Monday, December 19, 2011

2012 Getting Organized


It's no secret that I TRY real hard to be organized.

My BIGGEST NUMERO UNO get organized tip.... are you ready? Wait for it..... I've been working on this one ALL year in 2011...and will continue to work on it this year.

Instead of buying cool storage containers for your crap....

it's revolutionary. Are you sure you can handle it?


BE RUTHLESS! Do it in stages. Start with one REALLY ANNOYINGLY cluttered part of your house. Start small. Clean out that junk drawer in the kitchen. Dump the WHOLE thing out. Get a drawer organizer.... put it in your drawer. Choose a spot for each thing you NEED in this drawer. While you are at it pull the garbage can over or a box for donations. Shoot go crazy, grab both.

Now remember RUTHLESS. How many pens do you really need at your finger tips? Perhaps there are other locations in your house that can use a pen. Do they even work? Check. Get a scrap paper and try to write with EVER pen in there. Or choose three pens you like and throw the rest out. DO NOT go out and buy another bulk pack of pens. DON'T do it! Now put ONE roll of tape in there, your book of stamps, one ruler, a nail file, a pair of scissors... ONE to THREE of each little thing you NEED in your junk drawer. If there are other things you want to keep, but they don't belong in your drawer then find an appropriate home for them.

Now STOP throwing everything on your counter in your junk drawer!! PUT IT AWAY in the RIGHT place instead. (now go through other areas of your house and REPEAT. Always bringing the donation box and garbage box with you.)

And NUMERO DOS... a plan. AT this moment we will talk about a meal plan. I've tried numerous approaches to this. Most recently I tried Simple Mom's Google Calendar idea, but as simple as it is it's too complicated for me. It might work for you though so check it out. I do like a lot of (most of) her stuff.
I like paper and pencil.

I'm simple. My most successful approach has been to just write the plan in my calendar with a pencil. Old school style. I have been pinning many recipes in Pinterest and generally have been using that to catalog my recipes. (Though I - admittedly - need to organize them a bit better). I write a little note in my calendar as to where the recipe can be found. Pinterest, a different site, a book, magazine etc.

I hate to clean. Numero Tres, but I have kids!!!! Why did this take me so long? My kids are getting to the age where they can actually help. And ONE of them is more than willing. The other is excited.... for now, but I suspect the novelty will wear off.
those that guessed chore chart were right.
Now I don't have to do it all. They can (and should) help and we do it together .... mostly because they aren't quite old enough to do all of this on their own... and it's actually kind of fun. BONUS: It helps them with their reading. Full disclosure... this was not my idea!


Side note... if you want them to do something MAKE SURE it's on the CARD because I'm now breeding little Union leaders! "BUT MOM it's not on my chore card!" Or "Mom, it says get dressed FIRST THEN brush teeth!!"

Boring Mom stuff is sometimes helpful. Enter NUMERO QUATRO 'the binder'... I'm typically very resistant to this domestic kind of BS, but I am in desperate need of organization and things made easy because I'm going to be enlisting some serious help this year... and anything I can offer to make things a little easier on those (aka MOM) coming into my home in my absence than I am all over it.

Artwork by Lily. I think that's me.

Still working on which Tabs work for me.

Again How She Does gives me the HOOK UP on the How To for the FAMILY BINDER. Now my tabs are a bit different than hers... Note MY first tab. (Okay maybe this won't make it easier for my mom to run my house, but it's a big thing in my life and deserves tab numero uno in my mind.) My first tab is TRAINING and contains my training schedule and any other training related info I find that I want to remember/keep tabs on.

If you have kids you NEED this. NUMERO CINCO: the 'tickler file'. I noticed the other day that my dad has one. He's like 65.. he's been organized (in a simple way) his whole life. Well, let's be real, my MOM keeps their house organized and always has, but my dad organizes all things house/financials. Anyway I notice the other day that dad has this cool folder thing that has one in the front that says TO DO! Hmm... then I saw THIS (again from Simple Mom... told you she had good stuff). I recently had the papers for renewing out car tabs rolling around in this basket / inbox thingy ... my last attempt at organizing my paper crap... and while it did get done... mostly on time.. I kept touching it and moving it while waiting for it's due date to get a bit closer. This only increases the chances that I am going to LOSE it until WELL PAST it's due date.

If you've got kids... they bring all kinds of stuff home from school. Then there are all the other obligations in your life that still require pieces of paper. I created a tickler file that has a section to hold my individual notebooks for various commitments I have (Rev3 has one, ECH has one, this blog has one, and I have one more for a goal I have for this year) and I have a slot for each month. Something is due in February I put it in my calendar with a note that it is in the Tickler file then I file it. MAGICALLY it is no longer rolling around in my kitchen getting ruined and potentially lost and forgotten! This is AWESOME! I've got high hopes for this one!

Talk to me about what you do to manage it all. How do you keep yourself organized!? So far this is working great for me. If you try any of it let me know how it works for you.


  1. Putting things away and doing little bits of cleaning/organizing is the only way I keep my house functional. If we let it become a mess, that means some bill or "to do" item on the list has already gotten forgotten about.

    So, not only making sure that everything has its place, but that it gets back into its place after we are done using it, is key.

    And 2 points for me for guessing the chore wheel!

  2. Ahh just what I needed to read! We are in serious need of simplifying. I have to admit, I have a lot of junk and need to start learning to toss some stuff out.

  3. I think I need to embrace the tosser mentality a bit more!! Great post!

  4. Anonymous9:37 AM

    Woohoo for organization. I went through a huge overhaul of our house a few years ago. Selling stuff on ebay, donating, throwing out. People joked that they'd come over and we'd be using cardboard boxes as furniture. I won't lie, sometimes I wish that was the case. Simple. I hate clutter and crap. With my OCD I keep up with it pretty well and tend to do overhauls every 6 months or so.

  5. I want to be like you when I grow up :D Seriously. This is my big 2012 goal, too many months of triathlon focus in our house left things in disarray! Do you have a month by month plan?

  6. You should see MY drawer in the kitchen and the 4 drawers in the kitchen that my wife uses. I can't stand it and may force her to get rid of the crap this weekend. Thanks for the reminder to be ruthless.

  7. It's kind of a game at my house... I'm always asking my husband... 'are you done w/ this? Can I get rid of it.. ?" :D

    Jill.. no month to month, but I will email you my 'process'... :D