Friday, April 17, 2009

Running Like a Well-Oiled Machine

In the never-ending quest to find balance and organization amid the chaos of life, I have found a few little tools that I have found to be helpful. Out of the goodness of my heart and sincerest interest for your wellbeing, I thought I would be kind enough to share them with you. Aren't I nice??

I currently have a super secret project underway that will one day (in the hopefully very near future) obliterate the need for these various archaic pieces of paper. I mean, come on people - its the 21st century and we're still writing with pen and paper?? However, until the great unveiling, to which my beloved and loyal blog readers will be privvy, I rely on these handy dandy forms to hold the pieces of this great juggling act together.

One of my favorite websites is the Mommy Trackd website. They have great material on there and some hilarious articles. You absolutely must check the site out! They have some awesome (and cute) downloads there too!

I really like this "Week at a Glance" to get the big picture of what is going on each week with the family. It also helps me get a better idea of which nights are better for planning things, and which days are full already.

In the bottom part for my "to do" I write out the ONE thing I will focus on from my goals list. For example, this week, my focus was working on getting up and working out each morning. I succeeded in that endeavor only 2 out of the 5 days this week, but its a start!

If you do nothing else to streamline your life, you must do this - meal plan. It saves you time, brain power and money. Long gone are the days where you rush home at 5:30 p.m. and think "ugh, what am I going to make for dinner tonight?" and try to piece together the random ingredients lying around in the fridge and pantry. No, no, must plan this in advance. Every Sunday I write out my meal plan for the week (I include lunches too since I pack for both me and Carter), then I write out my grocery list and do my shopping for the week (and if I really have it together - 2 weeks). I try to chop any veggies or do any prep work I can ahead of time too!

I think this is my favorite form - The Balance Sheet. I print one out every day at the start of the day (I have it saved to my desk top) and write out what needs to get done for both work and home. Its a great way to stay on task!

Now, for my old nemesis - housecleaning. Many moons ago, I stumbled upon the Motivated Moms housekeeping planners. The lady who owns this business is a stay at home mom who came up with a way to stay on top of household chores while still preserving time for yourself. She sets out day-by-day a handful of chores that will keep your house in order. Now, I'll admit, its really hard to keep up with the daily schedule while working full time, so sometimes I have to look at it in terms of the week rather than the day, and that works too. But, its really nice when I can stay on top of the daily tasks and then don't have to carve out huge chunks of precious time with my kids on the weekends, or my down-time for myself (while they are asleep of course) to do housework. Its only $8 for the whole year and she has several different formats for you to choose from. For this paltry sum, I highly suggest you give it a try!!

If you are list-crazed OCD and want lots of different options for every conceivable situation (ahem...Melissa), then you will probably like the Organized Home website with its gazillion forms (and great content too!!) and the Mom Agenda website, which sells planners but has lots of free downloads as well (and they are super cute too!).

Of course, all the organization in the world won't help a lick if you don't actually do the work, so I'd better get back to writing this legal motion now. I hope you all have a FABULOUS weekend! I plan to do a major overhaul cleaning of my house tomorrow, so wish me luck and cooperative children!


  1. I used to make lists like that, and then end up doing everything that WASN'T on my list. I have no idea why....

  2. I feel so special for making it into this blog post!!! (Even if it's because I have an irreversible disease formally known as OCD). ;) On a serious note- One can NEVER be too organized. I once read an article in a family magazine that proved families that are more organized are happier and healthier (because they spend less time arguing, in a rush, being late to places, etc and they accomplished more/ had more positive experiences to share together as a family- including more time). It actually reduced the stress level of the home and spouses reported happier marriages. So you can all see that clearly it is desireable to be on top of things. When everyone knows their roles and works to make sure everyone and everything is taken care of (I believe this is called functionalism) then peace follows.