Friday, May 11, 2012

My Top 10 Organizational Tips...

Okay so I am kind of a type-A personality and recovering perfectionist but I do believe in order in the home...it makes for a happy mom and when mama is happy everyone is happy!  So I thought I would share...I heard at a recent MOPS meeting that 80% of your life should be organized and the other 20% you can let go...so here you go, this is how our house rolls...
#1 I have recently started meal planning for lunches and dinners for 2 weeks at a time, that is right I only go to the grocery store once every 2 weeks (now I generally go to Target on the opposite week because I have a LOVE for all things Target)...My thought on going once every 2 weeks is one less time we have to go with 2 little kids and I have saved about $35 each time off my bi-weekly budget of $200...I have less opportunity to impulse buy (yep I am the reason people put the fun items on the end caps) because I type up my meal plan and then have a corresponding table of grocery items I cross off as we go...I also take my own bags because it takes me less trips to get it all in the house!
Now my meal plan is not perfect, it is a living, breathing document - life happens after all - so this is a used meal plan, see things got shifted around throughout the 2 weeks...I also write on all my meat what the meal is so I don't accidently use it for something else! (learned this the hard way)...if you try this remember it takes time, you might have to run out to get a lemon and that is okay (that is where going to Target comes in handy :)
#2 Corresponding grocery list divided into categories in order of how the store is layed out and how I shop in it...it is the little things that make the most difference I tell you!  I was forever forgetting things when it was just one large list where milk was listed next to frozen sausage, they are on opposite sides of the store!
#3 My calendar - yep we are old school around here - but I write down all of our appointments for all of us on this and it is write by the door so I can check it as I pass in and out!  I also attach all upcoming invitations, schedules, notes, etc.
#4 I have a cleaning schedule.  I looked at my week and what we have going on each day and then planned what I would clean on each day (because otherwise I was cleaning some things ALL the time and some things NEVER).  It depends when exactly it is accomplished during the day, Solon loves to help vacuum so sometimes I do it during nap and sometimes I do it while the kids are awake - just depends on the day! I also do spot cleaning each day with Solon and clean up the toys before nap and bedtime with a little ditty titled "Time to Clean Up"!  Now if I don't get to a day in the week because we are doing something else, I don't freak out because I know I will come back to it the next week or I will play catch-up the next day.  I recently had guests and I didn't feel like I had to clean for hours on end for their arrival...which was nice!  Doesn't mean my house is "clean" all the time by any means - I go by the rule "Cleaning a house with young children is like shoveling while it is still snowing!"  I have learned to embrace the toys ;)!
#5 Mail Center - okay so this looks like "organized chaos" organized being that it is in a basket BUT it works for us - remember it has to work for you.  I place all mail Scott needs to deal with in here and he checks it throughout the week, takes care of what needs to be paid and the rest waits there until he files it away in his filing cabinet o'fun in the basement backroom.  I also clip all pertinent non-food related coupons to the side (aka haircut and clothes coupons).  I keep all restaurant coupons in the SUV.  I keep stamps, address book, and notecards in a basket above the fridge...
#6 Shoe and Coat Center...okay so I believe moms shouldn't do EVERYTHING around here...even the littlest ones can be trained to help out.  Solon has his own shoe bin, he knows when we get home to take his shoes off and put them in his bin.  (most days he is very successful maybe more than anyone else - wink, wink!).  We don't have a mudroom (note I want one in the next house!) so we turned our basement stairs into one since it just happens to be next to the back door.  A shoe cubby and hooks work great!  We rotate out seasonally the coats so they don't attack you as your go downstairs.  I also store my diaper bag and spare purse there as well and a basket of hats, etc.

#7 Usable kid storage - goodness sakes there are a lot of toys in the world and we own about half of them I swear...so we found this table with baskets to store them away.  We have a basket for tractors, baby toys, balls, and misc.  We also turned our front coat closet into a toy closet by adding some additinal shelving and storage containers.  Our rule of thumb is a few toys out, play and then put them away before getting something else out.  We also rotate toys upstairs and downstairs... you would be surprised how much more fun toys can be in a new location - who would have thunk?  I also love that all BIG toys are in the basement (aka the train table and plastic little tykes house) and everything upstairs can be concealed away so I have an adult space from 1-3:30PM and after 8PM!  A clean floor does wonders for my relaxation!

#8 Everything must have a home or it better find a new and different home!  We have a great home but we use every square inch and I don't deal well with clutter or piles so it has to have a permanent home somewhere otherwise we say good-bye...

#9 Regular spring cleaning - if we didn't wear it last season or I can't remember folding it in the laundry recently, we either donate, place in a garage sale pile or trash...even for the kids there are things that didn't work right or didn't wear, chances are the next kiddo won't wear it either...

#10 Do things you can on the spot...put the laundry in the hamper, put your dishes in the dishwasher rather than on the counter, wash dishes while cooking dinner, clean immediately after the meal...if you don't want to do it now, chances are you still won't want to do it later...just do it now! 

**I also blog once a week on all last week's happenings and schedule it to upload every day or every other day at noon....you can find that function on the left side under post settings and click on schedule!  Love that feature...just so happens this post was typed a couple of days ago!
My home is not perfect, pile free, or spotless but I am a happier mama and our days are smoother with these tips in place - take what you can, toss if you can't...

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness we are so alike sometimes!! I am the same way with grocery shopping, only every 2 weeks and I meal plan as well! :) I don;t have an official grocery list that I use, but LOVE yours so will be adopting that, but have always split things up as I write them down. But then nate writes something on the list and it messes me all up! :) So thanks for the idea!! I am also have a cleaning "chart" for what to clean every day. Just makes me smile how similar we can be! :)

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