Monday, February 1, 2016

10 Ways to Organize Your Life

Happy February, everyone! It's 52 degrees here in Northwestern Pennsylvania and sickness has hit my house. Well me at least. Luke and Tim are completely fine but I'm sick as a dog. Rest you say? Ha not with my little minion running around. So I'm attempting to stick to my resolution and blog as much as possible. And so far I think I'm doing a pretty good job.

Has anyone noticed that I love lists? I do. I have three in my planner (which you'll see later). But one thing I can't seem to list correctly is how to organize my house, We have a smaller house with large amounts of stuff. Seriously, Luke's nursery is in the (small) master bedroom and my room is in the only other bedroom. The attic is unfinished so it only holds a small amount and the basement is packed a man cave. Even my desk where I craft/write at is a disaster!

Luke got a Mickey Mouse toy box for his birthday where we keep all his favorite toys out in the living room. In his room, he has bins and book shelves but do you think it stays cleaned at all? No. I don't know how he finds what he wants to play with in that mess. 

So to try to combat my disorganization, I am doing two things. First, I am going to list 10 ways to organize my/your life. Second, I am starting a minimalist challenge. How that works is today is the 1st, so I get rid of 1 thing. Tomorrow is the 2nd so I get rid of 2 things, 3 things on the 3rd, 4 things on the 4th, and so on. So my the end of the month, your house isn't so filled with stuff. Now my mom is having a yard sale at the beginning of summer so I will be boxing stuff up to take to her house. As long as it is not in my house any longer, I'm happy. 

Ready for that list? Here are my suggestions on how to organize your life.

1. To Do Lists: I love these. I have one for all the housework that needs done that day. Another that needs done for the troops group I lead and another for long term to do list. These are kind of self explanatory but I think everyone should have at least one. You don't need to go crazy like me. 

2. Meal Planning: If you're like me and Tim, if we don't have something planned for dinner then we're ordering pizza. We love pizza. But it can get expensive. So I use a weekly planner that is blocked for each day of the week. Then I get on Pinterest and find 7 non expensive, yummy recipes. Put one down for each day and done with dinners that week. Seems simple right? It is. I also write down breakfasts and lunches so when I make my grocery list, I know exactly what we're having. This also helps if you only grocery shop once a week or once every two weeks like me. 

3. Bins/Place for Everything: I maintain that this is one of the main reasons my house is always such a mess. Not everything has a home. This is where the minimalist challenge is going to help. Anything that doesn't have a home either finds a place or out the door it goes. Now I'm not getting rid of my craft stuff so once I have my desk cleaned off, I'm going to get some smaller bins to keep everything in. That way it's all organized and not just laying around. This also goes for Luke's toys. Everything goes in a bin or to the yard sale. He's so small I'm hoping he won't even miss anything.

4. Routine: We had friends over this weekend and completely messed Luke's routine up. Talk about cranky baby. Same goes for adults. Once you have a cleaning/daily routine, everything goes much smoother. Get out of rhythm and the mess piles up and at I become frazzled. This is why it's a good idea to have a to do list that is for everyday or each day of the week. I have one where I clean a different room each day. 

5. Planners: Planners are a good place to keep track of all these to do lists and menus. I could not actually find one that held everything I needed. So I bought some things from Jo-Ann Fabrics and made my own. It serves as my cleaning/menu/exercise planner but also my blogging planner where I can write down all my ideas. 

6. Quality > Quantity: I really need to follow my own advice on this one. Especially with clothes. I have a dresser and 2 closets full. I love clothes. But a lot of my stuff isn't the best quality. so take a look around your house and see what you can get rid of based on the quality of it. Have 3 or 4 spatulas? Give away the junkier ones and keep 1 or 2 nicer ones. Space won't seem as cluttered if you choose quality over quantity. 

7. Want vs. Need: This sort of goes along with #6. Yes I want a new pair of pumps but do I need them? No. I already have at least 5 pairs, no more room, and I only wear them on certain occasions anymore. The way I work with this tip is if I ABSOLUTELY need it then I'll get it. But if I only want something, then I have to get rid of something else or not purchase the item in the first place. 

8. Distractions: One word: FACEBOOK. Seriously, it's addictive. And I don't even post on it that much. I am a major reader of it though and time that could be spent on keeping my house organized goes to reading Facebook. Now if you're catching up on my latest blog post, go right ahead! So get rid of the distractions! Whether that be turning off the TV or hiding your phone so you don't read Facebook. 

9. Give Out Chores: You can't do everything yourself. That is a hard thing to realize when you're use to doing it all or if you're a perfectionist. But kids can do chores and husbands can too. Luke is 14 months old but he helps me put his toys away when it's time to clean up. Not everything will get done if you try to do everything yourself. More than 1 person makes the mess so more than 1 person should help clean.

10. Breathing Room: Repeat after me, I AM NOT SUPERWOMAN. House is a mess? Kids are going crazy? Ready to scream/cry? Sit down, close your eyes, and breathe. You'll get it all done. But sometimes you need to just remind yourself that loving your family is enough. So your home isn't organized, so there's dishes on the counter and food on the floor. You are enough and children are only children for so long. Go play with them. 

Have any other organization tips? I'd love to hear them! 

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