Inside: learn how intentional goal setting, living with less, and structured home management systems can help make you more organized in the new year.
Do you remember when the KonMari method of organizing was everything? You may recall her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. While I am most certainly not a disciple of this practice, there was one particular point that stuck out to me.
She said something along the lines of: “If you find yourself organizing your house all of the time then you’re not really organized.”
And she’s right, it stands to reason that once is enough.
Except, in my opinion, when you have two toddlers, two dogs, and two adults living under one roof: once is never enough.
A house with kids is constantly evolving with an ebb and flow that changes throughout the years.
This means we are constantly learning to organize for the life we are living right now. Whether we are ushering in a new year after a gift-heavy holiday season, or starting a new school year where new things are necessary, we always need to revisit our management systems for staying organized and keeping things together!
I’m truly not one for New Year’s Resolutions. I prefer to set mini goals for myself throughout the year. But New Year or not, my number 1 personal goal (besides being a loving mom to my girls) is always to get organized and stay organized.
By adopting an easy goal setting system, you can keep yourself more organized and therefore more sane in the New Year.
If you have kids then you know, mom-brain is real. I often feel as though my brain has indeed turned to mush and I have a very difficult time keeping track of things and remembering all of the things I need to do. Having two toddlers will do that to ya.
To combat my mom-brain, I’ve created 5 simple goals for 2019 and I’m sharing them with you today in the hope that these goals can also help keep you more organized in the new year.
- Live with Less
- Set Up a Toy Rotation
- Just Say No
- Meal Plan, Meal Plan, Meal Plan
- Disconnect & Unplug
5 Simple Ways to Be More Organized in the New Year
1. Live With Less
Living with less is exactly what it sounds like. You can slap a fancy term on it (minimalism), but call it whatever you want, it basically comes down to the same principle: we don’t need so much “stuff.”
Where to start?
You can start by decluttering your entire house, room-by-room (don’t forget your car, backyard, garage and mom bag!)
These are your main options when decluttering:
- Recycle it
- Throw it out
- Donate it
- Sell it (be careful of this option because items can continue to linger for a long time in your house while you’re waiting for someone to buy them)
Less stuff everywhere means less cleaning, less organizing, and less “shoving stuff in drawers and pretending it’s clean” ←guilty.
Challenge yourself today to pick 10 things in your house to get rid of. Whether they are fit to be donated, need to be thrown out, recycled, whatever it may be. It’s time to start the New Year with less.
If one day of ultimate decluttering doesn’t fit into your schedule, then make it a daily practice to get rid of 10 things a day.
2. Set Up a Toy Rotation
Less toys available=less mess.
This detailed resource covers the many benefits of toy rotation plus exactly how to create toy rotation bins. Establishing a toy rotation system in your home will lead to less clutter and more engaged playtime!
3. Just Say No
True confession: One of my top goals for the new year is to say “no” more. Everyone is always talking about being a “yes” person, saying yes to life and so on. Well, as a full-time mom of two toddlers my actual new motto is simply NO.
Let me explain further. When you get yourself to the point that committing to so many engagements has you stressed and running around like a crazy person, it’s time to take a step back and say “no, I can’t commit to XYZ right now.”
Mom-guilt is real, and no matter how many Pinterest posts you click on, I personally don’t believe there is any way to “get rid of” mom-guilt. It just is what it is.
So if saying “no” leaves you with a little feeling of guilt, just remember this:
Your number 1 priority is YOU. Happy mom=happy kids. Your children do not need to attend 863.5 birthday parties to be happy, and they don’t need to be carted all over the city to every event to have an enriched childhood. Kids don’t need to be busy to be happy, they just need simplicity (and maybe GoGo Squeez – that also keeps them happy).
When you find yourself at the juncture of constantly rushing everyone out of the door to be “somewhere” – it’s time to take a step back, and just say NO.
Less things to do means more organized mom. Plain and simple.
4. Meal Plan, Meal Plan, Meal Plan
You’ll find an abundance of resources on our site dedicated to meal planning. Meal planning is perhaps my favorite home management system because I not-so-secretly love planning our weekly meals.
True story, before having kids I used to spend hours on the weekend just leisurely flipping through my beloved cookbook collection, coming up with fun dinner ideas for the week and doting over new and interesting recipe ideas.
These days I’m literally cringing just recalling this memory. Nobody with kids has time for that, nobody. Even if you enjoy the task of meal planning, it still has to be done quickly and efficiently.
Grocery shopping without a meal plan is a recipe for disaster. And a surefire way to overspend.
Planning meals has got to happen. It is one of the many glorious tasks of being a mom. The family has to get fed, every night, on a budget, with healthy foods.
My favorite way to meal plan is to use “Family Favorite Meals” which I typed out into a “cheatsheet” of sorts. You can grab our meal planning cheatsheet pre-filled with dinner ideas or you can download our blank meal planning printables to fill in your own ideas (as shown in the pictures above and below).
Either way, just make a promise to yourself that meal planning will be one of your resolutions for 2019.
To get you started, here are a bunch of Meal Planning Resources on the blog:
- Blank Meal Planning Printables
- Ultimate Meal Planning Printables Bundle
- Crazy Easy 3 Ingredient Slow Cooker Dinner Ideas
- No Recipe-Required Dinner Ideas from Real Moms
- Pinterest Meal Plan + Meal Planning Tips
- Best Cookbooks for Easy Meal Planning
5. Disconnect / Unplug
This one may sound weird coming from someone who works on the internet, but everyone who knows me in “real life” knows that I am almost NEVER online.
Picture of a friend’s baby on Facebook? Didn’t see it.
Viral YouTube video? Never heard of it.
Someone with 18.4m Instagram followers?! Couldn’t care less.
Although I do work on the internet, I personally don’t “live” online.
I truly believe that being disconnected in a way is what keeps me feeling fulfilled in my daily life. I am not constantly comparing myself to others and I am not wasting hours scrolling down the rabbit hole staring at other people’s lives.
If you’re worried that friends and family will think you are being rude or ignoring them, you can simply explain that you are taking a break from social media and if they need to get in contact with you they can call or text. Anyone who is offended by this is not a real friend!
It may sound crazy to try and disconnect from a world that is so connected, but I do believe there are some actionable steps you can take to unplug more in 2019.
Less time spent on your phone means more time spent doing things that matter, and to me, that is the ultimate home management system.
Here are several ways I keep my phone and internet use in check in my daily life:
- Delete Facebook App from phone
- Turn off phone and put it away in a drawer when playing with kids
- For bloggers (or those who work online), use a scheduler for Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook posts
- Create a private or secret Instagram account where you follow only the people you want (I have an Instagram account for my business and a separate personal account where I only follow celebrities I’m interested in like Ina Garten and Chrissy Tiegen AKA best scrolling experience ever!)
- Stay logged out of apps on phone so they’re not as easy to check
While disconnecting may not be as concrete as the first 4 ideas, you will find that it helps you to feel more organized when you don’t have so many voices in your head constantly calling to you from the various apps and social media accounts you’re typically tuned in to.
To review, here are 5 ways to stay more organized in the new year
- Live with Less
- Rotate Toys
- Just Say No
- Meal Plan