By Guest Blogger Tracy Huneycutt
One of the qualities I get complimented on the most are my organizational skills. (I am a Virgo, after all.) Everything I do stems from how I am geared and how my mind works, although I do take mental notes and implement organizational ideas I hear in life along the way.
Here are a few of the practical ideas and advice that I put into practice to help make my life more streamlined and organized. I hope some of these may be of help to you, especially as the craziness of a new school year commences!
– I do at least one load of laundry every day, and make sure clothes are dry and folded before I go to bed.
– I run a load in the dishwasher every night, and put everything up first thing in the morning.
– During the school year, I pack everyone’s lunch for the next day after getting home from school that day.
– I clean our kitchen every evening, after dinner is finished and dishes are in the dishwasher.
– Watching T.V. is a low personal priority. I may keep some of my favorite Food Network shows on in the background while cleaning house or working at my laptop. This really began for me when I became a new mom, and if I’m being honest, I do not miss it. We do watch some movies and shows together as a family throughout the week.
– I am the opposite of a hoarder. My decoration style could be described as “minimal modern farmhouse,” and I prescribe to a “less is more” mentality. I have various organizers throughout all areas of our home to help keep clutter at bay, and do not display unnecessary or unused items. Items that are of sentimental value are stored in labeled Rubbermaid totes in our basement. Items that are not of sentimental value either get shredded, donated, sold at a yard sale, or thrown away.
– I shop in-person for my groceries once a week. My son comes with me, which has provided a great opportunity to teach him about food quality and pricing. I type out my grocery list based on the flow of the store. While shopping, if I come across a great deal, like a sale on a certain cut of meat, that’s not going to be used for that week’s meals, I will purchase it and freeze it for later use. I meal-prep a week in advance, and I use recipes with simple ingredients or with ingredients we already have available. We keep a garden during the summer, and I incorporate seasonal produce into our meals and freezer meals. For instance, I make Keto meatballs using shredded zucchini instead of breadcrumbs, so I made several freezer batches this summer while we had fresh zucchini on-hand.
– Within reason, I plan ahead as often and as much as I can. Many Christmas gifts are purchased the day after Christmas for the following year. I constantly write down notes of things I come across that I either want to purchase, try out, or look into. I make lists ahead of home projects and vacations, and revamp them along the way. In my personal life, with work, and in the areas where I volunteer my time, I think of and research ideas well in advance, put them in writing, and work on them little by little until the deadline arrives.
– Every month or two, when I have a pocket of free time, I make the conscious choice to reorganize one area of my home, be it a closet, the laundry room, the pantry, the refrigerator, or under the bathroom sink.
– I am a pen and paper person versus an electronics person. I keep a written planner, I have a binder that holds print-outs of my favorite and most-used recipes, I jot down important reminders in a small notebook, and I keep a daily journal, which is great for mental health as well as gratitude. Seeing things laid out in front of me versus trying to navigate life on a screen gives me peace and clarity. (However, I did move from traditional books to a Kindle recently, and I love it!)
– My son only participates in one extra-curricular activity per season (with the exception of Scouts, which runs during the whole school year.) This allows more time for homework and family time.
– When my son is invited to a friend’s birthday party, when we receive an invitation to a wedding or shower, or when my son brings home a note from school about materials he will need for a project, I make a note to buy what we need at our next trip to the store, or I go ahead and purchase what is needed on-line. I have a cabinet in our laundry room full of gift wrap and gift bags, so that I can immediately wrap any gifts we get for others.
– When planning a future vacation, part of my planning includes making a reservation for our dog to stay at our vet’s boarding house, and stopping our mail (on-line via usps.com.)
– I always keep the following items on-hand in our home: thank you cards, sympathy cards, stamps, envelopes, scissors, tape, crazy glue, a hole-puncher, 3-ring binders with clear plastic inserts, gallon-sized Ziploc bags, extra ink cartridges for our printer, and various-sized batteries.
What are some tips you have for a more organized life?
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