Every year I try to get a little more organized. I pick something to focus on and add it to my routines. Slow process? Maybe. But by adding one thing slowly it tends to branch out in other areas. So I'm not really adding one thing.. I'm making a changes that have a ripple effect.
Last year it was keeping a Calender for the family. A real calendar. Writing everything down and looking at the calendar every week to help me make my menus by seeing how much time I had available for meals and who would all be there, plan my shopping by purchasing gifts and cards beforehand, and just keep me aware of what is going on in everyone's lives.
So far so good. Even the kids have learned to write down important things - parties, tests, field trips, projects due and even items needed! Whoo hoo. See the ripple effect working??
I use to have a palm pilot. I am a gadget nerd and wanted one so darn bad. I loved organizing. I had a shopping list, meal plans, gift list, addresses, appts., etc. You name it, it was in there.
Except, I hated using it. Honestly. The screen was so small and the print was even smaller. It was not fun to use. It was cumbersome and more work than I wanted to put into it. Blah!
That's when I started using binders. I have a binder for coupons, one for recipes, and one for my home. My home one keeps my list of daily and weekly activities. It also houses my list for evacuations, maps, phone numbers, and other important information. I also keep a Holiday Guide in there. My menus for Tgiving and Cmas are in there and the shopping lists of things I need/have/purchased for the meals is tucked in there. I keep a decorating list with the room and what goes in it. Simple stuff like: Kitchen - cmas towels, Cmas pot holder, candles, rugs, soap. This way if anything needs to be replaced I can circle it and at the end of the season I know instantly what I need to replace. This year I added the list of presents purchased and amounts. It's nice to see it all in a list form. See. Organized! You can make it as complicated and drawn out as you want, or simply stick to the basics. Simple works for me.
Back to the Calendar. I used my palm mostly for keeping things in sync. I could see at an instant when making appt which day worked best and knew when to make appts. This year? GRRR. More times than not I had to call and reschedule or tell them I'd call them when I got home after checking the calendar. Guess what? Exactly. I never called back!! ACK! Not good.
Sooooo... this year my sister and I did an all day shopping to get things done! It was this Saturday. My sister is a born organized and loves order and decluttering. I am more laid back and go with the flow. My sister was the one who told me about keeping a family calendar last year. We ordered calendars from Flylady. Ahh... soo wonderful. BIG boxes to write in... lined boxes... and best off --- the calendar was PAPER; not that slick-coated kind that won't let you write. I loved writing on my calendar. I have a thing for WOODEN pencils. I loved the feel/sound/look of the lead marks on the thick paper. I know, I know... strange. But it's a quick that I just LOVE. Besides, my sister knew exactly how I felt - she has the same quirk. :)
So we were shopping and she informs me we need new calendars. She's right! Surely there are some in town and we don't need to order from Flylady?? We headed to Books a Million. We were feeling all the calender pages, looking for big enough boxes with lines.
Now I have one to carry with me and can see at an instant if there will be a problem before scheduling things. I just "sync" to my main calendar when I get home.
I am feeling so much more organized. My sister and I pretty much finished our shopping. I have a few stragglers to buy for, but I"m thinking hubby can pick those up for me.
Now, I just have to wrap it all! Bring on 2009! I'm ready and waiting.