Day 17

Ahh…..there is one thing I left out yesterday. Recipes. This is a monster all in itself.  If you are all digital with your recipes – you go!! I am not. I have a lot of paper recipes that I love.  I have found a way to store these and USE them. I would like to say that I came up with this all on my own.

but alas, I did not.

I would like you to visit boldturquoise.wordpress.com . Get a binder and get your 2013 meal planner ready. This is where you will store all of your recipes!! I like to keep the recipe books for looks and I love the feel of a room with books. But I have found that if I use this meal planner (i plan monthly) and keep a copy of all the recipes I use/used with the month…at the end of the year you have a WHOLE YEAR of menus with the recipes and shopping lists. Ohhhh eeemmmm geeee!!!! That just made my heart flutter.

 

I like to organize my recipe books in categories as well. Some people like to organize by color or author, etc. Just have fun with it.

Here’s finding old recipes we thought we lost…..

~Dayspring Girl

 

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Day 16

whew!! What a week. We have had a sick one year old. This created my latest mission: Getting throw up out of the recliner. YUCK. I think I reached success last night and feel a giant sense of accomplishment.

Today we will be moving into the kitchen. I know – it’s a big a jump. This is where most women spend most of their time (and the occasional man!).  It where the action happens in our house…not that type of action, people…..tsk tsk. ;)

We do homework at the dinner table, we gather around the island when friends come over, we cook, clean, eat, laugh and live in our kitchen. I believe it can become the heart of your home. Let’s talk about the issues we face in the kitchen, which usually stem from all of those activities that take place there:

  • The junk drawer
  • The homework file
  • The utensils
  • The dirty dishes
  • The clean dishes!
  • Food that doesn’t go in the fridge
  • The fridge
  • The cabinets
  • and more….

Lets just start with the big picture. The most important way to look at your kitchen is in zones. We need to decide what we do in the kitchen and where. And then build from there. I have a couple of zones in my kitchen:

  • Coffee!!!!
  • Baking
  • Cooking
  • Prepping
  • Cleaning
  • Visiting
  • Eating
  • Party supply storage
  • Bulk storage
  • Laundry (my machines are in the kitchen, which I love!!)

I have set these zones so that I can store like things together. It helps me organize and keep it that way. Just stand in your kitchen and visualize what you do in there.  Write it down on post it notes and put them up all over the place. Make one color for what is currently in those cabinets and save one color for what you want to put in there after you have defined your zones.

I have lived in a kitchen that was 10 ft by 5 ft and now I have kitchen that is gigantic. My house is not gigantic, it just takes up half of the square footage ;) . I know what it is like not having enough room. But I tell you what, I cooked Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinner in that little kitchen. It is all about how you organize your stuff. One thing I did was get a piece of wood to lay over my sink to create more counter top, as in a RV. It became my prep area and then I would just take it and dump the cuttings in to my compost pile.

Don’t forget all the kitchen stuff you have stashed in the hall closet, the garage, basement etc. One idea I like is to have one shelf for those items is to have a “kitchen overflow” shelf in your garage. If you are like me and do not have a garage, try the basement, storm shelter or garden shed. Drape a sheet over it to keep most of the dust off. Label that shelf and do not let any other items find a home on that shelf. It will help store the gigantic kitchen appliances that take up valuable shelf room.

You can do this all in one day by pulling everything off your counter tops and out of your cabinets. Make sure you have the time to take this on, or you will get frustrated. While every thing is empty, wipe down all the shelves and surfaces. Lay a pretty shelf liner down if you would like. Or!!! paint the inside of the cabinets a nice bright or light version of a coordinating color! You will smile every time you open your cabinets!! ( I have pink in mind :)

Slowly group like items together. Baking dishes all together, pans, small appliances etc. Do the same with your dishes. Decide which ones are for everyday and which ones are for special occasion. We can store those special occasion in a hard to reach spot to clear up handier shelves for everyday items.

If you choose to do this one cabinet at a time, that is just fine as well. Have two boxes that are working boxes. Label one “find new home” and one “get rid of”. We will work our way through our cabinets one at a time, clearing it out, cleaning it up and putting back what we want to keep.

This is a slow and time-consuming process. Give yourself time and encouragement.

If you find yourself in a bind – call me. I have a special running in February: 2 free hours for every 2 paid.

This is will make your kitchen a place you love. A place that is organized and ready for your next culinary adventure or just time together as a family making homemade pizza.

You are halfway there. Don’t give up. This may take 6 months to complete. It doesn’t matter, for what you have in the end will be awesome!!

~Dayspring Girl

 

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Day 15

Today we are going to talk about organizing family information. We have so much to keep up with these days!!!

I will share my way of organizing each child and their information. I will also cover how to keep up with house information.

I have one child with a life threatening food allergy. This has been a life long endeavour of paper control. We have come a long way and thankfully for the new trend of “no preservatives” and don’t have to keep up with a ton of stuff any more.

My second child has aspergers. We have a lot of paperwork since he is in public school. We have chosen to leave him there so that he has a little more structure during his day. He does really well with it. And, so, with that comes IEP paperwork and information to help us help him.

I am a binder fanatic. I will go through this quickly since I have posted about this before. You can get more info HERE.

I have a binder for each child. I do this because I need to take the information to the doctor or school occasionally and it helps to just grab and go. I also have my kids color-coded. :) Each binder is in their color and the tabs are as well. I like this so I can just look at them and see which one I need. I have a tab for legal papers: birth certificate, copy of social security, etc. I have one for school: report cards, IEP, test information, etc. And a medical one: allergy info, shot records, any history we need to keep.

Now that the kids are taken care of…..I also have a control journal. I love Fly Lady (i think i say this everyday).  I have taken her control journal and made it my own. I am also working on a control journal for each kid, finances, etc. :) I LOVE BINDERS!! :) If you are not a binder lover, I can help you find the system that you like best.  In my control journal I have my cleaning schedule, emergency contacts and a copy of our basic family schedule of activities.

I will share with you about my success story with a control journal. When little t was ready to come into this world, we were not ready for him. Labor started at 26 weeks and I was air evacuated to OKC. Our lives were turned upside down. Big T was left at home with grandma. My mom was able to grab that control journal and pick up where I left off. Big T had to deal with mommy being gone, but as far as he knew it was a grandma vaca!! He was kept on schedule which helped him greatly.  I challenge you to look at being organized as a way to be prepared for anything. It will help your family in time of need as well as day-to-day life.

If nothing else, gather all the paperwork that has to do with your family. Some of the papers may be:

  • Shot records
  • School calendars
  • activity schedules
  • birth certificates
  • schedules

If you dont’ have schedules written down….just jot them down. Don’t let the pinterest bug bite you here. Once you have organized your family, you will have time to pretty-up everything.

Hole punch all the stuff you gathered, or buy the page protectors, and stick them in the binder. Use tabbed dividers to separate them and label them. Have a tab for each kid, each activity or home, etc.

You could add a fancy sheet to the front. Then parade that thing around and pat yourself on the back. You are on step closer to being organized and prepared for anything!!

You are creating peace for the upcoming chaos in your life. We all know it will come, let’s be prepared.

~Dayspring Girl

 

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Day 14

Today we are going to discuss getting organized on our computer. Can you find a document quickly in your computer??

We need to treat our computer files the same way we treat our file cabinets.

you can think of the “files” just like you do the paper files in your file cabinet.

We need create labels and save documents correctly in order to find them and send them to  others with proper title.

Remember those addresses we are filing away to store in long-term storage? I encourage you too save them on your computer in either an excel file or (my favorite) an access file.  When we store them this way, we can print labels quickly for invites and Christmas cards in a snap!! I keep envelopes in my daily file and then once a week, add them to the online file. It is also faster to do update this when people move.

Word documents and pictures are more files we tend to keep on computers now. By creating files, we can visually see our document map faster. Pictures are the same. by organizing by year first and then event/person inside that file will help you find them faster.

When saving a file it is good to include what it is and the date or version number. For example:

not the best:         budget

Better:                    Family budget 2012 (in the Budget file)

Not the best:         work history

Better:                     Work History Loran 1-14-13 (saved in the employment file)

Not the best:          (some random number that your camera assigned to the photo) saved in the date that you downloaded

Better:                       Molly first birthday party 12-30-12 (saved in the 2012 file or the Molly file)

It takes like an extra second to think about what you are saving and where to save it.  When we send a file to someone else, the way we save it shows on the file. When applying for a job, acceptance to school or a grant, we want to make sure we show our best. By simply have our files saved with a complete explanation, they can save it and know exactly what it is. This always looks good to our bosses as well!

While we are on the topic of looking good on our computer. It may be wise to get another email address for business/civic/ etc business. The one that we got in highschool (or younger!!) may not be the best choice. I see a lot of applications for employment in my day job. It makes a big impression (and maybe not the best) when I see sexygirl69@….. on an application.  I thankfully got my name early enough that I didn’t have to add-on a number. Even if you can’t get your first name.last name there are plenty of options out there. Not that any of you are sexygirl69….;)

This may seem like a simple post, but when I sat down to organize all of my files it took me a couple of hours. I am tackling my pictures next. My camera dumps the entire card on my computer so I have multiple copies of some pics. I want to go in and delete those and organize by year and then by event or date.

Happy Computing to you!!

~Dayspring Girl

 

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Day 13

and……..we’re back. Almost completely!! I have to admit that I am not good at all the “behind the scenes” fancy work and SEO stuff. I am working on it.

Today I want to share something that I am good at! Filing!! :) I think the one thing I love about my “day job” is the secretary part of it. I love organizing and filing and what not. I also have worked on my home files for years. I have found a product that I have been using and now want to share.

Today’s focus will be your files.  :) Yea!!! right?? well, some of you will stop reading here because you are either all over it and don’t need my help or you hate dealing with your files at home (or anywhere else for that matter).

FEAR NO MORE!!!!  (just as a side note..I am from Oklahoma and a fierce Thunder fan. We lost our “Beard” and we have nothing to fear anymore here! ;)

Ok….We have a couple of things to define first.

Daily mail – this is the snail mail that comes every day thanks to the nifty mail carrier.

Long term papers – papers that come from multiple people that we need to keep anywhere from one month to many years

Legal/Personal papers for the lock box/safe – anything that is legally binding or having to do with your identity or death.

Trash – things that we need to throw away.

Memories/collectible items – Things we keep for the memory value only

First lets start with daily mail. We need to deal with this the first time we touch it. If you need to leave it in the mail box until you are ready, it’s ok. What we need to do here is throw away the trash mail. We need a spot to put our daily mail into. I like the Panic no more system from Clever Container for this purpose.

This system works for your DAILY mail.

This system works for your DAILY mail.

This system helps you manage all of your incoming mail. This mail may come from the mailbox, school, church, activities, etc. It helps you file it quickly when you FIRST get it. There are many ways to store this daily mail short-term storage. I recommend a portable system so that you can move it to the place you like to work. These two options are from Clever Container and work really well.

file tote bag

an attractive way to store your daily or work files.

panic no more
A nice option for your daily mail files. Has handles and a label to help you stay organized.

We will need to set aside a time one day a week to address how this daily mail turns into long-term storage. We do not leave it in these daily files!

I have financial Fridays. This is the day that I sit down for 1-2 hours and do my financial “stuff”. This is bank balances, bills, mail, files. Kind of my desk day.

You will need to find time every week to go through your files and take care of what needs to be done.

I was a (and still am)  a Fly Baby. I love the Fly Lady and give her lots of credit to getting me back in shape may times over the last 12 years.

Ok, so you will need files that address all the stuff that comes in. The system I showed you earlier, Panic No More, does that for you. Even down to things that have addresses we need put in our main address list and invites to things we need to attend.

Remember these files when setting up your daily file systems: To Pay, To deposit, To File, To go to, etc.

If you would like more help with how to do this, I can help you establish a system that works for you.

Ok, after we have set up our daily mail systems, we need to work on our long-term files systems. This will be where you set up files for all of your bills, insurance companies, activities, car information, loan information, medical information, etc.  I have a system that I recommend called File Solutions

A color coded home and office filing system.

A color coded home and office filing system.

This is a system that has a guide for you to use and all the tabs that you need to set up your system. All you have to buy is the hanging files, tab holders, and files. I love it for the ease of use.  There are some guidelines to follow for each of your files.

  • Tax files need to be kept, organized by year for at least 7 years.
  • Bank information, including deposit slips and statements need to be kept for 7 years as well.
  • Medical records need to be kept up-to-date for each person.
  • Loan information and payment information needs to be kept until debt is cleared.
  • School records need to be kept until the next level of eduction is complete and then the final record from the institution should suffice.
  • Month to month bills like electric, water, cable, phone, etc. need to be kept until payment has cleared. I keep mine for a calendar year and clean it out with my annual new year clean out.

Every piece of paper has a time limit. I can work with you to set up a schedule for all of your papers if they are not mentioned here.

Next let’s talk about lock box, security box or safe papers. This is where we keep an original of papers like birth certificates, social security cards, wills, Marriage license and so on. You can keep a copy in your files at home if you need to. This is so that we never lose the original.

I use my bank security box. It is ony 12 dollars a year! That is a great deal!

Trash – we need to throw away items in a safe manner. If the time is up on your paperwork that you don’t need, do not just throw it in the trash. Use a shredder to safely dispose of the papers. The bank I use has a free service to shred your bank papers that you can get rid of.  The local pack and ship place has a service to shred credit cards and dvd/cds. This way people can’t get your info and steal your identity. It is not fun – trust me, I know. :(

Paper work for when you die. I know that this is not a fun topic. But, we all will die and we all want to make it as easy as possible that will be left in the aftermath. Paperwork that needs to be done and organized:

  • A will. There is a thing going around called my last seven. I am still learning about this, but I understand it can take the place of a will. It is a list of your last 7 wishes.
  • Funeral arrangements. If it is already done, no one else has to do it while they are dealing with the loss.
  • A list of everything you have: bank accounts, bills, insurance, etc. My grandma had this and it was a life saver!!!

Ok, that part was not fun. But we can rest easy when it is done.

Thank you for hanging in with me during the last 3 days. I have been frustrated, but it motivated me to get this going again. Let me know your tips and products that you love for organizing your files! I will be picking up with this day and will come back to the “lost days” at the end.  I may sneak a couple of them along the way.

See you tomorrow!!

~Dayspring Girl

 

 

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Day…something.

So, All of my posts are gone. :) Yea!! not.

 

I am getting them all back and will hopefully have the 31 days back up and running this weekend. I am so bummed! ( I am pretty sure it was user error….this user)

 

But in the meantime I have had my plumbing back up, my kitchen look like a mud track and my furnace go out. All are back up and running and I only have to mop one more time. I hope!  What do you do when craziness breaks out in the middle of plans? I turn to prayer and laughter. I mean, what else can I do? Here’s to a great Friday and getting everything back on track!

~Dayspring Girl

aaahhh.....time alone.

aaahhh…..time alone.

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Day 8

Well, how was having a cleaned out purse today? Help any? I know it sure does help me! Today I am focusing on my car. I have my before pic ready…….

oh my...

oh my…

 

ok…if I can share that, you can share yours. I am working on finishing out my car. In the middle of Day 8 we got immunizations so I am a little behind with a cranky baby.

Back to the lecture at hand…(a little snoop dog there for you:)  Something that I ALWAYS have in my car is paper. So, I will encourage you to buy a milk crate organizer to keep in your car if you are like me. The reason I like the milk crate is that you can hang file folders in them, label the hanging ones that will stay in your car and it won’t tip over!!

I also love, love, love the products from Clever Container for the car.

back of suv big one for back car hooks Swing awayThese provide some of the ultimate storage!! I do like some of the do-it-yourself ideas on Pinterest, I won’t try to recreate those here. I just want you to follow a few basic guidelines:

First clean everything out and start fresh. See what you actually have in there. Do you need an emergency kit? I recommend that every single car in your family has one. Hopefully you will never need to know how handy those things actually are. Keep some extra water in there, a first aid kit, blanket and some food (like granola bars or something). I even have some games in case I have the kids with me and they are getting worried. By games, I mean cards and dominoes – nothing fancy or electronic.

Next clean it. Vacuum the floors, wipe down everything else, getting it sparkling!!! You will feel like a million bucks when you drive it next time. My kids are always happy to help for a a little monetary incentive. ;)

Now, lets put everything back in that we need in there.

Throw the trash away.

Make rules like ”bring it in – take it out”. Let everyone help you with keeping it clean.

If you have kids, be realistic. You will need snacks, wipes, an outdoor chair for all of those practices, etc. Keep a little extra “something to do” in there to make your life easier.

Think about yourself. What do you always need when you are in the car. Somewhere for a drink? Pen? Something to write on? Your cell phone, planner, etc. Plan for these items. I love the swing away (the hanging organizer above) because you can have all of your stuff in the front seat where you need it and just “swing it away” to the back when someone needs to ride in the front. Don’t be embarrassed to give someone a ride ever again!

I also have a basic visor organizer to keep the insurance in and my I.D. for the base (when I was teaching). Think about what you use in the car and make a plan for it. It is when we don’t plan for what we actually use we make a mess.

I will get my car done tonight and post a pic tomorrow. Little Miss M is doing quite well and I am praying for a great night’s sleep!!!

~Dayspring Girl

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Day 7

We are a week into becoming organized. How do you feel? Feel like you are getting anywhere? I hope so. Today we are going to conquer a small, but important piece of our world:

Our Purse. This could be in the form of a rolling laptop bag, a breifcase, a traditional purse, etc.

One problem mothers have is that it becomes the bag for everyone’s everything. I have a diaper, a matchbox car, toothpicks, and some random papers strewn about in mine right now.

So, even though we clean these bags out ALL.THE.TIME. how do we really become organized?! Well, my advice is to use bags inside your bag. I like to change purses regularly. I can grab the bags inside my purse and switch out quickly. By using multiple little bags, I can grab just what I need to stick in a smaller purse for a night out or fill a bigger purse with everything quickly. I have a bag for money stuff: credit cards, cash, checks. I have a bag with cosmetics: lipstick, lipgloss, mascara, powder, etc. I have a bag for feminine products (don’t get caught without these again!). I have a bag with gum, suckers, etc in it. I have a bag with stomach acid tablets, tylenol, motrin, finger nail clippers, and chapstick. I have a mini-diaper bag with a couple of diapers, a thing of boogey wipes (little smaller bag and only saline) and one change of clothes. When my boys were younger I kept a change of clothes for them as well.

I have a MULITUDE of cards in my purse. Everywhere go has a card for something. So, I prefer this:

 

This cubby stores all of our store cards, reward cards and membership cards in alphabetical order!

This cubby stores all of our store cards, reward cards and membership cards in alphabetical order!

There are many products that look easy to use. If you are like me, you may have a lot of extra zip pouches laying around. Clean out that purse, organize your stuff into piles and use those organizers. I will clean mine up with you! :) pictures to come…

Remember, while this posts seem little and insignificant, by starting small and creating victory in your life you will conquer the big things. Keep at it and you will do great!

I am always a phone call away

~Dayspring Girl

 

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Day 6

Hello there! I am enjoying my Sunday…church, lunch with my family, and now here with you! Do you use Sunday as your day of rest? If not, you should consider having at least  one day a week that you rest. It is good for you! Enjoy your home, your family, the outdoors, something. :)

Today we are going talk about storing items in containers other than what they came in. We see it in every magazine – the laundry soap in a glass container with a cute chalkboard label with the perfect little metal scoop hanging off the side….aaahhhhh…. doesn’t that just scream organization??!!!!! Well, only if you have done your math and can fit what you buy into that container. Have you ever been suckered into buying all of the cereal containers and pantry organizers just to come home and only half of your cereal will fit in it?

Like yesterday, measuring is important. The glass container is pretty, but if you can only fit a quarter of your soap in it and you have to store the rest in another cabinet, you are using up space that could be used for something else. We have two options here: buy less soap or buy a bigger container. If you have to keep your soap on your washing machine or counter top, buy a container that is pretty but make sure it is big enough to store what you need. You can do this by measuring the box or by seeing how many ounces are in there. Same goes with storing pantry items, dog food, toilet paper, etc in containers that all fit nicely together. They must also fit the products.

Keep this in mind for your fridge, too. Know what you have and what you use before you buy. Let the containers work for you and don’t let them become the new problem.

Keep on trucking, my friend!

~Dayspring Girl

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Day 5

I am running a little behind today. I have been on the road all day picking up T and t from their grandparent’s house. They love going to visit them and it is always sad to come home. :)

 

So, today I want to talk about the art of measuring. I don’t measure in my recipes, but I do when I am organizing.

Some of the biggest problems I see is we fall in love with containers and buy a bunch of stuff then when we get home, it doesn’t quite work out the way we had envisioned. One of the main reasons is the lack of measuring. We need to be measuring every nook we want to organize….why? So that we can buy containers and organizers to fit.  I have compiled a working list of things to measure and keep on hand for shopping trips:

Closets. Measure the rod and all of the shelves, drawers, etc you have in there. Be specific. Remember those pictures you took??  Print a cheap copy and use a pen or sharpie to write the measurements right on the photo. This is helps when you are in the middle of all the containers and wondering what would fit.

Drawers. Want to find or make organizers for those drawers? You better know how big they are! Once again, be specific. For example – number all of your drawers. A cheap print of the picture will work here as well. This way we know that in drawer 4 we keep all of our sharp utensils and we need 3 organizers for this drawer. This is a great thing to keep with your master lists in case you ever want to redo your kitchen cabinets as well.

Shelves. Measure how wide, how deep, and how high they are. If you want to get some cubes or baskets for your shelves, you want them to max out the space without spilling over the ledge. (I speak from experience, people!! ;)

Cabinets. Same reasons as above. These things are so under-utilized it’s crazy. We usually only use half of the vertical space. We will begin to fix this as we move through the month.

Any spaces you want to put shelves or other furniture in the future. Do not fall in love with a bookshelf until you know it fits in the intended place!

This is a working list that we can update as we move through this adventure. I know that this is another tedious, boring part of the project.  Remember: It saves you time and money in the long run. It helps everything to come together smoothly and look very well put together.

We will talk about ways that you can make a lot of the items that you will need. I will also be showing you where and what you can buy to help as well.

I am super tired from a great girls night at the OKC Thunder game and day of traveling. I am so happy that I have great friends. I pray that you get some time with friends, and thankful that I am creating new friendships here at Dayspring Girl. Hang in there and “trust the process”. If you get to a point that you need help or are stuck, call for help. I am starting to fill my calendar and will be making appointments next week. Let me know if you would like to book an appointment!

Good evening friends!

~Dayspring Girl

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