This winter was rough on my house. Not only did the cold and snow keep my family sequestered for days on end, but illness also ran rampant in our home for several weeks of the season. As the temperatures are on the upswing I’m beginning to get an itch to tackle the To-Do list at home and work on the projects I put off during the months where I lacked motivation. The first step to the process is getting organized.
Over the past several months I have really struggled to be an organized person. I missed important dates and events due to not keeping my calendar updated. I wasted a lot of time looking for things that I had misplaced. I even went days without cooking simply because I didn’t want to cook in a kitchen with dishes that needed to be done and floors that needed to be cleaned (it’s terrible I know.)
Two weeks ago I took a good solid look at my state of affairs and realized it was time for things to change. I had let the weather and my exhaustion keep me from taking care of my home and family in the way that I know I should.
As the weather changed into my favorite season of the year I found myself more energized and motivated to get my life in order. I’ve really enjoyed reading the blog Organize 365 by Lisa Woodruff. On her blog, she outlines practical, and inexpensive ways to get your life in order. I’ve taken her tips and when things apply to my life and my house I’ve begun to utilize those ideas.
My latest projects are just the beginning of a 40 week stretch to organize my whole home (let’s hope!) So far I have accomplished ridding my house of random papers by creating a Sunday basket and an efficient filing system.
A Sunday Basket is a central landing place for all paper in the house. This is where all things from mail to items that need to be added to the master schedule should find themselves from Monday-Saturday. The goal is that you should take a half an hour every Sunday to sort through everything, take action when necessary on particular items, and file things away. The Sunday Basket should be completely emptied each Sunday.
The first Sunday I had a lot of paper to sift through and ended up spending an hour on the process, but the idea is that as you continue to utilize the Sunday Basket that it should take less and less time each week to reach the bottom. When I sat down to go through everything I created four piles: trash, to-shred, to file, and actionable items.
For me, my kitchen ends up being the collection place for all things paper. In our home layout the kitchen is the entryway because I park my car in the garage, therefore, it ends up being the place where paper and random things are collected. After a day of work I get home and drop whatever is in my hands and head toward the couch to put my feet up for a few minutes. As opposed to making my kitchen table or counter top cluttered with bills, schedules, and correspondence, now I have established a functional system for dealing with the unmanageable amount of paper that enters my house on a weekly basis. My Sunday Basket sits on my counter top. Just above the basket, in the cupboard, I have cleared out a space for paper filing.
Like many of you I do also have a home office, but it is upstairs and away from the entryway. While a home office is a great place to store files it isn’t necessarily in a central location in everyone’s home. The kitchen is the place where life happens. We spend far more time in the kitchen than any other room (apart from maybe the bedroom due to sleep.) So it makes sense that the kitchen should also function as a go-to place for all things of importance. Over the span of two weeks I have created new binders for my finances, home user manuals, meal planning, art projects, and my personal writing ventures. So far this system has worked seamlessly. And I feel much better about my house which was formerly being overtaken by loose papers.
The next project I tackled involved my family schedule.
Like I said earlier I had been a bit lazy about using a master schedule. I had missed appointments, double booked my time, and even neglected to pay a couple of bills on time due to just not being on top of the dates. This was a huge issue and I’m embarrassed to say that I had let it get that bad. But, after reading Lisa’s plan for getting a master schedule up and running I decided to put it into practice in my own life.
I’m a paper-planner kind of girl. That is something that I think will never change about me. I love technology, don’t get me wrong, but I remember far more when I actually participate in jotting it down with pen and paper. So I dug out my abandoned planner and began to fill it with important events, ideas, and memos. Then, I color-coded the planner giving a color to each member of my family as well as major categories like church and appointments. I like a color-coded system because it helps me to quickly see from a glance where I tend to budget my time.
The next phase in my home organization project involves establishing a system for packing lunches quickly while also providing healthy options. If you are like me and struggle to stay balanced and keep on top of everything check out the blog, Organize 365!
The Ameri Brit Mom