Friday, January 27, 2012

Finish It Friday!

One of my favorite blogs, Simplify101, posts her "Finish It Friday!" list each Friday. I always feel so overwhelmed on Friday, when I realize I have two days off and SO much to do. It's so much easier to write down my weekend goals so I actually feel accomplished on Monday, instead of feeling like I still have so much to do. Here's my Finish It Friday! List for this weekend:

Play List:
  • Scrapbook. A group of us get together and scrapbook all weekend every six weeks. I'm hoping to sneak up there after I put the kids to bed Friday night and a little Saturday afternoon.
  • Valentine's Crafts. I have several crafts for home I'd like to finish, as well as getting Rhyse's Valentine's box and cards done for school.
  • Write in Kids' Baby Books. I always take time at the end of the month to write in the kids' baby books and records their milestones in the past month.
  • Play on Silhouette Cameo. I'm needing to create vinyl to hang about our Grandparents wedding photos in the hallway.
To Finish:
  • Finish prepping our tax paperwork. I just need to get a few more papers and amounts together before I can call this done! Planning on dropping off the tax worksheet by the end of the month.
  • Bathe dog & his belongings. Another end of the month task. Bathe the dog, wash his bedding and pet bowls, etc.
  • Control Journal. I spend every Sunday evening updating my Control Journal for the following week. This includes meal plans, our daily schedule and house projects.
  • SYC Meeting. I sponsor a Youth Group and we meet every other Sunday, and this is our week! 
  • Complete foyer projects. This is my time-sucker for the weekend. I'm needing to make a sign for the foyer photo display, stain a bench (after my husband makes it), stain the baby gate, paint the hallway, hang a photo display and vinyl, and transform our coat closet to a pantry for crock pots and other large items.
Whew!! I have a lot on my plate for the weekend, let's hope I can come back with a semi-successful Monday check-in! :)

Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

52 Weeks of Organizing: Tickler File

I can't believe it's been a week since my last post. I'm eleven days into this whole "blogging" thing and I already went MIA. Oops. Anyway -- in my last post, I talked about how I went with Organize Junkie's "52 Weeks of Organizing" and changed it to "52 Weeks of Finishing" to help us finish our house. Over the past week and a half, we have been working on the kids' toy room (more on that tomorrow!). There are a lot of projects that are "hubby" projects and a lot of projects that I just can't do on my own, which results in a lot of time not spent finishing. What's second best to finishing something? Organizing something! Therefore, I decided to do both the 52 Weeks of Finishing and the 52 Weeks of Organizing. This week, I concentrated on organizing my monthly tickler file. A monthly tickler file is simply a way of dividing your tasks into the twelve months of the year.

To set up a monthly tickler file, you'll need:

  • File Box (I found mine at WalMart - $5)
  • 12 Hanging File Folders (Again, WalMart: 25 folders for $9.88)
  • A calender for each month of the year (I printed mine from Creative Mama. )
  • Any other monthly planner sheets you'd like (I'll go over mine in just a moment!)

 I LOVE this file box and was so thrilled to see it for only $5! I had a hard time choosing between pink and purple, but I stuck with my go-to-color, pink. This box has a built-in "pencil box" on top. I haven't stored anything in there just yet, but it would be a great place for extra pens, paper/binder clips, etc. 

I dressed up my file box a little bit using my Silhouette Cameo and some white vinyl. I tend to be drawn to color and pretty's, so the cuter it is, the more likely I am to use it! 

Close up of vinyl decoration:

I then took 12 file folders, alternated their colors and labeled them the twelve months of the year. I used my label maker to do this, but your handwriting would serve the same purpose.

And there you have it! That is my monthly tickler file system. Next, I'll show you how I fill it! I currently have three sheets in each monthly folder: A calender, organizing checklist, and my own monthly planner worksheet.

I printed 12 calenders, one for each month. I printed my calenders from: Creative Mama, because I like all the detail. To some, it might be distracting, but again - the cuter it is, the more likely I am to use it! :) I will use this calender to write in any events, appointments, birthdays, reminders, etc. I love the "Notes" section and typically use it to write in reminders for the following month. Ex: On May's "Notes" section, I have "Lucy's First Birthday Party." Even though the event is in June, I will need to schedule time in May to work on details, such as invitations, hall rental, ordering cake, etc.

The next thing in my monthly folders is a monthly get organized checklist from Simplify101. She recently just did a recap of all her monthly get organized checklist, and the above link will lead you right to the post where you can print off all twelve months. I LOVE her checklists because it reminds you to do things you should  do -- set your goals for the month, check your monthly tickler folder, etc. Things that you have to do -- file your taxes, Spring Forward, etc. & things that you need to do -- check your carbon monoxide detector, change the batteries in your smoke detectors, etc.

The last paper necessity in my folder is a monthly checklist that I created myself. I take my master to do list and categorize it into bite size pieces. My catergories are: Shopping, SYC (a youth group that I sponsor), Financial, Appointments, Computer, House, Misc. To-Do's, along with any holiday or event that needs extra attention. This sheet requires a whole different blog post, since it holds a lot of detail. More on that tomorrow :)

So there you have it. My monthly tickler file box which holds 12 monthly file folders, each with a calender, get organized checklist and my own monthly planner in each one. At the beginning of each month, I will sit down and plan out my month. I take out my handy-dandy calender and make sure I have all appointments, events, etc. penciled in. Next, I look at my Get Organized Checklist and schedule those tasks throughout the month. Finally, I also look at my own monthly planner and schedule in those tasks as well. This way, nothing gets forgotten throughout the month and everything gets done!


Of course, my monthly folders house other things, as well. Here are some examples:
  • February -- Ideas I have printed off for Valentine's for my son to hand out at school & our Phineas & Ferb Live Tickets.
  • May -- a thank you card for my son's teacher for the end of the school year. (I actually bought this last year and forgot to give it to his teacher!) & a wedding "Save the Date"
  • June -- return address labels with my daughter's name on them to put on her birthday invitations. 
  • July -- Another wedding "Save the Date."
  • August -- an anniversary card to my son's GodParents (again, forgot to mail last year!)
  • September -- Information on cabins we are staying at during a trip to Iowa for a rodeo.
  • November -- an idea list of possible weekend getaways for me and the hubby to take on our anniversary.
  • December -- my Christmas checklist. Never too early to start budgeting or gift buying :)

Hope this helps you put together your very own Monthly Tickler File! I'll be back tomorrow with a post on how I do my monthly planner!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

52 Weeks of Finishing: Toy Room

I am pretty obsessed with several blogs, and Organizing Junkie is one of them. Last year, she hosted a 52 Weeks of Organizing Challenge that I {sort of} followed. Followed as in, I checked in on what everyone else was doing and wished I was doing it, too. On the topic of finishing our house {New Year's Resolution #2}, I decided to create my own 52 Weeks of Organizing - but retitled it to "52 Weeks of Finishing." We will spend this entire year finishing our entire house {I'm exhausted already!}. The first two weeks, we are going to spend on the toy room on the lower level. Toy Room, why the Toy Room? It's downstairs, no one sees it, the kids rarely use it and it's not the room that needs the most attention. I decided to start on the toy room for several reasons: 1. All the new toys need a home!! 2. We NEED to give the kids a good place to play. I am SO tired of tripping over toys in the upstairs living room. 3. It doesn't need a ton of work, therefore it will be a cheap room to finish, which is perfect since our funds are exhausted since Christmas was merely a week ago. The Hubby and I got into the toy room today and did some weeding out. I figure it's best to start with a room by decluttering it first. To the trash went broken toys and to the donation pile went unloved toys. Here are some pictures of the room after the decluttering:

Here is an overview of the room as you are standing in the doorway.
Here is a view standing in the back corner, by the window. This is a great view of the "dress up station."
This is a view of the right wall, which includes where the TV will go, the art station and future location of a chalkboard or dry erase board.
Here is a view of the closet wall. Still a lot of work to go in organizing those toys!

Here is our running to do list of the toy room:
  • Put the kids names in white vinyl on their art chairs.
  • Make a hanging line for the kids to show off their artwork.
  • Install a chalkboard or whiteboard for them to draw on.
  • Make a "Playroom Rules" sign.
  • Make a "Do Not Feed Animals" Sign for stuffed animals.
  • Install a TV/DVD player and move the PS2 down.
  • Organize their DVD's, PS & DS games.
  • Buy a toybox to store the larger cars and tractors. (This will go in between the two cubed shelves).
  • Labels, Labels, Labels -- all the bins and baskets will get a black vinyl label.
  • Buy new gumballs for the gumball machine. 
  • Finish trimming out the window, hang a blind and yellow curtains.
  • Finish with all the floor trim, closet trim and chair-rail.
  • Fix the drawer on the train table. (Hubby installed it wrong and hasn't fixed it in the two years we've had it!)
We'll see what else I can add to the list before our two weeks are up! Our due date to have this room finished is January 15.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year!!

This is my second attempt at starting a blog -- I'm not exactly sure where this blog will lead me, or really what I will post about on a regular basis. I have several New Year's Resolutions this year, and I figured this would be a great way to put them on paper (err, the internet, which is the new way of paper). Using the blog to document my New Years Resolutions will not only allow me to document my progress, but also hold me responsible for the resolutions themselves.

That being said, here are my 2012 New Year's Resolutions:

1. Get down to my goal weight of 120 lbs. (Everyone's resolutions include weight loss, right?!) I plan to lose weight by walking on the treadmill for a half hour each morning, working out with the Jillian Michael's Wii Game every day and eating better.

2. Finish our house. We began building back in 2008 and moved in our home in September 2009. We moved in with no counter tops, no bathrooms, and barely any furniture. We definitely weren't ready to move into the house just yet, but we were thrown into the move. Although we have came a long way in two years (we don't have to go outside to relieve ourselves), there is a lot of work to be done. We have a few major projects (master bathroom, garage, downstairs living room), but most rooms require minor changes and tweaks that we just haven't had the time to get around to doing. My plan is to do two rooms a month (one every two weeks) and finish every tiny little thing in the room that needs to be done.

3. Pay off all debt. We got married, built a house, took a vacation, bought two vehicles and started a family all within a year. Needless to say, our funds were exhausted. We have lived the past two years paying minimum payments on our debts. Not this year!! I plan to not only pay off all of our credit cards, but I have also opening a Christmas Club and a Vacation Club to help save our money. We will also contribute to our savings, as well as our children's, on a bi-weekly basis.

4. Be a better memory keeper. Don't get me wrong, I take a ton of pictures. When the camera is in my hand, I rarely stop clicking. I have plenty of pictures of holidays, birthdays and outings. What I have a problem doing is taking photos of our every day life. My solution is to follow the "365 Photo" Challenge and take a picture a day. (I'm hoping to post this photo at the end of each blog!). I am also keeping a daily record of our lives and what we accomplish -- how you ask?? This blog, of course!! I will use the blog to update on my family, my home, my goals and my accomplishments. (I promise not to bore you!)

5. Become a minimalist. (Minimalist: adj: Being or providing a bare minimum of what is necessary.) I am going to spend the year living on the motto "Less is More." I've decided that if I had less clothes, I'd wear them more. If I had less clutter, I'd have more time. If I have less on my to do list, I'd have more free time. This is going to be hard for me, since I am a huge over-achiever. I feel I need everything and I feel I need to do everything. Not anymore. 2012 is the year to choose what is most important to me and to do those things and do them well.

So, what are your New Year's Resolutions? Are you changing into a whole new you or just some minor tweaks?? Whatever they may be - I wish you the best of luck in conquering 2012!