Organization Day 8: Weekly Schedule at a Glance

DSC03539The saying that time flies is true enough indeed. I can hardly believe the year is coming to an end and we’ll soon enter into the next.  Today’s the last in my series on organization and I hope they’ve helped you create a plan of action to build your own lists and schedules from.

It’s no surprise when I tell you I love to create schedules, make lists and have multiple day planners and calendars. I thrive on all things organization.

Over the years I realized I inherited this trait from my mother… who I may say even has the labels of her spice jars and canned goods all facing in the same direction and to size… they might even be alphabetized I’ve never dared look.

Her cupboards are immaculate and she never has dust. Mind you, it’s just her and my dad and she only had me! But none-the-less I’m glad I inherited this trait thanks to her… even though I never realized it while I was growing up. My maternal grandmother was also extremely organized. I remember her sewing supplies neatly arranged in her sewing box (which I now have), her fridge was always tidy and her flower beds were beautiful and manicured. So, I guess I come by this naturally thank God!

DPP_0003

It’s only since I’ve had a home and family of my own that I’ve realized all the important things they both taught me… or at least tried to! My ‘other’ mom, is also extremely organized. I think I’m just naturally attracted to those kind of people.  She’s been an inspiration to me tremendously, especially with sewing ‘stuff’. Her material/craft closet is immaculate and completely organized right up to type’s of fabrics and colors. Her craft stuff is always tidy and in it’s place! What wonderful examples I’ve been blessed with!

Anyway, back to schedules and lists…

Here is my Weekly Schedule At A Glance… this has really helped me over the years as my family has grown and evolved.

Please note this doesn’t include any of our farm related chores. I’m only focusing on the daily home chores that most of us face.

*Use Put Away Basket daily for my walk through’s!

MONDAY:

*Focus on what’s planned for the week through my P.M.S. list- make list of appts/calls/errands for the week.

*Back Entry zonal cleaning, Bathroom and Upstairs Hallway, stairs- Ryan

*Zonal clean Kitchen~ clean out fridge; put clean foil on stove burners- Mom

*Main floor of house- floors- Ryan

*Laundry- mom

*Fill bird feeders- Kyle/Evan

*Water porch pots on tables- everyday as needed

*All outside yard chores: mowing, weed whacking, weeding- boys

*General machine maintenance- boys

‰ 

TUESDAY:

*Laundry- bedding, dish towels and anything that didn’t get done yesterday-Mom

*Zonal Clean Pantry, Family and Dining rooms Taylor/Mom

*Moms office day- phone calls, pay bills, etc.

*Purge any old mag’s/newspapers/etc.- Mom

*Menu planning day/ create grocery list from menu- think about what’s going to be baked next week as well.

WEDNESDAY:

*Zone cleaning Bedrooms

*Sewing/mending if any.

*Baking day if no sewing

THURSDAY:

Errand and Grocery Day~

*Try to schedule all errands for today- post office, cleaners, doctor’s appts., shopping etc.

*Grocery Shop- do any budget shopping today as well.

clothespin_magnet

FRIDAY:

*This is our market prep day and we do all running for this.

*Laundry~ as needed

SATURDAY:

*We are at market all day and the boy who is home takes care of general home duties.

*Grocery Shop on way home from market

*Any meal prep for Sunday gets done today.

SUNDAY:

This is our day of rest and worship… and we never feel guilty! Praise the Lord!

One more thing I wanted to touch on today is how to remain focused on your schedule for the days. I refer to this as Focused Event Days. Here’s a more detailed break down of what we do here.

*Errand Day~ this day needs to be structured to have the best time and gas management possible.

66805_509129132474466_768643416_n

*I always make a list of the places I need to go and I write them down in the order I plan on going to them. When I do this I think about the direction’s of the errands and map out the best possible route to take. I try, if possible to start with the furthest stop and make my way back toward home. This doesn’t always work, but most of the time it does. I also try to do any grocery shopping last, especially in the summer because of the extreme heat that could damage the goods.

*If I have appointments to keep, I try to make those first thing in the morning where I can do the remaining errands in a timely fashion afterwards.

*I also try to spread any appointments out over the month so I do not over book myself just causing everyone frustration. Also take into consideration when making appt.s  children if it is the school season, make them after school if at all possible.

*Grocery shopping~ this is ‘typically’ done on Errand day but not always due to the fact that I like to shop at one particular grocery store that has a very large selection of Organic goods. This store is an hour away from our country home but we drive past it every Saturday on our way home from market… so my main grocery shopping is done on Saturday. The other place I like to purchase items in bulk is done at a store right down the road from us and that’s the shopping that gets done on Errand day… usually!

DPP_0004

*I go over the menu for that week and check to see if there is anything I need- write it down on list right away~ I would too quickly forget.

*I always make sure I have my grocery list, coupons and shopper bags ready to go.

*My Checklist before I leave: My purse with checkbook with checks in it, debit card; all lists; Bill stubs, banking papers if needed; sale ads; mail to go out; anything else I need to meet my list.

Lists are crucial here! Another important tip when going grocery shopping is to NEVER go when you are hungry! You’ll end up buying things because they ‘look’ good at that present moment! Stick to the list and the budget.

Hope you all enjoyed… please leave me comments and suggestions!
Happy Day,
Jean

Organization Day 5: The Walk Through

My officeWell today I thought it was time to touch base on a common statement that occurs in my home every single day… The Walk Through. “What is a walk through?” you ask. Well, it is the next step in my organization series.

The walk through is a very basic concept that I believe most of us do everyday, but never really had a name for it.  It’s easy to apply to our daily schedules and routines and it’s one that children can completely understand. The walk through is simply going through a room and picking up everything that is out-of-place AND putting it away where it belongs.  Simply eh?

In the next post we’ll learn what Zonal Cleaning is and how to apply the walk through in it.

It’s been said that if you do something consistently for thirty days, it’ll become a habit or a routine~ that works with good or bad  stuff, so be careful!  I’ve incorporated this aspect into our daily lives over the last ten years and now it’s just a normal part of cleaning up for me and my children.

Here are a few tips when going through this step in the organizational process of getting your home where you want it to be:

Basket and bag for walk through

*Each time a walk through is done, take a plastic bag and basket along with you. You’ll use the bag for trash and the basket for items that need to be put back in their proper place.

*As you go through, it’s best to start from the top down. For example table tops, book or other shelves, couches and chairs and then onto the floor. Be sure to look under the furniture. Gather up what needs to be put away in the basket, put trash in the bag.

*While you’re doing your walk through straighten things up as you go, fix haphazard cushions, re-fold any throw blankets, straighten pictures on the wall, tidy books and magazines on tables in the room as well as on the shelves, straighten any decorative objects or table clothes/ linens.

Once you’ve completed the walk through, I suggest you vacuum or sweep the floor. That gives the finished look!

The walk through is not ‘cleaning’ day, it’s something that should be done repeatedly through the day and especially right before bed. Vacuuming only once unless needed more.

I focus on three daily walk throughs- right before lunch- this is when we typically vacuum, just before supper (or just before dad gets home from work) and then before bed. There is nothing nicer then getting up in the morning and coming down to a tidy house!

Keep posted for my next topic in my organization series: Zonal Cleaning.

Happy Day,
Jean

Organization Day 2: P.M.S. This is NOT what you think!

office1_emailverWelcome to the second article in my new series on Organization. Last time we talked about getting your lists made so you could begin creating routines. I mentioned that in today’s article I’d be teaching you about P.M.S. and how to use it with your lists.

If you missed the first article, here’s the link for it.
http://fordragonfliesandme.com/2013/10/29/organization-series-day-1-creating-and-maintaining-routines/

Some of you may be thinking you already know all about PMS and want nothing to do with it. But I guarantee by the time you’re done reading this, you’ll be wishing for it!

First, get your notebook out with the lists you made the other day….
Now I’m going to teach you how to P.M.S. them… but first, I thought it’d be interesting to share with you how I developed this concept and explain what P.M.S is.

I created this concept from a good friends over-zealous list making and the frustrations the uncompleted tasks created for her. You see, my friend consistently made lists that were well over and above anyone’s ability to accomplish in a week, much less a day. Don’t get me wrong, her motives were beautiful… she’s an energetic, vibrant woman, but she continually tried to over extend herself.

One day while we were talking on the phone, I asked her what was on her agenda for the day!  I should have known… off my dear friend began to rattle a list that scared me! I knew her and I knew she’d never get it all done and she would feel like she’d failed.

Now I don’t have any problems with lists… as I mentioned in the first article, I’m all about lists. After all, you’re probably thinking, “That’s what she told us to do… make a list!”  You’re correct… but I also said to start small.

Later that day as I was looking over my own list of to-do’s, I realized I’d done something with my list… I P.M.S.’ed it.

P.M.S. simply is an abbreviation for: Prioritize, Minimize and Simplify.

So now it’s time to implement P.M.S. on your lists, and don’t worry if you forget something, you can add it later.

First you’re going to look over the lists you made the other day and prioritize the jobs in order of importance for each one.  This may take a few attempts and that’s OK, take your time and think the tasks over clearly as have to-do, need to-do and  want to-do.

Next, you’ll minimize the tasks as to how often and when the job gets done.  Again think have to, need to and want to!

Finally, simplify your life by writing your lists down in a journal or calendar. By documenting the tasks you’ll be able to have a visual help to keep you organized.  Keep posted for the next article where I’ll touch on helpful tips to create your own journal and calendars.

From these lists you’ll create your routines. As mentioned in the previous post, routines are combined into daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal tasks that need to be accomplished in and around our homes. Having a routine for each part of the day, as well as for each day of the week is important.

Here are two samples of my routines. The first is a Monthly Breakdown of Daily Household Tasks. I designed these on an excel spread sheet that can easily be adjusted as things change.

Monthly Breakdown of Daily Household Tasks:

TASK:  Household Chores

CHORE DESCRIPTION      DAILY       WEEKLY      MONTHLY    SEASON

Sweep Floors                       X

Vacuum                                X

Clean Bathroom                                     M W F

Laundry                                                   M W F

Clean Back Entry                                    T R Sat

Sweep Basement Stairs                        T R Sat

Strip all bedding                                     Tues

Clean out fridge/ wash appliances     Sat

New foil on stove elements                 Sat

Wash windows                                       Sat

Shop vac stairs                                       Thurs

Clean upstairs hallway                          Thurs

Vacuum under furniture                                                X

Wash down all kitchen cupboards                               X

Clean/organize dining room closet                              X

Wash all curtains                                                             X

Clean Garage                                                                                         Spr Fall

Once your routines for the basic household tasks are set, you can create a more detailed Room by Room task list that can be printed off as a check list. Notice on this bathroom chart, I have the jobs in a logical order of cleaning top to bottom, as opposed to frequency schedule like my weekly task list.

Room: Bathroom
Task Days: M W F

Job Description:                                                   each day      weekly      monthly

Wash curtains- week you do the rest                                                           XX

Dust all around ceilings                                                                XX

dust window ledges, wash windows                                          XX

wash down walls do the week of
month curtains are washed                                                                            XX

clean: bathtub/shower                                             XX

sink                                                                              XX

toilet                                                                            XX

change garbage                                                                              XX

dust/clean soap dishes/ lotions, etc.                                           XX

tidy linen closets/ lines                                                                  XX

clean & organize vanities, cupboards, shelves                                              XX

sweep floor                                                                 XX

No matter how organized we think we are, without a routine based schedule, disorganization can get to the best of us. The goal in using my P.M.S. program is to create and maintain routines through lists that will aid you in organizing your home life.

After you’ve designed all your routines, you’ll start to build positive habits helping you to remain focused and organized.  We all want to provide a peaceful, relaxed home environment for our families… and with P.M.S. we can!

Stay tuned for the next article in the series: How-to Create and Use a Journal and Day Planner

journal

Happy Day,
Jean

Organization Series Day 1: Creating and Maintaining Routines

list_my chalkboard_emailver

I’m all about routines, lists and general organization. I wear several different hats: Wife, mother, writer, organic farmer/ gardener and winter farmers market Manager/ Owner, to name a few 😉

Up until recently I also operated a fifty member CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share program on our farm which was a type of co-op. I organized and scheduled several farmers crops along with our own two acres according to our needs. I also attended a weekly farmers market. Our farm had several wholesale restaurant accounts where we sold specialty sausages, eggs, other meat products and produce.

Our farm raised both hogs and poultry for meat and eggs.  We also have an on-farm butcher shop. Cut flowers for bouquets was another branch on our tree.

Not to mention I write two personal blogs, the one you are reading and Wren In The Willows http://wreninthewillows.com/2013/10/28/irony/

I contribute weekly to The Detroit News, The Good Life blog http://blogs.detroitnews.com/thegoodlife/2013/10/17/how-to-incorporate-herbs-into-your-table-decor/#comments

More recently contributing weekly to “Your Home with Karie Engels” http://yourhomewithkarieengels.com/2013/10/24/how-to-create-a-friendship-garden/ and “Farm to Table, Field to Plate.”http://outdoorsexperiencejournal.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/kitchen-gardens-tips-and-ideas-on-how-to-create-your-own/

I also have a new cookbook and gardening book in the works.

I’m currently working on a new Food Co-op project at one of Michigan’s oldest nursery/ greenhouses. Besides the co-op, we’re working at creating a community garden as well as a farmers market there in the next few years.

On top of this and several other things I didn’t mention, I am a mom. My youngest children are six and three years old. They require much of my attention. Encouraging them to help and work along my side is part of the process as well. I couldn’t do all I do without the help of my children.

Being mommy is the most important of my ‘hats’ and it requires the most energy and thought. It would be very easy for me to get side-tracked and neglect them. That is why I do much of my writing and computer work ‘after-hours’.  Knowing my limitations helps to me stay focused and organized. I know where to dry the line and not over-extend myself. I know when to say ‘no’ to a project that just doesn’t fit into my life.

To the point… I have a lot to organize and my time must be scheduled accordingly. I don’t have time to diddle-daddle or fly by the seat of my pants . Every minute is precious and must be used wisely.  I plan on a daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal agenda according to what project is at hand.

Over the next month I’m going to help you get your life organized by teaching you how to set and maintain routines. Routines are the key to success in life and when you have a plan of action written down to visually see, you will succeed!

There are many benefits to creating routines which include keeping yourself organized, scheduled and on track. You’ll be able to create daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal routines that will be geared toward your life and what is happening with you and your family.

Today lets look at the first important element in creating a happy organized life!

Creating and Maintaining Routines

How do I create routines?

*First, think about yourself and your needs.

*Next you’ll make a list.  Get a notepad and write down what you’d like to accomplish in your home over the next week and through the current month.  Remember to start small and don’t worry about trying to organize the list right now, you’ll do that later. Right now just focus on brain storming and write down everything you think of no matter how large or small the task.

*Write down your normal household chores, for example, laundry, cleaning out the fridge, etc. If you do any of these chores on regular days, jot that down too.

*Now make a list of your appointments for the current week and month in your notebook. Include yours, your spouses and your children.

Now that you have all the basics down, you’ll be able to create routines for everyday of the week and organize your time through the year.

The next step is my favorite! P.M.S.~ This is not going to be what you think…and this is for the next day, so keep posted!

How do I maintain my routines?

Like anything else, once things become a habit it’s much more likely that you’ll continue to do them. Routines are no different. By doing your routines on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, they’ll become second nature to you!

I also have my routines for each day of the week written down in a journal. I use to keep it open on the counter during the day so everyone could see it freely, although over the years I’ve drifted from this simply because they really have become habits.

Until then, here is a sample of my Morning routine.

MORNING ROUTINE- School days

“She riseth while it is yet night and giveth meat to her household…” Proverbs 31:15a

This would be during the school season. I have a different one for our summer schedule.

•5:50am~ Rise and shine with smile and praise in my heart and get the coffee brewing!

•Swish toilet and sink; get a load of laundry together to throw in.

•Brush my teeth; get a quick shower; put lotions on; get dressed.

•Have some quiet time with the Lord and a warm cup of coffee…

•Check email/messages;  send any responses that need done.

•7:00am~ start waking the rest of the clan up… get breakfast going.

•Throw load of laundry in.

•7:30am~ everyone at table for breakfast; family devotions

•7:55am- Clearing off table; wash breakfast dishes; switch laundry loads.

•8:10am~ Get children off to school.

  • 9:00 am- Think about my day; make list’s for jobs to be done; check my day planner

•Check menu~ take anything that has to thaw out of the freezer; make sure we have all ingredients for the menu.

Next we’ll look at P.M.S. and how wonderful it is!

If you missed Day 1 follow this link to see the schedule of topic posts!
http://fordragonfliesandme.com/2013/10/29/new-organization-series/

Happy Day,
Jean