Saturday, January 28, 2012

Organization Evaluation

I am forever looking for ways to sort, categorize, and label my life. Pinterest and the endless photos of perfectly stacked and labeled containers for everything under the sun serves to both inspire and infuriate me.

This year I decided to take on getting organized in a new way. We are starting fresh in our home this year in so many different ways, so I wanted to make the most of it from the very beginning.

I saw several ideas that were genius, but wasn't able to put them into practice like I may want so they got modified.

I decided that, first and foremost, we needed a command center for our kitchen so that everyone would be on the same page. We had a little mail sorter that I had purchased for my first apartment in grad school, but it really wasn't serving much of a purpose for us except to take up space, so it had to go. Then I had to decide what to use to replace it. I looked at making various magnetic and/or dry erase boards but nothing seemed to fit. I did see an idea for making a folder for each week of the year to keep up with things. Between that and some great "family planner" printables I'd had taking up space on my hard drive, I decided to give it a shot.

I had seen a really neat hanging organizer that had a very large pocket on top specifically designed for holding file folders, two smaller pockets on the front, and four large hooks along the bottom. I filled the top pocket with my weekly folders, designated one small pocket for our various coupons, and used the hooks on the bottom for holding two key note pads. One had "to do" and 'to buy" lists on it. The other I used for my weekly meal plan.

The folders haven't worked as well as I had hoped. Maybe if we had kids with homework and a reason to get into the folders every day it would work better. But since it's just the two of us, I don't need the calendar pages to keep up with what's going on with us (and Jeff doesn't ever look at it!)

The one thing that has worked great for us has been the monthly budget accountability sheet I made up for us. That does get updated at least once a week! I think having maybe two folders (one for current/upcoming months and one for completed months) will serve us best.

The meal plan pad has been helpful, if not always accurate. I'm doing a better job about being aware of what I can and can't do on certain days and making it work for me, like making crock pot meals on the nights when Jeff will beat me home because that way dinner will be waiting for him! Otherwise, he'll eat salad and I'll just say "what's the point?" and make a sandwich!

The "to do" and "to buy" lists haven't worked as well as I'd hoped either. I generally keep my shopping list on my phone, but I definitely see the advantage of doing it both ways so if Jeff decides to go for me sometime he has the list!

I have an idea for the "to do" list, especially as it relates to household chores. I'm really digging the idea of laminated cards for each room that can be put on a metal ring and hung from one of our hooks. Actually, I'd probably get two rings - one for "to do" and one for "done"

Next on the agenda is getting my closet more organized, then the pantry and freezer! What sort of system have you devised for keeping yourself and your family in order?

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