I call this an Operation because it really is with me. I am Type-A, there’s no doubt about that. But my organization is not the clean, put together type. I think you can call it… organized chaos, really.
I’ve always been the type of person that never stops moving. But that doesn’t mean I really get things done. Case in point? My husband has nicknamed me, “Halfway Kay.” Part insult, part realistic observation, at home I typically only end up doing half of a chore or task. It’s not because I’m lazy, it’s because I’m easily distracted.
For example, I’ll start to pick up the girls’ playroom. All is going well until something needs to be returned to the kitchen. I’ll place said item in the kitchen and then notice that the bottles need to be cleaned. I’ll start cleaning the bottles. Then I’ll realize that I’d like to have nice scents flowing throughout the house as I tidy up and I’ll move along to lighting candles. As I’m lighting a candle in the playroom, I’ll remember that I was tidying up. I’ll resume only to become distracted once again when I toss a dirty onesie downstairs and instead resume laundry that I was previously doing four hours before.
Long example but you get the point. I’m TRYING to be clean, organized and put together, but so MUCH needs to be put together that I lose track and ultimately “fail.”
Having just Evvie, it was simpler to clean and get my life on track because we set a routine together. Sure, things were sometimes thrown to the wayside due to living in the moment, but for the most part we had a routine.
Now? We need a NEW routine. New kid, new needs, new routine. That’s where Operation Organization comes in. Since returning to work, I’ve noticed our days are much more frantic, much more chaotic. But does it HAVE to be? No, not really. But that will mean more effort needs to be put into place.
Without further ado, here come my tips for those Moms in the same frenetic boat as I’m in.
Setting Permanent Plans
C.D. and I are able to chat occasionally throughout the day on Gmail Chat. One day, after a little arguing about how much needs to be done at home, I decided to make some “permanent” plans.
I immediately hopped over to my Google Calendar and blocked off designated cleaning days each week. These days would ensure we could devote some time each week to deep cleaning rather than simply tidying up. It’s also held me accountable for getting laundry done in a more timely manner.
Since implementing these reminders, the actual to-dos have been done and our house feels less like a pit of waste. Each weekend we’ve had laundry washed and put away for each member of the house. We’ve even found the previously missing time to wash our sheets each week (gross, I know, but we’re getting better).
This weekend was bedrooms. While I still need to dust/vacuum the girls’ rooms, we found time yesterday to scrub our bathroom, dust the bedroom, put laundry away and even moved the bed/nightstands to really clean under the bed. Our room FEELS cleaner now and the whole upstairs is about to be the same.
We’ve also planned ahead for the meals for the week. It’s made dinner preparation easier and less stressful (“I thought you were defrosting the meat? What meat? I thought we were having leftovers? What leftovers?!”).
Making the Mornings Easier
When it was just C.D., Evvie and I, some evenings I’d go ahead and toss together her school lunch while cleaning up after dinner. Other days I’d just grab a few things in the morning while letting Mizzy out. Now with Collins’ additional school needs (i.e. prepping pumped milk for her bottles and prepping my bottles for pumping at work), I cannot afford to lose twenty minutes in the morning to packing lunches and getting school bags ready.
I’m moving myself back in time to the days when I used to set out my school clothes and put my homework away the night before to make sure I was ready to go in the morning. But rather than take-home-sheets and school uniforms, I now have the following checked-off each night before bed:
- School lunches are packed (both girls)
- Pumped milk tote is on the counter and ready for the freezer pack come morning
- Backpacks are by the garage door and ready to toss in the car
- Outfits are picked out for the girls and me
Every once in a while I’m too pooped to do this and I have taken note that the next morning always seems to go to shit.
Once the morning arrives, I head down to let Mizzy out, toss the freezer packs into everyone’s lunches, drop off the school and work bags in each of our cars and head up to dress for the day. It feels so… much… CALMER. Now, once it’s time for breakfast, we’re all able to enjoy a bite to eat or play without running in circles around the island (well, I still do, but that’s because I’m a crazy person).
Simplified(ish) Beauty Routine
C.D. would argue that I still take forever getting ready in the morning and it’s probably true. I really love styling my hair and makeup so I probably splurge on this time to myself when I get up. However, I have gotten the routine down and narrowed in on my essentials to make sure it doesn’t take longer than it needs to.
I’ve always been someone who showers the night before, but I’ve added a few beauty products to my collection to help make the morning routine simpler.
Before I hop in the shower, I’ll remove my makeup with Neutrogena Oil-Free makeup remover. It’s soft and does the best job I’ve found of taking off my makeup without burning my eyes or irritating my skin. Following my shower, I’ll apply the Origins Retexturizing mask with Rose Clay (every third night, as not to dry out my skin) to give me back some brightness and slough off the dead skin. I typically leave it on for ten minutes to ensure it’s sunk into my skin. Following my mask, I always apply my Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture (Combination Skin) to make sure I’m not flaky when I wake up.
I’ve also added several hair products to better set up my hair for the morning. My hair can’t decide if it wants to be wavy or straight. Most days it’s a weird mix. If I know I’d like to add beachy waves the next day, I’ll use my Aveda Phomolliant foam in addition to the Aveda Texture Tonic and sleep on wet hair that I’ve twisted. If I plan to go straight, I’ll use my Phomolliant mousse with the Aveda Color Conserve to add some shine and boost my color.
Finally, when I’m up and at it, I’ve narrowed in my makeup favorites to the following goodies.
I always start with concealer and foundation. Then I hop over to my cheeks, which I add some contouring to with my Naked Shapeshifter palette (in light/medium). Depending on my lips (which I always change up), I’ll use the lighter end of the Naked Heat palette (when I choose a bolder lip) or the deeper reds (if I’m keeping my lips muted). I top off my look with the Clinique Lash Power Mascara in black.
So that’s it! Is my house spotless? No! Are we all sipping chamomile tea by the fireplace and singing happy songs? NO! But, do I feel a bit less restless and more put together? YES! Are the mornings a LITTLE less insane? Yes, except when Evvie realizes it’s time to get dressed for school and all hell breaks loose, but we’ll save THOSE sanity tips for another day. 😉
If you have tried-and-true ways to keep your sanity while organizing your life, PLEASE do share in the comments!