you can do other things. Yes, you need to watch, play, read and interact with your baby but you don’t have to freeze life because they are awake. Let them play on a playmat while you grab laundry to get started. Allow them to enjoy time in a swing so you can load the dishes. Pick 1-2 household tasks that you’d like to get done in the morning and do them and get them out of the way. These should take 15-30 minutes which still leaves you at least a full hour before another nursing session to interact and love on your little!

 

Are you a pumping mom or need tips? Click the picture to check out this course!

 

 

Finding Time to Workout as a Breastfeeding Mom

 

I suggest you use this last hour as a good time to interact with your baby! I like to take the baby for walks or maybe stream some yoga to do together. My baby loved getting kisses as I did push ups or getting pushed in the stroller. Remember to ease your body into exercise post baby but still move! I worked out during both my pregnancies until the morning I delivered and I still had to go slowly back into it! Walking and yoga are great starts! Use your morning time to do some sun salutations and kiss the baby on the way down!

 

When you go for your walk, use this time for self care! Listen to an audio book (get a free audible trial here), use the YouVersion App to read your bible aloud while you walk, or get your mind right with some podcasts!

 

If you do get sweaty, make sure to take a minute to wipe yourself down! My poor baby has definitely had to nurse after a workout and I’m sure she didn’t love it! You most likely won’t have time to sneak in a shower if you need but baby wipes rock!

 

By this time, your breastfed baby is ready to probably sleep again (and remember, in the beginning ‘naps’ for infants can be anywhere from 15-60 minutes!) so ease your baby down, see if they’ll fall asleep on your walk, or rock them in the chair.

 

If you choose to feed them first, do your best to put them down to sleep in their bassinet or AAP approved swing! And if they won’t let you put them down (depending on their age and sleep habits), put them in the baby carrier or hold them! This is another great time to text and connect with a friend, chat with other breastfeeding moms in Facebook groups or get back to that self development on your phone!

 

And if they do let you put them down… do something for you to close out your morning routine! Take a shower, watch a show, change over the laundry or grab a nap! Pat yourself on the back, you made it through the morning and did a great job!

 

What sorts of things do you do in your morning routine or while breastfeeding? Post it in the comments!

 

 

 

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More Help for Breastfeeding Moms!

How to Create a Bedtime Routine for Your Kid

3 Keys to a Nighttime Routine for Infants

7 Tools to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

21 Day Fix for the Breastfeeding Mom

Work at Home Mom Morning Routines

Morning Routine for Sleep Deprived Moms

 

Must Have Resources for Breastfeeding Moms Routines

Baby Sleep Made Simple

Pumping Mom Academy

Makeover Your Mornings Course

 

 

Want to grab my free stay at home mom evening routine checklist? Just drop your email address and it’s all yours!

 

 

Evening Routine for Stay at Home Moms

Evening Routine for Stay at Home Moms

Evening Routine for Stay at Home Moms

 

Stay at home moms need routines to help their homes run smoothly and an evening routine is one of the most important ones. A lot of time we start with trying to fix and improve our morning routine but, I truly believe that your evening routine is even more vital.

 

A good evening routine will set up your day for success. It allows you to wake up less stressed and frazzled and actually achieve more in your morning routine.

 

And I hear you… as a stay at home mom once my kids are in bed the last thing I want to do is another routine, wash another dish, or make a decision. As soon as my kids are tucked in bed I truthfully plop (seriously, imagine a belly flop) onto my bed and scroll my Instagram for 15 minutes while I ask my husband for quiet.

 

But as soon as my 15 minute scroll timer goes off, I get myself up and start my evening routine, no matter how tired or worn out I am, because I know it’s value and importance.

 

 

How to End Your Day As a Stay at Home Mom

 

I recommend having a structure that splits your evening routine into three parts – closing out today, prepping for tomorrow, and taking time for you. As a stay at home mom, our job starts the second the kids are awake (and if their like my early birds that is 5:30am) and goes way past their bedtime. Having a plan, checklist, or routine for the evening is going to be super helpful when you have decision fatigue and just want to put most of your tasks on auto pilot.

 

Closing out the day is the toughest part of the evening routine as a stay at home mom because we just get burnt by the end of the day. We’ve cleaned up the same mess over and over, attempted to fold laundry all day, and just don’t want to do it.

 

But it’s super key and needs to be done first to help you get your evening routine mojo flowing!

 

I suggest putting on some uplifting music or a podcast and just getting started. I like to listen to podcasts while I do my routine because I find that it makes the time zoom by and gets me motivated to keep going. You can see my list of favorites here if you need some ideas!

 

I’ve shared a checklist below of suggested things you could do to close out the day and I left some blanks for you to come up with the things that you know need to get done. All of our homes are different but, when you’re trying to come up with tasks to close out the day, think of 1-4 looming tasks you know you didn’t compete or must get done. This is not the time to complete your entire to do list, berate yourself for ‘not doing enough’, or feel like a failure – this is the time when you get done what you know will decrease your stress and set you up for success tomorrow.

 

And a quick note: you do not have to complete this entire checklist by yourself. Many nights, these tasks happen before the kids go to bed and we do them as a family. I like to put them on my checklist because for the crazy busy nights, or the ones where we are at church or sports, or I just want to direct people to how to help, it is helpful to have a reference.

 

Remember, there is power in a checklist. I like to use this checklist as a data point for myself each week. If you’ve never done an evening routine, you can try it out for week one and get a percentage of the tasks that you’ve completed. Next week, you can aim to get 1-2 more tasks done than last week. This helps change the ‘all or nothing’ mentality into a mentality of growth and grace!

 

For me my ‘closing out today’ tasks include;

 

 

 

 

 

Prepping for Tomorrow as a Stay at Home Mom

 

Once the close out tasks are done and I feel less overwhelmed by the craziness of that day, I am ready to plan for tomorrow.

 

As a stay at home mom, you want to create an evening routine that makes sense for your day and helps you run your home well. I am a firm believer in having routines even though we’re at home and feel strongly that kids thrive off them as well.

 

Prepping for tomorrow really allows you to start your day with ease because you have things done and know what to expect. If you’ve ever had a frazzled morning trying to get everyone off and ready for school and forgot to pack lunches or check book bags than you know what I mean!

 

On the checklist that you can download for your evening routine at the bottom of this post, you also will see a blank space for adding in preparing tasks. I’ve added in some of the things I do but again, think about the season of your family! Your tasks may look different if your kids go to traditional school or you homeschool. It may look different if you have older kids vs younger kids. So take the template I’ve given and customize it for your needs!

 

My prepping for tomorrow tasks include;

  • Making lunches (including mine and the kids as much as I can, even though we’re home! This may look like pre making salads or making a batch of hard boiled eggs)
  • Packing book bags, diaper bags, sport bags or anything else needs (and again, the kids can be a part of this as well!)
  • Laying out clothes – I lay out my workout clothes so that I have no excuses in the morning and the kids pick their clothes out during our bedtime routine to make it simple.
  • Loading the coffee pot with the timer
  • Reviewing our schedule for the day and pre planning my time blocked tasks. Read more about time blocking here!
  • Setting out an independent morning activities for the kids (I put one on their small table that they always gravitate to so I can get breakfast and the morning going without them under my feet and them asking for TV right away)

 

 

I think it’s key to have a good idea of your schedule and pre planning tasks for your family the night before. I like to use time blocking for most things so it helps if I know in advance which errands I want to run, which work tasks I’m planning to focus on or any phone calls that I have to make before places close.

 

 

Taking Time for You as a Stay at Home Mom

 

After you’ve done the majority of your home tasks for the night, it’s time for the best part of the evening routine — time for you! The closing out and prepping stages of an evening routine might take you anywhere from 30-45 minutes depending on how much you get done before the kids go to bed (again some of mine gets done with their help before bed) or how crazy the day is.

 

I like to close out my day with time for me and, as a stay at home mom, it’s very important you do the same. When we’re just go-go-go for everyone else and don’t pause for us, stay at home mom depression and burnout can occur. I find as a stay at home mom I have to be super intentional about time for myself, self care and personal growth.

 

Once my checklist is complete, I take 15-60 minutes in my own learning and growth. And I know that seems like a lot of time if it’s not a habit you already have but trust me, 15 minutes can start to become a habit that you crave and take more of!

 

So what are some things you can do during this time? (and again, start with just 15 minutes and over time increase it by 5 minutes. You’ll find that you love that time, the mom guilt will melt away, and your mindset will be on fire!)

 

  • Bible reading, devotionals or Christian development and reading
  • Take a course about a topic you want to learn about
  • Watch youtube tutorials on how to gain a skill
  • Read a book to increase your mindset or for pleasure
  • Exercise, do yoga or meditate
  • Journal, draw, or anything creative
  • Check out this post for a bunch more options!

 

 

By ending your day for you, you’ll go to bed with less anxiety, more peace and feeling jazzed about the next day. What I don’t recommend you do though is just plop on the couch and have a Netflix binge or get sucked into a social media scroll. These things wreak havoc on your mindset, make you compare your lives to others and don’t fill you up.

 

Now, there is nothing wrong with social media or TV but I just don’t think it’s the best way to close your day. The lights from the TV and phone can keep you up, your brain gets super stimulated, and the last things in your brain tend to be where your dreams go. Give yourself the gift of  positive thoughts!

 

 

 

More Evening Routine Ideas for Stay at Home Moms

How to Create a Bedtime Routine for Your Kids

The Ultimate Bedtime Routine for Adults

3 Keys to a Nighttime Routine for Infants

7 Tools to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

Evening Routine for Breastfeeding Moms

 

Must Have Resources for Stay at Home Mom Routines

Ultimate Homemaking Bundle

Motivated: Caring for Your Home When You Don’t Feel Like It E-Book

Makeover Your Evenings Course

 

 

Want to grab my free stay at home mom evening routine checklist? Just drop your email address and it’s all yours!

 

 

What do you do as part of your evening routine? Put it in the comments!

Creating a Cleaning Routine with Your Kids

Creating a Cleaning Routine with Your Kids

Creating Cleaning Routines with Your Kids

 

Looking to have a cleaning routine that your kids help with? It can be hard to find the best ways to have your kids help around the house without getting in the way. Know that the work we do to equip and teach our kids now will help them become better adults (and take away some of our stress!)

 

Still to this day, I can remember the sounds of Motown Classics playing on the radio on Saturday mornings. Waking up to this sound was the dreaded signal that our mornings would be filled with dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning. My brother and I had our routines and we knew them well.

 

Growing up, I thought the routines and processes my mother had in place were crazy. Today, I absolutely love them and even have modified them to create my own system.  It’s helped me create a 3 part cleaning system that not only gets your kids helping you around the house, but teaches them skills that will last a lifetime.

 

Having a house with 8 children can get a little bit messy! The amount of dishes, dirty socks, and sticky tables is enough to make anyone want to pull their hair out. My anxiety levels rise to the highest heights when my house is a wreck.  It doesn’t mean that our house is spotless. That would be a gross exaggeration. Our house is definitely lived in! I just admitted that the task of keeping the house clean could not be left to me. We believe in getting everyone involved, because we all live there. My general rule of thumb is, If the child is old enough to make the mess, they are old enough to be a part of a system to learn to clean.

 

Over the years, I have tried many systems and chore charts to help me teach my kids about chores. The majority of them focused on ways to remind my kids to do their chores. Stickers, charts, calendars, apps, there are tons of ways to REMIND your kids. However, I realized I wanted something more than just reminding my children when to do their chore. I wanted a system that gave them essential life skills and taught them HOW to do their chore.

 

But maybe you’ve had these thoughts in your head…

 

It is so much easier to clean without my kids!

 

I don’t want my kids exposed to cleaning products.

 

They aren’t going to do it right.

 

These are common reasons many moms don’t get their kids involved with the cleaning process. I get it. Honestly, I do. The thought of leaving my kids unattended to clean an area or the entire house was enough to make the hairs on my neck stand up. However, I promise, the reward comes in the work you put in upfront.

 

 This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

Teach Your Kids to Do Chores Around the House

 

 

Show Them! Support Them! Send Them on Their Way! Is not designed for parents who want a quick fix to getting chores done or the house cleaned. There is work involved and it takes time for kids to really learn how to clean, but once they have mastered it, Holy Moly! You will find your cleaning process to be much simpler.

 

 

Setting Up Your Kids to Do Chores

 

 

Before you can even begin to show your kids how to clean, the first step is to separate your house or chores into zones. In our house, we have four children who are responsible for four zones. As a homeschool family, our house hot spots are the kitchen, dining room (which is our school room), the living room, and our bathrooms. These four spaces are the most used and can be perfectly straight to looking like a tornado hit them in under 5 minutes.

 

After selecting your zones, come up with a list of tasks that are needed to clean each zone that can be completed in under 15 minutes. The tasks on this list should be thought out and when they are completed and followed properly, the assigned zone is considered “clean” according to whatever standard you have in your home. It is easy to just say, “Ok, I know what needs to be done.”  or “I will just tell my kids what needs to be done.”

 

It may seem a little cumbersome, but WRITE THE STEPS DOWN! It will save you a ton of time later and it will serve as a checklist for your kiddos when completing the task independently. Do you want to take it a step further? Snap a photo of your zone when it is clean.

 

Related Post: The Best Digital Cleaning Systems for Moms

 

The next step is to gather all of the supplies that are needed to clean each zone. In my house, I find it easier to purchase multiple bottles of the same product so that each zone has its own supplies. This eliminates excuses such as, “I couldn’t do the mirrors because (insert sibling name) had the glass cleaner.” Now, don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean you have to have multiple vacuum cleaners. It just means, having a caddy with the necessary wipes, products, etc. in one bin already in the zone will set your kiddos up for success. In addition to the cleaning caddy for each zone, print and laminate the cleaning checklist you already created and place it with your supplies or you can even hang it up in the zone.  Did you take a picture? Put it in your caddy or hang it in your zones.

 

Lastly, determine a cleaning rotation for your house. How often does each zone need to be cleaned? Several times a day? Daily? Weekly? Twice a week? Make the rotation based on what works best for your house. Don’t set yourself up by creating an unrealistic schedule or unrealistic expectations.

 

Feel free add in some fun incentives! Allow kids to earn badges or certificates based on their accomplishments. Cleaning the house may sound like a dreaded thing to your kids. It’s important to remind your kids of the reasons they are being asked to keep the house clean, how much you appreciate them for being a part of the process, and celebrate them for mastering each zone.

Here comes the real work!

Show Your Kids How to Do Chores

 

The first part of the system is to just show your kids how to clean. Make sure you first assign each kid a zone for a designated period. In our house, my kiddos will shadow me for one week while I clean their assigned zone. So in reality, if you have four zones, your kids will be shadowing you as you clean for four weeks. I told you this wasn’t a quick fix!

 

During the cleaning session, give your kiddo the checklist you created. Have them observe you as you perform each step. Allow them to ask questions and ask them questions, such as “Why are we using this product for this area? Or How do we safely use this product? Each of these questions gets them thinking of the “why” behind the cleaning and not just trying to rush through. Remind your kiddo that the zone should take no more than 15 minutes. (If you went over 15 minutes, it should only be because you were explaining and dialoguing).

Support Your Kids As They Learn Chores

 

Once your shadow week is over, it’s time for the kids to start cleaning. Unfortunately, you are still not off the hook. In our house, we believe it is necessary for our kids to master an area. We decided that we would rather have them master the zone than have to constantly go back and clean up after them. We usually stay on this step for about two weeks. If you find that one of your kids has mastered their zone while the other has not, let the other kids switch and continue your rotation. Put the child struggling in their zone back in the rotation once they mastered their zone.

 

If you don’t have time to do it right, you must have time to do it over!

 

I love this phrase because it sets the expectation that trying to rush through their zone is not going to fly. I have been known for calling my kids in from playing because they half-heartedly cleaned their zone in an effort to go outside.

 

It may sound too tough for some, but getting called in from playing or made to turn off their video game a few times is enough to get the job done right.

 

During Support Them! your job is to shadow them while they are cleaning their zone. Make sure they are set up for success by making sure they have their supplies, the checklist, and even the photo of the cleaned zone, if you took one. Now sit back and observe! Do your best to keep your mouth closed and refrain from criticizing while they are cleaning. If you find they missed a step, gently remind them. Your child should not feel stressed out or afraid of failing to clean properly. Use this time to encourage them and use words of affirmation! Sayings such as, “ You are doing a great job!” “Wow! I love how clean you got that!” will go much further than a criticizing them for not doing it right.

 

Challenge your child to effectively clean their zone in 15 minutes or less. If the cleaning process is taking longer than that, it is possible that a second person is needed because the zone is too large or they are taking too long on a specific task.

Send Them on Their Way!

 

You have successfully showed your kids how to clean their assigned zone. If your child has mastered their zone, you will be able to tell during this step. Your child should know when they are expected to clean their zone. This is a great time to use a chore chart, app, or rotation calendar that is visible for everyone. It will help to get rid of the famous unwanted house guest named, “I Don’t Know.”

 

When it is time for zone cleaning, send your child on their way. You have already given them the skills and tools needed to clean their zone based on your standards and expectations. Just make sure you go back and check their work. Every child makes mistakes and some will even try to cut corners. Use this time to encourage your child to clean their zone properly. This is a great time to instill the incentives and rewards that were mentioned.

 

If you have multiple zones and multiple children, you will walk through each of the three steps over and over. It may seem like you are still doing all of the cleaning. Actually, it will feel that way for a while. That is perfectly okay. You are doing more than creating a quick system. You are giving your children skills they will use for a lifetime.

 

Show Them! Support Them! Send Them on Their Way! Is a great way to lay some of life’s foundational skills. The system can work with even your younger kiddos. There are tons of age appropriate charts that give examples of chores that can be completed by various age groups. The system works great and helps our crazy and quirky family of 8!

 

Did these tips help? Make sure you PIN them to come back to later!

 


 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

 

Guest Post by Christel Brewer of Perfectly Blended and Blessed.

 

Christel Brewer is a wife and homeschooling mother of 8 beautiful blessings. She is no stranger to knowing the importance of understanding one’s unique self. Born shortly after the passing of her father, becoming a young mother while in college, and struggling as a single mother of five children, she uses her life experiences as the foundation for her workshops.

 

Podcast 04 Creating Summer Routines

Purpose Driven Mom Podcast Episode 04 Creating an Summer Routines for Your Family       Let's chat about creating summer routines today! As we dive into summer, it's key to come up with a vision for your summer and routines that allow your summer to be fun and joyful...

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Purpose Driven Mom Podcast Episode 03 Creating an Evening Routine for Your Family       Today's episode dives into the 15 minute formula that I've used to help the moms I coach get more done and become productivity ninjas! By using the formula to break down your goals...

24 Day Kitchen Organization Challenge

24 Day Kitchen Organization Challenge

When it comes to organization if you’re like me, you probably tell yourself over and over that you will get things together… on Monday. And then Monday comes and something happens and you decide to push it off and push it off and push it off until you’re like that lady in the tupperware commercial with everything falling on her (that seriously happens to me once a week!

But have no fear! You CAN get the kitchen and pantry organized and in control, you just need a system that works for you!

So how do you start to conquer all the kitchen clutter without getting overwhelmed? Check out my top tips 3 tips to take action today!

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but help me fund this page. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

Tip #1 Small Chunks Each Day

So often we overwhelm ourselves by trying to jump in and conquer a big problem head on instead of taking the time to figure out the small steps needed to get there. On our way to trying to do everything in a hurry, we also bite off WAY too much. And as nice as it sounds to say “this Saturday I am going to organize the kitchen”, we know in reality it’s not going to happen.

I suggest you start with 15 minutes a day. 15 minutes may not seem like a lot but 15 minutes spent every day for 30 days will have your kitchen organized in no time! It is so hard for us moms to find time to pee, let alone time to take everything out of our cabinets to organize it so don’t try to tackle this project in one day.

Schedule 15 minutes in your day (yes, I want you to put it in your planner) that you can consistently keep up with. Maybe it’s right after you do your evening routine and make all of the lunches for tomorrow, or maybe it’s the first thing you do after nap. Whenever you decide to do it, schedule it in your planner and set a 15 minute timer to get going.

When the 15 minutes is up, it’s done. You can keep going or you can stop, it’s completely up to you. Make sure though, that you don’t decide to conquer 4 shelves in that 15 minutes. Pick a small section to work on each day. For example, day one could simply be your utensil drawer or all the tupperware. Chunk out super small sections that you can do so that you can feel immediate success.

Head to that section, empty it completely, wipe it down and clean it out, and put everything back in. While you are putting back in, I want you to do an inventory of what you have (for the food sections) and throw out stuff that is broken, doesn’t belong there, or that you really will never use.

 

We wind up collecting so many kitchen utensils and appliances that you never wind up using that just take up space physically and mentally. Outer order leads to inner calm and the less physical stuff you have in your home and in your face, the less stress and anxiety you will have in your life. Trust me, I’m a wannabe minimalist who knows how good an empty counter feels!

 

Tip #2 Take Inventory

While you are cleaning any areas that have food, I want you to take inventory of what you have. This makes cooking SO much easier. I keep a pantry checklist in my cabinet and put it in a sheet protector. This way, whenever I run out of a spice, I can just cross it off the list. Every week when I go shopping, I check over recipes I am making and quickly scan my list to see if I need it. Before I started this system, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to run out to the store for a last minute ingredient (I mean seriously… where the heck does all the cumin go???)

 

I keep a similar chart in the other food sections of my pantry for general canned or boxes items. We follow the Capsule Pantry system and I create a monthly dinner meal plan so we use a lot of the same ingredients over and over. I like to see how many cans of tomatoes or boxes of rice I have so that, when it’s time to make dinner I can just grab and go.

Doing a food inventory will also start to save you a ton of money. You’ll notice ingredients that you might not have even known were there, can use them to make some different meals, and not just grab another can of chicken broth ‘just because’ when you’re at the store.

 

While you’re cleaning and doing an inventory, make sure you toss out any expired spices or food items you have. If you have an item that has been there forever (but isn’t expired) and your family just doesn’t eat, put it in a bag and drop it at a local shelter or food drop off location.

 

Tip #3 Clear off the Counter

 

Like I said earlier, outer order leads to inner calm, and our countertops are the biggest place of clutter in the kitchen. For some reason we stack everything on the counter and then get so frustrated because we don't have space to cook or do any of our regular kitchen chores.

 

I highly recommend getting rid of as many appliances as you can or at least move them off your counter. Ask yourself when the last you used it and if you hadn’t in this past week, it should NOT be a counter appliance. Keep the stuff out that you actually use and store (in a easy to grab place) the rest of it.

 

Make your counter inviting and easy to access and you’ll find yourself cooking in it more and actually enjoying the kitchen.

 

Every night, as part of an evening routine, I recommend doing a clean up of your kitchen so that you wake up and don’t feel behind. Make sure the dishes are loaded and sink empty, take out any trash, and wipe down all the counters. And the less stuff you have out, the quicker and easier it’ll be to get it clean!

 

As you go through organizing your kitchen, make sure you celebrate all of the small wins you have! It won’t happen overnight but if you use your time wisely, within one month you can have transform your entire kitchen into a place you love that doesn’t stress you out!

 

Want some help getting started? Download this 30 day calendar with 15 minute clean up areas that you can tackle each day!

See a tip that helped you? Sharing is caring! Share it on your Facebook or PIN it!

 

 

 

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Purpose Driven Mom Podcast Episode 04 Creating an Summer Routines for Your Family       Let's chat about creating summer routines today! As we dive into summer, it's key to come up with a vision for your summer and routines that allow your summer to be fun and joyful...

Podcast 03: Creating an Evening Routine for Your Family

Purpose Driven Mom Podcast Episode 03 Creating an Evening Routine for Your Family       Today's episode dives into the 15 minute formula that I've used to help the moms I coach get more done and become productivity ninjas! By using the formula to break down your goals...