If you are just starting this, I suggest that you start at the beginning: 40 days of organization.
Organizing your home and your family’s schedule can be easy if you have a home command center located in a central place in your home. I have ours in our kitchen.
This is where I keep our calendar, schedules, messages, meal ideas (you could have your bills here, mail, etc…)
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I also have our “mud-room” drop off area near the back door. I will talk about this tomorrow.
First things first: Where will you put yours?
Find a spot that you will pass often. A small spot on the wall will work great, a desk in the kitchen (a lot of people have these built in-to their kitchens & never use them) This is where your whole family will be sure to look. Ours in right near our kitchen table and the pantry. We pass it many times every day. (Right on the side of the cabinet by our stove- you can’t see it when you are in our kitchen until you are at the table or walking into the pantry.)
You could have it in the kitchen or by your back door (if you go out that way).
How do you want it to be designed? Do you want to have everything on a wall? Do you want baskets? Do you want charts?
I, personally, have a large desk calendar hung up and I have our kid’s school calendars and notes with it. (I write everything on the main calendar, but I like to keep the original calendar to double check things). KEEP THIS IN MIND: IF YOU GET A DRY ERASE CALENDAR, YOU WILL NEED TO HAVE ANOTHER ONE FOR FUTURE APPOINTMENTS. I have to have a flip-paper calendar because I have so many things scheduled months in advance. When I tried the cute “picture frame” type of calendar, it wasn’t practical for me. I needed to be able to see months at a glance, so I now have a BIG desk calendar that works much better. Not as cute, but much more fitting to our needs!
I also do not have “chore charts” because we do our chore basket. I had a very cute chore chart that took me an hour to make, but in the end, it was more cute than practical, so I opted for an easier-to-maintain option: my chore basket.
Many people use this as the area to keep their mail and bills, but we don’t do this. My Mom’s motto is: “touch it once” for mail or bills. It makes things much easier if we do this!
When we get a bill, I try to put it right into my laptop & the next time that I jump online and open up my laptop, it is there waiting for me. I either pay it then or set it up to come out on Friday (pay day)- I do online bill pay through my bank. Now I can throw that bill away and it is off of my mind.
As for mail: I open it right at the garbage can. Recycle, trash or keep. I only keep what I absolutely need! I usually give my magazines to my friends because I just don’t have the time to read them with four kids ages six & under, and most of the other mail tends to be junk mail or bills.
KEYS: If your command center is near the door, you could have your key hooks there. We have a small wicker basket that is for keys & wallets. We throw them in when we get home & grab them when we leave. We have spare keys in here, too. It is by our back door (high enough so that our toddler can not reach it), so it is the first thing that we see when we are coming into the house. Its simple, practical and easy to maintain. It can become a “hotspot” as the flylady calls it (other things get tossed in here when my husband empties his pockets after work) so at least once a week, I will dump it out & put back the other things that have made their way into it. (pencils, my husband’s business cards…). This means that this basket takes all of twenty seconds a week to maintain. Like I said- I need my life to be organized, simple & easy so that my extra time is not spent stressing over things that could be easily handled.
This next picture might work for some people if you need more of a daily filing system, but for me, it is just “more paperwork”. If I get something important that needs to be kept, I put it right into our filing cabinet that is kept in the garage. Each person gets a drawer and it has our important things in it. If it is something else, I try to just take care of it that day. Sometimes things may go onto the refrigerator for a day or two until they are taken care of. If I had a “file system” in our kitchen for daily papers, I know that I would forget about them. “Out of sight, out of mind.” I may need this in the future, when our kids are teenagers, but for now, they only have homework & that stays in their school folders when they are not working on it.
Have fun setting this up! You can be very creative & make it very cute, practical, small, large… whatever works for your family! I went for the “less is more” approach, but do what works for you!
Here are my tips for organizing your family calendar, too! Just click the picture to see how you can have an organized family calendar!
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SEE DAY 6: MAKE A MUDROOM BENCH