Guest Blogger: Darla DeMorrow, Certified Professional Organizer ®.
I was recently asked for a list of best organizing mom gadgets. There’s no doubt that there is a lot on the market, but only a few key items show up again and again.
Without a doubt, the best gadget for today’s mom is their smart-gadget. Whether a phone, iPad, Kindle or something else, it’s important to have a gadget that allows you to look up the answer to all sorts of things (What are the 12 days of Christmas, mom? Can we keep a snowman alive longer, mom? When is the next showing of Frozen, mom? How do we get to Sesame Place, honey?). It’s awesome for helping you stay connected, of course. Even better for doing a brain dump so you can keep shopping lists accessible but not parked in valuable brain cells. And, most of us are guilty of using it to entertain the little one, at least while trying to explain to the plumber or auto mechanic what needs fixing. Some of my favorite mom-apps are:
• Evernote. Sticky notes in the sky. “Remember everything.” There’s a reason it’s on the top of my list.
• DropBox. Great for having all those committee notes right where you need them, even on the go.
• KeyRing. Lighten the load and have shoppers club cards when you actually need them.
• The Bible. ‘Cause we need all the help we moms can get.
• AllRecipes. Quick, what can we make to use up the cranberries and cottage cheese?
• Shutterfly or any photo saving and sharing app besides Facebook. This one has a good chance of being at the head of the pack.
• LastPass. If you want to be done with passwords, this one is a great solution.
• Find My iPhone. For when the unthinkable happens.
Another great gadget is the TimeTimer, formerly just a physical purchase, but now available as an app. Kids can actually see time ticking away. When the red dial disappears, time’s up.
Fabric bins are completely practical, and affordable enough to not eat into the college fund. These JaBoxes from Shop Get Organized are some of my favorites. Pretty enough to leave out in the open. Sturdy enough to act as a stool. http://heartworkorg.com/2013/11/22/jabox-storage-bins-review/
Winning the battle against stuffed animal invasion: http://www.littlezookeepers.com/?gclid=CMKwuqHg4LsCFRBnOgodLlAAwQ#sthash.tJxr8jRE.dpbs
Kid craft supplies need a space, too. If you don’t have a dedicated cabinet, then this piece from Ikea will work nearly anywhere, even in a corner of the dining room. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30216536/
Shoe cubbies. Really. No mom should be without them. Proven to reduce trips and falls… http://www.musingsofahousewife.com/2013/10/the-long-awaited-laundry-room-makeover.html
Legos. The bane of moms everywhere. My professional opinion is that only moms try to organize them by color. Kids have their own ideas. This post shows the best combination of compartmentalization, storage, visual appeal, play space, and frugality. http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2013/02/lego-meets-lack/
A mom binder. You can buy these, but they are easier and cheaper to make. You have to customize them anyway. A simple 1-2” 3-ring binder, plus erasable/writable-tab pocket dividers is all you need. I really don’t recommend buying this pre-made, since every family is different, and it only takes a moment to make one that you’ll be happy to have sitting on your kitchen counter.
These are some of my essential mom organizing tools. What else would you add to this list?