July 18, 2012

goals: organizing

Goals. We all have them, right? Some people set goals to loose weight, others to save money. Some people set travel goals or budgeting goals. Me, I set goals like, participate in, and win pie eating contest. Which I did this weekend. And came in second. Another goal I often set is to write on my blog everyday. You can see I'm not very good at reaching this goal. My most recent goal though, is to get my life a little more organized. I'm reading this book, and because it's so great I've been telling everyone about it, called "Parenting by the Spirit." I'm actually reading the second one now on infants and toddlers. Best book I've ever read on parenting, spiritual growth, and spiritual living. She recommends (and other books I've read have agreed) to have 3 things to keep an organized home: meal planning, daily schedules, and a weekly cleaning list. So, I'm trying these ideas out:
 Sorry for all the white space. I just made this in Word. She (Sally Hohnberger, author of "Parenting by the Spirit") talks about how children need to have chores, and need to be allowed to work along side parents to cultivate a happy and willing work attitude. I just want to say here that I hear SO often from mothers of small children that it's hard to keep a clean house. The more small children, the harder it is, unless you just have the personality to stay on top of it all the time. In which case, kudos to you and place come hang out with me so it might rub off a bit. I enjoy housework, but find it next to impossible some days. Kids are really messy. Especially mine. They have this uncanny ability to eat one small thing and get it all over the house at the same time. And they tag-team it too, so if I'm following one around picking up crumbs, the other give the "I'm on it" wink" and before I know it, all efforts have failed to keep clean. This is why having a schedule helps. I know I'll be vacuuming 3 days a week, so I plan for it. If I'm going to mop, I give them something extra fun and messy, cause I'm already planning on cleaning it up. Again, this is my ideal. Somedays there are things that take over. Like lack of sleep. Some days I feel extra motivated and do extra chores. It's just a guide to help me try to get everything done in a week that I need to do.
About the schedule, she says start with the basics, then fill things in as you go. For our family, this isn't the rule, rather it's the ideal. But I have kids and things happen, I don't beat myself up if things get missed some days. Like a shower. As my kids grow, our schedule will grow. We just made something to have in place to work with.

Meal planning: I don't have a photo of this because I hand-wrote it on a printable I found online. There are oodles of them out there. I just started with breakfast, and wrote in things that I can make each morning (some mornings it's cold cereal). I started with things we have, then added more, keeping a shopping list of what I would need to fill in the blanks. Then I did supper, again plugging in first meals we already had on hand, then adding to that and writing down what I needed to buy to make certain meals. Then I did lunch, planning on leftovers for certain meals, quick lunches on busy days, and portable lunches on park days for a picnic. Again, if something goes awry and meals don't go according to plan, it's not a big deal! I can swap meals if I want, or decide I'm not cooking and order a pizza if I want. The whole idea is just to be planning ahead, have what you need in your pantry, and not have to worry about, "what am I going to make for supper tonight?" I might find a recipe online I want to try, if I have the ingredients I'll make it, if not, I'll add it to the next cycle of meal plans (we try to shop for 2 weeks at a time for everything but produce which we buy once a week). This just helps you know what to buy, how much to buy, and will help cut back on things you don't really need to buy. :) In theory, at least. I still ran to the store yesterday for bread and ice cream.

Happy organizing and
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