Organization is the Thing…

So, I have noticed an uptick in people talking about organization, meal planning, and budgeting.  I guess it’s a thing to do at the first of the year, right?  So many people are starting with planners and calendars and lists.  And I have to say, organization is my jam!  

Planners are totally my thing.  I have a friend who had been trying to get me into scrapbooking for quite some time and in theory, I love it.  But practically, I just can’t seem to master it.  Then one day, we head to Hobby Lobby and while she was perusing the scrapbooking aisles, I saw the cutest planners and organizers.  My friend exclaims, “No wonder you can’t get into scrapbooking!  You’re a planner girl!”  And it’s true, I am.

Last year, I got a planner that I love.  It’s Mary Square’s Life Planner and it rocks.  The whole beginning is a review of the previous year and casting a vision for the current year.  There’s also a toolbox for helping you reach your goals.  It’s only a couple weeks in and I am so in love with it.  There are so many great planners out there, though.  It’s all about finding what works for you.

But I have to say that one of my other great innovations that I have used for the longest time is… Microsoft excel (or equivalent spreadsheet program).  You see, I normally plot out my work schedule in a spreadsheet and other immovable items and then see how everything will work around those.  My life works so much better with certain set items like meals, bedtime, and wake up times.

Once I have those fixed points set, I look at my to-do list (more on that in a minute) and see when the best times are for those tasks.  So, if it’s a laundry week, then I look for when I have a significant chunk of time and plug that in.  Once the to-dos are done, I look for chunks of time for self-care and fun stuff – like writing and reading.  Then I have a workable schedule and plan that I can put into my planner.


Now, for the to-do list, I also use a spreadsheet.  Since I have a perfectly capable teenage son, I started by working on his chore list.  I broke it down by daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, and ‘as needed’ tasks.  Then I noted when I had him down to do certain tasks and put myself down for alternating weeks.  So, a task like cleaning the bathroom, I would break down like this:

Week1:  Me

Week2:  Charles

Week3:  Me

Week4:  Charles

Now, the bathrooms are being cleaned each week, but I only have to do it twice a month, and he only has to do it twice a month.  So, I have my home and house tasks laid out by week.  And I use this to plug into my weekly schedule.

Since I work nights some and have other things going on, I also use this schedule to work up menu planning.  For example, if there is a day that I am off, I know that I can spend some quality time in the kitchen and may plan for a more involved dinner.  If it is a Wednesday night when we have church and I work until 4 pm, I’ll just plan on making tacos or pasta with meat sauce.

This works perfectly for me.  I know that not everyone has the patience or desire to be quite this… organizational, but It works for me.  Again, I do think it’s all about finding what works for you and using that.

What are you doing this year to get yourself organized?  Have you found the perfect planner?


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