From the Dog to Dinner: Organization for the Modern Control Freak


For many, the hardest part about organizing household variables is finding time, and finding a mood booster to start the productivity train. Finding time to plan and prepare meals, workout, have a full time career and family can seem impossible given that there are only so many hours in a day. However, I have found that there are some simple tips (even some simple productivity apps!) that can you help any motivated woman organize everything in her life, from the dog to weekly dinners.

Starting with Materialistics:

With any type of organization I have found that list making is the best way to ensure a routine begins to form. Therefore, have a list of things you want/ need- and do not purchase or keep anything that is not on that list (even if it’s on sale). Then have a routine planner of things that need to be accomplished on a monthly or weekly basis. I have a home management binder that helps me keep everything in line, and everything extremely organized. I realize it seems a little OCD, and may not be for everyone, but finding what works for you is the best start.

The best way to start organizing the house is by getting rid of things that are not used. Whether that be kids clothing, books you have no intention of reading (that’s what the ipad is for!). Decluttering is the quickest way to make your organization journey efficient- as you won’t spend time organizing things you won’t ever use!

Maximize the space you have: Utilize all extra space- and organize with baskets or containers that can be labeled. Another part of maximizing space is utilizing spaces that are not necessarily created for that purpose. One example is using a long drawer for spices, instead of shoving them into a deep cabinet!

There are tons of organizational tools that can help with the process of organizing small items- and one you have decluttered, and determined a weekly routine, the actual organization shouldn’t take too much time.


Pre planning meals is easily the most efficient way to reduce waste, save time, and continue healthy habits. In our home we do bi-weekly meal plans using these types of sites, along with some family favorites peppered in. I do one week of cooking, and my husband does the next. I recommend splitting up some of these duties, it really is a relief! The best way to make these type of meal plans efficient is by planning yours meals, then writing down each ingredient on the grocery list. Therefore one grocery run will cover all two weeks, and you won’t (ideally) waste time on last minute runs for dinner.

Children and other life forms:

Whenever I hear a mom say that she has a “sleep routine” or schedule for her children under the age of five, I picture a woman who never sleeps and may or may not have Stepford Wife powers. However, I have found that there are different ways to organize children and animals without being overbearing of their individuality- or just seeming crazy.

The dog:

Training your pets the right way from the start is the best way to ensure that your household pets are contributing to an organized home. A trained dog means no wasted time cleaning up knocked over trash cans, dug holes, or runaways. Once you have a trained dog they will only contribute to positive feel good feelings, rather than consistent stress.

Other than that, using the same methodology for the animals as you do throughout the house for organizing pet supplies with containers, hooks, and maximizing space will allow your pet space to look and keep clean!

The kids:

Training is the best way… just kidding… but wouldn’t that be nice! For the kids you can use some of the same printables for chores, as mentioned above, which can offer some help around the house. I have heavily researched age appropriate chores, so I know what developmental stages can effectively help with certain household tasks.

Pre-planning is the next best thing to organization, and this includes pre planning lunches the night before during dinner, and setting out the next day’s clothing, and putting back packs and car seats in the car the night before can all help save 20 to 30 minutes in the morning. And like adults need motivation sometimes, perhaps creating a playlist of songs that you kids love will help establish a mood boosting effect as well as a routine; for example, we have to be downstairs eating breakfast by the time “Last Dance” plays! Routine is the best way to “organize” and herd humans without seeming overbearing.

Time Frame:

Once you have accomplished the big task of mass declutter and organizing the house then you can focus on weekly, or nightly routines to keep organization in your life:

At that point you can spend :

● 3 hours a week cleaning and keeping up with organization ( I recommend a short stint each evening before bed)

● 1 hour a week meal planning

● 7 hours a week preparing meals and lunches for the next day.

● Half hour each night setting out clothes and packing the car for the next day.

The idea behind chronically organizing, scheduling and maintaining all life events is that you will soon find routine in these behaviors, as well as extra time for things you enjoy! I try to make a list of everything that needs to be done from the time I get up, until the time I go to bed- this helps me organize my thoughts before I sleep, and checking off the tasks throughout the day feels so good!!!

From the Dog to Dinner: Organization for the Modern Control Freak

Lauren Penrod
Lauren Penrod is from Boise Idaho, and is expecting come November. When she's not pregnant she really enjoys gin martinis, and skydiving.

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