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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Summer of Organization

Summer is a time to organize.
Okay, mainly it's a time to sweat.
But for me, it's also a time to organize.
I recently read Carolyn Mahaney's book "Feminine Appeal." It has so much take-home! I highly recommend it!
But one area she points out, along with many others, that I want to continually grow in is planning and organization.
I feel like we are pretty well structured and organized. We love schedules. Okay, maybe I love schedules, but the kids like knowing what's happenning when too.
But I'm also finding the more kids I have, the more grades I teach, I am having to step up my organization game, big time!
I will be homeschooling three grades this year. This is a little scary for me, so I'm getting a head start on my yearly planning.
This week I actually got all my lesson plans for my older kids' unit lessons printed out, hole punched, and organized in a calendar for the fall and spring semester, all put together in a pretty notebook.
Whew. What an amazing feeling.
And that's the thing.
Planning and organization make our lives a little easier.
Carolyn Mahaney points out that we can reduce the stress level in our home and for our husbands by being good planners and organizers.
So true! How stressed are we when we can't find something? Losing stuff is going to happen. But my job is to make sure we have a place for everything, and that place is made known to my family.
Planning ahead for this school year is already taking some of the fear and stress out of my year. I can breathe a little easier and sleep a little better at night knowing lesson plans are tucked away in the pretty notebook.
And the summer is also for all of the projects in my house that I don't attend to during the school year when I'm teaching.
Like cleaning out closets. Cabinets. Drawers.
I try to re-think some of our systems that need updating.
Perfect example, our shoe cubbies.
Those little cubbies have served us well. The rule is you take your shoes off and put them in the cubbies AS SOON as we get in the door. I think I say "Go in, take your shoes off, and put them in the cubbies" 99% of the time that we pull the van into the garage.
A one millionth reminder is really not superfluous with my children.
But something strange has happened. My children have grown. And so have their feet. And those cute little cubbies just wouldn't hold Jax's tennis shoes and Crocs anymore! So shoes were always mismatched, always falling out, always on the floor in the hallway, and it was driving me crazy.
(I'm literally thinking right now- is anyone interested in this? I may be typing in vain. This seems silly to write about...but here I am.)
So Rusty and I spent a date night at Target finding a new shoe system.

This makes me so happy!!! Each child has their own shoe drawer, hidden from sight. How neat and organized does that look? And I was always piling my purse and stuff on top of the cubbies, but now I have my own crate for that stuff. What an improvement! And this really removes one of the most irritating things to me in our house.
It just makes life easier.
I also have a new cleaning schedule for me and the kids. I do certain chores on certain days, I wash certain bed sheets each day, and since I noticed my kids are growing, I gave them extra chores for each day.
We have a leader for the day around here.
The leader gets to do the extra stuff, but also gets the extra priveleges, as they arise. The leader sets the table, helps with gathering laundry, etc. But the leader also chooses the TV show if they're watching something, gets to carry the pool key, etc. This eliminates bickering over the little things.
So now there are leader jobs. I bought all the cleaning wipes: disinfectant wipes, Windex wipes, and dusting wipes. (Because the kids are quite wasteful and spray happy when they clean.) So they do bathrooms now each day as a part of their leader job.
That's also a new system in place around here that I am loving!
So that's what I'm doing.
If you haven't noticed, I'm not blogging. I'm cleaning things out. I'm trying. I don't want to make my plans the mini-god of my life EVER, don't misunderstand me!
But I do think good planning and order in this house makes life nice.


The Hardy House said...

awe, love this! of course, organizing is my passion so I totally appreciate your excitement for your new shoe system! And I love the idea of having a leader of the day. I'm gonna steal that one to add a little twist to our chore chart! love it!

lisasmith said...

amen and amen!