Thursday, May 24, 2018
My friends always tell me I’m organized. I think being organized can free up time to spend with family and friends and lessen the stress in your life. Nothing I will tell you today is rocket science. Some of you out there are more organized than I am, too! I’ve always loved organization, list making, journal writing, etc. Some people feel boxed in by too much structure. But, I think we can all agree that we want to live our best life and be our best selves. Sometimes all that takes is a little prep time on the front end of your month or week.
First of all, I think it’s good to question everything you are doing in your life. Do you need to do everything? Is there a way to out source some of this if it truly is necessary? What can your kids or husband do? MOMS, DO NOT BE A MARTYR AND DO EVERYTHING. Is there anything that you absolutely hate doing that you could afford to pay for? Examples would be a house cleaner, lawn mower, online grocery shopper, dry cleaner to press shirts, etc.
Here is one example that has made me happier and made our mornings easier. This year our school district started providing free lunch to every student, not just those with financial need. I was buying brown paper lunch bags (no lunch boxes anymore for my boys when they hit high school), baggies, big boxes of individually wrapped chips at Costco and making sandwiches to put in the freezer on Sunday evening. Obviously, high schoolers can do this themselves and they did sometimes, but I liked having everything ready. I think in March my boys said they didn’t mind eating the school lunch and that some days they were supplementing their bag lunch and getting the school lunch, too! So, they stopped bringing a lunch. I’m sure you can find an example of this in your life, too.
I work over 40 hours a week and one thing I try to do is to keep my work life and my home life separate. I come in early and stay late most days instead of bringing work home. When I’m ready to leave work each day, I leave a post it note list of what I need to do the next morning. I also empty out my email inbox each day unless it’s something I need to save. I hate email inbox clutter! I do this with my personal account, too.
I love my iphone and keep lists on it for all types of things – take out ideas, movies I want to see, things we need from Costco, birthday days, etc., but I use a paper calendar to stay organized. When a new month is coming up, I look at the entire month and see what birthdays and holidays we are celebrating, and any other special things that month. I start thinking of gift ideas, place orders, go to Dollar Tree for cards one Saturday when I can. On Sundays, I look at the week ahead and meal plan and see what will be happening that week.
I try to keep the weekdays pretty free except for school. We don’t plan much during the week because it’s just too hectic. My boys have activities right after school and don’t have many evening activities right now. Each night, I make a list for the next day. I will write down the silliest little things because I truly don’t remember it if it’s not written down.
When I am going to an event I always plan to leave extra time. If I’ve never been to a venue, I will mapquest it and see how long it takes to get there and add about 10 minutes. I hate to be late and I am rarely late because I allow enough time. I also try not to run errands at rush hour and just plan for easier times to do things if that makes sense. I hate wasting time in traffic and I’m glad that is not part of my daily routine. I try to combine errands and go places when I know I will be in a certain part of town.
One of my sisters is super organized – maybe more so than me – and the other is still a work in progress. I am trying to get her to get a paper agenda and to get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning. I think this will make a big difference for her. She needs more routine and needs to make things automatic. She claims that no two days are the same and I say even more reason to be organized.
What are your best tips on staying organized? Leave me a comment because I’m sure I can improve!