A Place For Everything…Part 3

So tonight I am going to help you create a Go To Phone List to keep in your binders, that will probably save you tons of time. I am designing a printable Contact Page for you which I will put on my blog, but it is a work in progress as of right now. But that doesn’t mean we can’t move ahead and get ready. So, what I would like you to do is collect all your important phone numbers in one place, so we can enter them onto one handy sheet.

I have come up with a few categories that might work for you: Mom, Dad, Grandparents or Family; (because every family dynamic is different). The next categories are: Friends/Neighbors, Doctor, Dentist, Hospital, Pharmacy, Insurance, School/Teachers, After-School Program, Daycare, Babysitters, Coaches, Gym/Clubs, Vet, Take-Out/Restaurants. Once you have all this information together you can heave a sigh of relief. This gathering will save you time and effort in the long run. There will be no more rummaging around for these numbers and information in your bottomless purse or in that pile of business cards.

I have to go off on a tangent here and take a slight break from our Household Binder. Talk about everything in its place….. wow! I just stepped, or should I say tripped into my son’s bedroom and he and my nephew have gotten the organizing bug. They have dismantled his entire room and our currently trying to organize all the toys, stuffed animals, blocks, Legos, Nerf guns, trains, books and everything else that has been crammed into that room. It seems that because I have been doing a ton of blogging about organization and editing my blogs out loud, I have unknowingly influenced my own family to join suit. My son and nephew just ran down the stairs all excited about their cleanup efforts. They want me to take a Before and After photo and include it on my blog. I have to say I am super proud right now. It is not often that when quiet sets into my house that it is a good thing. It usually means something is afoot. The last time I experienced a relaxing calm, I found my little one had changed my black kitty into a white one by applying baby powder. Chewie wasn’t too happy about his bath that day.

But needless to say, as I write my blog with few distractions (amazing), my busy bees have been upstairs cleaning for hours. (Gasp!!)

So as embarrassing as it might be, I am going to post the Before picture of my son’s room, and hopefully, tomorrow I can post the After shot. Otherwise, I guess I will be working real hard after we come back from the beach. And yes, I have my Beach Bag already packed and ready to go. Check out my blog “Beach Bound” if you missed this great tidbit.

 

The Big Organizing Surprise for Mama..Soon To Come.

The Big Organizing Surprise for Mama..Soon To Come.

A Place For Everything…Part 2

Tonight we are keeping it simple. We are in the process of creating our Household Binder, so I want you to gather the supplies that I talked about in the blog “Everything In Its Place…Finally”. Once you have these, let’s start putting in the dividers.

I start my binder with the Calendar section. For my calendar pages I visit my son’s school website and print the school calendar pages by month but you can also print a generic monthly calendar page. Sometimes, the generic monthly page works better because there is more space on the page to write. I print a full year of monthly calendars, hole punch them and pop them in the binder. Next, I print up a week-at-a-glance schedule. I will include one that I found and enjoy. (Look in the Printables Section of my blog.) Print up a bunch of these, hole punch them and put them between the monthly calendar pages in the Calendar section.

Now for the Schedules section, this is where I keep my son’s Cub Scout schedule and any other schedules he receives from school sports and activities. I also keep a schedule of the local gym classes because I just started visiting them.

The School section is where I keep the lunch menu of both my son and my nephew, so I know, depending on what’s being served,  if I need to pack a lunch or two. I also keep my nephew’s class schedule and my son’s “specials” or “elective classes”, so I don’t have to run around in the morning to find out if he needs sneakers, his library book or his flute.

In my To Do section I keep notes of things that have to get done, but haven’t actually been put on the calendar yet. By writing this master list, I can pick and choose an errand or a project each week and get it done. Haha, I can also pick a project to give to my husband.

Make sure that you put your pencil case in the binder as well with a variety of pens and pencils, maybe even a highlighter. Whoo hoo! This will save a lot of time later when you are looking for your favorite pen to write your schedules down.

I think we did enough with the binder today. Pat yourselves on the back and make yourself a nice cup of coffee or tea and relax! We are on our way to an organized way of life.

 

A Place For Everything (Part 1 of a Series)

Well here we are on Day 2 of setting up our Household Binder. Hopefully, you have gathered all the supplies you will need for this project. In case you are just joining us today, we are creating a Household Binder which will technically make your life a little bit easier. Doesn’t that sound nice? This system is basically going to help you keep all your important paperwork, along with schedules and day to day activities all in one convenient place. No more hunting for that permission slip or unpaid bill in that pile or this pile. We are trying to streamline our lives just a bit, so that we can focus on the fun things in life.

So, I want you to put your dividers into your binder and label them accordingly or however you feel best represents your lifestyle. For me I am sticking with these 9 sections for now.

Calendar – To keep your day running smoothly and to keep track of appointments.

Schedules – Whether your kids do Cub Scouts or sports, this will keep everyone up to speed.

Cleaning – Sometimes a daily cleaning schedule is easier to handle than a generic cleaning list.

Menu Planning – With this Weekly Menu Planner you don’t have to field questions all day from the family.

To Do – Errands or notes that haven’t made it to your calendar.

School -This is where I keep Welcome Back Letters from teachers, lunch menus, permission slips and daily happenings in the school.

Finances – A list of what needs to get paid on a monthly basis and the family budget (if you have one).

Medical – Keep all your Doctor and Dentist phone numbers here, including insurance ID numbers and member service numbers.

Contacts – I will be making a list that will include school numbers, business numbers and emergency contact numbers. I will also add a small section for Take Out menus and phone numbers.

This might seem like a lot of work, but it really does not take that much time. The hardest part, as with most projects, is just getting started, and for me, not expecting perfection. Just get to it and start reaping the benefits of being organized. Enjoy!!

Everything In Its Place…Finally!!

If I could calculate the amount of time I spend looking for pertinent paperwork or documents. Or tallied the amount of energy and wasted trips up and down my apartment stairs, I bet I could give myself a week off from doing anything. Unfortunately, all that time and energy is just wasted. The only things that I accomplished during those times were the ability to be frustrated or late for an appointment. And really, who needs that? So to combat this thing called wasted time and energy or as I like to refer to it as my “Duh” moments, we will be working on a Householder Binder. This system, if it works for you, will keep all those schedules and permission slips, doctor numbers and to do lists in one centralized location. I will be walking you through this organizational project, step by step. So, keep checking back to this blog for each installment of information to create your very own Household Binder.

I think you will find it a joy to know that most of your day to day stuff will find a home in one central location. I keep everything from the kids schedules, to lunch menus, to menu plans, to finances all in one binder. This handy tool allows me to tell hubby to just grab the binder and not to send him on a scavenger hunt for the Little League schedule or Vet’s phone number. We will start out slow, and continue through the week at a lively pace, but no worries, you can take as long as you need. I just find that the longer I take,  the longer it takes me to get on track and stay that way. So, I will start off by telling you what we will need to set up our Household Binder.

Pick up a 3-ring binder. I chose a cute Hello Kitty version because it makes me happy. Next you will need a 3-ring hole puncher, pens, a pencil pouch that can be put in the binder, dividers and access to a printer. In case you don’t have a hole puncher you can also use plastic sleeves, just slide your schedules into the sleeves which then go into the binder. Depending on your style you can either use a label maker to make the divider tabs or just write them in, like we used to do in school. By creating your Household Binder, you will have a hub of information at your fingertips.

Organize Your Time

Tonight, I am blogging about how to organize your time. I spent the day with family at a block party in Queens. And while I am still at my Mom’s house wrapping up the night, I wanted to get my Daily Blog done before midnight. The most important thing you can do is put yourself on your schedule. When you let your personal goals slide, it is hard to get back on track. So, here I am, keeping myself disciplined and taking time for the things that are important to my well being. This new venture of mine has been very beneficial for my spirit and my creativity. And by trying to write everyday, I not only feel accomplished, but I can feel proud of myself for sticking to my goals. So my suggestion to everyone would be to schedule your goals, I mean physically write them down and dedicate a specific day and time in which to carry them out. So, thank you all for reading my stuff and I will continue to write and try to bring you fun, interesting and helpful information.

My Little Artist!

I don’t think I am alone when I say, “Holy Artwork!” My little guy brings home more artwork from school than I can handle and when he is on vacation or has some down time, he likes to draw, paint, and sculpt. Although the artwork piles up, and up and up, I don’t want to squash his artistic ability by limiting the number of pictures he brings home. I want to make sure that I encourage his creativity and inner “Van Gogh-ism”. To better help me weed through the ever growing mound of drawings, every few months I pick out a select few, sometimes with the help of my son. These chosen pieces of art get framed and hung on the wall. To make this process even easier, I purchase the frames by the dozen at IKEA, where I can pick up bright colored ones for $1 each. Not only does this look so cool on my wall, but it makes my son so happy to show people his gallery. The extra bonus is that it makes me feel like Super Mom. There is no better feeling than being able to make my son smile when he comes home with a special picture and I am ready and organized enough to pop it in a frame and hang it in the gallery. And for the rest of the artwork that didn’t make the cut? Stay tuned, I have a great organizational system for that as well.

My Son's Art Gallery Brings Joy to Many People

My Son’s Art Gallery Brings Joy to Many People

Paper, Paper Everywhere…What’s A Girl To Do!!

My newest organizing obsessions are accordion files. These are a great way to organize all sorts of paperwork. I have a number of them in different colors, each for a different subject. One of them houses my work files, another stores my son’s school paperwork, and still another I use for Cub Scout forms. The accordion files pictured below I picked up at Target for $1 each. For this price, I can afford to get a bunch and sort through all my paperwork. Each folder comes with 5 tabbed pockets with labels and an elastic closure. This system keeps the piles of paper off my coffee table… kitchen table… (fill in favorite dumping spot here). My paperwork instead gets organized in sections and labeled for clarity. With this system I can then further organize my paper clutter and get rid of what I no longer need that much easier.

Another bonus to these clever little accordion files is that they are so portable. I keep one full of coupons, groupons and any other discount page that I received in the mail or bought online. No more searching frantically for that Restaurant.com or the 10% off purchase coupon. I keep these discounts in the folder and leave it in the car. So grab yourself a few accordion files and get to sorting.

 

Accordion folders can get your paperwork organized.

Accordion folders can get your paperwork organized.