We’ve had an unusually warm winter around here and while it’s meant I’ve gotten to get a head start on spring decorating and cleaning, it’s been a little sad not getting to enjoy any snow days. It has been easier to stay motivated to stay on top of my 52 Week Challenge without having to battle freezing temps and this month I knocked out a few tasks that had been lingering for a while:
8. Organize toy closet – add spot for cleaning supplies
9. Patch and clean trim outside Powder Room
10. Drill hole in cabinet for Ironing Board plug
11. Sew tissue box cover for powder room (I use this tutorial)
12. Sew tissue box cover for master bathroom
Getting Organized – Schedule Planning
I’ve been meaning to share more tips about how I keep this insane life that I lead organized, so I’m going to start including them in my round-ups when I have time, staring with Scheduling. I first started to rethink how I was keeping track of my schedule when I met Norah Pritchard through Instagram and devoured everything she wrote about Planning (make sure you check out her blog too because she is the scheduling queen). She made me confident to stop trying to find some online tool or an app and do what I felt most comfortable with – which was using old school pen and paper.
I started first and foremost with investing in a great planner (I use the Erin Condren LifePlanner); it lets me look at things by day, week, and month so I can reasonably plan out my schedule and not over book or over commit myself. You can use any kind of planner you like but the one thing I would caution against would be to just keep one giant to do list in a notebook — it is a surefire way to feel super overwhelmed at all times. Make sure you have a system that lets you see a full view of what you have going on in your life so you can adjust things as needed. If you’ve never tried to schedule plan remember that it’s OK if it takes a while to figure out how to budget your time – this is my 3rd year really working on getting organized and I finally feel like I’ve got the hang of it.
- At the start of each month I take stock and write down my personal deadlines (like Pay our Taxes), work deadlines, blog schedule, and 52 Week Challenge goals; then I fill in the monthly view of my calendar with the big events (trips, bdays, client mtgs) and weekly commitments (classes I teach, boys after school stuff).
- At the start of each week (usually on Sunday night) I plan out the week ahead.
- First I reference my monthly plans and add any events or deadlines coming up that week; I also check my iCalendar to make sure there aren’t any events hiding in there that I forgot about.
- Next, I see if there is anything I didn’t finish the week before that I need to carry over into the following week (this is also where breaking things down instead of keeping one list is helpful! Be OK with carrying things from week to week if you have to).
- Finally, I fill in my plans for each day based on the goals I want to accomplish for that week.
- Each week I also take the time to meal plan; I use a separate planner to write out the schedule one week at a time as well as my shopping list. I plan around evening and weekend activities and don’t push myself to cook full meals on nights when I know I wont’ have time.
- Once I have everything planned out, I’ll transfer the bigger activities and dinner plans to the command center board; even thought my kids don’t really pay attention to it right now, I think it’s good practice for the future to keep us all more organized. (I just use a DIY magnetic board that I made but my friend Rebecca from Hello Central Avenue just installed some super cute wall organizers)
- In addition to the weekly schedule board, I also have two small picture frames on the wall (you can use whiteboard markers on any glass surface). On one we keep track of future plans we don’t want to forget, and the other one we use to write down groceries and household items we need.
- As things come up I write anything and everything down as soon as I can including emails I need to reply to, things I need to send to school, and activities happening months out. Even though I have a really good memory this lets me release some of my mind clutter and makes a giant difference on reducing my stress!
Great Ideas for your Little Artists
A few weeks ago I got to spend time with one of my favorite ladies of all time – my dear friend Lauri who, along with her husband Mike, run an art program for kids called the Art Nook (if you’ve been a reader for a while you may remember they hosted a super fun claymation class for Blake’s birthday last summer). They just developed their own Monthly Subscription box that delivers an Art AND Art History Class your kids can do at home! Even better we recorded a video to tell you all about it so check it out and then go visit the Art Nooks website to sign up.
And if you’re looking for more ideas to get crafty with your kids here’s a round up of some great IG accounts full of simple ideas using easy to find or re-purposed materials that you already have around your home!