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Hipsters to the Rescue: How Do YOU Create Routines & Stay Organized?!

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Check out this email I received from Hip2Save reader Samantha –

[h2s_box]I’m a busy mom to 5 kiddos – 7 years & under. It’s always hectic around here. I’m trying to create more organization & routine for the New Year to help make everyday life a little less stressful. I was wondering what product(s), tips, & routines your readers have or use that help make a difference in their daily life?! [/h2s_box]

Please share your tips in the comments below!

Join The Discussion

Comments 141

  1. Nicole

    Try flylady. Changed my life. Google it

  2. Cindy

    I’m sure you are an amazing mom! Hats off for raising 5! I raised 3 and was an older mom when they were born. I worked part-time, too. I slept when my kids slept. If they napped, I napped. I went to bed shortly after they did and woke up before them so I had a few minutes to myself before the day began. I made a “control journal” thanks to FlyLady. Like others, I had several “meals” in the house ready to make. I had favorite meals/menus written on index cards and held together with a ring. I had pages in the control journal in a page protector for each child. I used pictures when younger and words when they could read and they checked off items as they did them. My kids had some health issues when younger – asthma and food allergies – so I had to decide early which battles to fight. Mine are now 20, 18 and 14. I have wonderful memories of when they were little. Please treasure the moments as they fly by so quickly! The most important advice is love and treasure who they are and encourage their gifts to the best of your ability.

  3. Kristie

    I have 5 ages 4,4,5,5,6 and we are super busy- we both work full time- the kids are in Girl Scouts, Cheerleading, Football, Tball, plus my kids are soon to be adopted foster kiddos so we have extra dr appointments for some grief counseling for the oldest 4, along with social workers (3 total) and court dates for 2 separate cases. My best advice, stay organized on paper. I have a binder that has tab sections for each kid. There I keep photocopies of their birth certificates, shot records, last physical, last eye exam, and last dental exam. I also have them in sheet protectors so I can slide them in and out as they are updated. I have a extra one for each kid I throw the most recent photo in so God forbid they ever came up missing I have every school picture handy. In the front of the binder I keep business card holder sheet protectors with everyones medical insurance cards, along with any family membership cards we have. I also keep monthly calendars that i can update there. At home I keep it on the kitchen counter. When we travel or go to yearly appointments I take it with me. It comes in super handy at back to school time because I can walk in to register 5 kids and it is all organized and neat. I also keep a note on my smartphone with their SSN, and medical history information, I have 3 with allergies, and one with a history of epilepsy, that has came in handy on a emergency ER trip while on vacation.

    Just don’t ever stress. I find our best days are when I accept that when raising a small army things are bound to go off track and being able to laugh at it makes the day easier.

    I long for the day they are a little bit older and can help out more with the mundane chores. Laundry is a never ending battle here, and I finally just decided that they could put their own laundry away after it was clean because with 5 kids, I could care less if their jeans weren’t creased.

    • Monika

      I’m a sahm, have two kids 23 mo girl and 9 yo stepson (he’s with us 5 days out of 7), and I’ve NEVER even thought of his jeans being creased, hah. I barely manage to wash and dry everything on time. He runs a lot in the yard so after school we have him change to sweatpants or ‘junky’ jeans so he doesn’t tear the nice jeans. That means two pairs go in the laundry every day and countless clothes of my daughter. After washing clothes I hang up the heavy items like dress shirts and jeans to dry over our woodstove or outside, small things I throw in the dryer and when dry I just throw everyone’s stuff on their part of the dresser for them to put away in the evening (hubby and stepson). They have to hands :] I only iron for special occasions. To everyone: Don’t feel like giving your kids chores is taking away their fun time, they have hours to play,it will benefit them to learn to put dishes in the dishwasher and take them out, spray the table and clean it up after mealtimes and snacks takes less than one minute and they won’t stick to the table when they’re adults because they actually will know how to clean up after themselves. The only part I find is more time consuming is cooking, I cook from scratch, no processed foods, no boxed mixes etc, I taught my stepson to e.g. cook rice and fry/bake his own breaded fish fillet (wild caught), it’s time consuming but again, you’re preparing them to be able to feed themselves, they won’t be dependent on boxed and frozen meals that eventually make us all sick. Hats off to anyone with more kids. Oh, I also found that decluttering makes everything 100 times easier. You can shift stuff around but if you get rid of half of your stuff you don’t need anyway and get kids to donate to Goodwill or sell at consignment shop, there’s much less cleaning, surfaces can be wiped easily,storage doesn’t overflow and things don’t fall on your head any more. Every person has one medium tote for seasonal clothing that way it doesn’t take up space in the closets, we rotate stuff. I love reading everyone’s tips on here.

  4. Edy

    I have four girls 27,26,22,22 and my 26 is a special needs young lady ( my baby’s )one of my 22 yr is hearing impared but, I haven’t gave up when the twins came everyone thought there were triplets ! Until today, I have there shot records , writte everything about their doctor appt have a folder for each girl with their pictures and stuff ! And I work , cupon , and cook, clean , my husband works but, I’m in charge of paying every bill that comes in the house I writte down every month what bills, I paid and what credit cards I paid in full so far, pay extra on each and have been able to help a lot of people by cuponing / I just gave my mail lady a lot of stuff she is fixing to have a baby / helped my mother in law and today my husbands long lost sister that he hadn’t talk to her in 7 yrs – I had 2 surgery’s on the same day took only 5 weeks off one they removed my right breast and a histerectomity and I’m here to be able to help lots of people – I only quit cuponing for 3 months and started yesterday again so please don’t give up and don’t stress over cleaning / I haven’t clean my garden in 4 months so, I had to ask for help this time 😘😘happy new year and tomorrow I’m starting my walking and eating different so, any suggestions on ways of helping recipes thank you

  5. Just Me

    How do you freeze meals in advance? Pls add tips. Especially for things like lasagna and casseroles- I just don’t want them to get freezer burned and wasted. How do you wrap them? Thanks

    • Vivian

      I freeze things all the time. I just put in a Pyrex and freeze, sometimes I’ll put Saran Wrap on top before I put the lid on. I freeze cut up seasoned chucked for weeknight stirfrys, I also make “homemade frozen dinners” with individual sized leftover chili, pasta dishes, grilled chicken breast, really anything! I never notice any freezer burn issues. And it’s a great way to preserve food that is a day or two from going bad. Freeze it for later! And your food doesn’t have additives or preservatives 🙂

    • Gretchen

      I’ve had good luck freezing meals in Pyrex, but my mom has one of those food sealers and it is awesome! But I worry about the expense of buying the bags, they are not reusable like pyrex.

      • MARGOT

        The food sealer machine is worth its weight in gold if you are not super organized about your freezer (or even if you are). It absolutely prevents freezer burn, and I’ve had a steak that was 4 years old without any loss of quality. Also I think the thinner freezer zip bags pick up odors after a while in the freezer.

    • Lynne

      I use the foil pans, you can buy in 3 pack for $1 and cover tightly with foil. I buy things in bulk when they are on sale, cook it all and freeze it. When turkey was on sale over Thanksgiving I bought 3, cooked them all and diced it all into recipe size portions and froze it.

  6. Edy

    And my other girls had sports and special Olympics and volunteering ! And they went to a magnet school out of the neighborhood I would drive them fight traffic but , everything for the girls / when I had doctor appt my husband would watch the others so, we didn’t had to get someone to help us . And everything paid off my oldest is a lawyer and never had trouble with her , my 26 special needs still is at home she will always needs me – she goes to a recreational center while I work . 22 yr goes to college for hearing impaired lives with us, 22 yr works for a big company in charge of 44 people those are my blessings at the end of the day everything I have done paid off

  7. Vid

    Wow! Lots of busy mommies out there! So impressed. I’m a mom of 3 (ages 6, 5, and newborn), and I work some grueling hours (sometimes in excess of 100 per week). In the past year, my husband and I really felt overwhelmed. I thought organization was a lost cause in our case, but it turns out it’s an absolute must. A few months ago, I started following a professional organizer online named Alejandra Costello (check out her website at http://www.alejandra.tv). She has tons of free videos on organization on her site, many of which we have found to be invaluable. She also developed something called the Power Productivity Program which was a game changer for us. The program does cost money, but she has frequent sales throughout the year (I think there’s one going on today for New Year’s). It had a lot of simple, and truthfully, some obvious solutions, but things we somehow never did (such as taking a few minutes the night before to plan for the following day, organizing your calendar, setting up routine trackers, etc). It does take some work up front (I think I spent about 20 hours up front developing my organization plan), but we have definitely reaped the rewards. Even with our hectic schedules juggling work and kids’ activities and life in general, we have honestly felt much more peaceful over the past few months. And honestly, minimizing any stress you can in your life is always helpful. By way of disclaimer, I do NOT receive any sort of financial benefit from recommending Alejandra to others. Just wanted to recommend something that has worked really well for our family. Best of luck!

  8. Vivian

    Both my husband and I work so I hire a cleaning crew who comes every other week. Even though this is an expense, it helps me keep my sanity, I get to enjoy my toddler more, and allows me some time to cook, clean after his toys, do laundry and plan some time out for family outings. Also we have a gardener who comes which is hands down the best $50 spent a month because it saves my husband 3 hours every weekend! That frees up more time for him to help me around the house! I honestly don’t know how other people do it all, even with that help I often feel overwhelmed and exhausted, especially with another one on the way 🙂

  9. patti

    I groceryshop for 6 weeks at a time. the planning is is the worst, but once you get a few times under your belt…it is so well worth it. i plan so we have a different home cooked meal each night and of course our lunches and dinners. Then we just need to go to the store once or twice for perishables. Saves tons of time, money, and stress. My advice, try never to cook once. Always at least double a recipe for a futre meal coming up.

  10. ee

    We finally achieved our dream of 12 kiddos this year and my husband and I both work full time odd hours so organization is very important. I have a planner that I carry in my purse I write down every single thing as soon as I find out the date (appointment, school stuff, whatever). Mine is a Kate Spade, very cute, from Dillards. My husband has a pocket size planner as well that he carries in his vehicle. We have a large white board with the month planned out on it in our mudroom so the kids always know what is going on. Each kid has a bin where all their stuff goes as soon as they walk in the door, gloves, scarves, whatever. Anything that needs washing goes immediately into a bin in the laundry room and the child comes and tells me. I hang dry so it is very important to stay organized in the laundry dept. Each school age child has 2 pair of gloves, 2 scarves, 2 hats each winter/summer, 7 pair of regular socks, 7 pair of winter socks, 7 underwear, 7 shirts, 3 jeans, 4 workout pants, 2 slacks/dresses/skirts (depending on child, obviously) and 2 sets of play clothes per season. They each have gear for individual sports as well but kept to a minimum. Each under school age child has an adapted clothing system with fewer clothing then the school age children. They wear a lot of onsies and stretchy pants as an infant- potty training (18 month) and then easy to wear clothing.

    Meal planning: everyone eats what is served or they can make a bowl of oatmeal. I’m ok with the child not eating a particular meal. My children have things they don’t like and that’s ok, they’re individuals! But, I’m not cooking different things, they can pick out whatever they don’t like or have oatmeal. There is usually one (different) eating oatmeal per night. They don’t complain, their tummies are full. I have an index card with a full meal written on it and in the back the ingredient list. I have 30 or so of these cards. They’re color coded for time involved. I plan 2 weeks at a time. I make all school lunches on Sunday nights and the children grab them as they shuffle out the door. They eat a lot of brown rice and veggies for lunches. Every single thing we eat is homemade. Everything. We also have a garden where a bunch of our veggies come from.

    Stay on top of cleaning. If your house is dirty (and I do mean DIRTY) right now kick your kids and spouse out for the afternoon. Send them to a movie or something. Now, shut off your phone, put on a book on tape or music and clean. Shove a load of laundry in, fill and start the dishwasher and then go room to room and grab everything that’s in the wrong room. Dump that stuff in the right room. Now clean one room at a time as quickly as possible. Clean, clean, clean. Now that your house is finally clean stay on top of it. Have a 15 min toy clean up (pare down your toys at a later date, but do it before garage sale season) every night. Clean the bathroom and kitchen counters every night, a quick wipe does wonders. Always do a load of laundry as soon as it forms (get rid of extra clothing!) And dishes ASAP! Keep on top of things and you’ll be amazed at how much free time you have with the kidlets. Enjoy, they don’t stay little forever

  11. Tara in TX

    Get up, shower, do my makeup and hair and get dressed first thing. It takes me 45 min. ~ same as every morning when I worked full time. As a SAHM, I am happier, a more positive, creative person, more organized and productive, and ready to take on tasks that I would otherwise put off. I even eat better! I used to make excuses that I was too tired to wake up early enough or that what I’d be doing that day was going to be messy anyway (heavy cleaning, exercising…) but after I made it a habit, I’m committed! I could throw on yoga pants and stay in a cap and ponytail all day and might get through the day, but it won’t be done half as well!

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