Thursday, March 08, 2012

Quick and Dirty Thoughts on Being Organized

I am living a parallel life with M&Co.  I've been getting us out the door on time for almost 8 years now.... it CAN be done.

Feeding the Hoard:  Make a list of your favorite foods.  Plug those foods into a two-week spreadsheet.  (I make mine seasonally... more grill in the summer, more crock pot in the winter.)  Plan to shop every two weeks.  (I do Costco and, yes, the veggies will last two weeks.)  Plan to spend less than an hour on the shopping trip and reward yourself if you are successful.  You just made grocery shopping a 2 hour/month chore.  Who-hoo.  Ok, yes, I do stop at the regular store about every 10 days but it is between work and kid pickup so I do it solo and it takes 15 minutes max.  Be prepared to fall off the "meal plan" wagon on a regular basis.  Just get back on.  I actually enjoy cooking so I try to put in a "new recipe" once in a while.... usually on weekends.  But I'm not afraid to serve canned soup and grilled cheese on a regular basis.  Get friendly with giant bags of frozen veggies.  Yes, sometimes this means we eat green beans as a side four times a week.  Oh well.  I'm working to embrace the crockpot during the week.  I use it on weekends but ours cooks SO HOT I'm afraid to leave it alone during the week for fear of it cooking dry.  I'm always on the lookout for new recipes to try in it.

Laundry:  We have one big lidded wicker hamper in the bathroom.  Get your stuff in there or your mother will give it to Goodwill.  Even the 2-year-old has mastered this concept.  Give yourself permission to a do a wild-card load every once in a while... loads that aren't sorted.  Also... I confess to only washing the kid bedding every 3 weeks.  Ew.  And the delay setting on my washer is seriously awesome.  I set a load to wash in the late afternoon and can walk in the door and switch it to the dryer and it is ready to fold by the time Big Bang Theory is on.  And at least one day a week should be "dress from the clean laundry basket" day.  I never fold towels... they go through the wash and right back on the hooks.  I'm going to add some jammie hooks in the bathroom so kid jammies can be worn more than once before they get washed. 

The Morning Exit:  I am NOT a morning person.  I only survive it by getting up first.  I need 20 minutes to exercise (or recline, moaning, on the couch) and 15 to shower and do my routine and have a cup of coffee.. then I can deal with other humans.  I've streamlined the HELL out of my wardrobe, makeup, hair & routine.  And I use a timer.  Kids will get dressed in 5 minutes if it is a beat-the-clock thing but I can yell at them 10 times and get no results.  And I have a little note (neatly printed, of course) by the front door telling kids what to remember.  It looks kinda like this:

Backpack, Water Bottle, Lunch, Snack,
Homework, Hat, Mittens, Sweatshirt

Monday:  Sweet Show-n-Tell
Monday:  Sweet PE Shoes
Tuesday:  Library Books
Tuesday:  Tuff PE Shoes
Thursday:  Sweet PE Shoes
Thursday:  Tuff PE Shoes
Friday:  Tuff Show-n-Tell

After School
Empty Backpack, Hang up Coat,
Put away Shoes, Snack, Homework

Hooks by the door for coats & backpacks, primary shoes on black plastic mat and a hanging basket on the closet doorknob for the most used pairs of hats & gloves.  A hook inside the coat closet for my purse and bag.  I seem to require carrying an additional bag for lunch stuff, take-to-work stuff, library books, etc.  Breakfast is required but can be creative.  What's the difference between a hotdog with a bun and sausage with toast?  Althought I do draw the line when comparing rice crispy bars with rice crispy cereal... call me a hypocrite.


Christal said...

My mom used to have us put our pajamas under our pillow when making the bed. It served 3 purposes, you always knew where they were, the bed got made, and when you washed the sheets you washed the pj's too.

M&Co. said...

I've always thought we had similiar lives. You are just *FAR* more organized than I. Omaybe it's that you've just given much more thought to how to make your life simplier than I have. Cause making my life simple has become my mantra these days.

Homestead said...

Christal- My mom said the same thing to me this weekend... I forgot we did that when we were kids.

M&Co- You know I'm faking it, right? I am not simplified or organized. And, also, a difference.... you go to the drycleaner with your clothes. I just wear black knit pants, t-shirts & cardigans every day for work.