As a busy, working mom (I run The Well Appointed House retail site, this blog and am involved in a number of charities) with three kids ages 8,7 and 5 (wow, where did the time go?!) — it’s all I can do to stay organized. Staying on top of the weekly schedule and the kids’ activities, combined with my work schedule, dinners out with my husband and friends, social events, doctor and dental checkups, school events and of course appointments relating to managing the home seem endless at times. I frequently ask my friends, will it ever end? The short answer is “no” and nor would I want it to. My mother says “Small kids, small problems – big kids, big problems” and I know that part of growing well as a family means staying organized. Keeping our day-to-day running smoothly is key to feeling balanced, healthy and stress-free. I am not saying that I am stress free by any means, though I try to do new things each week to increase my efficiency. Every little bit helps! I’ve realized that by taking the time to order name labels and putting them on all of my kids items (I keep name tags in the mudroom for each of my three kids that I order once a year – they are right on the shelf where we keep the kids shoes and I grab a label each time we wear a new sweater or article of clothing to school) it saves me time looking for lost items at school and shopping for replacement sweaters/jackets/hats/mittens in the long run. By stocking up on small, inexpensive organizational tools you can save yourself time and reduce stress in the long run. 3M has a fabulous line of organizational tools called Home Collection by Post-it Brand, Scotch Brand and Command Brand. Take a look below at some small tricks of the mom trade that will give you a few time savers each day:
These Post-it Reminder Tags are so great to keep in the kitchen and mud room. My kids are now at the age where I am sending tennis racquets/tennis shoes/tennis outfits jammed into their backpacks to change into after school before they have a group lesson and I am constantly reminding them to bring home their school shoes when they change. How many mornings have I heard that “Mom, I left my comfortable shoes in my cubby when I changed for tennis yesterday, so now I don’t have them to wear”? These tags are perfect for situations like that and I can write a note in 20 seconds and throw it on their backpack as they are running out to the car in the morning so they don’t forget. Or notes for the babysitter to keep track of whose bag belongs to which child or for sporting goods or lunch bags. They really are useful and are just $3.99 per pack. Here is one of my daughter’s leaving for school this morning with a note to remember her shoes right where she will see it when she gets to school:
For times when I am working and my nanny drives, it’s great to have labels or reminders for what is going where! Or if the kids have a note in their bag for their teacher, a gentle reminder always helps!
I get so much mail between junk mail, real mail and of course mail for The Well Appointed House – and so my kitchen island always has a heap of mail sitting on the end of it. The Post-it Grip Board retails for $19.99 and helps you keep important mail or invitations off of the counter and in view. It mounts anywhere with Command Picture Hanging Strips that won’t damage your walls. I tried it under my cabinets along with a Post-it Display Card mounting square that I popped some invitations in that I didn’t want to forget and it was nice to have some organization. The Display Cards are $5.99 for an 8″x10″ size. You can also use it for favorite photos that you want to stick on the wall and have it protected. I popped in my hat party invitation, a birth announcement I want to send a gift for as well as a summer party invite and a wedding Save the Date. Wallah!
The Command Clear Smart Phone Station ($5.99) is a great way to charge your phone neatly, without leaving your phone on the counter. Command Clear Organization products provide handy, stylish organization without wall damaging nails, screws, tacks or permanent adhesives. They will hold strongly on a variety of surfaces, including painted surfaces (as I have), wood, tile, metal and more. They also come off cleanly with no holes, marks, sticky residue or stains.
I tried a Display Card on my refrigerator – I popped in a favorite photo of my kids on a golf cart at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic, along with the Post-it Dry Erase Planner and a note list – perfect for groceries. Not bad! The Dry Erase Planner is just $8.99 and is great for posting the weekly schedule where everyone can see it.
Everything comes off the walls cleanly with no damage. Check out the Home Collection by Post-it Brand, Scotch Brand and Command Brand!