I am jumping on the bandwagon today and sharing some tips on how I keep my household and my life in a semi-organized state. This will not be a post of all the beautifully organized spaces in my house, because let’s be honest, that would be pretty anti-climatic. I don’t have beautifully organized walk-in closets or a fancy mudroom or a large pantry, but I do have some really easy to execute life tips that help us run smoothly over here.
Let’s start with the dreaded meal planning. I know that this concept is not groundbreaking, but it is the single most important thing I do each week to keep things running smoothly over here. My husband is definitely not a let’s just have a bowl of cereal or sandwich for dinner kind of guy, so I try really hard to cook five to six nights a week. To keep that schedule going, meal planning is essential. This is my system, and hopefully you will find something here that will work for you. Each Wednesday I sit down and plan out my meals for the upcoming week. I am a pencil and paper kind of girl when it comes to my organizing, so I have a small meal planning notebook that I keep in my purse at all times. On the top of the sheet I write the days of the week and what we are going to eat each day and then underneath I write the grocery list for the week. I 100% promise you that if I didn’t write what we were eating each night at the top of my sheet I would NEVER be able to remember. I literally have to check it every day. I shop two different stores for my groceries. The first is Target, where I get the majority of my non-perishables and the other is our local grocery store. In order to keep separated what I am buying where, I highlight each of the items I am buying at Target. That way I am not having to scan my list and try to pick out what I need to buy at each store. I also have this coupon organizer that I keep in my purse. This thing is a life saver. It is pretty large, but I love it because I can keep all my coupons plus my menu planning notebook and a pen in it so I always know where everything is. As far as where I get my recipes, I would say that probably 90% of them come from Pinterest. I am going to share a couple of my family’s favorites that I keep in fairly regular rotation.
As I mentioned above, I am a pencil and paper girl when it comes to all things organizing. I shared on Instagram my new planner for this year and I love it. I was also strolling through Target this weekend and saw their Sugar Paper planners. They are all so cute and reasonably priced too! There is nothing better than a fresh new planner at the start of the year to really make me feel organized. But, here is the funny thing about planners, you actually have to use them. As soon as I get my new planner for the year, I sit down with my kid’s school calendars. I write in all the important school dates and holiday’s first. I then grab all of the appointment reminder cards for things like dentist, doctor and hair appointments that were booked before I got my calendar and record those. I then schedule any work meetings, installs or other obligations that I know I have coming up, as well as any important work functions Jeff has. Once that is done, I take a look at everything and see where we can fit our family vacations in and start planning those as well.
I am also the queen of lists. I can make a list for just about anything and I absolutely L O V E the feeling that I get when I get to check things off my list. I keep a standard to-do list that is work focused. I also keep a personal to-do list that helps me remember calls I need to make, emails I need to send and things of that nature. I also keep a list of things that I need to buy, both for our household as well as responsibilities for purchases for clients as well. I usually have two or three notebooks going at one time. PaperSource and Target are my go-to places for notebooks. I use this type of notebook for meal planning and I typically use this size for work related projects.
One of my main goals for my mom and I this year is to get some systems in place to keep our business better organized. Two of the tools that I do use for organizing the blog and our editorial calendar are Evernote and a shared Outlook Calendar. E. Interiors has three employees and guess what, we all live in different states and in different time zones. By implementing these tools it has helped keep the blog running so much more smoothly. We utilize Outlook Calendar to schedule all of our blog posts, which we typically plan two weeks in advance. We also use it to schedule joint conference calls, brand collaborations, e-designs and contests. Let me tell you, it was a life saver when trying to organize the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway last month. Julia and I primarily use Evernote to keep an ongoing list of content ideas, giveaway details, and things to do lists. I truly need a list to keep me on task, so having this really helps me out.
Before I share some of our favorite organization products with you, I did want to give a special shout out to one of my new favorite organization products. A few months back the folks at Holster Brands sent me one of their Hot Iron Holsters and I am in love. These little jewels are silicone pouches that can cling to any non-porous surface without needing suction cups. What! Here is the really cool part. Your hot iron or curling iron can be left on when in the holster while heating up, in use and while cooling down. How awesome is that. They also make products for you crafters out there. You can use them to hold your glue gun while in use, so no more sticky mess on your counter top. Best part, it has a little side pouch to hold your glue sticks in. So cool! If you are in a constant battle with all your “hot tools”, I would totally check them out.
Okay, now on to some of our favorite tools for organizing your life.