Articles for organization tips

Another busy mom shares her tips for keeping her family’s schedule and home together. . Today’s featured busy mom is Isabel Isidro Mom of three balancing parenting and co running a business.

Isabel Isidro is a mother of three boys, ages 7, 4 and 2. She is also the co-founder of PowerHomeBiz.com, a 10-year old site for home business owners and solo entrepreneurs, and runs WomenHomeBusiness.com and LearningfromBigBoys.com. She just tries to live and learn each day – not always succeeding, but always trying.

How do you keep your children’s schedules together ?
My kids are 7, 5 and 2 — and they all go to school. The two youngest are home by lunchtime while the eldest spends the full day in school.

We have a strict schedule in the house, and the kids know it. The younger boys take a nap in the afternoon. They play or relax in the afternoon after school, and one of their favorite activities is playing Wii with their father. The kids then eat dinner, and take a bath. Then from 7:00-8:30 pm, it’s their study and reading time.

I give them the materials they need to work on and practice with, and they choose the books they want to read. By 8:30 pm, they’re on bed and ready to sleep. They’re early risers, and wake up anywhere from 5:30-6:30 am – even on weekends! None in the family are late sleepers.

To the extent possible, we don’t do any extracurricular activities during the weekdays, only weekends. School is tough already for the kids, and we’d like them to have time to rest, have fun, play with each other and just be kids.

Saturdays, though, are when things go crazy with their schedules. They have various lessons, and by lunchtime, I am tired from driving around the area going from one lesson to the next. However, in the afternoon, we always make it a point to go to the library to pick up the books that they’ll read for the week.

Do you use a particular day planner ?
No. I used various dayplanners – from the cheapest to the most expensive leather bound planners. I even attended a daylong seminar by one of the big businesses in dayplanning business on how to organize and plan your day using their dayplanning system.

But none really worked for me. I will be “good” and use the planner judiciously for a few weeks, or even a month. And then nada — blank pages after that.

For one, I need something that I can carry with me all the time, not some bulky planner that sits nicely on a desk but impractical to be carried in my purse around. My purse is heavy enough as it is with all the kids’ stuff, and having a bulky planner does not work.

Do you own a blackberry?
Not a Blackberry, but I use an iPhone with an app for my to-do lists for the day. It’s been very effective for me. I carry my phone all the time, and having my things to do and scheduler on the same small device allowed me to keep track of what I need to do for the day. I just love it!

What is you most used ‘time saving tip’ when it comes to running your house?
You need to be a goddess of multi tasking and organization. Find the best strategy that works for you and your family.

For me, I need to spend a little time the night before thinking what the family needs to do for the day – e.g. making sure the kids have put their assignments in their bags. Otherwise, I’d forget it! I spend a little time putting my list in my iPhone’s to-do app. Read More→

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Just a quick post to let you know that Moms Inspired Learning posted my top five tips for busy moms on their blog.

Stop by and find out what they are ;)

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Organized Mom Judy

In the spirit of making sure moms feel supported as they tackle the busy life of motherhood and organizing their family schedules and lives, the Almost Always Organized Mom is happy to introduce another real mom juggling it all and her tips for busy moms.

How do you keep your children’s schedules together ? I only have one child, so keeping his schedule together is pretty easy. He goes to school or summer camp 3 days a week (full day – I run a home-based business and use this time to work). We then have play dates (by ourselves or with other children) on the days that he isn’t in school.
He takes swimming lessons which vary by time and date throughout the year and we love to visit the zoo and play at the park.

Do you use a particular day planner ? I keep track of all of my appointment and my son’s appointments using my calendar in Microsoft Outlook. I set reminders so that I always know when we have to be somewhere.

Do you own a blackberry? No, but I wish I had some kind of “sophisticated” phone – I am leaning toward an iPhone, but haven’t invested in anything yet.

What is you most used ‘time saving tip’ when it comes to running your
house?
Involve your children! My son is at the age where he loves to help out – so it keeps him occupied and helps me to get everything done.

Do you have a favourite quick meal for your family? Yes, my favorite meal is a chicken dish:

Take skinless/boneless chicken pieces, sprinklewith salt/pepper to taste.
Divide into single serving or dual serving sizes and place on a large piece of aluminum foil.
Add 1 clove of crushed garlic to each “package”.
Add tomatoes, mushrooms, sliced onions. Add chopped fresh rosemary.
Fold up the aluminum foil to make a leak-proof package. Leave some room for steam to accumulate inside of
the package.
Bake on a cookie tray at 350 for 1-1.5 hours. Serve over
rice. The chicken and vegetables cook in their own juices, so there is no added fat required. It is delicious and healthy!!

Tell us the truth ? What would we find in your car right now ? Oh my –
a bit of everything – some extra clothing for my son, toys, papers, snacks and water bottles – my car is always in some state of dis-array! I believe I have a bunch of old clothes in my trunk that need to be taken to goodwill too!

What advice would you give to other moms who feel the pressure of trying
to be ‘super mom’?
Set priorities and let everything else go. You will drive yourself crazy if you try to do it all – so don’t try. In my house, I have “let go” of the idea of having everything neat and orderly all of the time. I can’t keep up with it and run my business and take care of my family – so I do the important things (laundry, cooking, and having some fun) and let go of the clutter. Does it bother me? yes, but I have learned to accept that I just can’t do it all.

What is your number one goal for the year ? How do you plan to reach it
?
That’s a really good question. I can’t say that I have one main goal for the year. I have lots of small goals. I try not to set any goals that are too large or too daunting – but rather set many smaller goals
that I can reach in a short time. That way I am always getting small doses of accomplishment throughout the year rather than striving for one main goal. This way if I miss a few along the way, it isn’t upsetting because I have also accomplished many!

Dr. Masucci is a mom to one beautiful boy and a small-business owner. She lives in Pennsylvania just north of Pittsburgh where she operates a maternity and breastfeeding boutique (A Mother’s Boutique ) and writes about parenting and breastfeeding on her blog Mommy News and Views.

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