Moms today have it incredibly easy since the invention of smart phones. We can pay bills, make homeschool plans, take pictures of our cute kids and share them with family and friends, all with a few flicks of a touch screen. I recently handled our entire Christmas from my phone during nursing sessions, everything from ordering gifts and dinner ingredients to writing and sending cards.
That’s about all that makes modern motherhood easier; we still have toddlers who throw fits, teenagers who test the limits, and loads of worldly dangers to help our kids face. Anything that can make our days easier is a welcome relief. That’s why I devour Mystie’s blogs and why I wanted to share one of her golden nuggets with you.
The Portable Command Center
As a mom of four, three of whom are three years old or under, I find myself all over my house all day. I joke that the reason I don’t workout is that I get a workout running up and down the stairs and hauling babies and toddlers all day. Really, I just don’t like working out. I’m sure none of you have that problem.
When I sit down to do something homeschool-related with my 8-year-old, I may be nursing upstairs or in the living room, feeding the toddler at the dining table, or hiding away from sleeping babies in said third grader’s room. I never realized how much time I spend going to get that “one thing we forgot” in the other room, though I’m sure my 8-year-old realizes how often I send him to grab something from elsewhere; I can’t yet count on the next oldest to actually bring the thing to me.
Call it a toolbox, portable command center, or whatever. I call it an everything bag because it has everything I need (not actually everything).
Mine is a craft tote bag that I picked up at Michael’s for about $17 on a 40% off sale (I also saw them at WalMart for the same price), but Brandy got hers from Amazon for around $5.
Whether you choose a craft tote with a thousand pockets like this or a simple plastic tote like Brandy’s, the important thing is that what you need fits, and is accessible. I have a closet full of backpacks and other bags, but the fact that I don’t have to unzip pockets with this bag is a huge win when I usually have one hand occupied with a baby. Everything’s accessible and visible.
You’ll want to personalize your own bag, but here’s what I put in mine just in case you need some ideas:
- Water bottle. I’ll never kick the coffee habit, but at least this way I have no excuse not to get at least some water in everyday.
- Pens & pencils. Lots of color here, both because they’re fun and also because I grade with colored pen. Pencils for the kids because they are forever searching for a pencil even though they know we’re doing school and they have their own supplies.
- Kindle, iPad, iPhone. I keep different electronic resources on different devices. Now they’re all at hand so I don’t have to push pause on school to go find the Kindle or iPad. This alone has saved a ton of time.
- Timer. We don’t use this for a lot of things, but needed to formalize how much time we’re spending doing certain things. My guy likes to know we won’t be doing math forEVER.
- Mom’s commonplace book and bullet journals. I try to model writing about the things I’m reading, hence the commonplace. And my bullet journal keeps my to-do list and notes on other projects I have going.
- Kid writing journals. I have the kids write everyday, and somehow these get lost constantly, so for now it’s a million times easier for me to keep track of them.
- Catechism, memory work flash cards, ruler, play clock, sticky bookmarks. The miscellany will change, but right now we’re using our catechism and flash cards for Morning Time, ruler and play clock for math, and I always love to have new sticky bookmarks handy.
There you have it, my toolbox/portable command center, my Everything Bag. Thanks to Mystie and Brandy for the idea!
(This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting HFC!)