Sunday, August 19, 2007

Organizational Efforts

This is the first time I have participated in the Living Lives of Loveliness Fairs that go on over at Real Learning. If you have time, head on over to Starry Sky Ranch and spend some time looking over other people's organizational efforts for the coming school year. I plan to spend some considerable time over there today-- whenever I can get a break, that is! Can I admit what a geek I am by saying that I have been looking forward to this fair since I heard it announced on Elizabeth's blog months ago?

I was quick to title this post "Organizational Efforts" because it is not a statement as to how things actually are-- at least not all the time! I happen to love being organized and learning about organization. (Perhaps that makes me strange...) In fact, one of my favorite things about blogs is I get to peek into the lives of others and learn from them.

So here is a peek at some things that have worked to keep me organized and my household running smoother. Though with six kids, an elderly dog, and a husband, it is rarely smooth sailing around here!
This is the spiral notebook I use as a catch-all for just about everything. My notebook is for jotting down devotion ideas, taking notes on books or verses I read, copying down quotes, jotting lists, brainstorming-- whatever! I was going to post a photo of a page from my notebook, but I couldn't find one I didn't consider too "personal" to share. I keep these notebooks for years, all stacked neatly in underbed storage boxes.

This is a page from my "to do" notebook. This book is called the Cambridge Executive Action Planner Pad and it is put out by Mead. I get mine at Office Max for about $3. The reason I like this little notebook (9X5") is I can write down a list of things I need to do, but in the highlighted areas, I can make notes pertaining to the list. I might jot down a phone number, scribble out a title I thought of, or some verses I would like to look up later, make a shopping list, etc. Something about the difference in color helps me keep the two areas separate, but related. I usually make out a list for the week, instead of for the day. Sometimes I will make separate lists for certain projects as well. When I complete something on the list, I get such a sense of personal satisfaction in crossing it off! And I am not ashamed to admit it!

Here is the cover of the Action Planner Pad, in case you want to go look for it at the store. I found it with the notebooks, not with the calendars. Not sure if all Office Max stores are the same, but I thought I would let you know that. I will also note that I save these when I am done as well, just in case I need to dig back through one and find a phone number or something.

This is a handy dandy invention I found out about from Kelli's blog. It is called The Desk Apprentice Rotating Desk Organizer. Interestingly, it was developed by a team on the show The Apprentice when one of the challenges for the week was to come up with a way to organize the Donald's desk. This was the winning solution.

I got mine at Staples. This is an aerial view of the tray that lays in the top of it. As you can see, there is a space for hanging file folders, then the tray contains my tape, white out, post-its, paper clips, and business cards. This is a wonderful way to keep all your stuff in one place! Just recently, I was able to direct Curt to the tape and scissors because I knew just where they were, instead of hunting in this drawer and that.

This a side view of the organizer. I will note that this thing spins around like a lazy susan, so you can get to what you need with ease. In this picture, you can see I have my to do list and my notebook in easy reach. I also have a place for my favorite pens, a place for highlighters and dry erase markers, and a place for scissors and a calculator. It is all right here! I have loved having this to add to my organizational methods, and am glad I found out about it through Kelli. I have file folders for each child, as well as other files for specific things. I am working my way towards filing all those random loose papers that seem to accumulate into this thing. I think this will help to slay the paper monster that gets loose in our house at times!
One other thing that is not pictured is my calendar. I couldn't live without it! I use a plain ol' month at a glance calendar I got at the Dollar Store. But it does the trick for me. I like month at a glance because I like to see what the month looks like as a whole. With just one glance at my calendar I can pretty easily tell whether I have taken on too much and need to stop saying yes, or whether we are doing okay and have enough white space.
I hope this post on organization has inspired some of you who, like me, actually get inspired by such mundane things!
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Rona said...

I actually LOVE to read everything I can on organization. Im so addicted to organizers, not only did I design my own, I have way to many that Ive bought. Ive recently been considering becoming a licensed professional organizer.

Kelli said...

I'm so glad that you got one of the desk organizers, Marybeth! I hope you love it as much as I love mine. You have all of your things set up so nicely!

Cindy Swanson said...

What great ideas! I was actually watching "The Apprentice" when they came up with that organizer...I remember thinking it was an excellent idea, but I've never gotten one. I'm thinking I may need to!

Organization is one of my strong spots. I need all the help I can get. Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer said...

Welcome to the Loveliness Fairs! I'm glad you dove right in. That is one of the best family photos I've seen in a long time, gorgeous family (in your banner)!

AIMEE said...

This lazy-susan organizer looks like exactly what I have been looking for! My "desk" is a table without drawers and I struggle where to put stuff...