Tips & Tricks for Organizing Life with a Toddler

 

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Every parent that I know is super  busy and often feels pulled in many directions. Between my day job, running this web site, my Facebook deals group (click here to join), and my Instagram account, managing my home, and carving out quality time for my husband and son, I rarely have a spare moment. Here are some easy tips that I use to stay organized, avoid frustration, and feel somewhat put together. These tips save me at least a couple of minutes every day, and help me avoid acting like a frantic loon.  

Prepare snacks in advance

At the beginning of each week I fill three snack containers with three different snacks. This way, I never need to prepare a snack when I'm halfway out the door and don't resort to buying my son an unhealthy snack out of desperation.  

Since discovering the Ubbi Tweat six months ago, it is the only snack container that we use.  It's clear so I know when we are running low, snaps closed so snacks don't go stale or spill in my bag, has an internal soft lid with flaps so my son can help himself without making a mess, and is dishwasher safe.  It also comes in a nice array of vibrant colors. I own four out of the five colors pictured below.  

You can click the images above to buy whichever colors you like individually, but it is most economical to buy a two pack.  The Ubbi Tweat is available as a two pack in blue + orange or pink + orange.

We fill our Tweat with Cheerios (as pictured above), Puffsfreeze dried fruits and veggies, and fresh blueberries.


Compartmentalize your diaper bag 

If you have a good system for organizing your diaper bag you can quickly check that you have everything as you are walking out the door, and find everything easily when you are out.  

For this photo, I literally dumped out my diaper bag on the photo mat from my son's cake smash after a morning out, and fanned out the Mother Load bags that I had filled for my morning out (notice the full dirty clothes bag came in handy).

For this photo, I literally dumped out my diaper bag on the photo mat from my son's cake smash after a morning out, and fanned out the Mother Load bags that I had filled for my morning out (notice the full dirty clothes bag came in handy).

You're probably thinking "easier said than done." But Mother Load bags make it really easy. They come as a set of five separate bags -- for diapering (with matching changing pad), snacks, toys, clean clothes, and dirty clothes -- that allow you to easily compartmentalize your bag based on use.  The bags are color coded and each one has a detachable wristlet.  The bags are really lightweight and flexible, machine washable, eco-friendly, travel-friendly, and easy to pack.  You can use them to organize your diaper bag, or throw them in your stroller pocket or basket, or into your purse.  All but the dirty clothes one have a see-thru stretch mesh back.  

 

I particularly like having the diapering essentials as a separate wristlet so I don't need to bring my entire diaper bag into the bathroom on airplanes and at restaurants.

Mother Load bags are available at Amazon (click here), or directly from the brand (click here). Through September 7, 2016, get 20% off when you order directly from the brand and use code BEST20.

The brand was started by a mom out of necessity, so in addition to getting a great product you will be supporting a small, woman-owned business..

 

Create a user-friendly play space

I find these clear hinged (aka "flip top") plastic bins to be really effective at organizing my son's play space. Clear bins mean we can easily find the toys we are looking for and flip tops mean we don't waste time looking for misplaced covers. These bins save me a couple of minutes every day and they are inexpensive. One large bin can fit a whole lot of Magnatile style blocks or Tegu blocks, or an entire set of Uncle Goose classic blocks.  

Here are the bins in large and small containing tegu MAGNETIC blocks, PLAYMAGS, and lego duplo on our playmat. 

I bought a six pack of the large ones and a 12 pack of the small ones to organize my son's toys.  I end up using them for other functions too (storing pens, office supplies, crafting supplies, etc.), and will probably buy more soon. 

I generally keep the bins out, but they would work well to store toys in a closet or cabinet too.  

You can purchase the large ones here, and the small ones here

 

I have large decorative baskets as well (available in three sizes in various colors at Amazon and Wayfair).  They work well for large items.  But I find that smaller items get lost in large opaque baskets

 

I have other tips on my sleeve and am happy to share them.  Comment to let me know what you think of this post and if you interested in more tips. Also feel free to share your ideas for staying sane and organized with a baby or toddler for a chance to be featured in my next post. 

This post was sponsored by Ubbi and Mother Load, all opinions are my own.