Friday, August 31, 2012

Trying to get it together

So I only have one out of two of my kids in school and a sport. There are "only" four humans that live in our house (one dog, too). However, I have an overwhelming amount of paper and dates that need to be kept track of and know that it will just get worse the older the kids get. Until recently, Jeff and I were able to track everything electronically using our iCal and BusyCal. It's worked great as when one of us updates, it updates the other person so we know what is going on at all times.

Last week I seemed to lose control of my organization. Zachary brought home a paper from school that talked about a "color of the day". Fun! Then there are the "specials" that he has at school (P.E., music, library, etc). And suddenly there was too much info to put on my ical. My poor little bulletin board wasn't helping me at all.
My mess! (Before)
So, I went to my friends on facebook and twitter and asked what works for them. Unfortunately, most of them said the same thing....if you find a good solution, please let me know! I got some great tips from my sister-in-law and have made a few changes based on her recommendations. Originally, I thought about getting a dry-erase calendar, but she mentioned that if a kid swipes a finger across it, you'll never know that you were supposed to do something! Excellent point!

I cleaned out my hanging files and assigned one to Jeff. It will hold his mail (I've NEVER known what to do with it!) and anything that I want him to see from the kids before putting it away. Then I have the top "bin" assigned to the kids with a folder for each of them. I plan to put papers in here that need attention, plus the extra papers with information from school that doesn't need to be displayed on the bulletin board. Our color coded school schedule will remain there so I can be sure that I am sending Zachary to school on the correct Fridays. (We have an all day twice a week and every other Friday schedule. Gets confusing!) Finally, I got a large academic year calendar from Meijer ($4.99) so I can have enough space to write everything on it. Now, I just have to explain the system to my household and we have to keep up with it. I'm determined to gain control of my kitchen island again!  Now, if I can calm the disaster that is the office....baby steps....
After. Still a work in progress, but better.
For $4.99 and about 30 minutes worth of time, I have a calmer, more organized kitchen. Hopefully it helps and can make our mornings run a little bit smoother.

What is your best tip for organizing all the paperwork that comes into the house? Are you finding that you are constantly changing it or have you found a system that just seems to work? Ok, and I need help with my HUGE stack of un-read magazines. What do you do with yours while they are waiting to be read?!

9 comments:

  1. I struggle with this as well. I am no organizing guru to say the least! Most of our school stuff is posted on line so I don't have a glut of papers coming in. However it is a challenge to even know where to go and LOOK for all the info/deadlines I need. I keep a cyber calendar on my phone but also, like you a big paper master calendar where I can see everything. Nothing fancy at all. But it works...usually...

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    1. Thank you! So glad to hear that I am not the only one that is now doing double duty with an electronic calendar and a paper one! Working...so far...

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  2. I applaud your organization! I keep a notebook with me at all times. I write down a list of what is going on that day and things I need to get done. Google calendar works pretty well for appts and reminders, but as you said if one of us forgets to update an event, madness ensues. I really like your idea with the folders. I am going to see how I can incorporate something similar

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    1. Thanks, Jessica! I'm sure this will be an evolving system as the boys get older and busier, but hopefully it will be a good starting point!

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  3. great job keeping organized!! my mom used to have a folder for each of us kids when we were in school that hung on the closet pantry door in the kitchen. it had all of our own important stuff in it that needed to be dealt with. that usually worked pretty well, except she could never seem to keep her bills and own personal stuff organized! hahaha it ended up all thrown in a chest on the kitchen counter.so funny! have a happy weekend! spalove!

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  4. I LOVE organization so your after picture and progress is such a happy sight. Way to go!
    For paper, I still use file systems with marked folders. It's old school but works wonders.

    xx SPA love

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  5. Nice work! I hate when stuff piles up on the island! I have really tried to move stuff to my desk upstairs, but now I have a pile to file up here too!

    Kim

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  6. Ugh...magazines. I have a stack of unread magazines on the nightstand next to my bed. They will most likely remain unread until they're at least a year out of date. At least they're not in the kitchen, right?

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    1. Ha! magazines in the bedroom. I did that and they all fell off one night. :) Today, they are NOT in my kitchen....they are cluttering up my beautiful new window seat, instead! Someday I'll figure it out!

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