4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Days 6-9

(via)

(via)

I’ve been supremely slacking in following up with this challenge! I find it’s easier for me to tackle a few days’ worth of projects together, but I’m working on spacing them out a little every day so I don’t get overwhelmed. One of my goals this week is to catch up on this challenge!

Complete a 15-minute pickup of main living areas

My main living areas are becoming less and less of a problem with clutter. I’ll be also focusing this time on the master bedroom as well.

Day 6 – Clean out your vehicle

I try to keep my car clean as best as I can, but it still can use a good cleaning every now and then. I was SHOCKED at how much debris there was on the floor of my car! It’s soooo much cleaner now that it’s been vacuumed and washed!

ahhh... so pretty!

ahhh… so pretty!

bag of stuff to leave the car!

bag of stuff to leave the car!

Day 7 – Wipe down all the baseboards in your home

Day 8 – Wipe down all the door handles in your home

Day 9 – Wipe down all the light switch plates in your home

Find 7 things to get rid of
(These are from my car)

  1. 2 textbooks
  2. 5 old maps
  3. 1 tub of lotion
  4. 1 takeout menu
  5. 1 expired coupon

We spent 2-3 hours on Sunday clearing out the future nursery. Lots of stuff got thrown out, moved to storage, and given away. I have no idea how many things there were, but it was more than 7.

Did you complete last week’s tasks? How’d it go?

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Routines: Week 1

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It’s officially been 1 week of trying out my new routines! I have to say, forming new habits is tough!

I’ve had the most success with my evening routine so far. As a refresher, here’s what that entails:

Evening routine

  • Pack lunch (if working the next day)
  • Tidy kitchen
  • Take pills
  • Lay out clothes
  • Fill out tomorrow’s daily docket

So far, I’ve been 100% on with taking my pills and laying out my clothes for the next day. I’ve been about 45% on task with filling out tomorrow’s daily docket at night. The other 55% of the time, I fill it out first thing in the morning. I only need to pack my lunch 3 days a week for work, so I’ve been able to do that 100% this week. As far as tidying the kitchen… that’s usually my last priority. I does set my mind at ease, and it makes me happy to see an empty sink in the morning, but if I’m really sleepy (or feeling lazy), I’ll just go to bed. The number one thing that is missing from my evening routine is having a set bedtime. My alarm goes off on my phone every night at 8:30 for me to start my evening routine, but perhaps I need to move that back to 9pm in order to make sure I set time aside for it.

The success of my morning routine depends entirely on the success of my evening routine the night before. I’m really working hard at getting up to exercise first thing in the morning (mostly because it’s still so hot later in the day!). Again, I think that having a set bedtime will help me greatly with this. Other than exercising, scheduling time to read my Bible in the morning consistently is the other big struggle. If I don’t do this in the morning, I usually don’t get to it later in the day. I really want to carve time out in the mornings to read God’s word. It’s the best way to start the day!

My afternoon routine is sketchy right now, mostly because I have a different schedule almost every day. I’m going to work on that one more this week. Because of this, my afternoon routine is my lowest priority in this endeavor.

I know that this was only my first week and that building habits takes time. I’m looking forward to getting even better with these as time goes on!

10 Weekly Goals

goals pic

Thanks to my scaled down weekly goals last week, I was able to complete every goal on my list! I’m so thankful for our weekend getaway to the mountains. I feel refreshed and ready to take on the week!

I actually had trouble coming up with 10 goals for this week, but I want to keep challenging myself. I’m excited for the month to come.

Last week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read part 3 of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading 1 Samuel
  2. Exercise 2 days
  3. Take a mini vacation

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Plan next month’s blogging schedule

 

This week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read part 4 of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Complete days 1-5 of the “4 weeks to a more organized home” challenge

Personal Goals:

  1. Read 2 Samuel
  2. Keep up with new daily routines
  3. Exercise 6 days this week

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Blog 6 times
  2. Work 5 hours on BeachBody
  3. Read Developing the Leader Within You, part 1 of Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  4. Work on a sewing project

 

What are your goals for the week?

 

6 Weekly Goals

This past week ushered in a new schedule for me. I’m down to working only 3 mornings a week. Needless to say, those two extra days threw me for a loop. One day off, I spent 15 hours doing a freezer cooking day (which I’ll post about later this week). The other day off, I spent the entire day on the couch, taking naps and binge-watching Friends. I made some progress on my goals, but I failed to complete many of them. I’m starting to implement more organization into my daily life to help me be more productive. Check back tomorrow for how I plan to do this!

I’m scaling down my goals this week to just 6 goals to keep it simple while I implement new routines.

Last week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read part 3 of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Plan a freezer cooking day
  4. Sign up for a childbirth class

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading 1 Samuel
  2. Exercise 4 days
  3. Schedule a dental appt

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 2 blogs
  2. Finish my BeachBody coach training
  3. Read 1 chapter of Drama Ministry

This week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read part 3 of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading 1 Samuel
  2. Exercise 2 days
  3. Take a mini vacation

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Plan next month’s blogging schedule

What are your goals for the week?

 

10 Weekly Goals

I’m still recovering from my blogging hiatus over the last few weeks. My hours at work have been cut back as of this week, so I have some more time to dedicate to blogging.

I need to get back to my weekly goals. They keep me motivated throughout the week so I don’t just eat gallons of ice cream while watching Friends or take naps all day.

Since I haven’t posted my goals in a while, I’m starting with a fresh slate. I’m focusing on progress, not perfection.

This week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read part 3 of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Plan a freezer cooking day
  4. Sign up for a childbirth class

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading 1 Samuel
  2. Exercise 4 days
  3. Schedule a dental appt

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 2 blogs
  2. Finish my BeachBody coach training
  3. Read 1 chapter of Drama Ministry

What are your goals for the week?

 

10 Weekly Goals

I did much better with my goals overall this week.

I’m really enjoying Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage by Gary Chapman. I already want my husband to read it, too. The Color of Tea is interesting, but it’s not omg-i-need-read-it-all-today good. I did start Drama Ministry this week, but since it’s for my drama leadership training, I’m taking it slowly.

I was able to begin a daily cleaning routine this week. I plan on reporting back on it later this week. I worked on cleaning out the nursery for about 4 days this week. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in 15 minutes! Now I’m only waiting on my husband to take a load of stuff out to storage before I’ll have room to move around in there again. I did get rid of a huge box of books, several DVDs, and two large boxes of clothes. It’s coming along! We haven’t fixed the broken dresser drawer yet because the wood glue and clamps are lost somewhere in the nursery. It will happen soon, but probably not this week.

I slacked in my water goal because I forgot to track my intake on my app. I’m hoping to do better this week. I didn’t get out to go walking this week, but I did go to an extra Zumba class and had some unexpected work tasks to do that involved a lot of walking up and down stairs this week. So even though I didn’t WALK, I did exercise 4 days this week.

These next few weeks are going to look a little different for me. My boss is on a business trip, so I’m only working a few days at the office. I’m going to attempt to start doing some freelance work in writing/editing with my extra time.

Last week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read part 2 of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Fix broken dresser drawer
  4. Spend 15 minutes a day clearing out future nursery
  5. Begin a daily cleaning routine

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading Judges and Ruth
  2. Drink 8 glasses of water daily
  3. Walk 2x

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 4 blogs
  2. Read 3 chapters of Drama Ministry, 3 chapters of The Color of Tea

This week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read part 3 of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Spend 15 minutes a day clearing out future nursery
  4. Continue with daily cleaning routine

Personal Goals:

  1. Read Ruth
  2. Drink 8 glasses of water daily
  3. Follow my exercise plan for the week

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 4 blogs
  2. Spend at least 5 hours working from home
  3. Read 3 chapters of Drama Ministry, 3 chapters of The Color of Tea

What are your goals for the week? Do you have any tips for starting freelance work as a writer/editor?

How I’m Building a Daily Routine

grocery-list

I have always been a list maker. I LOVE lists. I love having notebooks in which to write my lists. Some people like to use their smartphones for this. I do that, too, but only after I’ve worked out my list on paper. I think and process things better if I’ve got a piece of paper that I can write all over. Lists make me so happy, but one of the dangers of a habitual list-making is when I have too many lists in too many different places. It’s like I need a list of lists! Not really, but kind of.

I am also a creature of habit. I know we all are, but I really crave the simplicity of a routine. Routines are simplified by creating habits. Every year when I help my mom decorate for Christmas, I put the same decorations in the same place every year. My family likes to make fun of me for this, but it’s a habit that I’ve grown accustomed to! In reality, they always know who to ask if they can’t remember where something goes (ahem). Similarly, if you create a habit of going running every morning, after a while, you will automatically reach for your running shoes when you wake up in the morning.

Since school is no longer a part of my life, my days of driving from one place to another back to back have pretty much ceased. Sure, I still have days where I have lots of errands crammed in, but on the whole, my life is normalizing quite wonderfully. I work every week day from 7am to 12pm, but my husband doesn’t get home until close to 5pm. That’s a lot of time to where I’m left to my own devices! Sometimes I’ll take an afternoon nap, and occasionally I spend the afternoon in front of the TV (while tackling an organizing project), but as a creature of habit who wants to do more than just sit around day after day, I’ve started a new daily routine.

Each morning (or the night before), I print out a daily docket. I found a free printable from Money Saving Mom. I could use a blank notebook, but I like the structure of this one with spaces for an inspirational quote or mantra, a to do list, the top 3 most important to do items, a basic schedule for the day, dinner plans, a place to keep track of healthy habits, and a space to jot down notes that come to mind throughout the day.

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The first thing I do is write down what the dinner plan is. That way I know if I need to set out any meat to defrost. Today was a crock pot meal, so I set everything up before I left for work. I noted the items I still needed from the grocery store.

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Next, I look through my daily docket from the day before. Is there anything I didn’t accomplish? Is there anything I want/need to do again today? I import these items onto my to do list for the day.

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After that, I fill in the rest of my to do list for the day, including any meetings or appointments that I have. I put a star next to the top three most important items for my day and write those in “today’s MITs” (most important to-dos).

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Then I’ll make a list of upcoming blog posts I want to be working on. I make sure to check my old daily dockets for any ideas I may have missed.

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I take the time to jot down a quote or mantra for the day. Sometimes it’s something I find on Pinterest, and sometimes it’s just a cheesy motivational line for myself.

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I’ll put everything together in a basic schedule for the day. I write down my other to do items in my schedule because otherwise, I may not do them. This way I see them three times!

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Finally, I’ll jot down notes to myself throughout the day. In this case, my husband mentioned he needed more deodorant, so I made a note of it for when I went out to run errands today. Sometimes I’ll use this section to jot down a grocery list or just random things that I’ll probably need to add to my docket for the next day.

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It’s not perfect, nor am I. But for now, this system is working for me really well. It satisfies my crazy compulsiveness to make lists, and it provides an avenue for habits to become a routine.

Do you plan out your day in advance? Do you use paper and pencil or your smartphone? Tell me in a comment!

10 Weekly Goals

I’ve decided to move this series to Sunday in order accommodate Menu Plan Monday.

I didn’t actually accomplish many of my goals this week, yet I was still able to make some progress in planning out each day with a daily docket. I plan to post about how I plan out my days later this week.

I’m still doing well with my goal to drink more water. Unfortunately, due to some recent events in our neighborhood, I haven’t been able to get outside to walk lately. I’m still reading nearly every day, but I bounce around a lot, which might be why I haven’t finished any of the books I set out to read. I’ve adapted my reading goals to be more realistic this week.

It’s all about balance.

Last week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Fix broken dresser drawer
  4. Declutter linen closet & bathroom cabinet
  5. Establish a daily cleaning routine

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading Judges and Ruth
  2. Drink 8 glasses of water daily
  3. Walk 3x

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 3 blogs
  2. Read Drama Ministry

This week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read part 2 of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Fix broken dresser drawer
  4. Spend 15 minutes a day clearing out future nursery
  5. Begin a daily cleaning routine

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading Judges and Ruth
  2. Drink 8 glasses of water daily
  3. Walk 3x

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 4 blogs
  2. Read 3 chapters of Drama Ministry, 3 chapters of The Colour of Tea

What are your goals for the week?

 

10 Weekly Goals

Happy Monday! I’m recovering from a whirlwind trip to Southern California with my mom to visit my sister. We packed SO MUCH into this weekend. I plan to write a short weekend recap later this week.

I did pretty well on my goals for the week. I was able to cross off 70% of my goals. My biggest accomplishment was drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day! I know this might not seem like a huge deal, but I have a lot of trouble getting my water in. I started by trying to drink a certain amount while I work, and then I heard about a free app called Water Logged. I downloaded it and immediately began tracking my water intake. So far, I love it!

I also tried assigning certain organizing tasks to specific days. While it was a good idea in theory, I ended up doing different tasks on different days based on how badly I needed to organize them. It did add a sense of urgency to my to do list each day, knowing that I wanted to accomplish one organizing task each day before I left on vacation.

Last week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Finish reading A Faith Full Marriage: Building a Lifetime Love on Biblical Principles
  3. Meal planning
  4. Do a closet purge
  5. Declutter kitchen cabinets, cart, & cubbies
  6. Establish a daily cleaning routine

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading Judges and Ruth
  2. Drink 8 glasses of water daily
  3. Walk 3x

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 3 blogs

This week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Fix broken dresser drawer
  4. Declutter linen closet & bathroom cabinet
  5. Establish a daily cleaning routine

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading Judges and Ruth
  2. Drink 8 glasses of water daily
  3. Walk 3x

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 3 blogs
  2. Read Drama Ministry

 

What are your goals for the week?

What I Read

Now that I’m finally out of school, I finally have time to read for fun again! I am beyond thrilled about this. The only problem is I have so many options, I don’t know where to start!

During the month of May, I tried to read through some of my ebook collection, as well as re-reading a favorite novel. I’d love to read even more in June.

Books I read in May:

Ebooks I read in May:

I LOVE Redeeming Love. I think that was my 4th time reading it.

I wasn’t impressed with most of the ebooks I read, except for one. Eat that Frog was great. If you’re a procrastinator, and you’re looking for a kick in the butt, check this book out. It’s got practical tips for getting stuff done, starting with the hardest thing first. I’ve gotten so much done since adapting this principle when prioritizing my to-do list. Highly recommend it!

What did you read last month? Do you have any book suggestions for me?