When I read this little joke over at Modern Parents, Messy Kids about how the author had completely and utterly organized her entire life, I was actually inspired to create my own list--for real, not as a joke. Regardless of whether it stems from some kind of neurosis (perhaps an intense need to control things to make up for the lack of control I felt in childhood?), I have an intense interest in and desire to completely organize our home and my life. Being in clean, bright, orderly environments palpably lifts my spirits. Being organized makes me feel lighter and freer. Ironically, the more organized I am, the more comfortable I am being spontaneous. When my center is in control, I can branch out to take more risks and shake things up on the periphery of my life.
Lists like this are not impossibly high bars that I use to judge myself and feel guilty about all the things I'm not accomplishing. Instead, penning my words on paper (er, typing them into the ether) inspires me to reach higher and do more. I'm excited to tackle the things on the list below:
- A meal plan binder with different meals for an entire month, including shopping lists so I can grab and go each week when heading out to the grocery store (I'm giving up on seasonal plans for now, since it was hard enough coming up with 25 meals that are simple, inexpensive, healthy, and appealing to our whole family). This resource will allow us to have homemade meals five nights a week while trying to balance two full-time jobs and other side projects and goals.
- A spot for everything in our house. I know this key principle is the backbone of effective organization, but it's easier said than done! I also want to label where things go whenever it makes sense, so that other family members can independently help maintain the order.
- A plan for chores each day, week, month, and year, so that we are diving our chores equitably as a family.
- A family calendar that helps us track our common events and holidays.
- A clean and organized entryway that has a spot for our bags, shoes, keys, mail, and charging cell phones.
- Clutter-free countertops in the bathroom and kitchen. I want there to be a spot in the drawers or cabinets for everything to be put away.
- A family photo album that is updated with photos at least yearly, if not monthly.
- Well-managed e-mail inboxes that only have up to one page of messages.
- A file system for important documents to ensure that everything is at our fingertips when we need it. P.S. This one is already halfway done!
- An ongoing donation box so we can purge things whenever we need to rather than at designated times through the year.
- Well-organized seasonal things, like Christmas decorations and birthday-related paraphernalia. I also want to have a designated spot for future gifts (either things that I buy early in the year for birthdays or Christmas or things that I want to re-gift later).