I’ve had many people tell me I am “too organized.” Friends and family say they are impressed that I am able to stay so organized with three kids. I don’t see organization as an option. If I don’t stay on top of things and stay organized, things just don’t work right in our house. And that makes me insane!
So how do I do it? I have a planner. Early in my career, I had a boss who sent me to a day-long time management seminar put on by Franklin Covey. I learned so much in that one day about how to prioritize things and make the most of my time. Yes, the system is pricey (you could find other planners for less), but it has more than paid for itself in terms of my sanity.
I make many lists, prioritize things, and if I don’t finish something today, I make sure to put it on tomorrow’s list. It’s a lot easier to remember things if you’ve written them down. I also write notes on conversations I’ve had with businesses, doctors, etc., so I can go back and review details and instructions. This is really helpful when you have billing problems with a company or are managing a chronic health issue.
Other things that I do:
I make sure I know what I have. This means keeping your pantry, closets, cupboards, etc., clean and organized. When I cleaned out my linen closet this summer, I found I had four bottles of Febreeze… I don’t even use Febreeze… but now I know that I certainly don’t need any more. By knowing what’s in my pantry and freezer, I know when to stock up on sale items. This has saved me a lot of money.
I keep things in the same place. For example, I always keep my keys in the same place so I’m not running all over the house looking for them.
I keep my diaper bag packed and ready to go at all times. You never know when you might have to leave in a hurry, so being ready helps. When I get home from being out and about, one of the first things I do is restock the diaper bag so I’m ready for the next outing. I also keep a small cosmetic bag packed with the essentials – cell phone, wallet, toiletries – that I can easily move between my diaper bag and purse. This is helpful for the times when I am able to leave the house without the kids and don’t need to carry a diaper bag. I can just grab the cosmetic bag, throw it in my purse, and off I go. When I get home, I can just throw it back in the diaper bag and I’m ready to go somewhere with the kids.
There are definitely days where I feel paralyzed by a lengthy to-do list. But if you can stay on top of things – even if it means doing just a little bit every day – it’s not so bad.
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