Thursday, August 30, 2012

Welcome to Motherhood. Now get Organized

I am not a very organized person (A neat freak, yes, organized, not in the slightest). I admit it. I loose stuff constantly; Just this afternoon I spent 10 minutes at the grocery store (after having all my items rung up) looking for my I.D, only to find it next to the Car Seat. Generally I procrastinate until the last possible moment to do anything. I was that kid in high school, you know the one, that waited the entire 6 weeks the project was assigned and scrambled together on the very last two days (if I was even that motivated) to put everything together staying up way to late, waking up way to late and rushing to school (again...late), barely making it to class in time to hand in their project. But in the end, I always pulled it off, and I always (well most always) made an A. This was the pattern of my adolescence and early adult hood. I never really had to take a look at myself and fix this pattern, because of my uncanny ability to succeed even with procrastinating to the fullest extent possible. I can B.S. myself out of almost anything on the spot. Insert Baby Here:

Oh sweet Motherhood, how you have made me grow up... well, for the most part. I have always wanted to be organized. To have that perfectly organized pantry filled with matching containers, baskets, and everything labeled and in order. But I have never quite been able to complete that. I do have a pretty strong grasp on my closet, everything is in order there. And has been prior to Motherhood, but as or everything else, yea, right. I try to stick to a routine, as much of a routine as possible at least. Luckily I have a pretty flexible child, so if I mess up one day and get off schedule she doesn’t melt down and take weeks to get back on track.

Recently tho I have become sick of the chaos that comes along with not being organized. I am determined to become more organized and routine oriented. Moving into a larger home, I found myself constantly chasing my tail when it came to cleaning. Finishing one room, moving on to the next, only to find the previous room trashed again. I had boxes still unpacked, and way to much junk. And I could never seem to get and stay caught up. I was sick of it. So  I set out to not only say I was going to get organized, but actually do it.  

Like any good CEO of a company, a Mom needs a day planner. So that is where I started. I recently made a home organization binder, and it has made a world of a difference. I divided the sections according to what fit my life.  TipJunkie and FrugalLiving.About.Com offers a lot of amazing free printables to help me stay organized with my binder.

I found that the biggest help with the binder was making a menu plan for the month. By taking the time to organize this and a grocery list, I have saved myself a lot of money. No more emergency trips to the store (unless I have decided I have “forgotten something”) and I actually can plan what night we are having left overs and how/if I can turn those left overs into an entirely different meal.

Menu Worksheet can be found Here

While Pinteresting one day, I also found a great “Chore List” to help me with cleaning my home. I had tried others before, but they never really worked for me. Instead of breaking it down room by room, I complete one full task at a time. I have included that list below. This has freed up time for me to complete more tasks on my goal list, open up my weekends, and time during the day. What used to be an all day every day event has now turned into about 20 minutes in the morning, an hour in the afternoon (tops) and about 20 minute before bed time. I love the simplicity of it. It allows me to have the neat home I love, without spending the amount of time on it that I hate.
Cleaning Calendar found here
 I also found an easy way to gradually de-clutter my home. I designated a box for donating and put it in a central location (yet out of sight) in my home. I usually try and purge my house about twice a year. I try to stick to the rule of if I haven't used it in a year get rid of it. But this doesn't always happen. However, with the "donation box" in place, I can add items to it as I come across them. This way it doesn't have to be this huge undertaking of dragging everything out of a cabinet, closet, or room to see what needs to be donated. It's a gradual, ongoing process. And once the box fills up, off to Goodwill I go.

The Final Step to my more Organized life: Involving the significant other! This is easier said than done in my home. He is also lacking in the organizational skills department. I figured a "family board" would help him stay in the loop with day to day needs, and activities. I have been in the market for a dry erase calendar and board for months, but they were all either too expensive, or didn't contain a blank side and a calendar side. I finally found a combo set at Bed,Bath & Beyond last week. They stick straight to the wall, and are re-positionable. I however, stuck them to a poster board so that I could put them in a matching frame.  This allows him to glance at the board every morning before work and participate in helping us stay organized. No more me having to tell him when what is due, or what needs to be done, or brought home from the store. So far it is working magnificently.

For me I do better when I have lists, lists help me see what is front of me and accomplish it. Many of these items listed may be common sense for some people, but for someone like me they have made a world of a difference. I hope you all enjoyed. Please share some of the ways you stay organized, and how they help keep your Home running smoothly.


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