Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Years!! ... and late night freebies!

Here I am on New Year's Eve, putting away all my Christmas decorations. I planned to have it done by now, but have been enjoying the process. :) So... as I take a break before pulling down the tree itself, I thought I'd share something I made to make the process smoother...

First off, it helps me to have my "theme" for next year thought out already. We are going with the black/red/white damask theme next Christmas, instead of the gold we went for this year. That means that as I'm putting away my garlands, etc, I am removing the gold ribbons from them in anticipation of using new ribbon next year. Of course, I put that in the box with the garlands so it's easy to remember. I labeled it, too. :)

As I'm putting away things, I also pull out a few things I don't care for any longer to give to Goodwill. Also, if anything needs to be fixed (like the glittery vase I broke this year!), I fix it. Or, if I don't care to fix it, like strings of lights that only light up halfway, I throw them away. This is the time to purge!

Then, as I place items in the bin to be stored, I label them on this sheet so that I know where each item is going:
Download your copy HERE.

Once the box is full, I fill out this label for the top of the bin. I put it in a clear page protector, but you could just tape it to the lid of the bin. 
Download your copy HERE

I also made this sheet so I had smaller labels for the side of the bins:
Download your copy HERE.

When you have all your boxes filled and labeled and your inventory sheet filled out, put your boxes in the attic, crawl space, or wherever you store your seasonal decorations, and file your inventory sheets in your Christmas Binder for next year! If you don't yet have a Christmas (or Holiday) Binder, just put them in sheet protectors in a notebook and place them in the top of one of your bins. We'll talk about holiday binders next year!

Happy New Year's Eve!! Enjoy the evening! I'm back to putting away my Christmas decorations so that I can start 2013 fresh!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

On December 26th my true love gave to me... a set of resolutions to ponder!!

Okay, so my true love didn't really give me a set of resolutions to ponder, but I am thinking about the new year that is just around the corner. While I am not really one for resolutions, I do appreciate a well thought out goal and the opportunity for a new beginning. January is a great time for both, so I have created this little worksheet to get your resolution juices flowing!! With less than a week to January 1st, it's time to start thinking about what we want to accomplish in the 2013!

Download your copy HERE.

I only added room for 3 resolutions, but you could use these as loose categories, or as the resolutions themselves. I also added places for you to state your goal, how you're going to reach it, and what you will do to reward yourself once you get there. When you fill it out, though, don't just file it away... keep it out where you can see it so that you can actually track and reach your goal! A tracked goal is a reached goal. A filed goal is... worthless.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

12 Months to a Systematic Home... First Challenge!

If you are joining us for the 12 Months to a Systematic Home series, don't forget about your first challenge!

Before we dive in on January 1st, here's your first challenge... Download the free printable, and decide which 12 areas of your home you want to tackle this year. Think about the income and outflow of each room.Jot down your thoughts and check back soon, because together we're going to create systems for each of these areas!!

Here's a handy sheet that will help you as you think through the areas you want to tackle. If you  need more information about how to decide which rooms to systematize or what Income and Outflow are, read  my post HERE

Download your worksheet HERE.

Happy Holidays and a Very Organized New Year to YOU!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Holidays are HERE!

I have managed to avoid most of the holiday frenzy with a little planning ahead and an attitude of enjoyment this season. It has been wonderful! As the last few days before Christmas come, though, I realize I am in a crunch to get the things done before the festivities begin! Tomorrow is my daughter's last day of school, including a program just before early dismissal, and my inlaws will be arriving, staying the night, and celebrating an early Christmas with us. We will be having a lovely holiday meal (my choice, not their requirement) that I will be shopping for with a friend first thing in the morning. While I am doing that I will also pick up the groceries for our Christmas Eve "dinner" and Christmas morning breakfast. With guests arriving, I'd like to have the house clean and presentable, including an extra room for my brother in law to sleep in on an air mattress. As the holidays have been underway, I have let a few of my systems slip and, therefore, have quite a bit of cleaning up to do so that I feel everything is presentable! I am fortunate not to have judgmental inlaws in case everything doesn't get done, but I would like to enjoy the holidays without piles of laundry and messy rooms glaring at me.

SO... These are my goals for the next ~24 hours:

  • Double check the Guest Room
    • Clean Sheets
    • Empty Trash
    • Refresh Guest Basket
  • Prepare Leif's Office as Guest Room #2
    • Put books back on shelf
    • Move air mattress and linens into room
  • Tidy the Guest Bathroom (also known as my daughter's bathroom!)
    • Pick up bath toys
    • Pick up hair things
    • Replenish toilet paper
    • Remove dirty towels
  • Shop for Holiday Groceries
    • Take THE LIST with me!
    • Costco
    • Walmart
    • Town and Country
  • Wrap 1st Grade Teacher's Gift
    • Satin Hands
    • Eliana's gifts
    • Card
  • Deliver 1st Grade Gifts before Recitation
    • Put gifts in a box
    • Deliver 1st thing in the morning
  • Clean the Master Bedroom
    • Laundry away
    • Clear off dresser
    • Clear off nightstands
    • Make bed
  • Clean the Master Bathroom
    • Clear off counters
    • Wash sinks
    • Clean mirror
  • Tidy my Office
    • Pick up floor
    • Put boxes on top shelf
    • Clear off desk
  • Tidy my Dining Room Desk
    • Clear off desk
    • Deal with papers
  • Clean the Kitchen
    • Dishes
    • Clear counters
    • Clean stove top
  • Paint Nails
  • Braid/Curl Eliana's hair
  • Cook "Christmas" Dinner!
Whew! With that many things to do, perhaps it is time I get to them... 

Early to Bed and Early to Rise...

I found this fun image on the great interwebs today. We all know how much I LOVE color, but I am also a believer in waking up early to exercise. I have been attending Jazzercise at 5:45 in the morning for the past few months and LOVING it! I wear my workout clothes to bed (because I'm less likely to work out if I have to actually get dressed in the morning... yes, I am that lazy), get my stuff ready the night before, and make it a date with my friend, Ashley. This image (click image for the source) pretty much sums up what has worked for me. I hope it works for you, too!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Blank Calendar in my Shop!!

I created a blank calendar for one of my clients, so I decided to tweak it and put in my Etsy shop! It's basic, colorful, and fun! And it can be used indefinitely, since it is blank for you to fill in the numbers as you go.

View this listing HERE!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Set Yourself Up for Success!!

Sunday evening is here again... how are you setting yourself up for success this week?? I find that if I think through a few things and get them set up on Sunday evening, my whole week runs better. Here are a few of the things I do on Sundays to prepare for the week ahead... 

1. Schedule - I look at my schedule for the week to see what we've got going on. Anything special we need to plan for? Have I allotted time for the things I want to get done? Have I set aside time to do the things that are important to me?

2. Sustenance - I look at what's on the schedule and make a plan for what we'll have for dinner. I also take the time to make my daughter's lunches for the week and put them in the fridge. 

3. Shopping - Once I know what we're having for dinner, I can check to make sure we have all the necessary ingredients. What other things are we running low on? Are there special events coming up this week that I need to pick up special things for? 

4. Shirts, Skirts, Shoes, and Such - I plan out my daughter's clothes for the week in her closet. Each day she only has to grab the outfits, then, and it saves time on getting dressed. I do the same thing for myself, based on what I've got going on for the week. 

5. Supplements - I dole out our vitamins, supplements, and medications for the week on Sunday nights. I have a pill case I put my stuff in, and little containers I put my daughter's things in. 

6. Spending - Sunday night is a great time to sit down, look at where I am on the budget, what I spent last week, what bills I have coming up this week, what expenses we have this week (this ties in with Shopping), and check the paper to see if there are sales or coupons to take advantage of. 

I made myself a sheet to help me think through my week. It looks something like this:

I also created a blank version for you guys if you want to use it. It's slightly different because I left space for you to write in your own Shopping and Spending categories. You can use these sections for days, stores, spending categories, amount spent per day, sales, etc. I also left blank the sections I divided for myself and my daughter, and I left off the Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner / Snack planning on the Sustenance section. Basically, I simplified it for versatility. Here it is... 

You can download the pdf HERE.

I hope you enjoy getting set up for the week on Sunday! It simplifies so much for the week ahead!! As always, if you find this helpful, please leave me a comment! I love to hear how others organize their lives!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas Card Planner...

Have you gotten your Christmas cards mailed out yet? My goal is to get them mailed out tomorrow morning, which means that TODAY I need to get my address list updated and print out mailing labels. Hopefully that won't take too long, because I also need to get set up for the week ahead. Of course, as I was signing my Christmas cards last night, I started thinking about next year's Christmas cards. That may seem premature, but a lot of how I do things this year is to set up for a simpler year next year. So I made a Holiday Card Planner that will come in handy when I get the urge to start making my cards for next year (which usually happens in February, or July). Here's a peek:

Download the Holiday Planner HERE.

Enjoy, and good luck with your cards this year!!