Organize Your Family

January 7, 2010 by Amy Clark

Depending on what my goals are, I use a variety of items to budget, organize and make worthwhile splurges. I hope this list will help keep your family organized throughout the year, too.

Organize it

I make it a regular challenge to find new ways to keep my family organized. These hot items help me simplify life without breaking the bank.

The Peek
This super-thin, super-stylish email device is perfect for moms on the go. For a small monthly fee, type in your email address and password for instant, handheld, mobile access. Stay connected without the fees associated with data packages from your wireless provider.

With all the newest technology out there, I still like to write things down and look them up. This organizer is perfect for busy moms, and comes in cool colors too.

Multimedia organizers
I like, Napster and iTunes for storing and streamlining my media, from movies and music to podcasts and webisodes.

Fabric crates and cubes
I use these everywhere! They are great for storage, and you can easily find them in the closet section of your home goods store. We use them to restore order to our kids’ rooms.

Dry-erase calendar
Hang one in the kitchen to keep everyone on track. Go over the calendar each night at dinner to prepare everyone for the next day.

Key organizer and mail sorter
How many times are you in a mad search for keys as you’re leaving the house? Keep this handy tool by the door and keep up with keys and mail.

Self-addressing stamp
Cut down on production time when paying bills or mailing letters with a self-addressing return-address stamp.

Day-of-the-week hanging organizer
Take the drama out of your morning routine with a day-of-the-week hanging organizer. A set of hanging shelves attaches with Velcro over a closet rod, with compartments for days or activities. Choose outfits at the beginning of the week and place them in the appropriate cubbyhole so kids can dress themselves.

Family Facts Family Life Organizer
Keep track of absolutely everything with one simple book. This binder comes with tabbed sections and ready-made forms for school, health, home and auto information. There’s also a phone list for important contacts.

Worthy splurges

While I always look for ways my family can save money, there are a few key items that are worth the extra expense.

Pictures are something your family will have for a lifetime. Spend a bit more on a great digital camera to capture the moments that matter most in your life.

Mobile GPS
From play dates and sports practice to road trips and getting around town, a GPS system in your car will pay for itself time and again. Know where you are and where you’re going with this must-have navigational tool.

Great kitchen and laundry appliances help simplify daily chores. Take the time to do your research and find what works best for your family. Kenmore has some great time savers. The Kenmore Elite® HE5t washer holds 25 bath towels, so you’ll spend less time on laundry. The Kenmore Elite® Induction Range boils water in 90 seconds, making dinner prep so much faster. Kenmore dishwashers with UltraWashHE™ don’t require you to waste time soaking, scrubbing and rinsing dishes.

You can also visit the Kenmore Experience Center to learn more about the dishwashers, ranges, and washers.

Look online
I never make a purchase without first checking sites like Amazon and Consumer Reports. Product reviews help me make important purchasing decisions stress-free. Reading feedback from other shoppers helps me make smart decisions.

I resolve to…

Get back on track
Take some time to evaluate your current organizing tricks and tools. Set a new schedule, fill in your new calendar and determine your goals for 2010.

Take “me” time
We all put our children first, but be sure to take time for yourself each day. Whether it’s a half hour of exercise, a good read or a manicure, each of us needs personal time to be the best parents we can be.

Involve the kids
Get kids involved in organizing the home and their lives. It not only gives them a sense of responsibility at an early age, but also instills pride in their surroundings and belongings.

Top sites for busy families

Google calendars
Another great tool that allows you to link, sync and store different calendars depending on your needs.
Stay on top of your money. automatically downloads, categorizes and graphs all of your finances every day, so you don’t have to.
I pay almost all of my bills online using The site has relationships with thousands of companies, so you can pay all your bills at one time and save a few bucks on stamps.
With you can make lists online that you send to your cell phone. Map out and print the fastest routes based on your to-do list, so you don’t waste gas or time. easily captures information and stores it for you online in one place. From to-do lists, web pages and business cards to notes and scribbles, keep everything you might need on hand.
As in, “ta-da!” Deemed the Web’s easiest to-do list, allows you to make online lists for yourself and share them with others.

What’s your plan to stay organized for 2010? What do you need the most help with?

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark has been the driving force behind MomAdvice since 2004. In addition to running a successful community for women and running after her two kids, she has appeared on The Early Show, and in Parents magazine, Redbook, Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, MSN Money and The New York Times.