Organization — it's a word that strikes fear in the hearts of disorganized mothers everywhere. In theory, we know that we should plan our time more efficiently, but in reality, something always seems to stand in the way. We want to be more organized, but we're just never sure where to begin.

In reality, organization doesn't have to be as difficult as we make it out to be. There are lots of small changes we can make that will help our lives run more smoothly, and lots of people who are willing to help us along the way.

Organizational Tips from The Crockpot Queen

Stephanie O'Dea might be best known for her popular crockpot recipes, but did you know that she also dishes up organizational advice? Her latest book, Totally Together: Shortcuts to an Organized Life, is like a daily planner on steroids, and it's a great resource for busy, overwhelmed moms who want to be more organized but don't know where to start.

In the spiral-bound, purse-sized "planner," O'Dea shares her personal tips for tackling everything from household chores to holiday preparations to nightly dinners. But most importantly, she writes like a real mom who understands that being organized isn't always easy.

"Life and all the obstacles that life produces can wreak havoc on even the most carefully planned days. The best thing you can do is go with the flow and get back on track the next day."

The Daily 7 for a Highly Successful Household

In Totally Together, O'Dea offers advice about meal-planning (invest in a crockpot, no surprise there), time management (learn to say no), and getting your kids to help with chores (start early). And the second half of her book is an actual week-by-week planner, complete with daily and weekly checklists to help you stay on track.

By far though, the best part of Totally Together is O'Dea's list of the seven jobs that should be done daily to keep your home running smoothly. Her "daily 7" include:

  1. Make beds right away.
  2. Do one complete load of laundry.
  3. Empty all garbage cans.
  4. Keep your kitchen sink empty.
  5. Clean up after yourself and help children do the same.
  6. Bathroom wipe-down.
  7. 10-minute cleanup before bed.

Personally, I hate cleaning, and I rarely complete all the tasks listed above on a daily basis. But I also have a sneaking suspicion that this may be why my life is a lot less organized than it should be. Now, thanks to the daily checklists on my Totally Together planner, I might actually succeed at routinely accomplishing the above tasks.

Or at least I'll start making my bed.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Totally Together for the purpose of this review, but all opinions are my own. Also, in the spirit of complete honesty, you should know that I really have started making my bed every day. However, I will never clean my bathrooms on a daily basis. Ever. No matter what the book says.