10 quick organizing tips

Sometimes articles about organizing are very overwheming.  They make a job seem bigger than it is, or cost more that it really needs to.  Of course it would be nice if we had unlimited budgets to purchase the most attractive furniture for containing our belongings.  However that just isn’t practical for most of us.  Here is a simple article that has ten tips to help bring order to your home that anyone can afford.

http://organizing.yourway.net/10-things-to-do-everyday-to-stay-organized

May? Already?

Is it really May?  I hardly met half of my April goals.  Though it wasn’t because I slacked off and was lazy.  Billy’s trip to Haiti required much more of me than I expected or planned for.   God really blessed me by allowing me to help the Haiti team by assembling the baby layettes and packing their supply bags (and making sure none were over-weight).  He also blessed me while Billy was gone.  He taught me some important lessons about parenting styles and temporary-single-parenthood, and my own selfishness.  All that said, my May Goals list looks strangely similar to April’s list.  Here we go:

May Goals:

  1. Make a perpetual to-do list for the kitchen.
  2. Reorganize the school bookshelf.
  3. Blog six times.
  4. Relocate storage tubs of baby clothes.
  5. Finish scrapping August 2008.
  6. Make Victoria’s birthday scrapbook with her.
  7. Finish skills evaluation for Victoria.
  8. Look for missing Abeka reader.
  9. Assess summer clothing needs (including swim-wear).
  10. Plan a trip to Illinois???
  11. Get 3-4 year old class ready to hand over.
  12. Have a date with Billy.
  13. Complete Pimsleur Haitian Creole lesson 4.
That’s just a few of my more “practical” goals for the month.  What are you trying to get done?

Be a Cake Decorator!

One way we save money while making birthdays special for our kids is by making our own cakes.  For me, I actually got pushed into this scene when we learned my oldest child has a life-threatening allergy to milk.  We don’t even have the option of buying a store made cake for her.  Yet, I still wanted her to have special cakes, so, I began decorating cakes.  It does take a little trial and error, but there is a lot of help on-line for tips and techniques.   Cake decorating has become a tradition that the kids really get excited about.  They love getting to choose the theme of their cake and waiting to see how mom makes it happen.

The Perpetual To-Do List

I absolutely love lists!  They help me stay organized.  Many of our tasks as moms repeat themselves over and over.  Yet, I still write them down on my to-do list because I enjoy the satisfaction of crossing them off my list.  Here is a link to a great idea for those lists that repeat themselves over and over.

http://imjustagirl86.blogspot.com/2011/04/chores.html

I plan to put making one of these to put in my kitchen with just my kitchen duties on it.  It is on my goal list for next month.  I’ll try to post pictures when I finish it.

A New Birthday Approach

My husband and I have always agreed that we want our kids’ best memories to involved experiences – not physical treasures.    We have practiced this by not buying lots of extra toys or gifts throughout the year, and focusing on making family memories together.  This year we decided to put that value into practice with their birthdays.  (After all, if it is something we value shouldn’t it be practiced consistently in every aspect of our lives?)

This year we began months before Victoria’s birthday to prepare her for a giftless birthday.  We still wanted to celebrate her day and make it special for her– just without the gifts.  She got to choose what she wanted for dinner and a few friends she wanted there with her family.  To say the day was totally giftless would be incorrect.  She got many gifts:  Her dad got home from Haiti safely, her grandma  (who lives far away) got to celebrate with us, she got to pick the theme for her birthday cake and the color of the decor, she even got to have home-made doughnuts for breakfast.  We made many memories together with her.  She also did get gifts they just weren’t toys.  We asked those who would normally buy gifts to refrain from gift giving.  Though we did let them know IF they wanted to give her something they could donate to a gymnastics fund for her.  Gymnastics is something that will create many memories for her and be an experience that my husband and I simply could not give her on our own, and it is something that she really wants to do.  To add to the focus on making memories and appreciating family and friends Victoria and I will make a special birthday scrapbook together with the cards and pictures from her friends and family who have contributed towards her gymnastics classes.  This way we can tangibly remind her of how many people love her an and helped her get the privilege of taking the classes.

I am so excited about this new birthday approach.  It brought even more joy to the birthday celebration this year.  It also is offering many more opportunities to teach our values to our children.  Now, we just have 3 more children’s birthdays to celebrate over the summer and then we will evaluate how it worked, and how we will approach Christmas this year.

Link Love

My husband shared this with me, and I found it so enjoyable I just had to pass it along.  I think all of us moms can relate and enjoy this new perspective.

http://www.messycanvas.com/2011/04/breaking-for-perspective/

April Goals

I must admit, posting my goals for each month is very self-serving.  By making my goals public it motivates me to keep working towards them so at the end of the month I can again publicly say that I met all (or most) of my goals.  I hope that posting them isn’t only self-serving though.  I really hope that when readers see these goals posts, it challenges them to make their own monthly goals.  It is amazing how much more I really can accomplish in a month if I only set out to get it done.  I hope that readers can grasp on to this as well.

Setting monthly goals is a learning process.  The first month I didn’t set nearly enough and it was super easy to complete.  Then I slacked off and stopped working as hard in the home.  Now, I make quite lengthy lists and I don’t mind having one or two goals unmet as long as I worked diligently throughout the whole month.  diligence is really my goal.  I don’t want to be idle, I want to make every moment count.

My goals for April are very driven by events already on the calendar.  Things like Victoria’s birthday party would happen be accomplished even if they weren’t on my goals list, but I list them anyway because the planning and preparations take quite a bit of time to do them well.

April Goals:

  1. Stay on top of daily chores all month.
  2. Victoria’s Birthday Party.
  3. Preparations for Billy’s trip to Haiti.
  4. Scrapbook Will and Elizabeth’s Aug ’08 pages.
  5. Schedule two events.
  6. Go through baby boy tubs for yard sale items.
  7. Two dates with Billy.
  8. Six blogs.
  9. Finish Victoria’s birthday scrapbook with her.
  10. Start Skills Evaluation for Victoria.
  11. Finish all lesson plans for May.
  12. Spend at least 20 minutes of one-on-one special time with each child, each week.
  13. Pimsleur lesson 4.

This month I hope that you will set your own goals and see what you can do.  Leave a comment and let me know what you are trying to accomplish this month.