Over the last 15 years or so I have worked hard to teach myself to be organised and implement systems that keep surfaces clear and jobs completed, both at work and at home. At work I am very focused, but at home I am somewhat of a 'scattered' thinker and without systems in place, jobs don't get done! I'm not fantastic at sticking to my systems all the time and I often use the 'scheduled' parts as a guide rather than strictly following times, but no one has ever run out of underwear (whew!) and everyone always gets fed, so I must be doing alright :)
These are my current favourite ways of organising my jobs, calendar and the miscellaneous pieces of paper that are inclined to disappear when no one is looking!
Before I made any schedules or planners I made some goals which I display on the inside of the wardrobe door so I can be reminded of the things I want to achieve. I know I won't achieve all of them at once, but I find being reminded of them helpful as I know where I am heading.
Flowing on from that is the schedule displayed on the kitchen wall that gives us a detailed outline of what we need to do to get important things (like getting to school and getting to bed) done on time. I definitely don't always stick to these timings! Right after I made this chart I came down with a nasty virus that left me absolutely exhausted and both kids came down with a different virus and one came down with a throat infection! Needless to say our morning routine hasn't looked much like this as we have been trying to get as much sleep as possible to recover! This has been one of the times I have used this as a 'suggestion' rather than a schedule :) But as we did something similar last school term with morning timings, I know it does work really well for us when we are all fit and healthy! As someone who is not naturally a morning person, having the schedule and 'trying' to stick to it is more successful than not using one at all :)
This is the job planner I keep on the kitchen wall to help me make sure everything that needs doing gets done in terms of laundry, cleaning and lunch preparation. I originally decided to display it there so that if I am not home or am unwell my husband and kids know what jobs need to be done, but now they can see it, they are helping most of the time anyway! The kids particularly enjoy setting out the placemats and the napkins at dinner time.
For to-do list items, I have a diary that sits on top of the printer (sometimes on the kitchen bench) that I use to record what needs doing in terms of errands and general jobs and cross them out as I go (which I have always found very satisfying!)
One of my favourite organisational tools is my version of Karen Ehman's Brain in a Binder .
With so many notices coming home from school and birthday invitations and such things, I find it so much easier to keep them in one place.
I use a ring binder with plastic folders and plastic sleeves inside to hold important documents until the are no longer relevant.
I have one of these fantastic plastic folder sleeves for each person, plus one for receipts, shopping lists, and sections for craft ideas, cleaning tips, takeaway menus and calendars (which we display on the fridge and I store here when finished. We use a print out of our Google calendar, so we have it on our computer and phones too, but things always end up getting added in pencil and I like to have a record of them). I love knowing where everything is and it makes finding things so much simpler!
Lastly, I keep a shopping list in a plastic sleeve in the pantry. I am terrible at saying 'oh dear we've nearly run out of 'xyz', but not writing it down and then forgetting when it comes time to make my shopping list on Tuesday night. By having one out and ready to go, I record things as soon as I notice they need to go on the list. (and yes, I'm a bit of a geek when it comes to making my shopping lists. I loathe forgetting things and having to go to the supermarket again!)
So there you have it! My organising systems, for the moment, until they change again :)
I really enjoyed Amy Hack's Life's youtube video about how she uses her filofax, and I am keen to try using one myself, like a mini version of my 'brain in a binder'. I'll let you know how it goes!
Do you have any organisational tips or tricks that work brilliantly in your home? Please share them in the comments :)