This post is written by contributing writer, Tasha from Spann-ing the Globe.
10 Organizational Tips for New Mothers
1. Commit to organization. Nothing in life works well without a commitment. If you don’t want to do something, you will not accomplish anything. If this is a goal, you can succeed.
2. Be realistic. Don’t expect to be able to keep the house spotless for guests with a newborn! You will be exhausted and the simplest of tasks, like putting away clean clothes, will wear you out. Do not fool yourself into believing that you will have enough energy to get everything done. Set reasonable goals, like doing the laundry every two days instead of everyday.
3. Create a checklist. This is my pilot husband’s favorite one. You just had a baby, you are going on three hours of sleep, and you are adjusting to life with a new baby. Do not believe that you will be able remember to do something unless you write it down! It does not matter if you have an excellent memory or not, you will forget something.
Most importantly, decide where you will put your checklist. I placed mine on the refrigerator because I open it at least six times a day. It is in an area with high traffic and walking into the kitchen to write something down is a dual task for me…I am sure I want something to drink while I am there.
4. Make a plan. Plan out your priorities and tasks. Decide which ones NEED to be done versus which ones you WANT to have done. This will make things much easier on because you will know what is most important (i.e. laundry vs. dishes; packing the diaper bag vs. sweeping; etc.).
5. Routine, not schedule. Babies do not understand the concept of time. Toddlers don’t understand time either! In order for your plan to work, you need to have a routine. For us, our bedtime routine is standard: bath time with daddy, swaddle up, mommy feeds, and we all go to sleep. We have been doing that for a few weeks now and our little girl has caught on fast! She gets fussy earlier and earlier every day to the point that she is telling us when bedtime is. Now, I can put her to bed and go on with the things I need to accomplish for the day without having to worry!
6. Have stations. When you want to get things done quicker, it is much easier to have a place for everything. We have a night time changing station (a mat on a dresser with wipes, cloth diapers, and a trash can); we have a bath station (cotton balls, Q-Tips, swaddle, cloth diapers, soap, towel, and trash can); we have a daytime feeding station (book for mama, baby grooming supplies, and Boppy pillow, etc.) The idea is to have everything you need in one place so you don’t have to scrounge around looking for one little thing.
7. Simplify. Not everyone desires the minimalistic lifestyle, but I highly recommend filling your life with “multi-taskers.” Babies require a lot of things, but there are so many things you can eliminate that just sit around and get in your way or collect dust.
For example, who needs shampoo and body wash when they make an all in one? What about baby powder? Not needed if you have a cooking cabinet with corn starch. Baby lotion? Nope! You only need that stuff if you have hard water or a very dry baby. Disposable wipes? Nope! If you have a plethora of baby washcloths, you can make your own baby wipes. Own a crib, pack-n-play, bassinet, and travel bed? Your child will never want to play merry-go-bed! Pick one (or two) and donate the rest!
8. Remove clutter. When you are done with your station, pick up after yourself. Your floor is not a storage space even if it is roomy! Besides reducing the amount of cleaning you might need to do later, it creates a safe environment for you. No one wants to trip over a burp cloth at 3 AM while going to the bathroom. Save yourself time and effort by simply cleaning up after yourself as you go.
9. Ask for help. The easiest thing you can do for yourself! There are always flocks of people wanting to see a new baby! Why not put them to work? If you are like me and get weirded out by people doing things in your house, have them hold the baby while you conquer a task on your checklist!I finally got over this by letting my mother-in-law do the dishes in the house! What a gift! My least favorite chore that is always on the top of my checklist! You can let neighbors bring you dinner, allow church friends to fold your laundry, enjoy family holding the baby, all while knowing something is being accomplished!
10. Reward yourself. Hey, all work and no play makes for a bad day! This isn’t just for kids! When everything on my checklist gets done, I get a nice and quiet bubble bath (courtesy of my hus-friend!) Maybe you were eyeing that naughty red velvet cupcake at the grocery store, or perhaps you just want an hour to yourself! You deserve it for committing and sticking to your plan to get and stay organized with a newborn in the house!