Use Your Phone to Stay Organized

Here are several ways you can use your phone to stay organized and tackle your to-do list.

Welcome to my 14 Days of Organization series where I’m sharing tips, tools, and strategies to help you organize your home, your family, and your personal life!

Modern technology can handle a huge workload. Smart phones can assist with everything from managing your schedule to finding restaurant reviews to paying bills.

Technology is also portable in a way that wasn’t possible until fairly recently. The trick is to make our gadgets work for us in a way that actually helps us, rather than creating distractions. So how can you use your phone to stay organized??

Here are 5 ways I use my phone to keep my family organized.

1 | Reminders/Alarms

Personally, I prefer an old school planner for managing my schedule. I think more clearly when I write things out on paper. However, I also enter appointments into the calendar on my phone and set an alert.

I use the alarm feature to remind myself about important tasks, like giving one of my kids medicine. It’s a simple way to jog my memory so that if the day gets busy, things don’t slip through the cracks.

2 | mobile banking & money exchange apps

Gone are the days when you have to make a trip to the ATM or write a check to pitch in for a group gift.

With mobile banking and money exchange apps like Venmo, the process has been simplified tremendously. If you need to deposit a check, most major banking apps can handle this too.

3 | Coupon  & Store Apps

Who likes saving money?! I’m not a big coupon-user in general, and I am notoriously bad at remembering to bring coupons to the store.

Having an app that I can quickly search for deals while I’m at the store, is much more convenient. I also love the apps for stores like Michael’s that display current coupons and sales.

Instead of having to carry coupons around in case I happen to stop at Michael’s, I just check their app to see if there’s a coupon available.

4 | camera app

The camera on your phone can be used for a lot more than just snapping pix of your vacation. I use mine all the time to help me remember things when I’m out and about.

When we were renovating our kitchen, I’d snap a quick photo of the price and model number of a particular appliance or fixture that I liked. Back at home, I could take the info right from my picture to compare prices, look at reviews, and check dimensions.

5 | Shared Calendars

One tool that has been super helpful in our family is a shared calendar. My husband and I use a Google calendar, and I added the app on my phone.

Whenever we have an event or appointment that we both need to know about, we add it to our joint calendar. It’s much easier to make plans when I can quickly check the family calendar for any conflicts.

These are all simple ways to use your phone to make life easier. You don’t have to be super tech-savvy to find an app on your phone or set a reminder. Each of these tools will help cut down on paper clutter and make it easier to stay organized and tackle your to-do list.

Go HERE for a full list of posts from the 14 Days of Organization series.

How do you use your phone to simplify your life??

Here are several ways you can use your phone to stay organized and tackle your to-do list.
Share with a friend:

How to Keep Your Car Organized

Simple ways to keep your car organized.

Welcome to my 14 Days of Organization series where I’m sharing tips, tools, and strategies to help you organize your home, your family, and your personal life!

Between running errands and shuttling my kids to activities, I spend a lot of time in the car. With small children riding in it, messes are bound to happen. However, there are a couple steps I’ve taken to keep my car organized.

Keep paperwork in one place

I use a small receipt organizer to keep important car-related info in one easy-to-find spot. One section is for the current registration slip, and another holds the current insurance card. I also use a pocket for emergency roadside assistance contacts. The envelope stays in the glove compartment so I know exactly where to find it.

It's important to have all of your car paperwork handy in case of an accident.

Be prepared for emergencies

I bought a small first-aid kit (like this one) that has some basics like bandaids, Advil, and antiseptic wipes. It’s small enough to fit with a package of wet wipes in the side pocket of the driver’s side door.

I also have a couple plastic bags and some paper towels for spills, sickies, etc. Our car came equipped with a jack and jumper cables, but if yours doesn’t, I’d suggest purchasing some.

Because we live in a pretty warm climate, I don’t keep too much else in the car for emergencies. If we lived somewhere cold or snowy, I’d recommend a couple small blankets, water, and antifreeze.

Tidy up regularly

I make it a habit once a week to deal with the trash, toys, etc. that inevitably end up in the car. Now that my kids are a little older (7 & 10) I enlist their help to do a quick pick up, especially since they make the bulk of the mess 🙂 Like most chores, doing it more frequently prevents it from becoming a huge job.

Extras for families with younger children

When my kiddos were younger, I always brought extra snacks for the car. Traffic jams and unexpected delays happen, and either situation is made infinitely worse by a hangry toddler. A hangry 7-year-old is no picnic, but they’re more able to understand the situation.

There’s a weird phase when you don’t really carry a baby bag anymore, but you’re not quite ready to leave the house with just your purse. For that stage, I highly recommend having an extra change of clothes in the car for spills, accidents, etc.

All of these small tips help me feel a little more prepared when we get in the car a hundred times a week. By keeping the car organized, I know that I have the essentials on hand.

How do you keep your car organized?

Check out all 14 Days of Organization here.

*This post contains affiliate links. To see my full disclosure, click here.

Share with a friend:

14 Days of Organization

We're talking about all things organization for 14 days.

Today I’m kicking off a 14-day series all about organization! For a busy mama, organizational skills can be literally life-changing. I’m not exaggerating.

When my life is organized, my stress level is dramatically lower. I feel more relaxed when I know that I’m prepared and that nothing is slipping through the cracks.

So, for the next couple weeks, I’ll be sharing the tips and strategies I use to keep my home, family, and personal life in order.

My goal is not perfection. Honestly, organization doesn’t come easily to me. It takes effort to keep my life in order, and sometimes I fail miserably.

But I do want to be thoughtful and purposeful about how I manage our home so that our family can live in a more peaceful environment. With organization comes order, and with order comes peace.

Before we launch into the first area of organization tomorrow, I want to point out a few possible challenges.

1 | You don’t have a system

Unless you’re already fairly organized, conquering problem areas without a strategy can be daunting. Without a plan of action, it’s hard to know where to start.

If clutter is your main issue, for example, you can’t expect to clear out all the clutter in the entire house in one day. For one thing, you most likely have other responsibilities that can’t fall by the wayside.

Instead of trying to tackle a monstrous project all at once, break it into manageable pieces so that you can make progress while also handling other tasks, like feeding your kids 😉

2 | You have too much stuff

I’ll admit that I’m guilty of this one. We simply accumulate too much stuff. Instead of ever feeling truly organized, I end up moving things around to make room for the stuff that feels most important at the time.

My husband calls this process “s#@t shuffling” and it’s pretty accurate. I have a hard time getting rid of things that I think I might use one day so I try to make room for new stuff by shuffling the existing things around.

The best way to solve this problem is to start limiting the amount of stuff you own. For example, when new toys come in, get rid of the old toys that the kids no longer use. New clothes replace old items in the closet. An updated kitchen tool takes the place of the old version.

I’m prone to buying home decor items without having an immediate need for them just because they’re pretty. I would serve our home organization better by only buying what I will actually use.

If there’s not an immediate use (a seasonal item is a good example) then I need to get rid of something I no longer want to make room for the new item.

3 | You spend more time planning than doing

In our Pinterest-driven world, it’s so easy to scroll through hours of inspiration for any project on your to-do list. And let’s be honest, sometimes that’s much easier than actually doing what you need to do.

It can be a lot more fun looking at other peoples’ beautifully organized pantries than doing the hard work of organizing our own, am I right?!

The problem is that we spend so much time acquiring information, we can get stuck. This is called “analysis paralysis,” which basically means you’re so focused on forming the perfect strategy that you never move into the execution phase of the project. #guilty

Reading about how to use your day planner effectively is not helpful if you never start using your day planner. You have to move from strategizing to implementing if you want to accomplish your goals.

I’m really excited for this next couple of weeks to reinvigorate my own systems of organization and to encourage you to do the same!


Check out all the 14 days of Organization posts!

4 Easy Steps to Get Your Bedroom Closet Organized

3 Steps for Simple Linen Cabinet Organization

3 Tips for Organizing Kid’s Rooms

How to Keep Your Car Organized

Purse Essentials: What You Need & How to Stay Organized

Use Your Phone to Stay Organized

5 Easy Ways to Protect Your Home When You Travel

How to Pack for a Family Vacation

How to Plan an Effective Schedule

Share with a friend:

How to Get Out of a Rut and Into a Routine

Four ways to find balance and get out of a rut.

The past couple months have been busy for our family. Between Mother’s & Father’s Day, my daughter’s birthday, a camping trip, and end-of-school stuff, it’s been pretty crazy. I’ve been productive out of necessity, but it’s completely thrown me off my routine and I’ve been feeling beyond frazzled.

I know I’m not the only one who feels a little less than motivated by this time of year. Jen Hatmaker’s post “Worst End of School Year Mom Ever” will literally validate everything you are thinking about the last month of school when we must do ALL THE THINGS. Field trips, plays, socials, projects. It is thanks only to Amazon Prime that my daughter even had a costume for the second grade play about bugs.

As much as I want to throw in the towel, we all know that’s not reality. We might have said adios to all of our school responsibilities, but we have now entered the all-inclusive entertainment package that is summer break. For a stay-at-home mom, summer break is similar to tax season for an accountant. It’s a whirlwind of activities, sunscreen and a never-ending stream of wet towels.

Thanks to some, umm, gentle prodding from my husband, I’ve had our kids signed up for a handful of day camps since March. In the summer, it doesn’t take long before my little ones are tired of spending every waking minute together. Then the good times stop rolling and the bickering starts. “Referee” is one of my least favorite mom roles so I’m doing everything I can to head this one off at the pass. The quickest way to kill summer break is a tired, cranky mama so I’m working on getting back into my own routine.

So what does that look like exactly? Here are four things I’m doing to take back my sanity.

Get an early start

I really see a difference in my day when I have some time to myself first thing in the morning. Now, if you have a baby who still wakes during the night, you are probably shooting the screen with lasers from your eyes right now at the very suggestion of sacrificing sleep. Before you stop reading, let me be clear that I never did this when my kids were babies. I was taking advantage of every minute of sleep that I could get (and sometimes I still do). My kids are now 5 and 8 which is a completely different season of life and makes this an actual possibility. Take a look at some of my tips for waking up early here.

Get plenty of rest

My habit for a long time was to take advantage of the time after my kids’ bedtime to get things done or have time to myself. Two problems result from this habit. First, it makes getting up early a lot harder and I’m more likely to be tired the next day. I’m not a morning person so waking up even 15 minutes before them means a few sips of coffee, some time to gather my thoughts, and a much happier mom to greet them. The second problem with burning the midnight oil is that it doesn’t leave much time to spend alone with my husband. We need that uninterrupted time to reconnect after a busy day. Whether it’s meaningful conversation or watching tv and quietly unwinding in each other’s presence, it’s important. 

Get moving

Admittedly, this is not my strong point, but getting regular exercise really does make a difference. It took a long time for me to recognize that I feel better overall when I’m getting even 30 minutes a day. Still, when there are a lot of other things competing for my attention, I tend to drop exercise first. I’m trying to get in the habit of exercising first thing in the morning because then there’s not as much risk of plans changing, but this is definitely a work in progress.

Get a break 

One thing that my husband and I have always done is make sure that each of us gets time to recharge. This looks different depending on the phase of life we’re in, but even a couple hours to relax, hang out with friends or just go to the bathroom without someone hammering on the door asking for a snack can be worth it. Too often, we feel guilty for needing time away from our family responsibilities, but raising kids is incredibly demanding. Taking time to do things on my own keeps me from burning out and actually makes me enjoy my kids more.

Whether it’s kids or a job keeping you busy, it’s easy to feel like you have no control over your day. For me, doing even one of these things helps me feel less frazzled and more balanced. A combination of the four makes a huge impact, but trying out even one of these suggestions can help you get into a better routine. When you feel like you’re in charge of your time, it can make all the difference in your overall attitude.

Share with a friend: