There is lots of advice out there on how to get organized, and I am the owner of quite a few very pretty hardcover books and apps on my phone on the topic. Getting organized is one thing but staying organized is another completely different topic. You know the day-in-day-out of family time with a scheduling calendar to make it all happen, work and then all the household chores that need to be juggled. Don’t forget about those extra tasks like our taxes and finances, holiday shopping, preparing for Thanksgiving and Holiday entertaining and if we are lucky enough planning a vacation. My life ‘operating style’ (that’s my own little word) is being organized, that being said, I don’t find it easy day to day!! Over the years I have recognized that I don’t do well under stress, I can’t leave things to the last minute and I enjoy (actually I love) the satisfaction of an almost-ready-for-anything….
I have no trouble with the sort, purge, discard aspect of cleaning and organization. It’s actually a process I find completely therapeutic it’s the everyday stuff that takes the most work for me as no 2 days in the week are ever really the same. My husband travels frequently for work, as a family we travel often together to Australia and my studio /client days don’t always follow the same pattern, but I do have a household calendar for all those housekeeping chores that make our lives run smoothly.
I keep a plastic binder in my pantry that contains a copy of all my master lists.
Have to-do list in my phone but I also have a pen and paper list. Always have your lists dated.
Make a master grocery list, print them off and keep in plastic sleeve next to the refrigerator or in the pantry.
Compile a master list of all the birthdays, anniversaries (including the actual year date) and holiday events that you send cards for.
Make a list of who you have to purchase gifts for during the year and why with the date needed.
A family calendar is an absolute necessity in my life with my husband travelling and working to different hemisphere school zones that are at sometimes during the year at complete opposites to each other.
I use both an old fashioned pen and paper calendar that is attached to the door of my pantry AND an electronic one on my phone/computer.
My work calendar is always very fluid so I need to be able to adapt sometimes at a days notice so that can always be challenging with a small child and a travelling husband.
All our long haul travel is planned out at least 6 months in advance and scheduled.
My housekeeping chores are all on a schedule, that doesn’t mean I don’t have to adapt sometime when we traveling but it’s much easier when everything is in a routine.
Regular days for different types of laundry, deep bathroom cleaning and a complete kitchen and pantry detox.
I also have dates set aside for Holiday decorating and pack away, Spring and Fall cleaning with days for window cleaning and carpet shampooing. There is also a day once every 2 months for toy tidy up and complete clean out.
We holiday in Australia every year, host either Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner at our home every year, a Christmas drinks event and a summer party at the minimum. I plan for these in advance both for timing for preparations and costs. Having gatherings for 20 or more people can be come expensive without forethought.
I always plan out our Christmas and Birthday shopping well ahead of time. As of today all of my Christmas shopping is completed and the wrapping will be done by the end of this coming weekend.
In our family only grandparents are allowed to buy toys for the children, the rest of the family buy clothing or gift that has been discussed with the parents. Children only play with a certain amount of toys but need clothing and shoes all year round.
Watch for the quarterly sales and make your dollars go further or why not give homemade gifts like cookies and canning items made with love.