Show Us Your Life: How I stay organized

Over at Kelly’s Korner Blog today’s S.U.Y.L. topic is organization tips.  This may be the most useful topic yet!  Everyone can use tips and ideas from other busy women, whether you are a wife, a mother, a working professional or just a domestic extraordinaire.  Well I guess the domestic extraordinaire would not need organization tips…she had to earn that title somehow.

I’m a pretty anal organized person.  With the schedule I have right now, I pretty much have to be or I would lose my mind.  Meet my buddy…the At-a-Glance daily appointment book. 

This guy is important as he reminds me of upcoming appointments, assignments, events and general to-do items.  I know a lot of people use their Outlook calendar and Blackberries/iPhones as their planner, but I am still old school.  It really helps me to be able to open this up and physically look at something.  It’s easy to flip forward, flip back, and I like that I can write notes to myself.

Something else I am big about is check marks.  When I write down something I need to do, I always draw a little box next to the reminder so that when I accomplish it, I can check it off.  I use check marks for everything…grocery lists, assignments I have read for class, documents I have reviewed, recipes I have tried, etc.  A check mark says, yes I have addressed this.  It sounds stupid, but it’s very helpful.

I’m big on lists in general.  I make lists for everything.  If it’s something short term (like a grocery list), I like to write them out.  For grocery shopping, I sit down on Saturday morning and plan out what I am going to cook during the next 7 days, pull out the recipes, and then prepare my list.  I also keep a magnetic note pad on the fridge where I can quickly write stuff down when I realize we need something.

For my upcoming trip to NYC, I have a packing list.  This is organized by day and activity.  I have a general vacation list saved on the computer that includes items I will always bring regardless of destination, and then I just update it depending on where I am going and for how long.  Very helpful.

I also utilize the “MemoPad” app on my Blackberry.  I have several lists saved in there….Books I want to read, songs I want to download, bible verses I like, baby names (haha-I can totally see Matt and I going through this one someday…), future gift ideas for family.  You get the picture.

One more tip deals with my closet and clothes.  I hang everything by color…all my black tops are together, white tops together, etc. etc.  This makes it easy to find things and to put outfits together.  I also sort laundry as it goes in the dirty clothes.  We have separate baskets for whites, darks, and dry cleaning.  As towels get dirty (we go through a lot in our house), they automatically go in the washer and as soon as we have a full load we just add detergent and start it.  Sometimes I also throw in sweaty gym clothes.  The rest of the laundry (in the sorted bins) gets done on the weekend.

That’s probably enough tips.  I can’t wait to read what others will post!!

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