"It's like I feel skinnier and prettier when my life is organized and color coded on paper".
A friend told me this a few weeks ago and while I couldn't stop laughing, I agree with her 100%. Over the past few weeks, it seems as though the girls of my blogging and Twitter circles have jumped on the ultimate organization train in a huge way. I have always been OCD when it comes to having my life and plans organized and although we are living in the age of technology in overdrive, I will choose a quality piece of paper and my favorite pen over a digital calendar any day. When I thought I had a good system going, Erin's recent blog post stopped me in my tracks and I knew that I didn't have to do this, but I needed to! This Home Management Notebook project is beyond brilliant! And best of all, there are so many free resources at our fingertips these days, you can completely make this notebook your own based on what YOU want. This may seem like a "moms only" necessity but trust me, even though there are no mini Moores running around yet, this newlywed household is already benefiting from Organization Fest 2011.
To get started, I picked up a cute printed binder from Target, some dividers, a few 3-hole punched pockets and convinced Mark that a label maker would be a good addition to our home office supply stash. Win! The pocket in the front of my notebook is a nice little storage compartment. Right now it's holding post its, notepaper and a killer inner thigh workout I printed earlier this week. Ouch!
I keep a daily planner (more on that life changing purchase in a bit) so I didn't really need a weekly or monthly section. Instead, I just have a "Our Home" section where I can keep track of household chores, and running lists of household items and toiletries that we may be running out of so that I can grab that list the next time I'm out. I printed out The Project Girl's weekly chore schedule printout to keep track of keeping this house fresh and clean.
The Cooking section is my favorite. Obviously. I already had a great system going for our meal and grocery planning so having it in my binder is like sprinkles on top. I really liked the meal planner printout from The Project Girl and the grocery list on the side as a reference for what we might need for our specific weekly dinners and anything we have run out of during the week. I can then fill in the list with anything else that we need and I'm good to go for my weekly grocery trip.
We're trying to be better about keeping track of what we spend. It's always some peace of mind when we know where our money is going and how much of it is going where. I found this Monthly Spending Buttoned Up worksheet that I will be using for now. I found a few other great resources online so I'm in the process of making my own spreadsheet specific to us.
I am constantly sending cards to loved ones via snail mail so this section for an important dates calendar was a must. My mom found this darling year at a glance printout on Susan Branch's jewel of a website. It's been on our refrigerator for the past few months but into the notebook it went!
With so many weddings and life events popping up these days, I always seem to end up taking on the task of being the designated planner- and I love it! This party planning worksheet from momAgenda was recommended by Nina. It's simple, concise and a great go-to reference sheet for upcoming parties. First up- my BFF Meghan's Bachelorette weekend on Pawley's Island, SC next month!
A few other tabs I included:
- Gifts (to be purchased and ideas as I come across them)
- Inspiration (for ideas I find or those creative moments when I want to jot something down!)
- Notes (as in my running list of fall 2011 wardrobe essentials)
I used several of the online resources that Erin and other bloggers posted, found a few on my own and created the rest. What used to be several spiral bound notebooks, random lists and post its all over my house and in my car can now be found in one single spot. I can now breathe a sigh of relief.
As if the Home Management Notebook wasn't enough to get my adrenaline pumping, I joined the Erin Condren Life Planner-aholic society. Over the top I tell you! I have always drooled over the dreamy designs and bright, happy colors of Erin's paper products but never really did much research in the planner department. I am Miss Persnickity when it comes to planners. I'm almost embarrassed to say that two years ago I purchased and returned FIVE planners until I found the right one. Well, my Life Planner arrived on my doorstep just a few hours ago and I am already in LOVE. The orange and pink candy lace print is even happier in person. It kind of reminds me of rainbow sherbet. As in, if you could lick the cover and it had a flavor, that would be it! Erin Condren makes a phenomenal product and I couldn't be happier with how the rest of 2011 and 2012 will look in it's color coded, handwritten glory.
Thanks to Erin of Blue Eyed Bride for posting this fun Home Management Notebook link up!
If you want to link up and see what others are saying about their Life Planners, visit Meredith's blog!