Getting Organized: Tame Your Schedule

| January 3, 2024 | 86 Comments
Calendar & Clock

Happy New Year! Is one of your new year’s resolutions to get organized? Many of us have that same resolution year after year… I know I do! One of the problems is that, especially when you have kids, nothing is constant. Clothes are outgrown, the kids’ activities change season to season, carpool arrangements change each year, and you may be juggling changing work and school schedules of you own! Plus, of course, you have the same organizational issues that plague everyone: You need to manage grocery shopping and menu plans, the paperwork keeps coming into the house, and you can never quite get on top of your to-do list. What’s a mom to do? Over the next several weeks, we’ll be tackling some of the most pressing organizational issues. If you can take control of one thing at a time, you just might be able to start this year with the resolution to stay organized, as opposed to getting organized!

First up is your schedule. I don’t know about you, but I tend to swing from extreme to extreme: One week, I might simply fly by the seat of my pants, and the next, I try to stick to a very strict time schedule. Unfortunately, neither of these works very well for me; the former leads to nothing at all getting done, and the latter turns into me turning into a crazy mom, yelling at the kids to get back on schedule. Neither scenario is pretty. What works best for me is a general routine, but without time limits, except for when they’re really necessary, such as when we have to be somewhere at a certain time. Here are some tips that have worked for me; your mileage may vary. The trick is to find what works for you!

  • I have a wall calendar on the fridge that I’ve attached with magnets. Appointments and regularly occurring activities go on that calendar. So for January, I have down a dentist appointment, our weekly Friday get-together, Tae Kwon Do practice, weekly youth group, and picking my brother up at the airport when he flies in for a visit. If I call somewhere to make an appointment, I make sure to do so while looking at my calendar! If I’m at the dentist’s office and need to make the next appointment, I take the card home and call if there’s a conflict. I personally don’t like carrying a monthly calendar in my purse; it’s too much hassle to record everything twice. Again, you might do better with both or a purse calendar instead of a wall one. Do what works for you.
  • Each day, I make a daily to-do list. I do this in a composition book, dedicating a different page to each day. I try to write my daily list in approximately chronological order. So, each weekday starts off with my daily walk (I meet a friend bright and early every morning), followed by carpooling on the days that I drive the kids to school, followed by the things I need to get done around the house, errands, and so on. I have to meet my friend, drive a carpool, and be home in order to let the kids in at certain times, but everything else is flexible. If something doesn’t get done and I can’t do it in the evening, then I write it on the next day’s list, immediately after my walk.
  • Every Sunday, I make a general plan of what the week will look like. Many weeks, it’s the same, but sometimes, such as the week when my brother and his wife will be here, it changes. This includes a menu plan for the week (I will write more about this later!). If I know that I have to do something out of the ordinary, I will add it to my to-do list right then and there. For example, if I’m planning to have friends over for dinner on Wednesday, then I will schedule a few extra house-cleaning tasks on Monday and Tuesday so I’m not running around like a headless chicken on Wednesday, trying to make things company-presentable.

The key for me is writing things down in different places – both an overview calendar and detailed daily lists. It provides accountability and reminders so I can stay on top of our schedule.

What works for you in keeping your schedule under control? Share some of your best tips!

Comments (86)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Maria says:

    Wow very good tips!
    Thanks for the helpful article!

  2. Sacha Schroeder says:

    I am horrible at scheduling my time appropriately but I need to get organized this year. Easy does it … I just need to set goals I can actually make.

  3. Rosie says:

    I’m a list person, too. I try to keep it to two lists, one more general and comprehensive, and then the one I do at night for the next day only. It helps me feel more organized, and I think helps to prioritize. I keep the one for that day with me in a handy place, and look at it a few times during the day, so I won’t get home and then realize that I forgot something after it was too late! I can’t imagine trying to get by without my “lists” !!!

  4. juli guthrie says:

    I try to stay organized. Last year I started using a calendar regularly and it filled up so much my mom got me a “large print” calendar from the dollar store with much more space to write!

  5. Chrystal D says:

    I make a lot of lists myself. It helps me throughout the week!

  6. Stephanie from CT says:

    A big desk blotter style calendar, and color coding helps with my large family!

  7. Aimee J says:

    writing up a schedule has always been one of my weak points. its definitely something i need to work harder on this coming year. thanks for the article

  8. desiree says:

    i got to statr in little while i got the tree down and then the oust side need to be doen and then dryed and put away but i do not n
    wnat to do it yet

  9. Luda says:

    My memory is so bad, i forget the minet i put something down where i put it, although writing stuff down is a good one, recently i started typing it right in my phone because all the notes i make disappear the minet i put them down, because kids always looking for paper to write.
    I tend to do things on the go and i need to get organized.

  10. Meghan says:

    I’ve got the wall calendar, and I’ve got planners. I like the idea of the daily list and a weekly plan.

  11. Kisha Cotton says:

    I always have a list for everything so I make sure everything gets done and i dont leave anything out

  12. Kimberly Davis says:

    I’m pretty organized myself but I still look for other ways.

  13. Roberta says:

    I try to be organized at times it works but we mess up sometimes so I leave room for that too I will use your tips ty

  14. Nicole Becker says:

    I have to write a list of things to do everyday or I will forget. I could most certainly be more organized. Thanks for the information.

  15. Deb says:

    My memory is so poor! Without lists and a calendar I would be lost. I might try a weekly plan though too.

  16. Samantha says:

    Good tips!!

  17. nikki krutz says:

    good tips! we have multiple calendars/planners in our house. with 6 schedules, there is always alot going on! my 2 older boys have a calendar for just their stuff which is new because it seemed on our one calendar it was just overloaded and things were getting forgotten.

  18. kelly nicholson says:

    time,time time to organize

  19. Dianna Thomas says:

    Wow! this is what I needed today to boost me today and get me in gear– I need a little more time in my day and a lot less of the blogs–thanks

  20. Heather Kalist says:

    Nice informative article, thank you.

  21. Lynn Matthews says:

    wow i hope i can do half this good

  22. Lamar Bowen says:

    Getting organized has increased my productivity. Now if only I could stay organized 🙁

  23. Marie Jane Rosell Jaime says:

    I totally agree with you that having kids make your schedule not quite organized. LOL. But then again, I still included this to my resolutions. I want things to be organized as much as possible. This is actually my first time to buy a planner for 2013. I hope it will work for me. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your sched.

  24. katherine minor says:

    This is great thanks!

  25. sherry b says:

    I use a calendar too, now it’s a lot lest work since all the kids are not at home. Once I started using the calendar my older daughter started color coding her stuff it worked then each used a different marker in a different color and that helped us all.

  26. denise smith says:

    great tips thanks

  27. Katie santos says:

    Thank for this excellent article! This is my #1 goal for 2013!! Getting organized!! Lots of great tips.

  28. Brianne says:

    My time is pretty open for now, but with my husband deploying this year and my daughter starting preschool, I have a feeling this blog will come in handy!

  29. Megan Blumenthal says:

    Good tips thanks for the info. Happy 2013!

  30. Whittney says:

    Thanks for the tips hope I can put them to use and find the time to organize soon.

  31. cindy caudle says:

    good ideas I really have to get a handle on things this year

  32. Marissa says:

    I rarely stick to my schedule. I tend to take too long on a task and it drags my entire schedule behind. I guess I should put better time management on my new years resolution list.

  33. Jennifer Johansen says:

    Going from one extreme to the other… that sounds like me! I deplore the unpredictability of my household, but I never seem to land on anything that really works, so I’m constantly shifting about, looking for a new workable system. Le sigh.

  34. Kacee Watkins says:

    I so need to be better organized this year, it’s a must!

  35. natalie nichols says:

    I make lots of lists. It helps me remember things.

  36. RonLeyba says:

    Happy 2013 with you as well. Yeah, getting organized is always included at my list, yearly!

  37. Stephanie Larison says:

    Very good tips. We have every little thing written down so we have a schedule that works for us, otherwise it would be a mad house! lol

  38. Lynnette Watkins says:

    Thanks for the tips. Getting organized is my New Year resolution. Making lists is one way to start.

  39. Tamika Buckley says:

    Thanks for reminding me. This is the #1 think I need to focus on for this year to organize or sell/donate.

  40. Kelly R. says:

    Awesome and helpful tips, thanks for sharing.

  41. June says:

    I make many list’s of things that I need to get done, and write everything on my calendar also.

  42. tammy saylor says:

    Thanks for the great tips I need all the advice I can get.

  43. Alicia HAyes says:

    Good tips! I am the worst at organizing!

  44. deb p says:

    Where does the time go?

  45. Dorothy Boucher says:

    I try to stay organized but sometimes it just doesn’t work out for me, but thanks for these great tips 😉

  46. misty farmer says:

    Im bad at staying organized but i try so hard! Great tips! Thanks!

  47. Robin r says:

    I spend more time making list than doing what is on it, lol.

  48. Rama says:

    I use to be horrible at being organized, Now I use the notes app on my android as a check list, it has helped me out a lot since I tend to forget things, Great Tips!!!

  49. Alvilynn Kumagai says:

    I’m such a procrastinator! Omg! I have in my mind what I need to do, but then I fall short and forget to do it. So, I need to get on the New Year with writing things down and making a schedule. Thanks for the tip!

  50. Lovely Joy Merced says:

    Very helpful tips for a busy mom like me, thanks for this article.

  51. Brigid OHara Koshko says:

    My resolution is to be more organized. Thanks for the tips.

  52. margaret spurgeon says:

    I like the article thanks for the good tips.

  53. Len Phelps says:

    being more organized is one of my resolutions for 2013. Thanks for the tips.

  54. cathy henatyszen says:

    it can be so hard to be organized… I think it’s best we teach our kids at a young age, then it’s easier in later life…

  55. Dana says:

    It takes a ton of discipline to be organized…every morning I make a too do list, and every afternoon, it seems like little things popping up have derailed it.

  56. Meredith says:

    I really like the idea of using a composition book for to-do lists! I have been writing them on scrap paper for years but then there is the problem of misplacing the list and having to try to remember what was on it. I think I need to get a composition book and try it your way!!!

  57. bobbi says:

    my resolution is to quit smoking and get organized

  58. Fiona Hoosaney says:

    My resolution is to be more organized. Thanks for the tips that will help me to be organized! 😉

  59. jennifer speed says:

    I really need to get more organized especially since I will be graduating from college soon

  60. Loretta Hurt says:

    Thanks, I need to organize the older I get the more I forget where I put things…

  61. bianca roman says:

    I like the Sunday night getting ready for the week planning! I’ll tell myself I can remember to do something and somehow I always forget! UGH

  62. Chie says:

    this is what a really need, getting organize and work on my schedule

  63. Alison says:

    I don’t really have one so these are good ideas

  64. Jenn says:

    I am also good at writing things down and I have an erasable removable wall decal calendar that I love. I am hoping to follow through more with my daily schedules this year

  65. illy junus says:

    i love all the tips, i’ll have to actually find time to put it in action. i love on the headless chicken joke…i laugh, i’m in the same boat like you too!

  66. Rama says:

    Thanks for the tips, Defiantly need them, You can never be to organized 😉

  67. Michelle Proper says:

    Nice tips & advice! Thanks so much!

  68. Ashley Miller says:

    One of my New Years Resolutions is to become more organized at home and with my business! I have gotten off to a great start but these tips gave me some even BETTER ideas!! Thanks so much!! =)

  69. Grace says:

    Great tips…I could definitely use some organization tips 🙂

  70. Jan Messali says:

    I love the idea of making a plan for the week every Sunday. Thanks for the great tips.

  71. pamela says:

    i go over a list every morning, and i keep a notebook for it. it keeps me on track and my budget.. thank you

  72. Laura Patterson says:

    Being organized is something I always strive to do but can never accomplish! With these tips hopefully this time it will stick!!

  73. Cristina says:

    I am really pretty good at keeping my calendar on my iPhone. However, I am not so good at keeping a “to do” list or task list. I end up forgetting to do things, or running out of time. I like your idea of keeping a written list, and trying to keep it in some sense of order of time. I’ve done that in various jobs. I could probably come up with something like that on the computer/iPhone. Thanks!

  74. JannieR says:

    funny how resolutions always seem to pop out at the start of the year. a life coach once told me it was better to think of resolutions as goals so that you could follow it through to the end of the year. i’m not organized as a single, it kinda makes me fear having a family of my own. happy new year to you!

  75. Richard says:

    Looks like you got things under control!

    I use two calendars and mark events on them. Always have two different months open.

  76. denise smith says:

    thanks for the tips my life is crazy so i could use these

  77. Kim says:

    I make a weekly menu for the family. Makes grocery shopping and dinner time much easier.

  78. MD Kennedy says:

    Great tips! I also put the chore reminders for everyone as appointments on the computer, and when they pop up, noone can use the computer until the chore is completed – not even for homework!

  79. alena svetelska says:

    thank you for great tips ,I will definatly used specially since we r moving in new house,want to get more organized this year.

  80. Anna Lyman says:

    Thank you, I need all the help I can get on organizing.

  81. Jo-Ann Brightman says:

    I definitely need all of these tips to become more organized

  82. Daily Woman (Lacey) says:

    This is one thing I need to do this year. I have so many things to schedule and would love to figure out a way to fit it all in and still get some free time.

  83. Heather says:

    I have to make lists and keep a calendar to stay on schedule.

  84. Debra Neiman says:

    Since I just retired, I need this to get on a schedule at home.

  85. Sherry b says:

    I’m working on my craft room. TFS.

  86. bella says:

    Thank you for all the informations,I need it.

Leave a Reply