Wednesday, March 19, 2008

WFMW - Make Your Own Organizer

Note: This is a reprint (with some editing) of a post that was originally published in June of last year. However, as I prepare for our move, this has proved an invaluable resource, helping me to stay organized with the millions of details that need done and all the special events (parties, dinners, appointments) that go along with saying goodbyes. Given how much it's been helping me lately, I thought it was worth another look.

I have what I call "my book" that has made a huge difference in my life. Now, I am not one of those people who were born organized. I generally have scraps of paper everywhere with dates, phone numbers, important messages, etc. And I had now way of putting all into a cohesive system until I came up with my home organizing binder. Now, I can't truly claim brilliance here - there are systems like this all over the place. FlyLady recommends a "Control Journal" but that sounds too..."controlling" to me. And my binder is actually a recycled and reworked version of the "Keepers at Home Organizer" which I purchased at a homeschool convention. I just tweaked it and made it work for my purposes.

So what's in it, you ask? In my 2 inch binder, I have many good and wonderful things. Come and take a look. I have my sections divided by plastic clear, but colored, dividers. That way I can see through to the first page of each section, but the sections all have their own color.

First up is a zippered pouch. In here I keep pens, stamps, envelopes, scissors - things that I might need that otherwise might never be found in a home with two, um, creative (?) children. That way I always have them when I need them.

Next up is a printed yearly calendar ( that I have noted birthdays and anniversaries on. This is easily visible through the clear plastic once I flip the pouch out of the way. From the same website, I have printed out monthly calendars for the entire year. These go right behind the annual calendar and I just discard them as I finish up each month.

Flipping to the next section, Schedules, brings us to my daily homeschool schedules and a cleaning schedule for the home.

After this is the next section To-Do/Goals. This is my most used section. First I have a thin spiral notebook inside. As I prepare for each new week, I write the week's menu down and underneath that I list my "to-do's" for the week, transferring whatever is undone from last week to the new week. On the back of the previous page (which would have last week's menus on it) I write my shopping list so it can be discarded once the shopping is completed. That way I just open up to the first page of that notebook and at a glance can see what I've planned for dinner and what else needs to be done for that week. Behind the notebook I have a Bible reading chart and my "101 in 1001" list for easy review.

Next up is a Homemaking section with a copy of "The Grand Plan," a 12 week plan for organizing and sprucing up your home. I also have in this section a very detailed cleaning plan, a chart of everyone's sizes, a travel preparation chart (what to pack and do beforehand type thing).

Behind this is a Contact section with necessary phone numbers and addresses.

Then comes an Encouragement section where I keep encouraging articles on being a godly wife and mother. This is one of my favorite sections. I print out and keep many, many articles and posts that I find online to go back for review whenever I need a reminder of how important my role as a wife and mother is. I strongly recommend this to any woman who ever feels discouraged by the never-ending work of being a mom. It is so encouraging at those low moments.

I keep "things to do" (bills to pay, forms to mail in, etc) in the front pocket of the notebook, and "things to file" in the back pocket.

I know for some of you this may seem totally basic and for others it may seem neurotic. But this systems has truly helped me avoid those times when Hubby will say, "Did you take care of this?" and I would never even remember what he was talking about. I'm very much an "in the moment" kind of girl, so once something is out of sight, it's really out of mind in my case. Now I can look right in one central place and get all the info I need!

For more ideas, be sure to visit Shannon's own great idea of Works for Me Wednesday!


Meshellyn said...

LOVE IT!!! Thank you!!! I'm currently making my own Control Journal and will put some of your ideas to use. My WFMW post is actually the first in a series about my control journal in progress.

Rhen @yestheyareallmine said...

This is so timely. I am in need of better organizing!

Mom2fur said...

Wow, if I didn't do anything else, I'd steal that zippered pouch idea! I think I might even have one left over from school supplies. Now, maybe I'll actually be able to find a pen or a pencil when I need one! Thanks!

Karen said...

That sounds like a great idea! Some day, I will be organized. (maybe if I pencil it in on a calendar.)

WisdomBuilders said...

My whole desk works as my personal organizer! LOL. But I'm de-junking it right now to be more efficient, in my efforts to become more simplified.


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