Monday, May 9, 2011

new beginnings {and a giveaway--holla!}

It seems like every few months, particularly once when we get into a good rhythm and routine, something happens to knock us out of our comfort and forces us to revamp and renew. That is the ebb and flow of our lives, I'm not really surprised by it anymore. I guess I have learned to see it coming.

After being laid up for nearly 7 weeks and having help around the clock, I became pretty spoiled and kind of forgot how to juggle being a mom and wife while doing all of those other things I had to do to keep things running. I am now having to retrain myself and figure out the best way to make this house run. So I've started over with organizing and cleaning, making sure that I have my system back in place. Thankfully, I have an awesome "cheat sheet" to help me along: my trusty planner from The Project Girl, Jen Allyson.



I have been using this planner  since the beginning of the year, and it is wonderful. It is set up to keep you organized and accountable to yourself, especially if you have housework specific ADD like I do, or if you are just plain busy. Each day has a list of simple "chores" to complete and by the time you are done with the week, your house will be clean. There's really no need to do a huge deep cleaning one day a week or month because you will rotate through all of those tasks through the week, instead of doing it all at once. This makes housework so much more manageable. Knowing you only need to do a few things through the day is a huge relief, unlike the burden of having to spend an entire day cleaning.

And, best of all, it is customizable. So if there is something on there that you just don't do, then you can take it off. And you can add in all of those pesky little things you forget to do, or put off and never get around to... like cleaning the dried up food from under the high chair pads... not that I've ever forgotten to do that before... so you won't forget to get it done.

There is also a space to write in your appointments and/or meals for the week and your shopping list. I love that all of my to-do lists and shopping lists and "what did I have to do again today??" lists can be kept in one place. I have printed my pages out and placed them in a binder, separated by month, but you could do something cute like Jen did and make yours into a book.

I really encourage you to go check out The Project Girl. She has lots of eye candy (and a really cute new baby) and some great ideas for organization and design. And she has some super fun and helpful freebies too, which I have pretty much shamelessly snatched up and added to my "command center" binder.

This is a time of new beginnings for me; it is my second shot at the New Year, even though the year is nearly half over. And I know many of you are coming into a transition time also, be it the end of school for you kids, a new season, husbands coming or going, moving... So as a Happy New Year gift, I am going to give away one of JenAllyson's Awesome Planners to one of my readers. All you have to do is:
  1. leave me a comment on this post with your favorite organization tip or trick 
  2. put your first name and a valid email address in the comment, if you don't have it in your profile, so I can get the planner to the winner.
  3. promise that you will only use it for personal use and won't share it with anyone else.  
All entries must be received by Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 11:59pm EST and the winner will be chosen by random.org and announced on Friday, May 13... ooooooh! Friday the 13! ZOINKS! You are more than welcome to share this giveaway with your friends, link on your blog and on Facebook, but only one entry per person is allowed. Incomplete and duplicate entries will be not be entered.

Good Luck!

13 comments:

austinandchantal said...

Pick me, pick me!! Sounds like an awesome item to help keep me organized! Lord knows I need any help I can get. I seriously don't know how you do it with four kids Joanna!! ~Chantal
myers_chantal@yahoo.com

Liz said...

Girlie, you KNOW, from first-hand accounts, how unorganized I am!!:)My one tip...hmmmmm....get off facebook and the computer and complete my to-do list! ;) It works every time! lol!
xoxoxoxoxo (And, might I say, I am soooooo glad that you're "back"!!!! )
Liz
brookiecookiesbows@yahoo.com

Marie said...

My organizational strategy is....what was that again?
I have a high "OH SHINY" factor and am easily distracted - writing things down is important.
I won't share it -- promise.
mtretiakova at gmail dot com

Nina said...

As easy as that sounds I've never thought of not having a dedicated cleaning day. Doesn't seem so overwhelming when you think about it that way. I would love to win this!!! New home new routine right :)
And hey FYI I got the unpaper towels yesterday which really means they arrived on Saturday. Thanks again! I'm excited to be throwing less money away :)

alban.lindsay said...

OOoooo! I could benefit from that! Most moms could, I gather...OK, tip...Monday-laundry, Tuesday-bathrooms, wednesday-vacuuming Thursday-Dusting/glass cleaning, Friday-Mopping. Saturday-vaccuum again if necessary. That's been an on and off to-do list of mine. linslan7701@yahoo.com
Lindsay Norton (in case i go anonymous)

Megan said...

My best organizing tip? I guess to purge the junk in the house before you start to organize it! - Megan
mcitro@comcast.net

Margaret said...

What a fun giveaway!! I'm trying to be more organized and this would be a huge help. Lately my biggest organization strategy is to purge as much stuff as I can---I've been cleaning out drawers, cabinets, etc and trying to get rid of everything that we don't use. It's so refreshing! :)

mgwthompson (at) yahoo (dot) com

Sarah said...

This organizer looks fabulous. I've tried to make similar ones for myself in the past and never stick with them. I'd love to give this one a try.
OK, lets see... organizational tip... um.... yeah.... I'm NOT organized! But, I do try to purge junk/clutter/extra stuff regularly so that I don't have too much stuff hanging around. Also, we keep our paper recycling just inside our side door (the door we use most often to enter the house) and I try to put junk mail and un-needed school papers directly into the recycling before I even enter the house. It helps cut down on the paper clutter and temptation to make piles of paper "to be sorted later" (which never happens!).

sarahckennedy (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Jennifer said...

Me! Lord knows I need help being organized. My best thing lately is a white board on the fridge. Helps me see at a glance what is going on that day. Hugs girl! ~Jennifer L (amstutz25 AT yaho DOT com).

Oliver said...

I have to say that this is a must need in my home with the 3 boys and all their activities. My best organizing tip is lots of lidded containers! I use them store things for the kids on their shelves. They can see what is in them and helps to keep things all sorted out. Now for the other organizing stuff... Wish me luck, could use this! Leanne: leanne@sector115.com

Joanna said...

For Michelle:


my favorite tip is laying clothes out the night before
kmichelleross at yahoo dot com

clanelder said...

OK, so I'm in. It's never too late to try to get really organized. Like you. No matter what your life is like.
miriam@snjmfire.com

Joanna said...

comment #9

Me! Lord knows I need help being organized. My best thing lately is a white board on the fridge. Helps me see at a glance what is going on that day. Hugs girl! ~Jennifer L (amstutz25 AT yaho DOT com).

comment #10

Michelle-- pick out clothes the night before. kmichelleross at yahoo dot com

comment #11

I have to say that this is a must need in my home with the 3 boys and all their activities. My best organizing tip is lots of lidded containers! I use them store things for the kids on their shelves. They can see what is in them and helps to keep things all sorted out. Now for the other organizing stuff... Wish me luck, could use this! Leanne: leanne@sector115.com

comment #12

OK, so I'm in. It's never too late to try to get really organized. Like you. No matter what your life is like.
miriam @ snjmfire. com