Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Goals for 2014: Part 1 - Organizing My Life

You know how everyone keeps talking about the whole "New Year, New You" thing? Everyone's going on diets, getting organized, and are making resolutions to start working out. Well, I'm sort of doing that, but mostly its the whole "getting organized" thing. However, my approach isn't like the majority of people doing this. Mine is: "New Year, HOLY CRAP I AM GOING TO HAVE ANOTHER LIFE TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR!".

For the past 8 months that I've been creating our new daughter, I've been hit with a few panic attacks. Most of it me realizing that I can barely take care of myself, let alone take care of two other lives. I think I've been getting away with it for the past two years with our first daughter mostly cause I've been winging it. With my future looking more like a jumble of to-do lists, schedule juggling for schools and extra-curricular activities, and doctor appointments I realize that my "system" {if that's what you could call it} is not going to hack it.

Not at all.

Now with Pinterest, the mommy-guilt is getting all the more stronger each day. All these posts with beautiful homes and these amazing planners are making me feel like a slob. So with our newest daughter arriving in the next few weeks, I've got a year or two to figure out what will work best for me for when I really have to be on organized.

Organizing My Life
This is a huge and vague category, but it kind of encapsulates everything I actually need to get done. Within this overhang, I'm going to start small to see what I can do versus what is way too "Super Mom" for me. I need to find a good balance between my family and my sanity. I miss playing video games and adult interaction, to be honest.

First up is the Home Binder.

These are ALL OVER Pinterest. I've always loved the idea of one, but the sections that the majority of them contain don't apply to our family. I don't keep track of finances this way, I don't have a cleaning schedule yet, I keep my to-do ist on my person, and I don't have school things to worry about at the moment. As time goes by, I'm going to keep track of things that would be good to put in my Home Binder. I have a feeling that this will always be a work in progress.

For reference, I got the cover from here and edited it slightly to make it fit. The three-ring binder is just one I had empty around the house.

I have settled on one section. I found this meal-planning idea from Home Made by Carmona and I absolutely love it. I did make some adjustments to the font to suit my tastes, but all-in-all I kept it the same. The pages are laminated and I finally put them in the binder last night. I've got post-its at the ready and I just need to find meals to fill the boxes in! That is going to be the hard part, considering a good chunk of our meals consist of frozen pizza or mac & cheese with frozen chicken nuggets. Not the healthiest of choices. I'm hoping this will help spring-board us into eating better.

Now for the To-Do Lists and Calendars.

I've seen a lot of people with Calendars and To-Do Lists in their Home Binder. Since the Home Binder actually stays in the home, it makes it impractical for me. I need to have everything on hand and portable so when I go out, its close by. Here's my current system and seems to be working fine for the moment. It just makes me cry because I want to be one of those awesome Moms who have those filofax planners with the pretty pens and washi tape. If you're unfamiliar with this and need something to drool over, check out A Bowl Full of Lemons and you'll see EXACTLY what I mean.

After thinking about it for a long time and seeing how much those planners cost with all those fun accessories, I came to realize that I cannot do what I would normally do: jump into the deep end of the project thinking I can do everything perfectly. It ends up costing me an arm and a leg, it clutters the house, and in reality - nothing ever gets done.

My current system may seem like a complicated way to do things, but until I perfect it, this is what it is.

The black folder on the bottom I got years ago at one of the college stores at UCF when I was a student there. It has a pad of paper that I use to keep track of my big to-do things. Its literally a dumping place of everything that I can think of that needs to get done: from dropping off donations to adding a patio to the house. I try to empty my mind of tasks at night, that way I get a better night sleep. It also keeps me from getting overwhelmed, and less overwhelmed = less panic attacks.

The decorative small notebook is a break-down of my shopping to-do: grocery lists, Target runs, things I come across during the day that I need to remember to purchase, and a list of places that I just have to go to like the post office. It has to be small because I have to take it in stores. Pregnancy Brain has hit me seriously hard this go 'round and I can forget why I'm leaving the house while I'm in the car in the blink of an eye.

I got my teal calendar at Target. It gives me a full calendar to write in birthdays and doctor appointments and a daily breakdown. This is where I put what I should get done by the end of the day. The list usually consists of 3 tasks and 2 cleaning chores that are usually grabbed from my large to-do list. Ideally I'd like to condense all these books into one, but as I said I get overwhelmed easy and this is helping me figure out what I really need to track and what to look for in one of those gorgeous expensive filofax planners.

To finish it all off, my favorite black pen and this AMAZING Lisa Frank pen that has multiple colors in it that I nabbed from the Target Dollar Spot. I used to have a pen like that when I was younger and it makes me happy. If I'm going to struggle to be organized, then I'd like to be happy while doing it!

Just because I have pregnancy brain, doesn't mean that my husband should suffer {plus, he's just as bad as me at remembering things unless it pops up on his Google Calendar}. So I've got a crude little set up that I made from a frame I got at Goodwill for $5. All I did was take the ugly picture out, put pretty contact paper on the backing so it wasn't white, printed out a quick calendar, and boom! Its nowhere near as pretty as most of the ones on Pinterest or the ones from Pottery Barn, but it is incredibly functional and with all the doctor and dentist appointments we've had already this year - its been a life saver!

This is my start to Getting Organized in 2014, so here's hoping it'll stick. Any advice or any questions? Comment below and I'll get right back to you!

This post is linked up to A Bowl Full of Lemons’ One Project at a Time.

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