One of the biggest barriers to staying organized is definitely related to time. It can be hard to find the time to start a big project (no matter how desperately it needs to be done), and then it's hard to carve out the time to maintain good routines (no matter necessary they really are). I don't personally think that staying organized has to take a ton of time- but it certainly takes some time, and I say this as someone who arguably has a certain amount of free time on my hands, so maybe I'm not the best judge.
I read a blog post on this topic a little over a week ago called Where Does the Time Go? and it has really stuck with me. I really think you should jump over and read it- but to summarize he talks about making intentional living choices- and being very deliberate with the allocation of his family's resources (time and money) to be sure that they are being spent on what's really important. The whole time that I was reading it, I just kept nodding my head.
THAT is exactly how I have been trying to live- and I really think that it is part of the reason that I feel like I have plenty of time to do what's really important to me. I am pretty picky when it comes to giving up our time (and our money), and I choose how we spend both very carefully.
As the parent of two preschoolers, I can't tell you how many times I hear, "Oh just wait! As they get older, life will get so much more hectic." I can see that...especially in larger families. Lives get hectic really quickly shuttling kids back and forth to activities, lessons, practices, games, etc etc. I know that my life will get more hectic too- and I am prepared for that. But I also think that to some degree I am in control of HOW hectic I allow my life to get.
My kids only do 1 activity at a time- so our calendar is not quite as cluttered as it could be if we signed up for everything that crosses our path. When one session of something ends, we talk about what they would like to try next. I also try not to go overboard on parental arranged play dates. I try to keep our schedule light because I want my two girls to play together, to be bored, to find a way out of being bored, to learn about helping out around the house, and most of all, I want to allow time for us to just BE.
My husband and I hold ourselves to the same limits- making choices about evening commitments very carefully. And even though I don't necessarily do it on purpose, I tend to limit our weekend commitments instinctively so that we have plenty of time together as a family.
Sometimes things DO get hectic, but I know that when I'm starting to feel like there's not enough time to get it all done- it's because I'm choosing to over schedule myself. All it takes is a few cutbacks to get my head above water again.
Our life is FULL of running around. But, I try really hard to ensure that it's mostly the good kind.