20 Tips To Stay Organized As A Busy Parent – Guest Post

This is a partnered guest post.

By Tracy Roberts




Being a parent is a hard job. The amount of work to be done can be overwhelming. Not just the quantity but the amount of interruptions. With young children underfoot, simple projects can take forever. And, then of course, there is the guilt of not spending enough time playing with your children because you are spending so much time cleaning up after them.  It’s a vicious cycle that can cause many to throw in the towel and can wear even the best of us out. Having a plan of attack for home organization not only keeps your sanity but also helps busy parents get it all done before that big yellow bus returns. Here are the top 20 tips for not just getting it done but getting it done in style, with time to spare and while looking calm, cool and collected.

  1. Emergency Toys: Have a stash of emergency toys on hand that are only pulled out sparingly. If junior always tries to climb into the dishwasher as you are unloading it, why not empty a nearby lower cupboard and let him play with some oversize mixing bowls that you picked up on clearance? Or you can pass out special dry erase flashcards only when you have to make an important phone call. Planning ahead helps you take stressful situations in stride.
  2. Timer: Use an egg timer or the microwave time while you work. In fact, working in short intervals helps keep you quickly throughout your day. Of course, no matter how difficult the job, you can do anything for 15 or 20 minutes.
  3. Little Helpers: Even though it may seem like it just might slow you down, teach the baby how to do small jobs. You’d be surprised when that newfound skill can come in handy.
  4. Family Effort: In fact, every member of the family can have a set job to do daily. My 18 month old knew it was her job to collect the pet food bowls when it was time to feed them. She took great pride in the fact that she knew what to do when asked. The key is selecting jobs that they think are fun and then shower them with tons of praise. Trust me; your kids will keep coming back for more.
  5. Rewards: I am not talking about those 100 calorie snack packs here. I am talking about telling yourself that if you finish this task and the next one on the list then you can have 10 minutes to read your favorite mommy blog, which, unless it’s a food post, is fat free.
  6. Make a List: Plan to take half an hour every Sunday night to make out a list for the week. You can create an Excel spreadsheet, whip up something in Google docs or write it out by hand. Whatever makes you happy, it’s your list, after all. Plus, there is something deeply satisfying about being able to cross things off that list. Keep it to one page though or you’ll find it overwhelming.
  7. Pace Yourself:  Spread out the yucky jobs. Why do a bunch of jobs you hate in a row? Why not arrange your list so that those are every 5th task. It will keep your enthusiasm high and every time you get to one it won’t seem so bad after all.
  8. Group: You learned how to group like objects together in kindergarten; re-visit this lesson when organizing your to do list. If you have 3 jobs to do in the living room, try to do them at the same time to save time and steps.
  9. Be Comfortable: This sounds silly. Actually, it sounds rather martyr –ish. Why fold clothes hunched over a too-short table? Why scrub the floors on your hands and knees when Swiffer works just fine?

10. Tools: Use the best tool for the job. Ask your friends the best way they have found to organize or clean a particular item. Look it up online. You are bound to find a solution that can save you time.

11. Work smarter not harder: This saying really is timeless. Learn what works and what doesn’t in your house. For example, the water at my house is very, very hard. Any attempts to clean the toilets are almost futile. I’ve learned that it is better to get as much water out of them and then fill them with my cleaner of choice. I no longer struggle to scrub but rather walk away. I let it soak and it takes mere seconds to clean an hour or two later.

12. The Worst 1st: That’s right. Woman up. Do the absolute worst job on your whole list for the week – first! Once that is out of the way, everything else on your list of things to do will seem like a breeze.

13. Plan Well: Plan certain jobs to be done every Monday. Right it done. Stick to it. No exceptions. Once you get it a routine with these jobs your whole week will flow easier. Washing all the rugs in the house on Mondays is a great example.

14. High Impact: Do the jobs with high impact second. Right after the worst job. You want the most bang for your buck here. Again, this is more of a morale booster, a damn-I-am-good feeling.

15. Be Comfortable: Ok this is being used twice (see #9) because it is important. This time, be comfortable in what you are wearing. You want to look decent, presentable enough for the bus stop but comfortable. Why some people dress to the nines in high heels just to hang out with the vacuum, I’ll never get.

16. Multi-Task: This sounds so odd to be saying to women. We multi task with our eyes closed. We invented it! Just in case, this tip can be the reminder to do the dishes while waiting on hold, to fold laundry while practicing the ABC’s, to clean out the junk drawer while singing itsy bitsy spider.

17. Read: Reading is the most important thing you can do for your child. Take plenty of breaks to read a quick nook throughout the day. Otherwise, really, what’s the point of staying home?

18. Projects: Plan projects with longer due dates, like once a month. Washing down the front of the kitchen cabinetry every month or sorting through drawers for out-of-season clothes, too small clothes and mismatched socks are both necessary and easy to incorporate in your overall plan.

19. Don’t Put It Off: If you walk past a misplaced toy three times, pick it up. Do not put it off until later. I’ve got news for you; later never comes!

20. The Husband: Yes, he has his own set of chores that you two have agreed upon but, if you ever need extra help, keep this tip in mind. Men like to do jobs that involve machines. Loading the dishwasher or washing machines = man-friendly. Unloading or folding clothes = not. Running the vacuum = man-friendly. Mopping the floor = not. *wink*

This step-by-step guide walks you through specific tasks each day for 30 days so you can get your whole house clean, finally!

Tracy Roberts of MomsInABlog.com is the author of 30 Days to an Organized Home, and she has a plan!

Work your way through organizing and decluttering every room in your house in 30 days with easy to follow daily tasks that keep you from getting overwhelmed with the task at hand.

You’ll also find helpful printable checklists that will keep you on task and allow you to track your progress.

Get your copy today at http://momsinablog.com/go.php?offer=sweetannec&pid=1&tid=sweetannec


I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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  1. very true, I enjoyed reading, and agree with the reading at home/quality time, what is the point if we are just cleaning, writing, etc?

  2. These are such great tips! Small steps towards cleaning or whatever task you’re doing make a big difference.

  3. Great tips. I can definitely use tips on staying organized with four boys.

  4. I can ALWAYS use more organizing tips! I usually feel like the woman in the picture LOL

  5. Thank you for mentioning the mommy guilt for not being able to spend time with your kids because you have to clean up after them so much! I seriously have to work on #12. I can put off the worst task for weeks, lol.

  6. I can always use more tips! Thank you!

  7. I really need help in the organizing department. Thanks for the tips!

  8. I love the idea of emergency toys! I am going to do that.

  9. I love organizing tips! Thanks

  10. Great tips, I just need to follow them, lol.

  11. With baby on the way I can sure use tips like these 🙂

  12. Making a list is a great tip. It helps me.

  13. What a great list of tips. I like the idea of an emergency stash of toys.

  14. I am so disorganized that I need ALL of the help I can get.

  15. Great tips!

  16. I like the tips. I clicked on the link to check it out (the last link) but it takes me to some Christmas books?

  17. Great tips!! Thanks for some inspiration 🙂

  18. Do you know how many times I pin these types of post? I am always looking for organizational help!

    (and the link takes me to christmas books as well)

  19. funny how things can get away from you. I never was one to sit down and make lists of things I needed to do or get but the older I get the harder it is to handle it all I may need lists

  20. Awesome tips, thanks for sharing!

  21. The worst 1st huh! Well, I guess i could give it a shot! Great tips!

  22. Terrific tips! Blech about the hard water, I keep trying to find something to counteract it, but maybe I should just “work smarter” too and give it up, instead focusing on minimizing the water contact by using less water too.

  23. I HATE doing the worst first, but sometimes I make myself because everything after that is gravy! I like the idea of planning longer due dates, although since I’m a procrastinator, I might still wait until the last minute. lol

  24. Great tips!

  25. Thanks for the tips! Is there such a thing as a parent who isn’t busy?

  26. Great tips but I hate cleaning!

  27. The correct link to the book is http://momsinablog.com/go.php?offer=sweetannec&pid=3&tid=sweetannec

    I’m so glad that you all enjoyed the post!