We love organizational tips and helps. It seems that as the days tick by and turn into months, and even years, our schedules and lives become more complicated and definitely more busy.
This past school year was especially challenging for me as I juggled school, sports, social engagements, volunteer activities, friends, family … well, you know! I’m sure you did as well. But these activities are what make life interesting and worth living … the giving and pouring into other’s lives of what you have to offer.
But, to keep sane, relieve a little stress, and arrive at the right place AT the right time, I found that a household organization notebook helped me immensely this year.
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There always is a lot of discussion among organizer enthusiasts as to whether digital organization is more efficient or the old school style of notebook, pen and paper method is preferred. To be honest … I have to use both to get it all done. (Notebook and iPhone Calendar as well as that handy little tool on the iPhone called, “Reminders”).
Here’s a list of what I presently have in my binder:
1. Daily Schedule Checklist that includes:
(I use this sheet daily. I begin the list the evening before and add to it as needed).
- To-Do List
- Shopping List
- Chore List (Weekly Housekeeping Notes and Chores)
- Dinner Menu
- Nutritional Checklist
- Writing Ideas/List
2. Weekly Goals: List of 7 Goals
- This has been a rewarding addition to my notebook as it helps to prioritize my time during the week. I always include spiritual, physical, and nutritional goals as well as family and housekeeping goals as well. Surprisingly, as the family saw me doing this week after week, they wanted to do it as well. It has become a meaningful activity. Each Sunday evening we sit together after a meal and write the upcoming week’s goals. Individually we give updates on the previous week’s goals and then share the upcoming week’s goals. When goals aren’t accomplished, we smile and encourage each other — no pressure or it isn’t meaningful any longer.
3. Weekly Menu Planner
- Sometime during the weekend, I will write out a weekly menu, matching it to our schedule. I will then quickly inventory the refrigerator and pantry and make a shopping list. This is a great stress reliever on those busy weeknights when the last thing you want to do is to come up with a dinner idea. I found this also helped me to nutritionally balance our meals more effectively.
- Read: Simply Solving the What’s For Dinner Dilemma: Meal Plan Basics
4. Cleaning List
- This is a simple list of daily chores that keep your home running smoothly as well as a weekly list of chores like laundry, dusting, vacuuming, organizing.
5. Monthly/Annual Cleaning List
- A checklist of monthly and yearly cleaning chores that are important to me. When it’s accomplished, I check it off and can move on to another one when time is available.
6. Weekend Projects
- A list of weekend projects for the family. I try to keep this to a bare minimum so that when something really needs doing, it’s not so overwhelming.
7. Quarterly/Monthly Calendar
- I keep all of my personal appointments as well as family events on an outlook calendar that is shared on the cloud with our Apple family sharing plan — which automatically keeps us all up to date via our phones. It is an essential tool for us. But I also find having a printed calendar in my notebook especially useful when planning weekly and monthly schedules.
8. Pantry Inventory
- As I try to keep a stocked pantry and take advantage of grocery deals, I found I needed to keep track of what I already had in my pantry. I use this list often when making out the shopping list for the weekly menus.
9. Long Term Food Storage Calculator
- I like to have a 3-month supply of needed pantry and food items. This list is simply formed from unique calculations that the user can enter, like number of adults in the family, the number of months desired, etc. Then I enter the amount I usually pay for these bulk items. An interesting tool that has come in handy.
10. Yearly Birthday List
- A list of birth dates of people whom you need to remember throughout the year.
My notebook is your typical view binder with 1-inch rings. Each page is slipped into a page protector and I keep a folder in the back with blank copies of my daily schedule sheet as well as the weekly goals sheet.
Now … here are the resources for you to put together your own organizational binder. I promise, you will love the freedom you have when you’ve taken time to organize your life and activities. With just a minimal effort and little time of careful, thoughtful planning, your week is free to devote to the important things of life; who you love and what you love. It frees me to concentrate on what matters. But to be successful, you have to make the planning piece a priority, otherwise, it’s just another check on your already overwhelming list of things to do. I would encourage you to give it a try. Find a resource and an organizational style that works well for you. Everyone has different styles and needs. Be patient as you try them out.
Printable Blog Calendar: A Project Oriented Calendar
Food Storage Calculator
Daily To Do List Planner
Pantry Inventory List
Freezer Inventory List
If you have any tips that work well for you, please tell us in the comments below.