5 tips to stay organized

5 ways to stay organized as a Foster Parent
1. Color Coordinate
2. Buy a planner
3. Have a spot for homework and backpacks
4. Chore list
5. Filing cabinet

I know many people panic being first-time foster parents. I did! I decided to share some ways to stay organized. I hope it helps with those who struggle with being first-time foster parents or anyone who is needing help to get organized with kids.

 

COLOR COORDINATE

Color coordinating has been a lifesaver! I purchase everything from the dollar store when it comes to baskets and totes. I buy bulk toothbrushes, and brushes off my amazon prime account and make sure they come in all different colors, plus they come cheaper that way. A visit to Walmart and they have a variety of separate color towels and wash clothes. The pens I use for my planner I purchased at Sam’s club and bought the color bundle set. When it comes to their lotion and hair product I use my label maker to put their names on the items and highlight it according to their color. It may seem like a lot of work, but the payoff is so worth it. If children leave things laying around, I don’t have to search I just look to see what color it is. I have a closet that I put everyone’s basket including Dad and I we have all our toiletries in there as well as our towel folded in the front. Our closet is located right before the bathroom, so this has been very effective when it comes to staying organized. We also noticed that new placements aren’t so lost when trying to figure out what is theirs and where it belongs.

BUY A PLANNER

I use The Happy Planner to stay organized, it has a primary calendar, and it also has the day to day planning. I have a blog all about on my page if you want to know all the details. Whoever has an appt or school functioning I use my color coordinating system to manage my planner for their events or mine. Typically try to use sticky notes for reminders throughout the day so that I can stay focused. It helps with sports, visits, projects and so much more. This organization tip helps when you get a new placement in because Those next 48 hours are hectic. So being organized right off the bat will help with a smoother transition.

HOMEWORK AND BACKPACK SPOT

If you can find a spot in your house for backpacks and homework, I will encourage you to do so. If you are not able, my suggestion to you is set a homework time so that it stays organized where ever you decide to set the kids down to do homework. In our house, we have the backpack wall. I just used command hooks to hold the backpacks up off the ground and spray painted them to the color of each child. IF you don’t want a wall of bags, my other suggestion would be a spot in their room, so it is still off the ground and organized as well. Do what works well for your family. Everyone knows that Our homework spot is our dining room table! Every kid knows that if someone is there doing their homework, it is quite a time! I have extra pencils and paper laying out every day after school just in case. I use my cooking timer during reading to time the kids. Some of my children prefer to go into their room to read which is fine the timer is loud enough for them to hear it.

CHORE LIST

Every day after school everyone has a chore, they first do their homework and typically while I am cooking dinner they will start on chores. Mothers dream to walk out of the kitchen to a spotless house, right? If only but it is the thought that counts. You usually get kids who 1. Have never cleaned 2. They had to clean for punishment 3. They hate to clean and will throw a fit to get out of it 4. Love to clean.
At our house, we use an award system, and I am not talking like do a chore, and I will buy you a video game. NO! It is more like do a task, and we will earn our way up to a dessert from McDonald’s. I don’t want to just hand my kids a treat after one duty I want them to learn that when they get older, you must work hard and then comes the gift of life. I have had some many people roll their eyes, but I feel like in my household this system works! I get asked so many times how I raise my kids to be so respectful and well mannered. I don’t want to sugar coat life even with the smallest things like chores.
I made each child a magnetic chore chart ( I plan on making a separate blog on how I made them) It is labeled Monday through Sunday each day I change out their chores. I even have a “FREE DAY” magnetic that the kids try so hard to earn. They can earn it by helping mom without being asked or helping someone else as well. Using their manners while out in public or not fighting with their siblings. There are many ways to earn the “FREE DAY” I also included an everyday side, and I have magnetics made for showers, homework, brush teeth, put on lotion, do your hair, read, etc., everyday things.
The chore list has been a fantastic organization trick because the kids know what is expected of them. They just move they’re magnetic to the “COMPLETE” box, and all I need to do is go check the list and to see what they have done. It has improved our oldest son with being more responsible which I am loving watching this boy grow.

FILING CABINET

My good ol’ filing cabinet that I am quickly outgrowing. I am going to give you a tip just buy the medium size. I bought the smallest one because in my head I thought If I don’t have the room I don’t need it, and if it becomes cluttered it is time to organize it. Wrong! I need more space for filing. Utilizing my color coordinating tip I do it in the filing cabinet as well. So, each child has their file but I forgot I own business, a house and I also have bills! I went in only thinking about the kids. I purchased a bigger one keeping my organization tip in mind don’t go to big, or it will give me a reason to keep filing till I am knee deep in a mess of clutter. I purchased all my folders on amazon prime. It seems like anything that has a bundle of colors is cheaper which helps me in the long run. I use my label maker to stay organized with the filing system. I file by oldest to youngest as well. Now when they go home, I just send them back with the whole file. Any artwork or grades anything that you want mom and dad to have. I keep the things they have drawn me or written to me, and I put all of those in a separate folder for memories. Cause man oh man it is nice to go down memory lane to see just how far these kids have come.

I hope these 5 Organization tips have given you an idea of what may work for your family. If you would like to see any of these tips in a more detailed blog or have any questions, just let me know down in the comments below

– Momma K and the Bunch

How to stay Organized

Since we have become parents, we have tried different techniques on making life less stressful.

Our Chore charts

We have four kids right now. Our charts include daily chore and day-to-day operations. Typically we only have to add a few things to the everyday side. We talk about what chores everyone will have the responsibility of every morning. Sometimes kids will trade or even ask for extras. Some children will have free days if I see respect, helping others and manners.
The kids have to move their magnets to the “completed” area after they are completed. I feel this helps with being responsible. By the end of the day, I take a look and fix it every night after kids are in bed.
•With our teenager, we decided to use a picture frame and just write what is expected of her throughout the day. That seems to work because she doesn’t find interest in moving a magnet around as our youngest ones do.

( it was a fun activity for her to design her background)
• Our youngest ones we bought $1 pizza pans, used old magnets and a label maker to create theirs. Magnets are too used for daily chores and daily activities. (Extras is used for added T.V. time and later bed times)

  • Backpack system

 

It is pretty much self-explanatory. The children hang their bags on the command hooks every day after school. They are told to either give us important notes/letters right away or put them on the chore chart clips above their bags.

  • Our bathroom system•We color coordinate our kiddos. So our youngest daughter is green, and if you look at her towel, basket and chore chart, you will notice everything is green. That is for everyone. Our teen is purple, and again everything she uses is color coordinated purple. Color coordinating helps so much with keeping up with everything that belongs to them. It Includes tooth brushes, towels, hair brushes, baskets and our communication board. I will write a blog about our communication board later.

    This system has worked well for Us especially when I am packing it is a life saver. When we get new placements, we have tons of back up items in certain colors. We explain it helps keep everyone organized, and since everything is new, it helps them to remember what belongs to them.

    I hope this has helped. If you have any questions or want more details about anything, please feel free to ask.

    Thanks,

Momma K and the bunch!

* I am not affiliated with any companies; I may have listed up above*

We use command hooks for their backpack holder. Oldest to youngest. It is pretty much self-explanatory when it comes to this. They hang up their bags after school, and if they have any relevant papers, they are told to either give them to us right away or clip them above their bags using the magnetic clips on their chore charts.

3 Apps I use to make life easier as a foster mom!

When it comes to my household, we use electronics on the daily. To each their own like I always say. Do what you want and what works for you! I am that mom who carries around a day planner and my kiddos know what book I am talking about when I ask them to get it. My children also know if they want to know what the week looks like for our family to look in the book but we also rely on electronics. We have a house hold tablet. Everyone is allowed to download games or have free range on it. Our two oldest kids have phones (WiFi access only) which they love to use for social media and selfies.

As a mother, you are constantly trying to find new things that work to make life easier. Here are a few apps I love!

#1

Cozi family organizer

This planner is amazing! You have the ability to link emails and assign the task or event to the right full person. When I have to take three kids to 3 different places, it will notify that child. You can add a note as well. Like “be ready or else!” Haha, anyways it has helped out with our crazy busy schedule.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cozi.androidfree

#2 Target cartwheel

I am that “mom” I go into Target for 1 item and come out with 15 items and completely forget about the thing I needed. So this fantastic app has helped me save and also stay focused on what I came in for. You can search what items are on sale before you enter the store and make a quick list. You scan your items for the discount, hand your phone to the cashier during check out and BAM! you just saved money and left with the item you needed. Well maybe but still you saved some money to turn back around to get it.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.target.socsav
#3 Audible

In that perfect home with those perfect children, you will sit down every night and read books to your kids. Don’t get me wrong, I read to my kids almost every night…. ok maybe three times a week, but I still make sure to get that time in through out the week. Let’s be real though, I am far from perfect and when it is 9pm, and all six kids still need baths, and by the time all that is left is a mess! This app is magic! The kids agree on a book and push play. I can listen to them while I get everyone’s hair brushed and lotion applied, without worrying about flipping pages! It also makes for a great family conversation starter in the end.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.audible.application

 

So that concludes my favorite apps for my family, as of right now, if I find more I will be sure to share!
*I am not affiliated with any of these companies which may be affected by the outcome of the reviews.

Updated*

Some apps I had used did not work out for our family needs. Will update once we have a few months of positive feedback.

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