Managing Monday: Organizing Your Morning Routine

It’s Monday again!!! Mondays can be very dreadful for some people. Is it the rush coming off a relaxed weekend??? Or is it the fact that for lots of people it means doing stuff they don’t want to do???  One thing is for sure, lots of people HATE Mondays.  What can we do to change that??? Would it make a difference in your day if your morning went smoothly???

I have some amazing ideas to help you get through your morning peacefully.

  1. Get Yourself Ready First.  For some this is already implemented, but if you are trying to get ready while getting your kids ready, READ THIS!!! I used to be the mom that got the kids ready first, parked them in front of a T.V. and then got ready myself. This seemed so logical to me, get the hardest part (motivating the kids) out of the way, and then worry about myself. However, this led to many a day I went out without a shower or even time to “get dressed”. Talk about showing up somewhere in your PJ’s.  Now, I get up before the kids, take a shower and get completely dressed before I even get them out of bed.  I feel alive and like a human instead of a crazy tired mommy, and I have more energy to get them ready.
  2. Employ Some Organizational Tools To Help. One thing I know, most kids love novelty, and if not, they will love the structure this creates once they get used to it. Let me show you 3 items that can help your morning go smoother

    Item to help your mornings

    First up is the Sweater Cubby. This is great for freeing up drawers by folding sweaters and sweat shirts and storing them in this hanging shelves. However, imagine using each shelf to hold each days outfit. It would be amazingly easy to get your clothes to get ready in the morning. TIP: If you use this for your kids, let them pick out which outfits they want to wear which days and put them in the correct order. It’s harder (although they will probably still try) to argue when you made the decision yourself.

    Next is a great help for keeping make-up in one spot. The Drawer Manager/Morning Manager combo can make finding things on a crowded counter top so much easier. I know this is a bit more help for parents and teens, however, just think about how much easier and neater the counter and drawers will be. When it’s neater in general, there are less excuses of “I can’t find my toothpaste”.

    My last tool is the Folder Holder. This makes a great addition to a command center or launch pad. I LOVE the idea of a Launch Pad, and I’m still trying to figure out a way to make one in my own home. Having the Folder Holder will give you an, “at a glance” way of checking for papers that need to be signed, and even a place to put home work so it doesn’t get forgotten.

  3. Make A Launch Pad/Command Center. I have seen these as 1 and I have also seen people have 2, a Launch Pad, where things go that need to make it out the door in the morning. A Command Center, which has a calendar with everyone’s schedule and activities, memo pad for leaving notes, grocery list, and other things needed to keep the home running smoothly. I have a work Command Center which has a wipe-off calendar, place for notes and magnets to keep important stuff hung up where I can see it.  Looking into adding a Launch Pad soon as well. You can see how both would be useful for remembering important meetings and dates, being able to just grab that grocery list on the way out, and having everything you need right by the door to grab before you leave.

Mornings can be hard when you don’t have the proper tools and tactics. Using just 1 of these can help significantly in making mornings much smoother. Do you use any of these currently??? Which one are you excited to try???

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Welcome to Managing Mondays: Intro to A More Organized YOU

So here we are, the first MONDAY in February.  It’s so hard to believe we are already down 1 month this year. As I was trying to figure out how to best break up my passions into more manageable blogs, I decided this will probably be the one topic I do on both. For those of you who are working from home, an organized home can help a ton. I’m still working on this, by no means do I have it “all together”, But, I’d love to give you ideas any way I can.

Intro To A More Organized YOU

There are lots of ways and areas that would help you if they were organized. Having a morning routine, a kitchen that runs efficiently, all your needs for getting ready for the day… all organized, can help.

Take a minute to think through your day, what are your chaotic moments??? What could you do to help those moments run more smoothly??? Is it the morning rush??? Maybe it’s witching hour??? Is bedtime crazy??? I want to help you tackle these areas in your life.

Here are 3 quick tips to help you right now:

  1. Spend 5 minutes before bed writing your TO DO list for the next day. I promise this will help you sleep better knowing that everything is written down,. It will also help your focus in the morning and throughout the day.
  2. Focus on one area to make changes at a time. If mornings are ridiculous, spend some time figuring out why, then make a plan to help calm the chaos and implement it. Once you feel confident it is working, you can move on to another area if you need to.
  3. Set a close time for your day. This is one I’m bad about. I like to work until I just can’t keep my eyes open. In a perfect world, I’d get to sleep in later and things would be okay. However, I still have to be up by no later than 8:00 AM, so if I go to bed at 3:00 AM I’m only getting 5 hours of sleep, which is not enough. Shutting the computer down at a specific time, gives you a break and a chance to relax and get to bed early so you are more rested and get more accomplished the next day.

I’m looking forward to helping us all get organized in all areas of our lives. What are your 3 biggest areas you need help organizing???

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Organization: The FUN and Easy Way!!!

***This post contains a link to my personal Clever Container website. I will receive a commission off any products bought through this link***

 

“Honey, do you know where my ___ is” I hear this at least 5 times a day. Sometimes it happens without a word being said, as “But Dad” is furiously rifling through his crazy end table area, I stand up, head over to the area, and either find it, or he finds it as soon as I make it over to him.  This happened ALL. THE. TIME.  Thinking how crazy it is to be the “only one” who can find ANYTHING in this house, I decided we needed more organization, and we need it FAST!!!

I have been eyeballing products from a company called Clever Container for a while now. They are a lesser known Direct Sales company (I love supporting small business owners) that has amazing organizational tools and products. One day, I saw a post in my Facebook news feed for them again, and I got all excited, maybe THIS is the answer. I got in touch with the lady who posted, and after about 2 weeks of careful thought and decision making, I decided to join the company, get a bunch of products to use right off the bat, and then have a few parties a month in order to support my new organizing goals.

Once I got my starter kit, I almost immediately had a place for everything in the kit. I’m IN LOVE with this stuff, and I am so happy I get to share these amazing products with my family, friends, and readers (whom I also consider friends).

Today I am going to share the Before & After of “But Dad’s” end table. Now, before you go all crazy on him, this has taken MONTHS to get THIS bad, however when you don’t have the right organizational tools, it’s hard to keep up on stuff.

Before-

After I threw out garbage, and rehoused items that didn’t belong there, I used a clear plastic bin to organize all the meds he takes daily, and added one of the stackable shelves to give him more space. Adding another container (temporarily a food storage container, but will be replaced with a smaller bin) to house miscellaneous stuff, I had finished the job. We are on Day 3 of this organization, and “But Dad” seems to enjoy being able to find things, and also is able to easily keep up the organization.

There you have it!!! A great organized area where he can find and get to anything he needs easily. Happy Father’s Day indeed!!!

 

Do you have an area you just can’t get organized??? Maybe a room??? Maybe you are like me and it’s the whole house???

Stay Tuned: I will be starting Monthly Challenge Groups where we will tackle 1 room at a time each month and get the Clutter and Chaos under Control.

 

 

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Color Blocking Your TIme: It is a Good Thing.

Time is precious.  I think when you start adding more to your proverbial plate, you start to get less done, or feel as though you are getting less done anyway.  So, how do I keep it all straight???  What are my tricks for staying on track???  Welcome to the world of Color Blocking your Calendar.

Color Blocking your Calendar is just what it sounds like, you block certain amounts of time for areas that are important to you. You will need a day planner or calendar with time slots (I love my day planner since I can take it with me to appointments and places I may need to schedule activities, however, there are great apps for your smart phones and also sites like Google Calendar that may work for you as well.  My calendar has 5 areas that I “block” my time for.  There are many subcategories to these, but here is my starting point: “Me” time, Family time, Work, House Work, and Time with “But Dad”.  When I go through my planner at the beginning of the week, I look at what appointments I have, and I then “block” my time around them.

1. Me Time.  The first time I schedule in my planner is “Me Time”.  This generally happens before the kids get up (my coffee and get my thoughts together time) and once they go to bed for the night (my relaxing, play some mindless Facebook games, and catch up with friends time).  I make sure this is scheduled 1st, and I try to make myself stick to it.  When I have time for relaxing, or getting my thoughts gathered in the morning, I’m happier, and that makes for a better day.

2. Family Time.  My family is my first priority, therefore, this is the 2nd time I schedule.  This is time I spend with the kids playing, time we spend as a family watching movies or at a family gathering, and also time spent eating meals and time I spend with the girls at night (bath time, book time, etc).  I also schedule therapy and Dr appointments in this color.

3. Work.   Next I schedule “work” time.  This consists of anything from blog post writing, editing, and scheduling, to working my Wildtree business, and keeping up on various social media pages I have for my blog and Wildtree business.  When I schedule in the time to work, I know that this is what this time was set aside for.  I don’t feel guilty for working when it is scheduled, because I know I have time outside of working time that I can spend with my family, or catching up on house work, so it’s okay to focus on work, and I get Waaaay more accomplished.

4. House Work.  In this category, of course is the daily and weekly cleaning and meal prep, and also errands.  When I have time set aside to do dishes and make meals, it generally gets done faster, since I know that is what I am suppose to do.  It isn’t always pretty, and I have been known to WANT to continue working, or playing with the kids through this time, however, it is generally no longer than an hour or two at a time, and I keep reminding myself of how good it will feel when it is all done.  It is a work in progress for sure, but I am getting better at sticking to this, and it is helping to ease the stress level in the house as well.

5. Time with “But Dad”  Please do NOT confuse this thinking that we only spend scheduled time  together.  Some nights, my “Me Time” is spent hanging out binge-watching a show on Hulu, or a movie with “But Dad”, or during the day we snuggle on the couch and watch a movie as a family.  This time I schedule is a reminder to me that it is important to take this time and focus on our marriage and each other.  It is time (usually) during the middle of the day, while the littles nap.  It is before the stress of evening comes with dinner, and baths, and bedtime.  We use to wait until we got the kids in bed for the night, but somehow, a lot of nights there just wasn’t anything left from either of us.  The sad truth is, we are both exhausted and brain-fried by bedtime, and it isn’t fair to either of us to not get that quality time with each other, so scheduling it in works for us.

These are the areas on my calendar.  When I have an impromptu meeting come up (Business convo, play date, errand to run) I can see where that would fit in my daily schedule and add it accordingly, this way, I am not neglecting 1 area because I made my plate too full.  It keeps me balanced, and focused, and my family happy.  What would YOUR calendar look like???

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