Get Your Family Organized: Tips to Make Your Home To-Dos Work

February 15, 2024

Author -

Melissa Iftimie

Ready to level up your household organization? We’ve tried it all, from paper lists to new apps like Maple and Cozi. Check out these tips!

As families grow, there is just more to keep track of! Each family has a different system to make sure everyone is cared for, happy and fed. Whether you are using a family organization app like Maple or Cozi, or something more basic like a calendar app or a calendar on your fridge, this is what you need to know to keep daily life organized and stress free. 

As I’m ramping back to work after maternity leave I thought I’d share some of the tips I’m trying to put into practice in 2024. With a 3 year old growing in popularity (read lots of birthday parties) and a 3 month old who has an ever changing schedule, it’s important to be organized to have some moments of sanity. Here we go:

Get on the Same Page with Your Partner

We all know it’s hard to find balance at home. Usually one partner takes more on in the home front. Mom, I’m looking at you. So how can you find more bliss in this unequal spread? Unfortunately, this one is going to look a lot different depending on you and your family, so here are some things to think about:

Set a Few Big Goals 

It helps to have a few big goals to focus your attention and effort towards. For my family, one big goal this year is to spend more time with family and friends. So to us this means to host more gatherings and to travel to see long-distance friends. Another big goal is for me to ramp back up to full time work after maternity leave. Both my husband and I have mutual benefit in all our goals and so that helps when one of us has to let go or step up to support each other. 

Let Go

If you have a priority list, there are things that don’t fit on it. That’s good! If something doesn’t hit that big list, it’s not a priority. So if you don’t get to it, no big deal. You and your partner have to be ok with that.

Have a Day to Day Plan

It’s good for everyone to understand all that needs to be done, from planning to execution. Once you find a groove here, you just go. In my house this is a bumpy one, but we get through it. For example, in the mornings my husband takes point on the toddler and I take on our baby. This means everything it takes to get them and us out the door.

Have a Central, Shared Space for Organizing

There are lots of options here. You can get a big white board or paint a wall with chalkboard paint. There are lots of digital options too. One obvious one is using a google calendar for the family. This is how my family rolls with scheduling and communicating where we have to be. If it’s important it’s in the calendar and we work around it. We also have a physical ‘inbox’ of important paperwork, a meal planning notepad and whiteboard on our fridge

Go Digital: Check Out Household Productivity Apps

Another plan of attack is to use a household productivity app. The best approach here is to download it and see if you like it. I recently tried both Maple and Cozi. 

Both Maple and Cozi Offer:

  • Lots of free features
  • A premium plan that eliminates ads and lets you import your google/apple calendars
  • Let you import recipes and then create shopping lists based on grocery store aisle (thank you!)

Maple App Review

Maple: This one was my favorite. As a ‘parent-tech’ family organizer app, it has lots of buzz. It’s easy to use and straightforward. One call out that was extremely helpful are the pre populated lists- they call them folders - these things covered trips, activities and holidays. Sometimes I feel like I’m forgetting something, and this gave me some peace of mind there.

If you download through Villie, you can get 3 months FREE! Claim that offer here.

Cozi App Review

Cozi: My takeaway is that their offering is very amenable to build what you need, but it doesn’t prompt you if you don’t know you need it. Something I loved about Cozi is they have both an App and a web app (meaning you don’t need to download anything). I mostly operate on my computer, so this was very convenient.

Cozi offers a free trial too. Claim that offer here.

Try Em Both: You Know Your Needs

I think with any new system, you have to take some time to set it up to work for your family. So be mindful that you don’t just download an app and all your problems are solved. 

Divide, Delegate and Conquer

Please don’t take this all on yourself. Make sure you find something for everyone to do. My toddler doesn't really get chores yet, but she does love to help put the dirty clothes in the laundry bin. Another hack is to combine things, like taking the dog for a run. Think about who can help.

Ask Your Village

This is so important, especially for families with brand new babies. Please don’t be shy about asking for the help you actually need. Ask for people to come sweep the floor, take the dog for a walk or drop off some coffee. 

A Villie Baby Page is a good way to do this. This is a good option especially if you want to keep your communication to a small, controlled group of people. 

Paid Delegation

If you can afford to pay for extra help, do it. There is no shame to ask a cleaning lady to come once a week (or more), or to hire a dog walker so your puppy gets undivided attention. 

Another quick, but less expensive way to delegate is to outsource dinner. Order takeout or stop by the drive thru! Easy and no clean up.

When we had our second, moms from preschool set up a meal train. This was really amazing. I’d say it was most helpful about a month after baby came when my husband went back to work. Remember, people want to help but sometimes think they have to do it right away. Nope! 

Use the System You Put in Place

Don’t pay for a family organization app or fun meal planning notepad and not use it. Test out some different methods and then stick to it! If you dread using your system, you need a new system. If your partner doesn’t use the system, you need a new system.

Say Thank You

It takes a Village to get through parenthood, so when you do get help or some encouragement from a friend, stranger or partner, show some gratitude. So go send that text or go give your partner a hug. We all can use more gratitude in our lives! <3

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