Set aside some time and stick with it

Organizing takes time & discipline. If you are behind in your organizing then you’ll most definitely need to schedule some time to get started and catch up. If you decide that you want to get organized then you should really consider making it a priority. Otherwise, it will never get done. Everyone can make excuses for not using the dedicated time that has been set aside to organize, but if you ever really want to make a difference, stick to it!

Once you get yourself caught up, it’s only maintenance from that point on. Start by doing a little at a time and go from there. Tackling smaller projects and taking baby steps is the very best way to organize your life. When you take it slowly, you allow yourself to develop the habits that are necessary to maintain an organized and more efficient life.

What is your schedule? Do you have to carve out time to get organized or do you keep up with it throughout your day?

Menu Planning and Hell Week

Menu planning can change your life (not as much as a label maker but it’s a close second). This week my son started his first week of conditioning practice for football and my “part time” job (football team mom) starts in earnest through November. The following week is what I’ve always considered “hell week” & as you might figure, it’s not our favorite week of the year. This means that on top of practice every single night, the boys are in their full gear and the temperature is supposed to reach into the 90′s. I’m bound to have some very unhappy campers out on the field as a result. This also means I’ll be coming home completely wiped out and hungry (possibly grumpy too but let’s not get into that)…

Last year, in anticipation of this difficult week I took about 10 minutes and spoke with the kids about what we should make for dinner so that we aren’t coming home from the field exhausted & hungry with McDonald’s in hand every single night. We literally took 10 minutes to plan it out and then I coordinated a delivery with Peapod (Stop & Shop grocery delivery service – not sure what I’d do without them, I loathe the grocery store). Before I knew it, dinner was figured out for the entire week & I hadn’t broken a sweat!

That simple act alone relieved so much anxiety about the upcoming week & I felt so much better just knowing that we’d have a home cooked meal waiting for us when we got back. Most meals I prepare in the crock-pot so it’s not uncommon to hear the other mom’s asking “what’s in the crock pot tonight Laurie?” when we are out at the field. Whether it’s pulled pork tacos, shredded chicken or white chili, the feeling of coming home to the smell of a meal is enough to help me forget that I’m pretty smelly from being outside and from helping sweaty boys with their gear.  I truly love it & wouldn’t trade it for the world.

What are your thoughts on menu planning? What is one of your favorite “home late in a school night-type meals? “ I’d love to know!

Do you suffer from FOMO?

My nephew taught me this word and I laughed out loud when I heard it. FOMO stands for Fear of Missing Out. Wow, that’s just not me. Granted, when I was younger I didn’t want to miss out on anything but now that I’ve reached 40+ I’m totally fine with missing out on some things.

When my family gets together I don’t feel the need to dance every dance. I’m totally okay with not climbing the sand dunes on a hot summer day. As a matter of fact, bamboo shards under my fingernails sounds like more fun to me than hot sand.

If my girlfriends are getting together for drinks and I’m wiped out from a busy week sometimes I’ll just take a pass, I can’t possibly do it all and need to pace myself/pick my outings accordingly.

I no longer feel the need to be everywhere at the same time and I love that feeling. My priority has always been my kids and now that they are older I am acutely aware of how little time I have left with them so home with them is where I want to be.

My life will continue at its hectic pace and I can’t slow time down but for now, I’m going to pick and choose what I want to do and if I miss out on something, I’ll get over it!

Can you relate to FOMO?

Use your answering machine

My mother told me years ago that phones are here for our convenience, not the convenience of the caller. Can you imagine that? I think it’s the most liberating concept since the invention of laptops (not being tethered to a desktop and able to bring it anywhere in the house or anywhere in particular).

When you are working at home whether or not it is work or a personal project of some kind and the phone rings, let it go (unless it is a call from the doctor’s office or Publishers Clearing house).

Stay on task with the project that you are working on. Caller ID is great too since it can help you automatically screen your calls if you don’t have the time or energy for whomever is calling.

Another thing that sounds “old school” is to not answer the phone during dinner. I think dinner is a sacred time and so many of us don’t sit down together and share stories of our day enough so being interrupted by the phone is just another distraction from your family. The answering machine is there for us to return important phone calls so don’t let the phone be in charge, it’s okay to let a call go to voicemail, really it is!

Think in Place

Sometimes I get a little ahead of myself (girlfriends, you can stop laughing now…). I like to think of it as “thinking ahead” so that I don’t have to worry about remember something if I don’t have to.  An example would be to put a shopping bag on the back doorknob of anything that I might need to return or possibly put into the mail the next day. By making myself almost “trip over it” on the way out the door I’m less likely to forget it. By setting it up as soon as I think about it, right then and there, I also know that I don’t have to worry about remembering it and I can free my mind up for other things.

Another example would be to use sticky notes to remind yourself (or other members of your household) to take out the trash, check your messages, schedule an appointment, etc. Anytime that you can get things written down (or set aside) and out of your busy head is a very good thing in my book.

Do you have any tried and true “recipes” to keep yourself from forgetting things?

Walleez

I’ve been wanting to write a blog post about how awesome “slat board” is to have in your garage and low and behold at the NAPO Convention last March, I met the owner of the company Walleez which is a company with a cutting edge spin on the retail staple item used in many of our favorite sporting goods stores.

About 10 years ago I reached out to a friend to help me organize my garage (I can organize just about anything but garages are my Achilles heel). He had a background in sporting goods retail so he suggested and installed the white “slat board” that I’d seen in the store he worked and in many others as well. It was great since I could order various pieces (baskets, hooks, etc.) in order to keep my garage clean, clutter free and most everything was up off the floor.

Flash forward 10 years to when I met the owner of Walleez which a company that produces the same “slat board” concept with a very important (and cool) spin. His walls can be ordered in 3 different colors of brick or a silver/diamond pattern that would look really cool in a garage or workshop.

I’ve since moved from my home where I had the white slat board in my garage but as soon as I buy my next house my pal at Walleez is going to be on the very short list of home improvements shortly after I move in!

What is the current state of your garage?

Houseguests anytime soon?!

If you are having houseguests I suggest that you use “their bathroom” every once in a while. I did this a few years ago and I’m really glad that I did as I noticed a few things that needed attention before my houseguests arrived.  It was just a light bulb that was out and that some of the kids shampoo needed to be pared down but it got me thinking that it would probably be a good idea to sleep in the guest room before they arrived too so that I know what else might be necessary to make their stay more comfortable.

Check for things like:

Are there fresh batteries in the remote control?

Are the pillows comfortable?

Is it time for flannel sheets or regular percale?

Do any other light bulbs need to be changed?

What is in the drawer(s) in the bedside table and the dresser?

Is there any room in the closet for them to hang something out if they need to?

I read a little Feng Shui book several years ago and something resonated with me… you should go into each room of your house everyday so that your energy is felt throughout your home.  For those of us who don’t live in a McMansion it’s not so difficult a task but I also noticed that I see things that need tending to when I go into each room every day. All said, I think I’m going to see if there are enough pillows on the bed in the guest room tonight, ahhhh!

Does having houseguest’s stress you out or do you relish the time with family & friends?