Get a basic grip on household duties

Organizing the Disorganized Mom

by Kim Danger

Be rewarded the Web's Premiere Rewards Site

"Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing." -- Phyllis Diller

Before my daughter was born, I always considered myself an organized person. My house was always clean, and my life ran like clockwork. I enjoyed planning meals and cooking. My spare time was spent decorating and doing crafts. When Sydney was born, something happened to me. Not only did becoming a mother give me the greatest joy ever imaginable, I think it took away a few brain cells. Having the responsibility to take care of another human being's life took away my ability to organize my own.

I have to admit I had some pretty demented preconceived notions about what it would be like to be a stay-at-home mom. I was going to be the modern version of June Cleaver. My husband would always come home to a clean house and a piping-hot, home-cooked meal. My floors would sparkle and my decor would rival Martha Stewart. Ha! Boy, did I have it wrong.

Related: 7 Ways to Help Kids Get Organized

What I didn't realize is that staying at home tends to create more housework, not less. One of the reasons our home was always clean before Sydney was born is we were never there. It isn't hard to have an organized homelife while you're working full-time and eating out on a regular basis. Add a baby and a stay-at-home mom to that equation, and you get a continually growing mountain of laundry, toys that need to be picked up, and no time for yourself; much less decorating.

Being a parent can make even the best of us feel a little out of control. Having your housework reach that out-of-control point can make you feel even worse. Although organizing your household may take more effort with kids, it still can be done. Here are a few tips I'd like to share to get a very basic grip on your household duties:

  1. Keep a family calendar. Write down every appointment, or event your family must attend. If you have a large family, you may want to consider using a different color for each person. Keep the calendar in plain sight (we keep ours on the refrigerator).
  2. Schedule your tasks. Make a list of every daily, weekly, and monthly housekeeping task you must do. Start with basics like laundry, grocery shopping, dusting, etc. and you'll think of more to add later. Come up with a schedule to get them done: Monday: laundry; Tuesday: dusting, etc. This should keep you from forgetting what you need to get done, and also give you a sense of accomplishment.
  3. Could you earn $50 while junior naps? Here's 5 possible extra money sources to put your naptime plans in motion.

  4. Keep a to-do list. This list includes all the little tasks that need to be done that aren't on your schedule. It may include things like fixing a leaky faucet, making a birthday card for Grandma, or giving the dog a bath. We like to compile our family's list at the beginning of the week. Sometimes we add things to the list that we've done just so that we can cross them off!
  5. Have a 15-minute pick-up. I must admit, we implemented this mostly for my husband. I was getting tired of nagging him to pick up his dirty clothes off the floor, and he was getting tired of me nagging him to do it. Now before going to bed, we spend 15 minutes picking up odds and ends around the house that accumulate during the day (sorting mail, putting away newspapers, picking up clothes, etc.). This works out well for both of us, and prevents a lot of arguments.

Related: Organize Your Children and Save Your Sanity

While I do admit I'm not as organized as I was in my pre-baby days, being a parent has definitely changed my life for the better. It has taught me patience, flexibility, and spontaneity like nothing else ever could. While my floors may not be clean, and "cereal night" has become a frequent occurrence in our household, I get to enjoy watching my daughter grow. And that is the reason I decided to stay home in the first place.

Reviewed March 2018

Take the Next Step:

Kim Danger is a 30-year-old work-at-home-mom who lives with her husband and daughter in Southern Minnesota. Her website,, helps moms manage their time and money.

Stay Connected with TDS


It's tough raising kids today!

Dollar Stretcher for Parents is a weekly newsletter designed just for parents that will help save your family both time and money.

Little Luxuries

And get a copy
of our ebook
Little Luxuries:
130 Ways to Live Better...For Less
for FREE!

Your Email:

View the TDS Privacy Policy.

Debt Book