Monday, February 17, 2014

Organizing Life

One of my goals this year has been to get more organized.

I'm a mom of 3 with a full time job, with an attempted writing career. There are endless lists of things I have to do, and limited hours to do everything.

I've set a life goal for myself. I'm hoping to make more hours in the day, by not working my full time job. I'm hoping that through writing, baking, and couponing I can quit that job.

The best way to meet a life goal is to make a plan and go get it. Life has taught me, I have to stay flexible because no one knows what is around the corner.

I think I have worked out the initial kinks in my plan.

I do realize my plan will not work for everybody, so let me tell you how I came to it. Then maybe you can make your own.

I have been using a budget for a while. I really think it is vital for every household should have one. I created a basic spreadsheet in Open Office (free word processor). I set it up around the needs of my household, bills and pay dates. Like the rest of America we live paycheck to paycheck so it is vital that we stay in budget. 

This got me into couponing. The money I save on the day to day necessities has recently opened up room in our budget. For the first time in over a year we actually have money set aside. Staying frugal though we are not doing and fun spending until all past debts are paid off. 

My budget taught me so much, (mostly about spread sheets) that I decided to see how much I am really saving from couponing. I created a spreadsheet that calculates a monthly savings as well as a year to date. I am trying to find how to upload this to share with others, but seems I am not that savy.

I started writing lists of things I wanted to get done over week, and leaving post it notes all over the place. This did help some, but I found myself often saying, "Meh, I will do that tomorrow." Too many things fell through the cracks.

Then I found something that really inspired me:  

Money Saving Mom came to my rescue!

You should follow her, if you're not already! There is a post on Household Management. I went through and downloaded every single one! I went through them all and customized them and test out what best fits my needs.

I got a binder, printed up many of these and filled the binder with forms and dividers. I found that the daily dockets have been by far the most helpful for me. I fill out a week of them at a time and adjust as needed. 

Each morning, I think about my work hours, and try to decide what I can realistically get done that day. I fully fill out my agenda and even make notes on what I want the kids to get done. They are free to consult my book to see what chores they have to get done. 

I also have notes on dinner and any other cooking I need to do.

Sometimes a monthly calender is just better, so I found a pretty basic blank one and printed 12 out. Those are found at the front of the binder along with my weekly work hours.

I have blogging days loosely marked, paydays and bill due dates marked s well. Dr appointments, Birthday's and Holidays are one here too.

I am working on my inventories, but in the back of the binder I have a place to keep a freezer inventory and my coupon hoard inventory.

Since I started using the binder I have found that my life has become so much easier! I do have to remind myself that it is okay to move things to another day. I only have so many hours a day, and so often life makes me do other things. 

Life is a Learning Experience

What is your favorite way to stay organized? As a very unorganized person, I am still looking for more or better ways to improve my methods. 

If you have tips you would love to share, let me know!

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