Monday, January 9, 2012

Operation OrGaNiZaTiOn! Part I

 It's finally here....

O r G a N i Z a T i O n

So before I jump in....I want to share a statistic that many of you have probably heard before.  Did you know that it can take between 18 - 254 days to form a habit?   Check out this article about forming a habit.   If that is truly the case...many of you will give up before we even get started, right?

So...that being the case, I'm hoping you'll find 1 small piece of information or a tip that you can try to put into practice in your own life and home to form just 1 new and improved habit.  If not, I'll give you an A+ for just reading these  After all, that may just be 1/2 the battle because they might get long with how much I have to share!

I have been talking about this for some time now and the time has finally arrived!  I'm very excited to share some ideas with you for a few reasons:

1.  Because I LOVE organization and want to spread the love
2.  I found some really great ideas that I just need to share
3.  If you are not organized but want to try to be, maybe you'll find just one idea that you'll keep
and most importantly,
4.  I need to re-organize many areas of my own space and life

While I try very hard to stay organized and stick to it all year long, after a long December with my wedding anniversary, my daughter's birthday, the holidays and a crazy busy business this year...I need a lot or organizing myself!

So let's get started.  First I'm going to avoid using the word "cleaning" even though in all honesty, that's what you're doing when you de-clutter and organize.  But...since this word is so negative to so many, we'll stick with organizing because for some reason, that gives people a greater sense of purposes and fulfilling a goal.  Am I right?  So many put "Get Organized" as a New Year's resolution, but does anyone put "Clean More"?

Today I'm going to start with setting up yourself for success in both your "organization" mission and your overall life.    I read one of the FlyLady's book a few years back called "Sink Reflections".   While there are some parts that I will never do (like shine my sink each morning...hence the name of the book), I found some parts so great and use them to this day.  In fact, I've formed habits with them that are worth keeping!

Because of this book, I created my first "Family" binder.   Here it is...

Not so beautiful, but fully functional.  We'll get into the contents soon.  I recently decided I'm going to spruce this baby up in 2012 with a binder I previously purchased and was trying to figure out what to use it for.   I needed to make this binder more exciting and something that made me happy.

The new addition....

I also added some fun and functional rainbow dividers.  They each have a pocket on the outside of the divider  to hold loose ends...GENIUS if you ask me.  I want to get these too that I saw on TV the other night because they are so colorful.  Sad what I yearn truly is the little things with me.

I have adapted my binder over time and plan on doing more additions/deletions this week as well (I'll share the finished product soon).   The whole idea of the binder is that you have a place/space for all of the important things that make your life and family operate.   It is easily accessible and transportable as well.

Here are a few key items in mine that I learned from The "Fly Lady" that will definitely stay.  I use these every single day!

"Weekly Plan" - Her philosophy is that every day has a purpose.   I agree, for the most part, but more importantly, this works for me because it doesn't allow me too much wiggle room.  You see, I haven't always been organized and sometimes don't want to have to be (OK.  I said it).  This plan forces me to stay on task and not "wing it" from day to day.   

Here is mine from the past year...clearly I need rainbow colors as

Basic Weekly Plan

MONDAY –           Grocery Shopping
                                  Laundry - Ryan

TUESDAY –            Weekly Cleaning
                                   Laundry - Isabella

WEDNESDAY –     Bill Day
                                  Laundry - Me

THURSDAY –       Errands
                                 Gift Buying

 FRIDAY –  ME DAY - Miscellaneous Items                                       
                                  Clean out car
                                 Clean out emails
                                  Laundry – Ryan

SATURDAY –         Family Day

SUNDAY –              Weekly Planning
                                  Grocery List

Some things I loved about this schedule:

1.  I am only doing 1 load of laundry a day and don't feel like I'm ALWAYS doing laundry.
2.  I plan my upcoming week on Sunday and know I'm going to so I'm not ever thinking about what's next during the week.  Of course I add to my week as it goes on, but I'm not consumed by my calendar.
3.  I only "Organize" (I said I wouldn't use the word clean) on 1 day a week.  Of course I am doing it every day in some small way, but I only focus on it 1 day a week...thank goodness.

Some things I don't like and will change:
1.  I don't want to start my week at the grocery store.  I despise food shopping.

"Daily Routines" - The "FlyLady"'s purpose for this is for you to train yourself into doing the same basic things each morning and evening so you don't have to stop to think what's next.

I like these because I get the sense of achievement of finishing them and checking them off and I also know the basic things I NEED done are completed.  I do not follow this on weekends AT ALL.  That is my time to stay in pj's and do whatever.

My morning routines  include: packing lunches and/or school snacks, making beds, cleaning sink area, putting in load of laundry, working with Ryan on alphabet, plan/start dinner, checking email (yes I schedule this or my whole day would get sucked into the computer)

My evening routines include: Checking calendar for next day, laying out next day's clothes, folding and putting away laundry, organizing desk, straightening kitchen, reading through school paperwork, reading (me time, and yes I have to schedule that too or the computer gets me)

Both my "weekly plan" and "daily routines" are in sheet protectors with holes in my binder so that I can use a dry eraser marker to check things off as I go.  Here is this morning's so you can see what I mean:

Now of course, I fall off the wagon from time to time, but on the whole, these have helped SO MUCH!    I cannot tell you how much more sane I am on the days/weeks I faithfully follow these.  But, whether you work from home, out of the home or are a stay-at-home mom, you can get these done before you're "real" work begins for the day!

The other things I have in my binder that I plan on keeping are the school calendars for both of my children's schools, a folder that fits in the binder with all of our important rebate info or tech protection plans, grocery shopping lists (which I've since gone digital with...I'll share that in another post), schedules for any classes or sports' teams we are in and that's about it.

I have been searching far and wide for ideas to add to and enhance my binder and here are some goodies I found.
Now Jen from 'I Heart Organizing' does NOT joke around.  She loves organizing so much that she named her blog after it.  She has created her own line of printables that she sells via her etsy shop if you like them.  She's a pro at this organization thing...I just aspire to it!

Some of the things in her binder that I like that I want to add:

Finances (place to track bill paying)
Contact info (includes plumber, babysitters, doctors, etc)

* She even included a baseball card sleeve for business cards - GENIUS!
Home Maintenance / Cleaning Schedule
Meal Planning Calendar

Here are a few others that I liked and some even have a different take on what I'm using for weekly and daily to-do's.  Check them out.  

Jessalyn at 'Designing Virtues' was nice enough to share all of her binder printables. 

 I love this printables of hers:

Running To-Do List - this is what I create throughout the week and use on Sundays to plan my upcoming week.  I call mine a "brain dump" because it allows for me to get it out of my head and dump it somewhere to re-visit and plug into my week.   I basically take all of these actions and prioritize them when I'm weekly planning and then label them for which day I'd like to do them.  I then put them in my planner (I'll show you that later)

She uses a lot of printables from 'Clean Mama' and her etsy shop.  You can find them here.  Or you can be creative (I mean cheap) like me and make your own and adapt them to your needs.

And this one from 'Crystal Wilkerson' has some goal setting, personal development, and inspirational pages built in.  Great idea, but not where I am right now.  I use my planner for this... again, I'll show you later.

And lastly, here are some links to other fabulous FREE printables that you might find useful in your binder...

There are a TON of other helpful printables on this site!

And check out 'Mommy Tracked' for some really fun printables.  I love this one...
The "EAT SHEET" for menu planning.

And lastly,

Cleaning Routines from 'Sunla Designs'

As promised....finally, right?

The other item I CANNOT live without is my planner.  I have tried so many different ones over the years and think I've finally found THE one.  I've also tried to only use the one on my phone to no avail.  I know it would be easier to carry, but I need the actual planner in front of me.  I do use my phone to schedule thing while I'm out, but then I have to come home and transfer it to my planner.  Here is my planner and I ADORE it...
You can find them here.  They are not cheap, but have SO many great features!  And I want to preface this by saying that I am not being paid to say this...I'm just in LOVE!

So not only is it pretty.... but so useful.   It has tons of great features. Including:

BOTH...month at a glance AND week at a glance...

Month at a glance...

Week at a glance...
Here is a week at a glance in my crazy December...if it were not for this planner and my pencil...I would NEVER HAVE SURVIVED!  Here is where I plug in all of my weekly to-do's from my Sunday planning.  As I mentioned earlier, I put all of my thoughts on paper throughout the week on what I need to do and then prioritize them once a week and transfer to my planner.

On the back of the monthly page, she has put a blank page with some inspirational quote or words to give space for free thought....

Some other great features are....
A place for all of our important dates...

Stickers to use within the calendar to mark special dates...

And two great pockets in the back for keeping all of your loose items...

And that my friends....wraps up the first post in the series...
O r G a N i Z T i O n

I will be sharing a ton more ideas and again, please take what you want from it.   Remember to only bite off what you can reasonably handle.  I do think starting with a family/home management/life (whatever you want to call it) binder is a great place to start.  If you do nothing further, at least you'll know where to go when you do decide to go further.

Poshed Up

1 comment:

  1. You are talking my dream world! Now, if only someone could get this all together for me! Can you add that to your planner for each week? What if I say pretty please? :)