My Home Organization System – How I “Get It All Done”

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My Home Organization System - How I Get It All Done
Wellness Mama » Blog » Organization » My Home Organization System – How I “Get It All Done”

Home organization is not my strong suit. To say the least. It is something I’ve had to work on daily to get good at, and something I’m still working on. I’d say that cleaning and organization don’t come naturally to me and they are things I will probably work on improving my whole life.

How Do You “Get It All Done”?

I chuckle whenever I get questions from readers asking how I “do it all.” They ask how I make time for family, homeschooling, DIY projects, and blogging. Since it doesn’t come naturally to me, I’ve had to develop systems that help me manage it all without getting stressed.

The good news is that I can share these with you and hopefully they’ll help your life be a little more organized too. Even if it doesn’t come naturally to you either. 🙂

Don’t Let Perfect Be the Enemy of Good

Like I said, I am no Marie Kondo naturally! My husband would be the first to attest that I still have room for a lot of! improvement in this area. Currently, there are toys on my floor and dishes in my sink, but my kids are playing happily and dinner is in the oven.

During an average week, I do 5-8 loads of laundry, cook three meals from scratch each day, attempt to keep the house clean, homeschool the kids, and try to keep up with writing. (And attempt to go to bed before 10 PM … yeah right)

I’ve found that I have to focus on home organization and routine in order to keep up with it all and that I also have to accept less than perfection (*ahem* my house right now) in different areas while focusing on the most important ones.

What Started My Home Organization System

When I only had one child, I was able to keep our one bedroom apartment clean, cook a hot dinner before my husband got home, and even managed to brush my hair and do make-up on most days.

Once one child turned into two, then three, then four, (and now six!) it seemed like there was such a volume of work that I couldn’t make time to do it all.

I felt like I was on constant mental overwhelm with the idea of everything that needed to get done throughout the day.

A friend suggested that I read a book that had helped her, A Mother’s Rule of Life, and it literally changed how I ran our household and reduced my stress load almost instantly. (Note: It is written from a Catholic perspective but is universally helpful to all moms!)

My Rule of Life

The basic concept is that you have a routine and plan for when every job that needs to be completed and systematize to get it all done. This relieves the mental energy of worrying about when you would vacuum the floor or change the air filter or meal plan for the week.

Also, rather than scheduling everyone in the family to always do the same activities (which I was doing) this new plan had scheduled activities for each child (school, play, chores, etc.) so the children could get used to doing these things and will know when they need to complete each item. It eliminated the “I’m bored” excuse because they knew when I would play with them, when school would happen, when they were responsible for picking up and cleaning, etc.

My Home Organization Checklist (In My Phone)

Love it or hate it, technology is here to stay. Thanks to working online, I’m always tethered to my phone, so a few years ago, I adapted my home organization system to use on my iPhone. Previously, it lived in a three ring binder and was paper. The phone version is more eco-friendly and always with me and has worked great.

Here’s what I did:

Step 1: Create a Daily Outline

To start, I created a rough daily outline of our day. This way, I knew at any given time what to focus on. Since my responsibilities change so much day to day, I outlined the activities I had to get done each day and scheduled time for the things that would come up daily (online orders, vet visits, playdates, etc.).

Step 2: Assign the Regular Activities

Then, I assigned major chores and activities to each day of the week. This way, laundry happened two days a week, cleaning bathrooms one day a week, mopping of the house one day a week, etc. This helped to keep the stress down about the clothes in the laundry basket or the spot on the floor because I knew it would be cleaned soon.

I scheduled times for meal planning, catching up on emails, reading to the kids and even relaxing (yes, I schedule time to relax. I might be a little Type A!)

All of the kids also have regular schedules so they know when to do chores, do school, etc. This greatly helps with home organization and reduces stress!

Step 3: Create Room by Room Checklists

Next, I created an organization checklist of all the things necessary to thoroughly clean each room and put them on paper (sweeping, dusting, picking things up, folding, etc.). This way, when I tell one of the kids to clean a room, they can reference all the things they need to do and not just pick up the floor and call it done. (I drew pictures for each item for the little kids.)

Step 4: Create Checklists for Each Family Member

As a mom, we can easily fall into the trap of trying to do it all ourselves. Sometimes it is just easier to do it than to help a child learn how. But we don’t live alone and we aren’t the only ones creating messes! Research shows that kids are happier and more responsible when they contribute to the family in some way. If you don’t already, get the kids involved in chores!

I made a list of all the chores that could be done by someone besides me. I still cook (most of the time) and do some of the tougher cleaning, but the kids can do a lot. Then, I sorted the chores by difficulty and assigned them based on age level and ability to do them. Each of the kids now has their own checklist for their daily routine. This takes the stress off them too and they know exactly what they have to do before they can go play each day.

What Our Daily Routine Looks Like

There’s more detail in my morning routine post but here are some of the basics:

We do school in the mornings after breakfast and I work on blog related stuff during their nap/quiet time. After dinner as a family, we clean up, bathe the kids, read books, say prayers, and the kids are in bed by 8 (usually).

After the kids are in bed, I finish up work stuff and spend time with my husband (often in our sauna).

I’m a long way from perfect at managing it all, but I’ve found that this system at least helps me keep up with it without getting stressed out all the time.

My “Football”

To keep all the schedule, planning, meal plans, to-do lists, etc. organized, I use a note-taking app in my phone as a “football.” Just like the President supposedly has a case with all the top security information (the football) with him at all times, this app has all of my important information and is basically my home management encyclopedia.

In it, I have:

  • Daily Routine: My daily outline of the rough times that I’ve scheduled for everything to happen that day.
  • Most Important: The “most important tasks” of my top three things that must get done that day. This includes what I’m cooking for dinner, what my workout is, how much water I’ve had to drink, etc. This changes daily.
  • Weekly Routine: The jobs that I do each day and when they getting done during the day. Laundry, mopping, deep cleaning rooms, cleaning windows, etc.
  • Monthly Jobs: This list has jobs that happen each month repeatedly. It also includes jobs that only happen during a certain month. (Things like changing of the kids’ wardrobes, planning and planting the garden, outdoor work, etc.)
  • Meal Plan: Changes weekly but is planned ahead of time so I can shop for the week all at once and prep some items. I manage this through Real Plans on my phone.
  • Room Cleaning Checklists: A detailed list of how to clean each room in the house.
  • Daily Chores Sheet: For each person in the house so that when it says “Morning Chores” on my daily outline, everyone knows what he/she should be doing.

Want My Home Organization System?

I highly recommend the book A Mother’s Rule of Life to help you figure out your own system. She walks you through the planning and organization much better than I have. If it would be helpful to you, I’ve attached my organization checklist printable that I use for organization. Included are: Daily Outline Sheet, Daily Chores Sheet, Weekly Routine Sheet, Monthly Routine Sheet, Meal Plan Sheet, and Room Cleaning Sheet, along with my daily “To-Do list” Sheet.

Click Here to Download the Organization/Planning Printables

My Smart Phone System:

In my phone, I have the same outline as the printables above, but in digital form. I have one note for daily outline, another for chores for me and each child, and a weekly routine of the big projects. I use Real Plans (and their mobile app) to plan our meals for the week in my phone. I did print out the checklists for each room so the kids can reference them without my phone. Another note is called “To-do” and it hosts my neverending and ever-growing list.

One of the best apps I’ve found to manage this system is Evernote. There is both a desktop app and mobile app version and they sync together, so my lists are always updated and accessible no matter where I am or what I’m doing.

Another great option that I’ve recently found and interviewed an expert on is called Notion.

If these are helpful to you, please share via Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest so that others can use them too!

How do you do it all? What are your best planning and home organization tips and tricks? Please share, I need all the help I can get!

A home management and organization checklist is a tool to keep up with cooking, cleaning, homeschooling, appointments, and recipes.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


55 responses to “My Home Organization System – How I “Get It All Done””

  1. nicole Avatar

    I am so enjoying your site! I just found it and am making some big changes in our family/household. So thanks for doing all this – Love it 🙂
    PS – the printable link to the daily organizer is not working 🙁

  2. Loti Avatar

    Thanks for sharing your recipes, information, knowledge etc etc etc…..seems I learn something new every time I’m on your website. Thanks again.
    One thing….I can’t seem to get the link to your organizational and planning printable to work.

      1. Amanda Avatar

        I’m not sure if you’ve been able to fix the link yet or not? I still can’t seem to get it to work? And I’m super excited to see it. 🙂 Thanks!

  3. Karsin Avatar

    It’s awesome to see health as a priority in a daily routine. You need to manage yourself to tackle the rest of it!!!

  4. Janet Avatar

    Hi Erin, thanks for the great info. I don’t see where to get the printables though. It’s not showing up where you say to click.

  5. Trinity Avatar

    Hi Katie!

    This looks AWESOME! I can’t find the attachment/link for the printables though. Where’d it go? Thank you 🙂

  6. Jennifer Avatar

    Katie, do you mind if I ask if you’re Catholic? I’ve been a follower of your blog for a while now and I love it… I’ve implemented so many of your tips and I somehow had a sneaking suspicion that you’re Catholic. I am too! My fiance and I are preparing for marriage and hope to have a large family someday (God willing) – so I’m pinning tons of your blog posts to prepare! Thanks for all of your hard work!

  7. valeri blossom Avatar
    valeri blossom

    this is entirely fabulous! i’ve been trying to come up with my own system (or using a combination of several journals and two datebooks) to keep myself motivated to organize my daily schedule/rhythm. this year i’ve been better than all my previous years alive, but 2014 is going to be even more efficient. thanks for offering these printables! the fly lady stuff never resonated and while i took what was meaningful, i largely ignored the daily emails and rarely visited the website. i recently paid a lot of money for a business/life/inspirational coaching type package and again, just not resonating. the value is there, in some respect, but i won’t renew because i’m simply not getting much out of it but i must say, your site is going to be like my holy grail – the first thing i read in the morning and the last thing i read at night. right place, right time. not only does it all resonate, it’s all stuff i’m already implementing but you’ve paved the way and i am immensely grateful <3

  8. angie gonzalez Avatar
    angie gonzalez

    Love this site..Do You ever post anything
    on pets, like dogs?

  9. Ella Avatar

    Thank you for these! Brilliant! I can so relate to that one child = clean one bedroom apartment, hot meal, mama looking good too … and we only have 2 actual babies, but we now have a whole house, 2 cats & 3 chickens in the mix as well – it sure does make the work load seem unbearable. I think your check list will come in handy. Now to pry my tush from the warm comfy sofa.

  10. Larissa Avatar

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is exactly what I need…Once children numbers 3 & 4 came along it all just got really hard, add to that husband who grew up in South Africa with servants!! and you have chaos.  He is darling and very well meaning….but leaves stuff everywhere. I love the idea of a list for each room for kids to use 🙂

    1. Tamarin Avatar

      Ha ha Larissa, I am a mom of 3 living in South Africa and actually came onto this blog looking for ideas on how to get organised as I have had a ‘domestic/servant’ for 2 days a week for the last few years and am now going solo again. It is a real mind shift change for South African’s to even consider doing it all yourself. But he rest of the world does it so can we (-: I am excited for the journey. It truly does give you a sense of pride and meaning in the world if you can teach your children to take responsibility for their own.

  11. Amy Avatar

     These forms are an awesome resource!   I am chronically disorganized. I have 4 kids, 3 of whom are school age and go to three different schools, and I work part time.  I feel like I can never find the time to get anything done! Most days, I’m just grateful that I managed to get dinner on the table.  Our weekends are chore filled, trying to catch up on laundry, household cleaning, etc.

    Going to try your method for sure. Thanks!

  12. Jane Romano Avatar
    Jane Romano

    Hooray!  There are others like me!  I just read a Mother’s Rule to Life (before I really read your website)…I feel like this is a signal grace!  I’m a mommy to 4 also…ages 8, 6, 3 and 8 months.  Thank you!  You are helping me organize my life!

  13. Jessica Avatar

    I’m working on tweaking my routine right now so this is very timely! I used to grocery shop every week (meaning a trip to Costco, Fred Meyer, the butcher and the farm for milk and eggs every. single. Saturday.) but am trying to get on a schedule of going every two weeks (pay days). I think this one change is going to free up so much time! And isn’t that what organization is really all about?

  14. Wendy McClure Avatar
    Wendy McClure

    Thank you for these printables! I’m in the process of revamping my notebook and these will help immensely. Do you make all of your own forms? I would love any others you might have… :o) I would even be willing to pay; I’m just that compulsive about the way my notebook looks. Fonts have to match, etc. LOL

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      Haha, I do… though my illustrator skills are lacking. I will try to post soon with the rest of them 🙂

  15. jacey Avatar

    I’d be interested to know what “chores” you have your young kids do. There is only so much a little person can do….empty dishwasher, make bed, brush teeth, pick up up toys, get dressed. Do you have them clean?

  16. Marie Louvelle Avatar
    Marie Louvelle

    WOW, thanks for sharing this!  I was just wondering recently how you managed to “do it all” and live the lifestyle that you do.  You are truly an inspiration 🙂

  17. Erin Avatar


    With 5 darlings of your own I’m sure you understand my need, actually it was when I had 5 kids I knew it was time to get organised or drown.  Can’t believe years later and now 9 kids I actually can write about organisation!  still it happened I learnt a little along the way, hard earned indeed.  

    a fav tip there was to designate a different colour towel for each family member, buy two of each and so simple. 

    each child has their washing day, and every child over the age of ten does their own.  with 15 loads plus /week something had to be done.
    Then again I also talk about how I only shop at the supermarket once a month, have done so for years now, save time and money.  also shop in the early hours or after dinner at night.  

  18. Jeanette Avatar

    Thank you for this. I do FlyLady, but it hasn’t extended to my studies or my blog yet, I’m afraid. I love the idea of separating the top three priorities from the rest of the to-do-list! I really have to get started on using sheets like this!

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