Like most people, we have vowed to be more organized this year. We have cleaned out our desks, closets, drawers, the playroom and the pantry in hopes of making our life more organized and less cluttered. It is nice to get rid of stuff, but we also want to get rid of the mental clutter of day to day life as well. Sometimes you can make your life calmer and less stressful with a few simple changes.
Photo: Sugar Paper
Sunday Night Prep, Mastering your Monday
In our homes, Sunday night is for relaxing and watching Netflix, but if you spend 20 minutes getting ready for the week then your Monday will be much smoother. We like to lay out our clothes and get our purses and bags ready the night before. We get our kids’ backpacks ready, lunch box supplies out and make sure we can find our kids’ shoes and jackets.
Scheduling Your Week
Even if you use an electronic calendar, writing your week out helps you mentally prepare and make sure you can manage all your scheduled appointments, activities and to-do list. We love Sugar Paper’s Weekly Planner from Target for planning out the details of the week. Emily Ley’s simplified planner also has daily or weekly pages to help you schedule your time.
The To-Do List
We love lists! It feels so good to cross things off your list, even if you have added 3 new things for every two you cross off. We like to make shopping and grocery lists on our phone so we always have them with us. For other to-do items, we leave running lists at our desks so we can look at them whenever we sit down to do email. We usually make our lists in our planner, but we also love Meg Biram’s Master List.
Get Control of Your Inbox
Your inbox can very easily get out of control. Hallman recently signed up for Unroll.Me and it is her new favorite app! You can unsubscribe from any mailing list or newsletter in your inbox in just one click. Unroll.Me will also roll ups the daily and weekly emails you do want to keep receiving into one daily email so it is easier to manage and delete from your inbox!
Clean Up Your Computer
Documents, files and apps can quickly fill up your computer. Delete unwanted or unnecessary apps, software, files or photos. Create folders on your desktop for files that you use frequently.
Control Your Mailbox
There is nothing more annoying that getting tons of junk mail that you do not need or want. The Federal Trade Commission website has instructions for stopping unwanted or extra mail, phone calls and email. You can even opt out of prescreened credit and insurance offers for five years by calling 1-888-5-OPT-OUT. Visit the Direct Marketing Association’s website to opt out of junk mail and advertisements.
Manage Your Photos
If you are like us, you probably take tons and tons of pictures of your kids, your travels or even your dog! Your photo library can get overwhelming very fast. We try to favorite the best pictures and delete the bad ones every time we download a new batch of photos, but that does not always happen. Even if you cannot get your photo library completely under control, making a photo book every now and then can make you feel much better about your gigantic photo library. Chatbooks, and Artificat Uprising have some great solutions to create easy photo books.
Control the Paper
Since our kids started kindergarten we have been overwhelmed by paper! Between school forms, homework sheets and art projects it is very easy to have piles of paper around your house. We have created folders for each kid to place homework and art projects daily. We try to go through them regularly and aggressively throw out anything that is not sentimental or special. We also have created a few folders for invitations, bills and other items that we need to deal with sooner rather than later. Keep the folders on your desk or in a magazine box on your desk, so you don’t lose track of them.
Streamline your Shopping
As soon as we became moms, Amazon Prime and Diapers.com became our most frequent destinations for online shopping. Diapers.com now has a family of sites where you can buy anything from household products to dog food. We love their easy reorder feature to keep track of staples that you order again and again. Other great online services are Shipt and Amazon Fresh for grocery delivery, Drizly for alcohol and wine and Postmates for anything you need right away, 24 hours a day. Amazon Dash buttons are pretty amazing too. Stick them near products you hate to run out of and press the button when you are low and Amazon will automatically reorder the item. You will never run out of coffee or detergent again!
Manage your Home
Creating a binder with all your important information about your home and your family can save you tons of time and keep everything organized. If you do not feel like making your own binder, Emily Ley’s home base binder has pages for emergency information, project planning, meal planning and more.
Getting Up Early
Getting up in the morning can be tough, especially when you are exhausted! As hard as it is, if you can get up 30 minutes before your kids then you will feel like you have a big jump start on the day.
Here’s to a more organized 2016!
Hallman + Ashley