How do you get organized, manage the chaos, and live well at home? Alicia Gibson sought to answer these questions. Alicia is a mom to five kids, a high school English teacher, a professor, and a wellness coach. But she likes to say her real job title is Chaos Coordinator.
Alicia knows so much about coordinating chaos that she even wrote a book about it. Her book is entitled Coordinating Chaos: Tips on Surviving the Wackiness of Mom Life.
After hearing the title, Jenny and I were hooked!
With five girls, a crazy cat, and a wild-haired guinea pig at home, Jenny and I know it can be tough to get organized. On most days, managing the chaos would be more than sufficient. Of course, like many families, we also want to live well at home. So when the two of us heard that Alicia was open to interviews, we jumped at the opportunity.
Not only were we thrilled to include Alicia in our Thriving at Home Summit, Jenny, and I couldn’t wait to pick her brain.
In addition to being a chaos-organizer extraordinaire, Alicia also holds a Masters of Education and a Certification in Health and Wellness coaching. This has allowed her to do the two things she loves most: teach and encourage those around her. By sharing her faith and hope in God along the way—and with her very real understanding of the busyness of mom life—Alicia’s down-to-earth and humorous approach to motherhood is relatable and authentic!
Here are a few of our key takeaways from our amazing interview with Alicia!
Get Organized and Manage the Chaos
- If you have kids at home, you’re never going to have it all together. Instead, you have to manage what you’ve got. Like Alicia, you too may want to adopt the title of professional chaos coordinator. In other words, if you’re a busy parent and life feels chaotic at times, then congratulations, you are normal!
- Know that parents who look like they have it all together may still feel crazy and chaotic on the inside. A key for a quick parenting win is to simply focus on doing the next right thing.
- First, understand that not everyone is going to be as organized as Marie Kondo. And that’s OK. The goal is to find your own organizational system—one that works for you, in your house, and with your kids. Accomplishing this is more than adequate.
Get Organized and Find Your Calm
- Getting organized is important because when our atmosphere is calm, we feel calmer too.
- The next step is organizing the chaos by setting a schedule. This involves prioritizing and turning our attention to the things that have to get done.
- Parents need to know that their kids do not have to do all of the things. Not only is trying to keep up unnecessary. In today’s hustle and bustle society, it’s often not even sustainable.
- It’s freeing to push stuff off the plate that doesn’t really need to be there by saying “No.” Identifying our top priorities makes saying “No” to the stuff that doesn’t align with where we are headed, much easier. This is a great concept for parents to talk about with their kids.
- Just because you can do something does not mean you have to. Sure, volunteering at church, school, and community events are all good. But other people are also very capable of doing these things. So, evaluate these activities. Are they truly right for your family, right now?
The Get Organized and Live Well Mindset
- As a parent, you are enough! You also have everything you need. God has given you the skills to be the mom and dad you are supposed to be. You just need to tap into them.
- This starts with realizing the truth about who you are. God has given you the things you need to rock this mom (or dad) thing!
- The right mindset often starts with managing our own expectations. Social media is great at creating a facade of perfection. It’s important for parents not to compare their ordinary days to the highlight reels of other parents’ lives.
- It’s also important to remember that social media images are a snapshot of a happy moment in time. Viewers have no idea what went on immediately before or after. Even the most beautiful lives are often much less glamorous than we realize. In reality, we all don’t have it together, and it’s OK to be this way!
Get Organized by Letting Go
- Managing the chaos involves letting ourselves off the hook, letting go, and allowing ourselves to breathe.
- The goal is to use structure to get organize and make things a little better. But it’s not perfection.
Quick Tips to Get Organized Fast
- For quick wins, create this family rule: Every time you leave a room, take something with you and put it away. You’re already going somewhere anyway, so why not put something away.
- Have three boxes. A keep box (that gets put away). A giveaway (or donate) box. And a throwaway box. The rule is that once a box is filled, you have to do that thing.
- These simple habits can keep the “stuff” from piling up and feeling overwhelming.
- Working parents can schedule their office hours and let the rest of the family know. Let your family know your schedule and set up your expectations for the kids at the start of the day. This can be an organizational game-changer for everyone.
- Another tip is to assign one chore to each child before their free time. Instead of defining what this chore is, have each child ask, “How can I help?” Then, put them in charge of the tasks that help the most.
Diving Deeper Managing the Chaos
I love Alicia’s passion for helping busy parents get organized, manage the chaos, and live well at home. If you’d like to dive deeper, be sure to check out the all-access pass to our Thriving at Home Summit. This is where you’ll find our entire interview with Alicia.
For more great insights from the Thriving at Home Summit, you’ll also want to check out the following posts:
- Finding Family-Work-Life Balance: Practical Tips for Busy Parents
- Dads Matter: Understand The Father Effect and Overcome Old Wounds.
- How to Activate Peace, Purpose, and Fulfillment at Home.
Continuing the Conversation
Jenny and I would love to continue the conversation in the comments below!
- What are you already doing to get organized, manage the chaos, and live well at home?
- Which of the positive parenting skills in this post resonated the most with you?
- Which of these ideas have you already used, and which ones do you plan on putting into action in the future?
- What thoughts on getting organized would you add to this conversation?
Jenny and I can’t wait to hear from you!