Organizational Tips I Wish I'd Known as a Young Mother

Chris and I currently have 13 children running around the house. It’s definitely not a boring life! But it could become utter chaos if some basic organization tips weren’t followed.

Serving dinner on paper plates is common in our busy home.

I suppose I wish I had known these tips when younger. They’re not rocket science tips. They’re simple and easy to apply. As a mom of many blessings, these organizational tips make for a smoother home life.

  1. Keep it simple. Have your house in such a way that it is easy to keep in order. The less clutter the better.
  2. Relax. It is OK to relax with your children. Read to them, color with them and do things that you know they like to do.
  3. Let the phone go unanswered. Let the machine get it and call back later. Your time with your small children is important and the children will know it when you are not dumping them off your lap to grab that phone.
  4. Paper plates are OK. You do not always have to use your dishes that need to be washed! Let it go and use paper. We often serve breakfast on just napkins.
  5. Name the cups. Cups add up quickly to that dish pile. Let your children pick out a cup in the morning and then keep it all day. This really helps them know to keep track of it and it helps you keep your dishwashing down.
  6. Find good friends whom you trust. If you are able to find a family that shares your values and be around them this will ease your feelings of being alone. Find an older lady who could show you the ropes, one who can mentor you in the ways of motherhood.
  7. Spend some time everyday with God. Pray for your husband and your children. Read the Bible. Talk with God. It will sooth your soul and bring you peace.
  8. Stay focused. Try to stay focused on the task you are doing and the next task that needs doing. Now is your time with your children. Enjoy it, laugh a lot, and create the home God wants you to create.

Any other ideas? I’d love to hear from you. Fill in your comments below.

About Wendy Jeub

Yes, Wendy Jeub has brought 16 children into the world, and loves each and every one of them. So much so, she'd welcome more!

  • Corbi

    Plan for the extra time that it takes to do things at get places. When you have many small children, a simple potty stop during a road trip can take quite a while. Check out the cool boots and hats at the truck stop. Let the kids run around at the rest stop. Find a cool park to have your picnic lunch. My ability to see these “interuptions” as part of the plan helps me truly enjoy my life as a mom to many.

    • Wendy Jeub

      Thank you everyone very good tips!

  • Sarah M. in MI

    One of the best pieces of advice I ever read is to have the youngest child who is capable of doing a task do it. The oldest do much more than the youngers and might start to feel resentful if asked to do every little thing, AND it gives the youngers a sense of involvement and ownership of the tasks.
    Also – budget for fun. We have taken family vacations even with babies in tow because if we waited till they were older, the oldest kids would miss out. We try to find something that EVERYONE can do together.
    I also would point new, overwhelmed moms to FlyLady []. Her advice is priceless. 15 minutes at a task can make a huge difference. Keeping up your home is a process, not a destination. Progress, not perfection. If you wipe down something a little every day, it never gets dirty enough to need a big cleaning (still trying to wrap my mind around that one!)

    And LOVE…choose to love your family all day every day and TELL them.
    Sarah, mom to the great 8

    • Wendy Jeub

      Sarah, Thank you! Yes above all Love them, love on them, hug and squeeze them and kiss those cheeks!

      Flylady is just wonderful. She has great ideas.

      Both Love and Flylady are covered in our book, “Love in the House”.

  • Brandi G.

    I have a chart that I bought at an office supply place that is my best friend on paper. It has the days of the week with areas under it to write what I must do for that day. I use this chart as my housecleaning guide. I always stressed before that one day I needed to arrange my pots and pans or clean the ceiling fan before it fell. Now, I don’t stress because I know it is on the list and I know it will get done that week. I also have on the side where I write my “Goal” for the week. That usually is cleaning a closet out or finally putting all my pictures in the albums. Life is alot easier now that I have another “brain” to depend on. I also have a large print calendar on my wall and I keep a pocket calendar in my purse. I make it a point to look at these daily to work with my chart in order to stay organized.

  • Susan Watson

    1. Make planned leftovers for meals.
    2. Delight in your children’s faces, thoughts and cares instead of the television, phone or computer.
    3. Communicate with each child.
    4. Have a plan for everything.
    5. Have a checklist of how to basically clean each room posted on each room’s door for the children to follow.
    6. If a child is too small to help, find something for them to do anyway just to make them feel worthy.
    7. Instead of just reading Jesus to your children, live Jesus to your children.
    8. Love your hubby in front of your babies. It will make them happy and secure.

  • Mary Lou

    Cook up ground beef (or chicken, turkey, etc.) in large batches all at once. Divide, label and freeze in amount you usually use. When it’s dinner time, grab a batch, throw into the pot with sauce and heat through. Dinner’s ready.
    Also, a 5 minute clean-up with lively music on is fun and makes a huge difference in the feel of the house, especially when there are many hands to do the work. Enjoy them, they leave too soon!

    • Wendy Jeub

      Mary Lou, You are right on. We do the same thing.
      We talk about many of these tips in our cookbooks. “Love in the Kitchen vol 1-2”

      Also, on our CD “Cheaper by the Bakers Dozen”.

  • Amy

    I heard once that a house should be clean enough to be healthy but dirty enough to be happy. That sounds like an attainable goal and an ideal perspective for a young mother to have.

    The rest of these ideas are beautiful. Each mom has added a gold nugget of advice. Thank you.

  • Lisa Eastman

    This is such great advice for me. My husband and I are foster parents. We suffered with infertility before that. We planned for 1-2 children. Now we have 5 under 6. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. I really wish that older moms still had the desire to mentor the younger ones. I feel I’m missing so much wisdom since my mother passed.

  • Sabrina

    Great advice, I also love the advice about “the house should be clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy” that’s the condition of my house most times.

    I just wish I could do #3 more but with a hubby frequently deployed I live by the phone :( unfortunately its just the way it is. And I’m working on #6-that’s harder than it sounds!

  • Wendy Jeub

    Lisa, That us so sweet. When the people we love are gone we can draw on the great memories and advice that they gave to us while here. I miss my grandma tons. She really taught me how to cook and bake. I think of her and how she did this or that. She has been gone now for 24 years. =(

  • Wendy Jeub

    Sabrina-The need to find a few girl friends who are right where you are at is very very important for your family right now. Pray about it and see where God leads. If there are 3 of you ladies all in the same boat you can trade baby sitting and many other things. When I was a single parent I have other friends who were in the same boat and we would watch each others kids and do light shopping for others and chores and things.

    We all need a support system to lean on.

  • Tammie

    I agree with LIsa, I would have greatly benefitted from having a mentor, even now I still would because my friends are far and I don’t know alot. While growing my mom had cancer four times, thusfore wasnt home and I was left to myself and mcdonalds. I am pretty good with organizing stuff though, and am a cleaning freak, so it does make it easier to stay on task during the day. I love this though, gives me great ideas for things I hadn’t previously though of ! :)

  • Sarah Lownsbery

    My husband is in the Army and deployed ALL of the time (ok I may be exagerating a little bit:), but he is gone a lot. I have found that PWOC is a great resource to utilize and the older ladies love to help out mommies in the group. At least in the two that I have been involved with have helped a lot. I am not sure of your husband’s branch of service but if you are army your husband’s command should have an FRG (Family Readiness Group) they are suppose to be there for deployed soldier’s spouses. I know that it is not always the case as I am finding out here in Italy. I have had to depend on the ladies of PWOC to help me out on occasion. Sorry if this is long I am just really passionate about helping out other military spouses especially while our guys are gone fighting for our country. I am loving all of the other ideas. I know just having a schedule and doing a few chores each day has helped our family out a lot.
    Sarah L.

  • Wendy Jeub

    Thank you Sarah! Those are great tips!

  • Sargents

    Clutter really is a killer- but not just ‘stuff’. Ideas, lists, plans, and projects, if done out of season or unnecessarily, can zap the life out of a home. Also, the older I get, the pickier I get about who I spend time with. My husband and kiddos need me, and I love to minister to women who really need it, not just visit with everyone who wants. And Wendy, you’re so right about time with God each day. This world is tough, and we need to know Him and His ways. I also do small batches of freezer meals when meat is on sale- not fancy ones, but marinades over raw meat, and soups. Big money and time savers there. And I do deeper cleaning before my children wake up. I just can’t clean well when they’re all around!