the home arts

Keeping chaos straight (How I do it, Part II)

Dscf9820Here’s my brain. Literally. If I were to lose this thing, I’d be so very lost. You can google "household notebook" and come up with a bajillion different hits and a bajillion different ways to "do it".  I’m not quite sure where mine started, exactly. I remember seeing it on someone else’s blog and saying "So that’s what my thing-a-ma-jig is!" It is heavily influenced from my homeschooling days and my mom more than anything else.

You can do this in any size- mine is a full size (8.5 x11) Russell and Hazel binder that I have painted and done a bit of a collage with (the post card totally cracks me up- I found it at Barnes and Noble one night; the words are 7gypsies; the letters are K&Company; Paint- Making Memories). Inside I have divisions that match my life right now. I keep track of all of my finances in one tab (including our debts- there is a great resource for worksheets here). Meal planning and grocery lists go in another. My graphic design work (including swatches, etc) goes in another tab. I just started a doctor tab to keep track of medical bills from James’ cancer scare and Isaiah’s therapy appointments. I have a household tab that has all of our house info in it (insurance, mortgage, paint colors, appliance warranties). I keep all the school calendars from Ben’s school in the front. My to-do lists go in the front as well- it’s kind of fun to look over the last couple of months and see what I’ve accomplished, and roll my eyes at the ones that get written over and over again and never get done (ironing, anyone?)… basically, at any given day, you could pick this binder up and know exactly where everything in my household stands.

Which is precisely why I am so up a creek if I ever lose it-hence, the vibrant green. Ya can’t miss it.

I had a friend get overwhelmed one day when she saw it. She went on and on about how ‘organized’ I was. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at her. Yeah, I’m organized, for me. This is what makes sense in my head. Someone else would pick it up and be totally lost. I’m a wordsmith- I play and deal with words all day, so it would be only natural that my way of organizing would revolve around words on a page in orderly lines. But like I said in the last post, my husband is very much a visual person. He has to "see" things- so the white board way of doing things is mostly for him.  A doctor friend of my mother’s is one of those "horizontal surface" thinkers (I also had a professor like this too) on whose desk is pile after pile of things. To me, it seems really disorderly (hasn’t he heard of a file drawer?) but to him it is perfectly arranged; he knows exactly which file is in which pile and why. Put it all away where he can’t see the piles, and he is totally lost.  So I encourage you to look around- hit Google up- there’s even a great magazine called Organize that has lots of cool suggestions. Find what works for you!

Tell me what's on your heart~

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