Tag: Time managemnet

Three Simple Ways to Get Organized and Stay Organized

I love organizing. Let me re-phrase that: I love the benefits of being organized.  When things are organized I know where they are.  My house looks tidy.  I save time. I save money. What’s the biggest benefit?  I stay sane!  It drives me nuts when things are scattered all over the place, when I can’t remember appointments, or getting to the grocery store and not knowing whether or not we need to buy milk.

My brain just doesn’t function well in chaos.  
Here are the top three ways that I keep things running smoothly:
          1.  I write it all down. If you write it down and keep it in one place you don’t have to remember it or go looking for it.  I use a combination of a home management journal, smart phone, iPad, and a weekly calendar posted on the refrigerator.  My home management journal is for things that I use less frequently. It’s for my contact list, emergency info, master to-do list of some day items/projects, monthly meal plan ideas, and chore lists. My iPhone and iPad hold my everyday information such as appointments, phone numbers, Bible reading plans, e-books, etc… seriously, I’m going to have do do a whole other post on this one. Going digital keeps the info you need with you at all times. I utilize this pretty weekly planner on the refrigerator so the rest of the family knows what’s going on and what’s for supper. 
          2.  I keep it all together.  For this I use my mobile office.  It holds all my stuff and looks great too. I can grab it and go.
The idea came from A Bowl Full of Lemons. My mobile office holds my laptop and iPad.  My files include our monthly budget and bill paying info, homeschool lesson planning, devotional materials, goal/projects list, holiday planning, craft info and blog journal. The outside pockets hold my power charging cords and office supplies. My “office” lately is my Big Cozy-Comfy Chair. What could be better?

I keep all our financial papers together in one huge binder. I three-hole punch everything.

This binder has been especially helpful. It’s organized into sections such as bills due, bills paid each month, insurance EOB’s (great for matching the medical charges with the actual benefits paid), bank statements, info needed for filing tax returns, etc.  At the end of the year, the contents go in the tax box with our receipts then to the attic for storage.

          3.  I plan ahead. Utilizing a monthly meal plan helps save time and money. I always know what we are having and I have dramatically reduced the number of trips to the grocery store. In the past, I listed 30 meals and the ingredients needed for each meal on this meal planner. Then I plugged it in on a monthly calendar that I posted on the fridge.  I also typed our favorite recipes and had them in a cute little binder on the counter.  NOW, that I have my iPad (and we all know how I love my iPad), I use a menu planning app called Paprika.  It’s awesome! I can use all my own recipes or search for new ideas and save them all in one spot. It will even print out a grocery list for my planned meals.

I also lesson plan in advance for our homeschool. I save so much time in the long run by getting things together before I need them. I utilize work boxes to keep things handy and broken down into days. I put the day’s assignments and any craft materials inside the box. They stack nice and neat for presentable appearance and easy access. 
Staying organized keeps life simple for me. It gives me more time for the FUN things. How do you manage the chaos? I’d love to hear some of your sanity-saving tips.

The Truth Hurts

I have a love/ hate relationship with social media.  I love blogging- sometimes.  I love reading and learning from other moms in the trenches.  I love Twitter, Instagram and Pixoshere. BUT… I’m unreliable, undependable, you just plain can’t count on me for regular blog posting.  There, you have it: the cold, hard truth. I’m just a blogger wannabe. I’ve tried scheduling my time, joining blog hops, even group accountability. Now I know that you, all twenty-four of you WONDERFUL, FAITHFUL, BEAUTIFUL followers have been holding your breath just waiting for my next blog-hopping post. What? You haven’t? Well then I know you’re not too disappointed.  Whew. That’s a relief! Thanks for loving and reading me anyway.

I have so many great ideas, so many posts in my head, so many photos to share…and no time. No motivation to wake up at 5am just to blog.  No push, no pressure, no DRIVE.  What I do have is a very flexible (yeah, that’s what we’ll call it: flexible) routine.  I have a huge house to clean, an active boy to wrangle and to educate, and a hungry husband to feed – just like most of you.  So how do the blogging divas do it? They have groceries, dishes and tantrums to deal with.  So what have they got that I don’t have? OK, that IS a rhetorical question. Please don’t even begin to answer that one!

I seriously love, and I mean LOVE writing.  So why is it so hard to do just one little post a week? I started blogging because I wanted to share the things that my Pastor’s wife (and very dear friend) had taught me.  Little things that profoundly changed my thinking and my life.  Things about keeping it real with Jesus, how to manage my home for His glory, and how to practically keep a family fed and happy on a budget.  I started with a few posts on how I save money and Practical Faith For Everyday Life was born.  As my son grew older I started researching homeschooling blogs for pointers.  I fell totally in love with the homeschooling community online and I wanted to branch out. Then came MommieKate.

I wanted to join all those lovely blog hops I had found.  I wanted to BE one of those women.  You know her- she works out everyday, pays only six bucks plus coupons at the grocery store for $500 worth of food, has faithful morning & evening devotions, has her housework done by 9:00am, homeschooling done by noon, and loves arts & crafts time with her genius, never- naughty boy.
The woman who does all that AND has time to blog about it. (That’s the part I really wanted).  I also have fantasies about photography, jewelry making, and mission trips but that’s for another (probably unwritten forever) post.

Don’t get me wrong, I have my Bible time. I can stretch a dollar a mile or two. My chores get done. The lessons get done. We get crafty every now and then. Don’t ask about the workout.  Oh, alright: I’ll confess. The PX90 is still in the closet – you guessed it: unopened. I get things done and I enjoy life. I just can’t seem to get a handle on writing about all these adventures.

I have blogger envy.  That’s my secret.  Now you know.

I would love to hear how you make it all work.  I’d really love you to send me a maid but while I’m waiting just clue me in with your time management tips.