So last week we talked about things you can do quickly to organize your house. I gave you five tasks that take 5 minutes or less, but make a big impact on how organized your house feels. Sadly, not everything can be done that quickly. Some tasks take longer to complete. Here is one tactic that can help you get a handle on the organization of paper and even errands.
Last week we talked about creating an evening routine in order to have a smoother morning. You can read about that and get the free printable here. With school starting in a few weeks, many of us will be changing up our morning routine. This year T will be enrolling in an early learning program for the first time so there will be new things to add to our routine. The following are the steps to follow when transitioning to a new routine.
1. Perform a brain dump of everything that needs to get done in the morning. This should include absolutely everything including what you already do now.
2. Once you see everything listed out, dole out the tasks to who will accomplish them. Maybe mom dresses the baby and dad helps dress the toddler. Maybe mom puts lunch in the bag while dad puts the baby in the car seat. Everyone shock have jobs to do and they should know what they are. This will help mornings run much more smoothly. There will be far less confusion.
3. Put together a schedule. With more things to do in the morning it's good to put together a time table of when things should get done. This way you know if you are on time or not. Everyone should have their own schedule. You don't want to have to look through a bunch of items to figure out what you need to do. Have a toddler who can't read? Use pictures to create his or her morning routine. For example toucan have a picture of toothpaste and a toothbrush followed by a picture of clothes and then a picture of breakfast.
4. At least a week before school, have a trial run of your routine. See if anything needs to be changed or times tweaked. Practice until you think it's just right.
5. Build an extra few minutes into your routine for the inevitable mishap. Things happen. The baby has a blowout just as you're leaving the house or the toddler spills juice on his school clothes. It's best to have a few minutes built in to accommodate these types of events.
Are you ready for back to school or are you dreading it? I just registered T yesterday and it got very real. While I'm excited for T to make new friends and have stories to tell of what he did, I still can't believe how fast he's growing up.
In the meantime, we will enjoy whats left of summer.
I have written about useful apps in various blog post throughout the past year. They range from an app for maintaining password security, apps to help you relax, apps to help you make money, and an app for printing photos for free. Today I want to talk about an app to help you maintain your lists. The app is called Wunderlist and it really is a wonder app.
Wunderlist is an app who's sole purpose is to create lists. The basic use is to create various checklists for pretty much anything for which you need a list. They offer suggestions like a to do list, a shopping list, and a wish list. You can also create your own. I created a list for my Things to do Before 32 post. I also have a list of household projects to get done, a grocery list, blog post ideas, a list for each kid of things they need, gift ideas for the hubs, etc..
For each list item there are a variety of ways to enhance it. You can star the most important items so that they are easy to find. You can also arrange your list into your preferred order. Other features include adding a due date, a reminder, add sub-tasks, add notes, and even adding a file. For example, for my blog posts list, I can add a file to create that post. For a grocery list you can add a note about whether you have a coupon for the item. Depending on the particular list some of these items may not be necessary, but they are good to have.
Another feature that I like is that when an item is checked off it is removed from your list, however there is an option to show completed items. This is great for lists like grocery lists. I am regularly buying many of the same grocery items. With this feature, I can show the completed items and uncheck the things I need to purchase again. That way I don't have to type out a new list every time. It also reminds me of things I might want to check the levels on before I go to the store.
My favorite feature however, is the ability to share lists with other people. As long as your friends and family download the app, you can share and modify lists with other people. For example, there are several grocery items which I buy for the family which I do not eat, like my husband's seltzer. Therefore I may not know when it runs out. But with this app, I can share the grocery list with my husband and he can add that item. If he's in a store he can also purchase an item and check it off the list.
You can also share different lists with different people. Therefore, I can create a list of items my husband happens to mention he wants. I can then share this list with friends and family and when a holiday or birthday comes up they can just refer to the list and know what he wants. My husband on the other hand cannot see this list. This is a great way to share lists of things for the kids with the spouse and family members. Since everyone can check items off, you can also eliminate duplication.
I use this list all the time. In fact, I just checked this post off my list of blog post ideas. As a busy mom, there are so many things I need to do, buy, and keep track of. This app helps me keep these things organized and share the responsibility with other members of the family. There is also a paid version of the app, but thus far, the free version has fulfilled my needs so I have not used it.
Do you utilize lists to keep track of your tasks? Let me know in the comments.
So on April 11 of this year I turned 31 and around that time I created a post about the things I'd like to do before my next birthday. This list consisted of a wide range of goals including trips with the family, school goals, and friends goals. You can find that post here.
Now that it's been about 3 months since that initial post, I thought I'd update you on the progress through my list.
1.Make 5 recipes from Pinterest - OK, so I haven't started this one yet. My excuse is that I have a newborn. At this point I feel accomplished if I remember to defrost the meat for dinner at all. Hopefully, we can try something soon!
2. Go to the zoo at least 3 times - We have gone to the zoo once so far since I made my list. I don't think this one will be an issue. We plan to go at least once more over the summer and we always go in the fall for their Halloween event, Boo at the Zoo. Our membership makes this a lot easier. you can read my tips for zoo trips. here.
3. Go on a real vacation - This one might have to take a back seat for a while. We had wanted to take a family vacation in the fall. However, with all of the medical expenses from Hailey's diagnosis not to mention her constant doctor's appointments I don't think it's in the cards. We can revisit that in the spring and see if things have changed.
4. Read 2 inspiring books - So far I read Eat That Frog which I talked about in this earlier post. So that leaves one book left!
5. Rent or sell my house - Well we had to put this on hold what with the baby being born and all. Therefore, we had taken it off the market for a while. However, last week we signed with a new realtor and we hope to get things back on track.
6. Move to new home - We're currently looking at houses to move into. Since we can't float 2 mortgage payments, moving will likely have to wait until this home is sold.
7. Get back in shape after baby - I am officially in training mode. I relaxed initially and let my body heal, but I recently started to get the itch to get my sweat on, so I did. I haven't officially weighed myself yet but next week we will have a weight and progress picture update.
8. Perform in 2 dance productions - Well I'm still working on the get back in shape part, so we'll see about the performing part...
9. Finish writing my book - In all honesty, I haven't worked on this in a while. I haven't had a break from grad school since Christmas time. The summer semester began immediately after the spring semester ended. I hope to work on this during my month off of school between the summer and fall semesters.
10. Start creating vertical images for blog This is one of the first things that I started working on. I haven't changed every image, but I have changed most of them.
11. Do 3 DIY projects from Pinterest - This is just as stagnant as the recipes one. My problem is not lack of time per se but instead not knowing when I will have time or how much, so I don't pick out projects or have the right supplies. I will work on this.
12. Declutter - We are doing really well with this one. We organized Tyler's room, the living room, the downstairs closet, and have made progress with the basement. The next major room will be our bedroom!
13. Plan a T and mommy date at least once a month after Hailey is born -Having a newborn that breastfeed a made this difficult the first 2 months. The boys had one on one time out of the house, but Tyler and I didn't. I'm looking to have a lunch date with him next week, which is my last week off before I go back to work.
14. Complete 27 credits of grad school - I have now completed 18 credits. Next week I will finish my second summer class and if all goes well, I will be up to 21 credits. Then 2 courses in the fall will bring me to the 27 credits. Then just a few more classes and requirements and I will be a Math Master!!
15. Have consistent date nights with the hubs - As I said, this is super hard for us because I work days and my husband works nights. We set a goal of 2 dates a month. So far, we are doing well for July. This past Sunday we went to a concert together and we will be seeing Guns N Roses on the 24th. Next month I don't think the dates will be so fancy, but we definitely intend for them to happen.
16. Complete cookbook for my nonprofit - Before I had Hailey, I presented the idea of doing a cookbook to my board. I had explained that with a newborn I would not be able to take the lead on this project. However, a cookbook would be a lot easier than organizing and holding photo shoots for the calendar. We have done nothing to gets his project going.
17. Have a couples game night - Well my husband got me cards against humanity. Now we just have to invite people over to play....
18. Plan and have a girls brunch - With baby being born almost exactly a month after my birthday, I haven't had time to plan this one yet. Plus one of my friends had their baby about a month after me. Hopefully soon we can all get together.
19. Participate in 2-3 charity walks - I am already registered and started fundraising for the diabetes walk. That one is close to my heart. I'm looking into the Autism Speaks and St Jude, and Lupus Walks in the fall. These all, however are on Saturdays which conflicts with T's dance class.
20. Run a donation drive - I'm looking to do this closer to the holidays. I will possibly be doing a book and pajama drive again.
So that's my progress so far on my list on things to do my 32nd birthday. I've made pretty good progress on most of the items, there are just a few more to start working on. Mainly the ones involving Pinterest. Hopefully I can make some headway there for next time!
Do you have big birthday goals? Tell me about them in the comments.
Have a great weekend!!