Hundreds of women came together in The Motherhood to get tips and tricks for getting organized from the brilliant Asha Dornfest of Parent Hacks, Christine Koh of Boston Mamas and Meagan Francis of The Happiest Mom.


The biggest organizing challenges for everyone?   Paper clutter, kids’ arts supplies, kids’ outgrown and out-of-season clothes, family schedules, and finding time and inspiration to actually get organized.


From the wildly inspiring conversation, here are the Top Twenty Tips for Organizing Your Life:


1.  Simplify: 1) don’t organize more STUFF than you need to. (Declutter first.) 2) don’t organize more FINELY than you need to. (Don’t create files if a shoebox will suffice.)   – Asha Dornfest, Parent Hacks


2.   The key to getting organized isn’t finding that one true perfect system.  It’s creating A system. Any system. And then doing it!   – Meagan Francis,  The Happiest Mom


3.  Papers have a way of attracting more papers, toys more toys, junk more junk, etc. Attack it before it has a chance to grow! BE RUTHLESS!   – Meagan Francis


4.  I put a recurring Outlook to-do reminder to reconcile my paperwork every month. Since I love checking off to do items, it really helps! – Christine Koh, Boston Mamas


5.  For old papers you don’t want to part with – but aren’t sure where to store – use the scanner out and convert it to digital clutter! – Homa24


6.  I try to consolidate as much of that stuff as I can, right away.   So, for example, instead of hanging on to the school notices, I enter the information into my calendar/notebook right way and then ditch it. For bills, I have two pockets that stick to the wall – one for ‘to pay’ and one for ‘recently paid. –  Meagan Francis


                      (Photo: Wren)


7.  Hang clipboards like these to categorize and keep track of paper piles without taking up desk space. – Christine Koh


8.  If it’s not tax related or if I can get it online in the event I need it, it goes. – saracarl


9.   Make photobooks out of the photos of her kid’s art. They love looking through them. – Homa24


10.  The kids all have boxes to keep the papers they want to keep.  If they don’t put it in their box, it gets recycled. – Brandie


11.   Coupon binders are awesome! You get a binder and the baseball card holder plastic sheets {know what I’m talking about}. One coupon in each slot, then you always can see exactly what you have when you shop! – Brandie


                                      (Photo: Christine Koh, Boston Mamas)


12.  One of my key strategies to establish household harmony is getting stuff BEHIND DOORS. – Christine Koh


13.  We do bi-annual consignment sales for the kids’ clothes/toys. – loranstefani


14.  Think in terms of the concept that the more space you allocate the more you will fill it.  We have one cardboard box per grade to store art/papers from school and one large plastic bin for clothing. When space is limited, it forces you to trim down and only save what you really want to save! – Christine Koh


15.  Absolute necessity as you undertake getting organized: a calendar and a to-do list. Whatever format works for you…use it and keep it with you every day.   The important thing is to get into the habit of writing things down.  Initially it feels like more time taken away, but soon this amazing feeling of clarity comes. – Asha Dornfest


16.  We have one of those huge desk calendars hanging on the door to our garage.  Everyone has to write down anything they want us to know about on that calendar.  – Brandie



17.  My kids have trouble in the morning. Not morning people. So I write down their routines with them and they draw pictures, then they can check the chart to make sure they are getting through it all. – Julie Pippert.


18.  Jedi to-do list trick: You WILL be interrupted throughout your day. So add rough time estimates to your to-do items (5 mins, 15 mins, 1 hour, etc.). That way, when your kid throws up and your three hours of writing time gets reduced to 15 minutes, you can plug something into that open slot. – Asha Dornfest


19.  You do NOT need to do this alone, nor should you. Delegate to your partner, your kids, and to paid help if need be. Swap organizing ‘services’ with a friend. – Asha Dornfest


20.   I look at organizing as a PRACTICE, not a process. There’s always going to be setbacks and do-overs when you have kids. Embrace the endlessness! – Meagan Francis


Thanks to the great advice, we are itching to de-clutter our own desks and homes!


Asha of Parent Hacks shared a link to an organizing resource page.


You can find Asha, Christine and Meagan, the fantastic hosts for the Talk, here:


Asha Dornfest, Parent Hacks, @parenthacks

Christine Koh, Boston Mamas, @bostonmamas

Meagan Francis, The Happiest Mom, @meaganfrancis


Be sure to check out the full transcript of the “Getting Organized” Talk for tons more great tips and advice!