My one little word this year is SIMPLIFY. I hope to use it as a touchstone to guide me through a variety of areas in my life that need, ahem…a little assistance. One area is using a calendar efficiently.
Being a SAHM right now, I have a different things on my schedule than I did when I was working outside of the home. And although I have tried to organize myself in terms of appointments as well as obligations around the house (read “housekeeping”!) I never really found a system that worked. I have tried all sorts of calendars – Wall, Desk, PALM, iPhone, Outlook, Daily Dockets, Cozi, just to name a few. They all had their merits, but I never really got into them and they slowly fell off my radar and were never used. But I think I have finally found that works for me. Really. I know I’ve said this before on this blog, and I am really hoping I won’t jinx it by sharing it here, because this one is really good. It’s from Motivated Moms and it’s genius.
It’s part chore chart, part appointment calendar, part menu planner and part TO-DO list. I have been using it for about 3 weeks now and haven’t tired of it yet. My house is clean (ok, not sparkling, but still very acceptable!), I have a central place that I am regularly checking for appointments and I am actually completing and crossing things off my to do list! Each day there is a checklist of daily chores – sort of like minimum maintenance – including basic things like making beds, wiping out bathroom sinks, laundry, empyting trash etc. It also reminds you to take some quiet time, read to your kids and excercise (OK…I haven’t been crossing THAT one off enough!!!) Each day also has a few specific chores designed to get and keep your house in order – today I was reminded to change our handtowels, clean two light fixtures, maintain my houseplants, clip my kids fingernails and dust their bedrooms. It took all of 25 minutes. Tomorrow I am supposed to check prescriptions, mop the kitchen floor, clean out my fridge drawers, dust the living room, wash the porch rug (which I don’t have) and clean out my car. Doing a few things like this everyday is the key to maintaining order and cleanliness in the house…not trying to do it all in a two or three hour period before your company comes for dinner and then forgetting about it for another 2 weeks! Each day also has space to record your appointments and to jot down notes or To-Dos.
The calendar is a download that you purchase and print out at home. You can get it in a few different configurations to suit your needs. I chose the Half-size Page Per Day Planner with Scheduled Bible Readings (because, yes, I am negligent in that area too). I printed the pages, cut them in half, hole punched them and repurposed my old Franklin Covey day planner binder to house it all. After a few days I got the idea to use the blank backside of the previous day to jot down things related to my business and blogs – stuff to do, stuff to post, ideas to work on, links to check out etc. It is great to have everything in one place and I really see myself using this system for the long haul.
Whichever style of planner your choose, it’s only $8.00 to download. A bargain I think! And I am so delighted with it that I became an affiliate of the chore planner. Yup, you can click on the “Motivated Moms” link in my sidebar to read all about it. If you decide to purchase one of these little babies, I will receive a small amount of money for promoting the planner. It really doesn’t need promoting however – you’ll see it and love it. I know I do, so go & check it out for yourself!