Organization Series: Part 1
Being a mom is hard. And I’ve found that it’s even harder when I’m not organized. As much as we like to joke about drinking wine over cleaning, when my home is a mess, I feel like a mess. So I’m always looking for tips to get organized and make my life flow easier, which is why we’re so excited to bring you our Organization Series: Part 1!
School Counselor, Mom, wife and one of our very best friends, Ashley Rickert is amazingly organized to the point that I am openly jealous. I frequently try to talk her into coming over and organizing my closets, but since she won’t do that (not that I blame her!), I was able to talk her into doing the next best thing, and share her tips and secrets with us!
Getting to know Ashley
Hi all! My name is Ashley, and like many of you, for my family and me, August is the start of a new academic year and a time to refresh.
I am a working mom, who works as a School Counselor at an elementary school, and I start back this month. My husband will be starting back at school at Old Dominion University while also working full-time, and my son will be transitioning to pre-school later this fall. AND with a new baby due soon, our hands are full! There is no better time to get back into a routine and/or establish new routines now that the summer break is over.
Organization and routine is a large part of my life. My friends will often say, “Ashley is never late!” or “Ashley always gives thoughtful gifts!” Secretly, I accept these as huge compliments because they are a reflection of my organizational habits!
At work they call me the “organization queen” because of my systems for staying organized. I replaced the job of two counselors, and still am able to complete all my responsibilities, while even taking on some more that I am extra passionate about.
People are always asking how I manage to get it all done, but it truly just takes some planning, organization, and a little grace when I can’t. I know as busy moms, we are always looking for tips to stay on track and to make our lives run smoother.
After a recent discussion on the blog about cleaning and organizing, I was asked to share with all of you some of my favorite organizational tips and tricks that help my family and I, and I would love nothing more than to share what I have learned thus far!
Don’t Color Code
I often refer to cleaning and organization blogs for inspiration. A Bowl Full of Lemons, Emily Ley, Clean Mama, and The Kavanaugh Report are some of my most favorites! They are all women who are living real lives just as we are.
I really like these blogs in particular because they give you ideas for how to plan and organize based on your family’s lifestyle and with you already have (no need to run out and buy color coordinated totes!).
But seriously, my biggest piece of advice is that organization does not have to be pretty and color-coded all the time.
Habit and establishing routines are all that matter. Get into a rhythm and follow the same routine each and every day, or with each and every task you undertake. As Emily Ley stated, “Repetition makes us feel steady, and feeling steady makes us feel peaceful. When we have no routines, no systems, and no structure, we’ll be left feeling drained, worn thin, and not know which way was up.”
Organizing and establishing routines does not have to be complicated, but it does need to be constant.
Consistency is Key
I know you’ve heard it before, but consistency is truly the key. At the end of the series, I will share a list with you of my favorite organization blogs and their links so you can learn more and become inspired to create your own organizational methods and routines for your family.
When asked to write this piece, I immediately felt overwhelmed and excited at the same time because I seriously LOVE cleaning and organization, I am one of those “weirdo’s” who call it therapeutic, but at the same time I had no idea where to begin because organization is instilled in everything I do.
So, I decided to narrow down some tips for the home and for the kids that really help my days run smoother, and overall, make me a better wife and mom and better prepared for my workday.
Because there IS so much I want to share with you, I am writing this post in a four part series, with this being the first.
To begin with, I want to share more about my organizational theory and why being organized is important to me.
I also want to share an over arching picture of HOW I stay organized. Then, in the second part of the series, I want to narrow down some organizational tips and tricks for the home.
This will include what cleaning schedule I use, organizational tips for all that clutter, meal planning and grocery tips, and lastly, budgeting for the home and planning for big events.
Lastly, in the third part of the series, I want to focus on organization for kids. This is one of my favorite parts of the series because I have become increasingly interested in how preparing Junior’s environment helps to encourage his overall development.
I hope you enjoy what all I have to share with you and if you have any tips yourself, please share them! I am constantly looking for new ways to organize and to make our family’s busy lives run smoother and more peaceful!
Meet Ashley Rickert. Her and her husband, John, have a toddler together, John Jr., and a little boy on the way, Oliver! Both are originally from Texas, but brought to Hampton Roads by the U.S. Navy, where John serves. Besides being a mom, Ashley is also an Elementary School Counselor and loves to cook, clean, organize, craft, spend time with her toddler, family, and friends, Cancun, reading, running, yoga, and wine! This was her first contributor post and she was so excited to have it be for Hampton Roads Moms! Ashley’s advice to other moms in the community is to know they are not alone with the million responsibilities that we carry as moms, and encourages them to be intentional with their time in order to find joy in the journey, and to have a little grace when they are not able to do it all.