Friday, February 28, 2014

Getting Organized.....

Hello Friends!
I have been busy getting things ready to start my new job this week. This included getting my home in better order, meal planning, shopping and some various projects. While I am at work, I always use a to-do list. It's form is a steno pad, with a date on the top. Whatever is not accomplished one day goes to the next, and so on. I seem to have better success when I actually check things off as I accomplish them. It dawned on me that I should use a similar method at home, to become more organized in various aspects of my life.
So, I began watching some videos by various ladies who use a Life Planner, Home Planner, or a Filofax. This lead me to determine what kind of things do I want to become better at. For me, my main problems are time management. I can get sidetracked very easily. I have since implemented the planner, and so far so good!
The areas I want to track, and improve are:

Time Management at Home: I am really great at work, but once I get home, all bets are off. By implementing a daily calendar , writing down appointments and tasks, I seem to be getting better about using my time.

Finances: I swear I just don't know where my money goes. I have implemented a monthly budget, and have begun tracking receipts. This has helped me to cut down on the impulse type buys. It also is helping me actually save some money.

Meal Planning: This is all about the finances. I used to spend far more than necessary at the grocery store. By planning out my meals 2 weeks at a time, this helps me use what is in my freezer. It also helps me to start using coupons again, and stay on track at the grocery store by shopping from a list. Also, if I plan my meals, I can take advantage of bulk purchases at Sam's Club, and discount grocery stores like Save- A Lot.

Blog/YouTube: I used to post to my blog and make videos with some sort of consistency. In the past year, my blog has suffered. I really enjoy my Ustream shows, and making YouTube videos, but I need a schedule. If I attempt to keep up with these things, without a schedule, it never works.

House Cleaning: When you work as much as I do, cleaning seems to be last on my list. Having not been here in NJ for the past 7 weeks, has left a lot of much needed re- organizing, Keith does well on the dishes and trash, but the dusting, and organizing- not so much.

I made a little video to show you my planners for Home and for work:

 While I was busy making my planners, and using them, I discovered a few projects I wanted to tackle around the house. The first of which was our pantry. This poor thing had been neglected for a long time. It was not functional at all.  I cleared it out, checking all the expiration dates. I made a huge pile of trash, and learned my lesson. Procrastinating these tasks does not help anything. The whole remodel took me 2 hours, and that included a trip to the Dollar Tree for some bins. I don't know why I put these things off. The other lesson I learned fits right in with my meal planning and finance, namely shop with a list!!! I had a great tendency to overspend at the grocery store, and never use the stuff. Now I only have to remember the huge amount of groceries I threw out, for no other reason than a lack of planning. Pantry is completed! It is clean and organized. Next I am going to tackle my kitchen drawers and cabinets, perhaps one a day until completed.

While I was at the Dollar Tree, I found a great organizer for my Distress Inks and my craft drawers beneath my desk. I have gone through 3 drawers and used them to section things off, and it has helped tremendously. Now when I open the drawer, things don't move around, and the drawers can open and shut easily. 2 more drawers to go in this unit.

I got to thinking about all the organizers I have bought over the years to house my craft supplies. I have found only a few things that have really worked. Using Baseball card sleeves in a fat 3" binder for my clear $1 stamps, worked very well. Repurposing Priority Mailboxes into Paper Storage, worked very well too. I have been watching a lot of my favorite crafters on YouTube dive into using Avery Elle Stamp Pockets for thier 4 x 6 size stamps, and storing them in bins so they may be flipped through. I am really liking this idea. I am planning on converting my stamps that are currently in huge binders, and everywhere to this method, next month. I think it will help me house my collection more easily, and I will use them more. I did place my Stampers Anonymous stamps on their cards, in a photo box, so that I can flip through them. I am liking this method a lot better than the binders I used to keep them in. In one photo box I have 33 sets of stamps, that used to be in 4 mini binders. I have room for more as well. I could easily fit 50 sets in one box.  My plans for next month's conversion include purchasing a  few Fridge Binz from the Container Store and I believe these sets will fit in one of those as well. Now what to do with all the wood mounted stamps I still have.....

A few side organizing projects I have undertaken this week are: Card Boxes with dividers  by Theme of cards I make. One for Home and one for Work. I usually have a photo box full of birthday, thank you, congratulations cards at work.

 I also have taken on putting together a Survival Kit for the office. I saw a video by  At work with Nikki on YouTube where she explains the idea, and I thought it was awesome.

 She has sectioned hers into muslin pouches , which are labeled. She put together things for when those little emergencies pop up. For example, she has a pouch labeled clothing. Inside that pouch there is a lint brush, shout wipes, a sewing kit. She has a pouch labeled Oral care. Inside that pouch she has toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss. Altogether she has about 10 pouches. with everything from hand lotion to q-tips, to band-aids. I loved the case she used, which was a Caboodles train case. They sell it at K-mart for $33.  I have been putting together various items to make my Survival kit. I have to go to Michaels $1.50 spot to get the bags. Currently , my items are in ziploc bags, which is ok, just not as pleasing to look at.

Let me know how you store your crafty things, and household items. I still have a lot of closets to get through!


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