5 Easy Ideas for a (Somewhat) Organized FamilyPosted: November 30, 2012
I am NOT a naturally organized person. Although I know that making To Do lists every day helps keep me on track and to feel more productive, I’m not great at it. I like the way Bill at The Authentic Life put it: highly organized people make lists, while more creative types shun them. Given that I’ve always loved to write, I’d say I’m fairly creative. At least it helps me feel better about my lack of organizational skills. Sure, you can make a list. But I’m creative.
That being said, I have always made an effort to be organized. It’s undeniable that the more efficient you are, the more productive you can be. My husband has gone to work wearing dirty jeans one too many times due to my getting wrapped up in
blogging other important tasks. My choices are:
a) buy the man more jeans
b) give up things that I enjoy on a regular basis like playing with my baby boy, writing, reading a good book, or watching Parenthood on Netflix
c) find a way to get everything done around the house AND have time to do the things I enjoy
All decent options, but when in doubt during a multiple choice test, I always go with “c.” Don’t you?
To help me out, here are some of the new organizational tools that I have put into practice.
1-Finding this household planner from The Confident Mom was the start of our newfound organization. What I love about this particular planner is that she covers it all. From vacuuming and making beds, laundry and cleaning toilets, even the small things like clipping children’s nails are covered in this planner. She plans out your days from January 1st until December 31st, and as far as I can tell, she leaves no household need unattended. The planner is divided into weekly pages, with a section for each day of the week and 3-5 chores per day. There is also a section for Daily Tasks that are the same every week with tasks that should be done every day like laundry (you’re welcome, hubby), dishes, making dinner, exercise, and even pampering yourself (relaxing in a long, hot bath, seeing what your favorite bloggers are up to, etc)! Of course, don’t feel like you need to take on all of these responsibilities yourself, stay-at-home parent or not. While I take on most of the household tasks so that my husband can have more well-deserved time to relax when he comes home from work, he does some of the tasks like taking out the trash and yard work. Our son has the responsibilty of feeding our pets, making his bed, straightening his room, helping with grocery shopping, etc. We have also implemented The Confident Mom’s “15-Minute Evening Pickup” as a family where we set a timer and go around the house putting things back in their place, throwing away trash, putting dishes in the sink, etc. Sometimes it takes only 5-10 minutes, but it makes a big difference on how the next day begins. It’s like waking up each morning to a clean slate rather than yesterday’s mess. I won’t post a close-up photo of the planner, because you should click here to see it for yourself!
2-After printing my new household planner, I wanted to create a special place to keep it, so I bought a binder from the dollar store, added a decorative cover to the front window, and put all the pages of the planner inside. I also put in the front inside pocket a monthly calendar to keep track of our family’s important dates, events, and appointments, as well as a spot for our bills. In the back, I put our address labels and stamps. This way, everything that I need to run our household on a weekly basis is tucked into one place on our desk.
3-While the binder is a great place to store the planner, I didn’t like the idea of having to open up a big old binder every time I needed to check off a daily task. I wanted it accessible to the whole family, so that we can all see what needs to be done. So I hung a clipboard (another dollar store purchase) on the wall, attached a pen, and put up the current week’s page from the planner. It’s in the kitchen where it’s seen often and easy to access. I didn’t particularly like the look of a clipboard hanging all by itself, so I took a 5×7 frame, added some colorful scrapbook paper hung it above the clipboard. I wrote a fun quote on the outside of the frame with a dry-erase marker. I wanted the option to be able to change up the quote from time to time, but I really like this one.
4-While I was in the organizing mood, I decided to create a space to hang my boys’ artwork. I wanted somewhere other than the fridge to showcase some of the cool stuff that my son does at school or a fun art project that we made at home. I added two 3M hooks to the wall, several feet apart, and I tied one end of a ribbon to each hook. My son and I decorated some clothespins and added them to the ribbon to hold the artwork. I bought letters to spell out A-R-T at Walmart and decorated them using spray adhesive and scrapbook paper. I was very pleased with our little art wall, and now I sort through my son’s schoolwork as soon as he brings it home, swap out a couple of the pieces on the wall, put the ones I want to keep forever into his schoolwork keepsake folder and throw out the rest! Clutter doesn’t stand a chance.
5-Finally, I know that it’s just about time to send out Christmas cards, and I am perpetually that person that has asked you twenty-four times for your address. You would think by now I would have a place to keep them all, but I don’t. I’m sure most of you already have some sort of organized address book, whether it’s in your phone, or a traditional address book, or your computer. But just in case you don’t, I bought an index card notebook from the dollar store which was already conveniently divided into three sections. I made one section for Businesses, one for Family, and one for Friends. After I ask around ONE more time for everyone’s addresses, I will finally have all of those addresses in one place!
Having some simple household organization tools in place has created a lot of peace for me. I thought I might feel more pressure to “get things done,” but it’s just the opposite. Knowing that there is a well-organized plan eliminates the constant stress of “I should do this today. Oh, but this other thing really needs to get done too. And when will I be able to do this…” Knowing that everything is going to get covered in small, manageable steps gives me more time to BE instead always feeling like there is something I should DO. And most importantly, my husband has clean jeans. Ta-Da!
How do you keep your home organized?