Tag: Organizing

Organizing: Do NOT Plan Or Schedule One More Thing Until You Do This FIRST

Priority Scheduling and Planning - How to Organize ones day, life, homeschool, etc... Using a Priority Based Planning Method.

How many days a week do you ACTUALLY get everything done on your schedule?

How often to your plans get changed or go awry? And do you ever sit (or stand if you put it on the fridge like me) before your schedule and wonder WHY? Why did I do it that way? Why isn’t everything getting done? And why don’t I feel satisfied?

If you are planning for the sake of planning, putting stuff on a schedule because you know you need to do something like that, or simply living week to week based on the the latest needs and emergency, then you are missing the KEY to planning! You are missing the FOUNDATION to build on.

I know, because this is what I have been doing for far too long and God has shown me a better way.

Priority Scheduling and Planning - How to Organize ones day, life, homeschool, etc... Using a Priority Based Planning Method.

The Key To Good Planning

I have been planning without purpose. Oh, I have some goals: get the house clean, homeschool the children, make sure errands are getting done… but I am not putting before me each week WHY. Why does the house need to be clean? Yes, I know there are lots of good reasons, but what is MY FOUNDATIONL reason?

The key to change my haphazard daily and weekly planning was that I FIRST needed to define PURPOSEFUL goals for my current season of life.

I needed to know what my priorities for my life (and my families life) were and then I could proceed to make a useful, working schedule for myself and my family.

Start With A Simple Daily Schedule

Blank Schedule
Blank Schedule

Here we have an empty weekly schedule. Notice how simple it is (the name of my site IS A Simple Life Too). Notice that it is not defined in an hourly fashion. I am a fairly organized person, but I am simply unable to stick to an hour by hour schedule. Outside of maybe one miracle day per month, it NEVER goes according the the schedule… so then I have to start erasing and moving stuff… crying a little as I am wasting more time doing that instead of the task… and feeling like a failure because I could not stick to the exact schedule.

Therefore, I do a daily task list instead. I keep it as close to the order the tasks and events should occur and I DO write down a time if there is an appointment. This way, if we don’t start “on time” or if a task takes longer or if we have to adapt and add something to the day, we can still be on track.

If something does not get done, I circle it and refer back to it the next day to see where I can fit it in.

How Priority Based Scheduling Works

Before I start entering ANYTHING into my weekly schedule, I write down my priorities on the bottom or top of the page. Some of them are the same for many weeks, even for years. Some are week, month or season specific. Theses priorities, in order, dictate what I then put on the schedule for that week.

For example, my first priority is a life priority, I have chosen to follow Jesus. My priority is to become more like Him and serve Him.

In a practical sense, this means the first thing I schedule each week it my time with God, my time to do devotionals with my children, any service the Lord has asked of me, church (and church events), and Bible Study.

Schedule With First Priority Tasks
Schedule With First Priority Tasks

My second priority is to take care of my family. This means time with my husband, homeschool, healthcare for the children (we have had a LOT of that lately), and some time for self care.

This results in me adding homeschool tasks, any doctor’s appointments, any outings with the family, children or husband, plus my every other week outings with myself or lady friends.

My third priority is a deeper teaching for my children. I have been reading the book of Titus over and over again for the past couple of months in our Tue night Bible study and the section on what older women should teach the younger has been a guidepost for me:

Titus 2: 4 – 5: so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

I am especially honing in on the “workers at home” part. So I am teaching my children to how to cook, how to clean, how to decorate, how to host, and much more. This dictates how I fill in most of the rest of the schedule with housework, who cooks what, time for our home based business, creative pursuits, etc…

The next priority can sometimes end up higher then the second or third. These are seasonal and holiday priorities. For example, we just had the Hanukkah / Christmas season. Since we were off of school for a couple of weeks and we had lots of holiday activities to do, this took precedence over everything except for devotionals, church and doctor’s visits. Yes, it even took a priority over housecleaning!

Final Schedule
Final Schedule

If other things come up, I evaluate them against those first sets of priorities, decide if they fit, if they bump out other things, or if they have to wait until there is a slot. I create a little list on the bottom of my chart called “to be scheduled” to keep track of them.

I sincerely hope you find this useful and that you find your weekly schedules having more purpose going forward. I am open to any thoughts or feedback you may have.

Feel free to use my Super Simple Homeschool Planning Worksheet. It takes about 1 minute to type the framework into your favorite spreadsheet program. Then you can update it on the computer or pencil stuff in (which is what I usually do) or you can get some great planners on Amazon!

 


Simplifying: How Do You Want Your Closet To Look?

Do you want your closet to look like this or this?
Do you want your closet to look like this or this?


Can you walk into your closet right now and, with a 5 second glance, find a great matching top, skirt and sweater? How about being able to find your best dress for church or a date with your spouse? Or do you stand there, overwhelmed and unable to find anything that goes together, at least with out digging through for minutes or more? Maybe you are somewhere in the middle?

Look closely at the photo of the two closets? Which does yours look more like? A pile of clothing, all shoved together with no order? Or an ordered set of clothing with room in-between each thing so the clothing can “breathe?”

Now, you might be saying, the disorganized closet looks like men’s clothing and the organized one looks like women’s clothing. Yes, you are correct. One is my stuff and the other is my husband’s. But this post is not to dis on my husband. He likes his way of doing things and that is fine. BUT if you would like to be more organized, here is your chance to learn how. I have laid out three simple tasks that will get your closet in order quickly.

If You Can’t Fit It In, You Have Too Much Of It

Task #1: Stand back and look at your clothing. Is it all smashed together, almost on top of each other (see the photo below)? Unless you have a very small closet that more than one person is trying to use, you probably have more clothing than you need. If you really want a simpler life, you don’t want to have more than you need and more than you have room for. Decide what you want to get rid of, then what you should get rid of. Task #2 might help you clear more stuff out.

Is your clothing all smashed together?
Is your clothing all smashed together?

If You Haven’t Worn It, You Don’t Need It

Task #2: Go through every item in your closet. Have you worn it in the last 6 months? No? It is a seasonal item (i.e. only for winter or summer)? No? Then sell it or give it away. Do not hold on to it with the thinking, well, I might wear it again or I need to loose 20 pounds to wear it, etc… If you haven’t worn it, and it isn’t the wrong season, then you aren’t going to wear it! It is causing clutter and excess that is not helpful to you.

If It Isn’t Organized / Ordered, It Will Be Harder To Find It

After sorting through and eliminating some of your clothing, you then need to organize your clothing so it is easier to find. Looking again at what not to do (above), here are two photos of my closet:

100_3242

Ordered and organized
Ordered and organized

The first photo is my skirts and dresses. They are organized by color – brown, green, blue, purple, pink, off white, white, grey, black. The second photos are my tops and sweaters. They are also organized the same way. I can look in one area, see that I have a black top with some print, then turn around and look at my skirts and see that I have a solid black skirt available. Time – 5 seconds. If it is cold, I can turn back to my tops and see that I have a solid black sweater available.

It is so quick and easy to find my clothing every day!

Let me know if I can help you more or if there is anything in this post that you aren’t clear on.

Save more at Get Organized-Shop our Clearance

5 Ways To Earn $500 Or More Per Month Working Part Time From Home – Part 3

Make $500 A Month Or More Working From Home - Part 3

Be encouraged, if you want to work from home, there are many, many opportunities out there. This is the 3rd post in the Ways To Make Money Working From Home series! Check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you have not yet. Also, join my FB Group – Work At Home Moms Who Want More Than Spam – to network with other women, learn about more opportunities, or share your existing business with others.




Mystery Shopping

Last year, I made a couple hundred dollars a month Mystery Shopping. I really liked it and was able to generally find Shops that I could fit into the routine with my children and our usual outings. For example, one shop was at a grocery store that I shopped at a couple of times per month. So, with a little extra work and time, I was able to get my shopping done and complete a Mystery Shop – I got paid $25.00 for it.

There is one issue with Mystery Shopping: There are a lot of scams out there! Because I have personal experience with this, I wrote a post last year to help people find legitimate Mystery Shopping work.Also, Rat Race Rebellion has a great list of Mystery Shopping companies and I personally used a couple of them.

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. 

Travel Agent

There are actually 3 ways to make a living as a Travel Agent, however, all require some training:

  1. Become an independent agent / run your own agency from home. Of the three options, this will take the most work. You have to get training, get licensed, join an association, get software to connect to all the available reservation systems, and then promote your business.
  2. Work for a Travel Agency from home / remotely. This can be a small, local agency or a large corporation like American Express or 1-800-Cruises. Some of the large agencies list jobs on Rat Race Rebellion. You may have to get some training first to get these jobs.
  3. There is a direct sales (MLM) business that sets you up as a travel agent, provides training, provides a web site, and gives support for a small start-up fee. I know a couple of people doing this, so contact me if you are interested. However, some in the Travel business do not consider these “real” travel businesses, so do your research before getting involved.

Up-cycle and Refurbish from garage sales and thrift stores

This idea came to me recently because I have a friend doing this. They peruse Craigslist and Facebook for stuff that people are giving away or selling really cheap (usually because it has a major issue, is broken, etc….). They then they fix the item(s), clean them up, paint them, etc… and then turn around and sell them at a profit. You can do this on a small scale (i.e. household items, toys, knickknacks, clothing) or a larger scale (furniture, automobiles, appliances).

You can also pickup stuff at Thrift Stores and garage sales and try to resell through Ebay and places like My Kids Threads.

Organizing people’s stuff / home

Another idea that came in the last week was from a friend who has started a personal organizing business. She posts ads on local FB groups (buy/sell or networking) and then helps people organize their “messes.” This could include: setting up or organizing a pantry, helping someone organize their home office, taking a pile of photos and making a scrapbook, organizing an old recipe collection, setting up shelving in a spare room to organize storage, and much more. If you are super organized and love to sort, color code, alphabetize, etc.. this could be  a great PT gig for you.

Organize It Kitchen Organization

House and/or Business Cleaning Service

I know a few people who have successfully started and worked for years doing their own cleaning service. Yes, it is hard work, but most find it easier to market, get and keep clients / customers than many of the other businesses I have mentioned to date. If you keep a clean home and have some great tricks that you use to make your house sparkle, you can make good money. I have known people to make anywhere from $10 an hour doing homes to $30 an hour cleaning offices and businesses.

If you do go the route of cleaning businesses, you will need to have more equipment than cleaning households.