Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How I Stay Sane...

The secret for me is my basket!

You most likely have already seen this picture before in my food storage post. I've had a couple of requests to do another post about this and share the organizational side of my basket. So here goes:

You know that crazy, messy, catch all area on your counter? The place where the mail gets stashed and your kids school papers get piled up and little sticky notes to yourself get put...the list goes on and on. That's the description of what gets piled up on my counter. I'm pretty sure just about every family has a counter place like this somewhere. Well, ours is in the corner of our kitchen. A couple of years ago I was so sick of this corner having non-stop papers piling up, but I couldn't shove them in a cupboard somewhere, because for me, if it's out of sight, it's out of mind. But at the same time, I couldn't keep on top of all of them in an organized way. I found myself feeling stressed out eveytime I looked at this spot in the corner of my kitchen and it was driving me crazy! So, I came up with this basket way of keeping myself and the things going on in our family organized.

I found these cute file folders one day at my favorite boutique store in McKinney, Texas. I got the basket at either T.J. Maxx or Ross ( I can't remember). Then I started getting organized. I pulled out all of my random papers and sorted through them in categories. Here's how my categories broke down:

1. Things to do
2. Preparedness
3. Phone #'s
4. Goals
5. Misc.
6. Kaylee - School
7. Jake - School
8. Bills

I also have my calender sitting in the very back of my basket. I have a pen clipped onto my basket too, so everything I need is right there.

How my systen works:
Most of those categories are pretty obvious and self explanatory - bills and anything money related goes in the 'Bills' folder. When I'm ready to pay bills, I just grab this folder and take it to the computer. The school folders have the kids teachers e-mails and phone #'s in there along with the lunch menu and anything school related. 'Misc'. is filled with my random things I'm not quite sure I know what to do with yet. Nothing pressing, not sure if I want to throw it away, I will probably get to it later, but if I don't then...oh well! My ward lists and neighbors phone #'s are in my 'Phone #'s' folder, along with our dr.'s and any other misc. phone #. All of my preparedness information goes in the 'Prepardeness' folder (food storage and emergency needs). 'Goals' is another one of those random folders for me - ideas of vacations we want to go on, things to do in Houston, a list of books I want to read, and an actual list of goals for myself (something to keep me motivated). The 'Things To Do' folder is my jam-packed folder that gets sorted through, cleaned out and kept going on a weekly basis. If I get a paper that needs attention right away, (like within a couple of days) I will set it out on the side of my basket. Then I know it needs priority (because I can see it). When the kids bring home reminders from school about an event, or there's a church date I need to remember or anything else, I try to write it on my calender right away and just throw the paper away, but sometimes you can't throw the paper away becuase there's too much information on it, so I put it in this folder until the event is over. Every Sunday night I pull out my calender and my 'Things To Do' folder and plan my week. I make sure that everything I need and want to do that week is on my calender. I clean out the folder and get rid of the things I can throw away and then it's ready for the next week. I also have little fun reminders in there for me too - some fabric swatches for my curtains I want to make, fun ideas of things I want to do with my kids, anything that is a priority to me that I really want to be able to make time for. As I'm planning my week I can make time to fit all of these things in and if I don't, then it just stays in my 'Things To Do' folder until I get a chance to tackle it. It's like one big, fat, sticky note for me. I'm reminded about those things every week because I sort through it, but I don't have them constantly hanging over my head because I know that it's in a safe spot and I will get to it eventually.

So, now I have this tidy, organized corner and a method to my madness! I hope this helps you manage your household and the million other things we women do. If any of you have something that really works well for you, share it with us and if you don't then give this one a try.

Tip: The only place I could find cute file folders was at that boutique store in McKinney, Texas. Maybe you might have better luck. What you could do instead is take a regular file folder and have some fun with scrapbooking material. Andrea did this, so if you need help in this category ask her! :)


Tara said...

I'm so glad you posted this -- I was coveting your organized basket, and now I can do it, too! I already have a similar system, but it's a little too out-of-sight-out-of-mind, and isn't very effective. So I'm excited to revamp! Thanks for sharing!!

Leila said...

I love this! I need to sit down and really think it through and how to make a similar system work for me. Also, I was just in Staples last week shopping for school supplies and saw the cutest file folders. I didn't buy them, but now I will. They probably aren't as cute as your boutique ones, but they are darling and they have several to choose from.

Angie said...

Great idea, really. I need one of these for me and a matching one for my husband!

Donna said...

I'm naturally organizationally challenged. Even though I have a desk in my kitchen... the papers just keep piling up on it. Your basket idea with folders and a calendar is great! And thanks to Leila for the tip about Staples folders.

The DeVito's said...

You are so organized! I'm going to try this. Thanks for the tip.

Stephanie said...

Thanks for sharing! Andrea, will you share a picture of your folders? Krysta you really are so talented and thinking through the organizing stuff! Donna, right there with you girl, now to go move that pile...

Andrea said...

I love this!! It has changed my life. I am totally organized now(well sometimes) Still wish I could find some nice folders. I found some online at office max, but it said, "instore only." When I went to the store they had no idea what I was talking about. Maybe someday I will make it to Mckinney.

Lorinda said...

Wow. Genius. Thanks for sharing.

The Motherboard said...

We have added you to Mormon Mommy Blogs. Please add a link to us. Thanks.