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Monday, January 11, 2016

2016 Goal #2: Organized Chaos

I. LOVE. ORGANIZATION. I really do, I'm not just saying that. I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to organization "hacks" (click HERE and be amazed). I daydream about planners, containers, and labels. I love everything to do with organization.

When I worked professionally, my office was always organized down to the last staple and sticky note. I cannot concentrate when surrounded by disorganized clutter, whether it's studying, working, or even just chatting. So when I had a baby, my happy organized world was thrown completely off-kilter. Suddenly, everywhere I looked there were bottles, pumping supplies, diapers, toys, bibs, tiny little clothes, and suspiciously gooey stains. Now, please hear me here - I would never trade this blissful baby mess for the world. L is the most wonderful blessing and I love her, chaos and all. I just needed to learn to adapt my thought process and adjust to my new life.

I did a few things preemptively (before she was born) that only really started having an impact toward the very end of 2015. L was born in March. It took nine months to even begin adapting, which is further proof that I am a slow learner! This year I plan to repeat some of those strategies, but I will also augment them in order to improve and increase their efficacy. If you aspire to similar organizational goals this year, I would like to encourage you to research these resources and/or test if they might work for you. My favorite part about each of them is that while they were developed by other people, they still require YOU to do all the work. They've created the tools, now you just have to apply them. Being the independent and stubborn person that I am, I appreciate the ability to tweak back program and/or idea to fit my personal style and needs.

But enough about me, without further ado I give you my strategies for this year:
  1. 2016 Goal Challenge by Morganize With Me (her blog is HERE). This is an annual challenge group run by Morgan Tyree. Her blog is faith-oriented and mostly focused on how to live a more organized life. Every year for Mrs. Tyree provides a comprehensive package of printable tables, calendars, etc. as well as monthly emails/blog posts about goal progression. All participants are encouraged to share their goals and progress throughout the year. It's a wonderful resource if you are looking for some accountability and encouragement in achieving your goals! I did this last year, with pretty good results. This year I'm hoping to have even better results as I've learned how to refocus my goals into more attainable goals. 
  2. The Living Well Planner (TM) by Ruth Soukup (get it HERE). This is a beautifully designed organizational planner that covers everything from daily/weekly/monthly appointments to budgeting to meal planning to password security! If you haven't already read Mrs. Soukup's book (Living Well, Spending Less; get the book HERE), I HIGHLY recommend it. I loved the book and the meal planning actually helps us save a lot on groceries when done faithfully.
  3. Menu Planning Board with materials designed by Megan Duesterhaus (get it HERE). This might seem like triple the effort as both Mrs. Tyree and Mrs. Soukup include menu planning in their materials. However, this allows for a tangible, easy-to-display system to augment the planners. I can post this each week on a calendar in our home for my husband and family to see. This will provide a reference for us should we want to make other plans. I will include built-in "leftover" nights in order to allow for some flexibility, i.e. date nights (side note: I DESPISE leftovers. There's no rational reason for this hatred, I just thought I'd share).
  4. 21 Day Fix and PiYo by BeachBody (more info HERE). These are phenomenal programs that I will discuss in more depth later. For now, all you need to know is that both programs have set schedules once you start. This comes in handy as I try to squeeze in workouts while L naps, as well as augmenting with some other workouts (again, more info later, so tune in!). This also helps with meal planning as it limits our diet to much healthier options. These programs also include accountability groups to help you stay on track and meet your goals. 
  5. Coupons. I shop for groceries at about five different stores, so keeping up with coupons can be rough. Luckily, Dillons and DeCA make their coupons available digitally, which makes planning a breeze. They also have reward program apps that allow for the coupons loaded to your member card digitally so they're waiting for you at the checkout counter. 

I use these resources to maintain calendars, create to-do lists, and plan our meals. For now, I'm setting a goal of one large chore per day, and then I have a list of chores that must be done everyday. For example: 
  • Mondays: Today's chore: Clean floors. Daily chores: clean kitchen, do dishes, wash cloth diapers, wipe down sinks.
  • Tuesdays: Today's chore: Clean bathrooms. Daily chores: clean kitchen, do dishes, wash cloth diapers, wipe down sinks.
  • Etc...
There are also weekly and monthly chores, such as washing bedding and towels, cleaning out the fridge, and sweeping off the porch.

That's it for this post. Stay tuned for more of my goals, tips, and ideas for 2016! I'm off to finish my meal planning for this week...what are your organizational goals? Feel free to share if you know of any good resources too!

Hapless but hopeful,

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