Sunday, February 28, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 3/1

Monday:  Ham sandwiches on bakery buns, bacon coleslaw, chips

Tuesday:  Glazed meatloaf, baked potatoes, squash

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Pizza hotdish, green beans, fresh baked bread

Friday: Date night at Bacchus for Greg's birthday dinner

Saturday:  Bacon wrapped chickenCrash hot potatoes, Corn

Sunday: Greg's family birthday dinner out

Check out Menu Plan Monday for lots of menu plans!

Friday, February 26, 2010

PON Week #3 "Organize Your Cleaning Schedule"

I am following the weekly schedule found in the book:
The book is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Week 3 is "Organize Your Cleaning Schedule"

This Week's Goals:

~Make a list of all the chores that need to be done around the house.  Break them into daily, weekly, and monthly activities.  Create a chore chart and have a family meeting to delegate the jobs.  Post the chart so everyone can see it on a daily basis.  I have done this in the past and it has worked quite well.  We are very blessed to have two ladies that clean our house top to bottom every other Thursday.  Make no mistake though, having a cleaning service does not get you off the hook from having to clean your house.  It just means that know know it will be deep cleaned every other week and you need to keep up with the day to day cleaning (and deep cleaning on that off week).

~Carry a basket around the house while you are cleaning.  If you find something that does not belong where it is, put it in the basket.  Just make sure you empty the basket out and it does not become a clutter collector!  This a fab idea and I sort of do my own version of it.  As I am going through the house picking up things I put anything that needs to be taken upstairs on the steps.  When I am done cleaning I make sure that I take everything upstairs.  You will not see clutter left on my staircase because that is the first thing that all visitors see when they come into the foyer.  We definitely have our clutter hot spots; mainly certain counters in the kitchen and the laundry room of course.

~Take 15 min each night to straighten up the house.  Make it a family chore by assigning each person a different room and list this on the chore chart.  This is such an easy and simple concept, but one many people do not take the time to do.  I LOVE the idea of everyone in the family being assigned a room.  Either Greg or I make sure the kitchen is clean and we usually have the boys work on the living room and den.  The spouse that is not cleaning up kitchen could make sure the laundry room is clean (that is where all our winter gear goes, as well as, the boys backpack so it is definitely a clutter magnet.  My youngest is four and he tends to help out, but is not ready to do a room all by himself.  The older boys are great cleaners (especially my middle son).  I think if this becomes an expectation/habit you can set the timer for 15 min and it will become more of a game/challenge to see what each person can accomplish.  We have used the timer method for years to increase the cleaning efforts of our boys, with great success.

~Clean one room or complete one chore each day.  This will save you from wasting your entire Saturday cleaning.  I LOVE this idea and would love for my family to buy into it more.  My dh and I both work full-time so cleaning after a full day of work and making dinner/doing dishes, is sometimes the last thing we want to do.  We definitely do much more cleaning on the weekends, but I would love to get into the routine of doing one thing each day to leave less for the weekends.  Things are obviously easier to keep up with in the summer because I am not teaching.

~Assign each family member his or her own towel.  Color-coding the towels is the easiest way to tell them apart.  I actually thing this is a great idea.  I want to purchase new towels sometime this year and picking out two different colors for the master bath will be easy.  Right now the boys' bathroom is Pottery Barn Froggies and there is a blue and green that would be perfect, but I am not sure about the third color and think white is a mistake for little boys (well my boys anyway and I speak from personal experience).  Anyone want to share a brand of towels you love and where you purchased them?

~Place a set of disposable disinfecting wipes in each bathroom.  It's a quick way to keep the bathroom neat between thorough cleanings.  I completely need to buy stock in Clorox wipes.  Three boys, three bathrooms "nough said!

~Save space by minimizing cleaners.  Start buying one all-purpose cleaner whenever possible.  This makes sense.  I know there are all sorts of homemade cleaners people use.  We use vinegar on our hardwood floors.  I use windex for the window and glass and myriad other uses.  What are your favorite cleaners?

The author shares several great tips in this chapter and I will share a few on my faves:

~Make your bed everyday.

~Clean up the kitchen as soon as dinner is done.

~If you have small children write down jobs they can do on small pieces of paper and stick them in a jar.  Each day have your child choose a chore from the jar and complete the task.  This makes chores a bit more fun.

I think this chapter has a lot of great tips and ideas for getting yourself organized.  Remember that being organized is a journey, not a destination.  As soon as you get yourself organized everything starts over (like laundry).  Every step you take in the right direction will help you feel more organized and at peace with your home and life.  Good luck and please answer some of the questions I asked above.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 2-22-10

Monday:  Chili in the crockpot, served with sour cream, cheese, scallions, pepper rings, crackers, and fritos

Tuesday:  Crispy chicken, Corn, Baked potatoes, cranberry

Wednesday: Soup bar: Broccoli cheese, chicken wild rice, or tomato

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Pizza 

Saturday:  Bacon wrapped chickenCrash hot potatoes, Prince Edward Vegetable Medley

Sunday: Glazed meatloaf, baked potatoes, squash

Check out Menu Plan Monday for lots of menu plans!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Weekend To Do List 2/20


~Attend Fundraising Dinner/Auction Saturday night (√)
~Pick up Lenten Devotional (√)
~Attend church (√)
~Attend Adult Ed Class "The Peacemaking Church" (√)

~Find receipts for school
~Organize 2010 bills/paperwork/receipts

~Exercise Su
~Track all food in WW journal  Sa/Su
~Drink daily water  Sa/Su (√)
~Attend WW meeting Sat morning (√)
~Follow good health guidelines Sa/Sun (√)

~Friday night date night w/Greg (√)
~Play board games with the boys
~Lunch out with family Sunday (√) 
~Sunday dinner and family chat time 

~Get rid of FIVE trash bags of stuff for Wed-Sun
~Organize linen closet upstairs
~Straighten house (√) 
~Spend 30 min decluttering office (√) 
~Spend 1 hour on master bedroom (√) 

~Darks (√)
~Bedding (√)
~Towels (√)
~Colors (√) (√)
~Bathroom rugs

~Paint nails
~Organize jewelry
~Declutter/organize purses

Menu Planning/Meals:
~Get post read for Menu Plan Monday 
~Plan lunches for school 
~Grocery shop

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

40 Trash Bag Lenten Challenge

I think this is a wonderful idea that Ann posted about on her blog.  I am not Catholic (Presbyterian girl here), but whether or not you follow the challenge for religious reasons, the outcome will be fabulous either way.  Can you imagine getting rid of 40 bags of stuff?!  It would be a drop in the bucket of what I need to get rid of in my house, but it would certainly be a step in the right direction.  If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please follow the link and join in.  40 Trash Bag Lenten Challenge  I am joining!  If you join please let me know how it goes for you.  :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

PON Week 2 "Organize Your Schedule"

I will be attempting to follow the weekly schedule found in the book:
The book is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Week 2 is "Organize Your Schedule"

This Week's Goals:
~Find ONE daily planner to use.  I have been using my iPhone calendar app.  I like it, but it does make me nervous to think that if anything happens to my phone I have lost my calendar.  I also love google calendar and how they will send you a reminder through email.  I need to find a great calendar/organizer app for my iPhone.  Any suggestions?
~Sit down with your family and plan your week/month ahead of time so you can:
   *Schedule babysitters
   *Divide errands
   *Plan meals
   *Divide chores
     I think for us it would make sense to do this on a weekly basis.  We obviously do our calendars monthly, but a weekly check-in as a couple would be great.
~Gather all To Do items from post-its and other lists and make one main list in your planner.
~Sort To Do tasks by:
   A)  Tasks that need to be done today.  Schedule these in your planner.
   B)  Tasks that need to be done this week.  Schedule these in your planner.
   C)  Tasks that need to be done in the future.
   I am the queen of TO DO lists, but I really like the idea of breaking them into A,B, and C lists to prioritize.  I used to have a TOP FIVE To Do list everyday and it really made me prioritize what the five most important tasks were that needed to be accomplished.  I need to make more realistic To Do lists for myself.  There are only so many hours in the day and sometimes my To Do lists are not realistic for the time I have available.
~Once you have tasks sorted into categories, number the tasks in each category, in the order they must be accomplished.  Do you A (daily) tasks first, then B(weekly) or even C (future).  If you don't get all your A tasks done, make those unfinished tasks top priority for the next day.
~Schedule dentist and doctor appointments for the next year.
~Make a long term To Do list.  Use this list to write things down that you won't have to worry about forgetting.  I need to get working on this.

Good luck focusing on Organizing Your Schedule this week.  Please let me know how things go for you.  I am still looking to get caught up after a late start on these weekly focus areas so stay tuned for another one coming this week.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

PON Week 1 "Organize Your Mind"

I will be attempting to follow the weekly schedule found in the book
The book is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Week 1 is "Organize Your Mind"

According to the author the first step of organizing your life is organizing your thoughts and clearing your mental clutter. I know that mental clutter is a BIG obstacle in my life. I hold many important roles: wife, mother, teacher, daughter, sister, friend, and coworker just to name a few. Each role has myriad responsibilities and sometimes keeping on top of everything can be daunting.

I think the author's point that your long to do list is not what causes you stress, it's the way you feel about it. If you start to feel overwhelmed you may procrastinate and then accomplish nothing at all. That is so me! My WW leader said it best, Perfectionism leads to procrastination which leads to paralysis.

Goals for this week:

~Get a sufficient amount of sleep each night. I am an early bird and if I go to bed too late it sets my morning off the wrong way, it can impact my whole day in a negative way.

~Make a daily to do list. (this is a HUGE necessity for me). I am much more productive if I have a list to follow.

~Limit TV watching. Another big one for me. At night TV is my relaxation. I do notice that during weeks when there are no new shows on, I am able to accomplish much more.

~Schedule time to exercise. I have so much more energy when I have exercised.

~Schedule more "me time". I do a fairly good job of scheduling "me time". I have a wonderful group of ladies that gets together every night for GNO. Much cheaper than therapy I tell you! lol I try and schedule manis and pedis on a regular basis, but I should do this more often. I also should try and make sure that my mom and I do a monthly shopping/lunch trip. We always have such a great time together. This past weekend I went on a retreat with other women from my church (my mom went too). It was a fabulous weekend of female bonding and spiritual renewal! Even taking time to read a magazine or book (or catch up on blogs) can be your special "me time".

~Eliminate energy drainers in your life. I really need work on this. There is clutter all over our house and looking at just drains my motivation. I need to work on the clothes in my closet/master bedroom, our office, and the bookcase in the den. These would be the top three areas I should start with.

~Take control of your time. Set goals and break them into daily TO DOs. I am a list maker. I swear if I don't have a to do list to follow on a Saturday I accomplish next to nothing. My to do list keeps me on track and it motivates me to use my time wisely.

This chapter gives lots of food for thought. I think it is important to be in the right frame of mind to get your life organized. Your attitude and motivation will be key elements to successfully organizing your life.

I will be doubling up this week and doing the next chapter because Week 1 was pretty easy. Good luck

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Project Organize Now- Overview

I will be attempting to follow the weekly schedule found in the book
The book is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I thought it was a very simple and straightforward book that would be a great resource to try and organize your life one week at a time. I am a bit behind on the weekly time frame because I just recently purchased the book. I think what I will try and do is double up a few weeks here in the beginning to try and get things on track.

The book is broken down into the following sections of organization:
Organize Yourself (Weeks 1-4)
Organize Your Papers (Weeks 5-12)
Organize Your Things (Weeks 13-19)
Organize Your High Traffic Areas (Weeks 20-30)
Organize Your Personal Spaces (Weeks 31-37)
Organize Your Storage Areas (Weeks 38-43)
Organize Your Special Events (Weeks 44-52)

I may choose to switch around weeks if it suits my organization plan better. Feel free to post along with the organization challenges.