Thursday, September 24, 2009

Getting Organized

One of the blogs I follow is Cents To Get Debt Free. If you don't subscribe to this one, you really should. Phoebe is inspiring. I'm serious! She grows and harvests fruits and veggies, cans and preserves, grinds her own wheat, is super organized, is well balanced in her family life, and is a super sweetie. Needless to say, I learn something new every time I visit her blog.

She recently started a series of posts called Finding Freedom Friday. This series has been about getting organized through the use of a Home Management Binder. When I read this post, school, nursery school, dance, and gymnastics had just started (or was just about to start), and I already beginning to feel overwhelmed with all of the calendars, paperwork, scheduling etc. Therefore, I decided to give Phoebe's binder idea a try.

My Binder

  • Daily "To Do" list - I use one of these created by Jolanthe from Homeschool Creations and No Ordinary Moments. It is the format that works best for me.
  • Calendars - I have a calendar for each month. On these calendars I mark things like school holidays, b-days, when dance/gymanastics tuition is due, appointments, and meetings. I use these calendars that I created using DJ Inkers clipart.

  • Menu Planning - I use this one from Mom Advice. I also put all of my recipes for the current week together and into a page protector. If I am using a recipe from a book, I make a copy of it to put in the binder. This has been very convenient.
  • Master Cleaning List - I have included this one (from Phoebe) in my binder, but I need to be more disciplined about sticking to it.
* I keep each of these items in a page protector in my binder.
**My next goal is to create a Master Grocery Shopping List.

Filing Boxes
To keep up with my children's school papers and homework, I use magazine file boxes. I got these from Ikea. However, they are an "in store only" item. If you aren't lucky enough to have an Ikea nearby, you can also purchase them here Kraft Cardboard Magazine Organizers. I created name labels for each one and taped them on.

Then I let each child choose what type of clipart he/she wanted. I printed out the clipart and the kids cut out each picture and glued them to their boxes. I did not have contact paper, so I covered them with shipping tape.

Gracen chose Fairies.

In the afternoons, when the girls get home from school, the first thing they have to do is unpack their backpacks. They place their homework folders and important papers in their boxes. This has worked extremely well. Nothing gets lost and my kitchen table and desk aren't covered with a mountain of papers anymore.

Yes, I do realize that I have published a picture with my children's real names. After considering it for a while, I have decided to begin using their real names in my posts. It feels more genuine to me. Junie B., my nine year old, is named Samantha. Fancy Nancy, my six year old, is named Gracen. Jesse Bear, my three year old, is named Weslyn (Wes for short).


Annette said...

Thank you!

I need to get organized. Want to come visit for a day and help? (Kind of joking!)

I have to tell you, every time I use an Itty Bitty post it note, I feel blessed with my blogging friends who motivate me so much to be a better mom and wife...and cleaner!

Tara Rison said...


If I could, I would love to help you! We would have fun!

Thank you for your kind words. I know exactly what you mean. I often wish that I could meet all of my blogging friends in real life. It is amazing the connections that can be made through blogging!

Take care!

Orange Juice said...

I second that! I wish I could so many of my blogging friends.
This is a great post, I'm going to head over & chexk out that blog too! I'm always trying to get & stay organized.

Christy said...

I need to get organized too. I think I'm going to try these things. My oldest is on three soccer teams, my middle child is playing soccer and swimming and just started K, and my youngest is dancing, swimming, and in preschool three mornings. I'm just trying to stay afloat and I'm so worried that something is going to go wrong. Anyway, blah blah, I have to get my act together. Thanks for the help!

Teena's said...

Ditto to all said...single parent of teen...home childcare...eight dogs...need I say more...always attempting to organizing without much success. I will work on it more though, I hope.

Phoebe @ Cents to Get Debt Free said...

Thank you so very much for your kind words! Oh, how I would love to meet every single one of my blogging friends. Who who have thought that the internet would create such great connections?!

I LOVE your Filing Boxes idea. I try to snag the kid's school work as soon as they get home, but sometimes I get busy and a crazy pile up happens. This sure would alleviate all that!

Eesh. I'm working on my master grocery list, too. Can't wait for that (and a master menu plan) to be done.

Thanks for sharing!

Raising a Happy Child said...

I love your organization ideas and especially magazine folders. We have a self-made calendar as well for keeping track of birthdays and appointments and a weekly posting board. Usually my husband and I sit some time during the weekend and plan our week - menu, activities, special projects. It helped a lot with peace and quiet :) It's nice to learn the real names of your kids too!

Tara Rison said...

Raising a Happy Child, I love how you and your husband plan together. That is a perfect way to keep everyone on the same page.

Tara Rison said...

Christy and Teena, Good Organizational Luck! Let me know how it goes.