“I would be more organized if my family would cooperate with my system”—yes, that is an actual quote I used at the beginning of the school year several years ago. It was the year I created a master calendar—complete with multiple dry erase markers so every person in the family had their own color. Soon after the first week, someone borrowed the orange marker for a school project, so I improvised and just made two kids share the same color. The following week, another marker disappeared (mysteriously found months later in the sandbox) and due to an aggressive game of ‘throwing the backpack so my brother can’t get it”, several of the calendar events were erased off of the board. Needless to say, my calendar system did not make it past the first full month of school.
I would love to blame the family for my lack of organizational skills, but the truth is, it’s me. While I love the IDEA of being organized, I really don’t like the process of getting (and keeping) myself organized. So, this week’s “Friday Finds” are things you can use to keep yourself on track even if you are living a hopelessly disorganized life:
Binders: Each of my three children has their own binder that includes pocketed dividers with a section for ‘school’, ‘sports’ and ‘other’. Papers I need to keep (i.e. sports schedules), are put in the right section while papers that need to be returned (i.e. homework) are put in the pocketed divider. And, now that it is back-to-school time, you can really load up on extra binders. Go online to school supply shops such as The Write Stuff (disclaimer: They are a client of mine) and supplies will be shipped to you. Caution: Make sure you have a 3-ring hole punch handy.
Electronic Calendars: I’m a fan of technology—especially when it comes to calendars. The calendar on my phone, computer & iPad are all connected, so whatever device is closest when the appointment needs to be made, I can use it and it will automatically go on the master calendar. I also suggest you try out some of the Internet-based calendar programs such as HatchedIt—great for busy families (and most now have mobile apps–so you are always connected).
Weekly Plan: This is by far the best thing I do. I purchased a magnetic weekly calendar notepad from Target (OrganizHer) that allows me to add my schedule and “their” schedules so everyone can quickly see who has what each day. There is a ‘to do” list on the back for everyone as well. I realize this may seem redundant since I also have the master online calendar, but quite honestly, my kids never look at the online calendar, but do see the weekly calendar on the refrigerator.
What are some of your best organizational products/tips for those of us who are unorganized?