Friday, October 14, 2011

Day 14: Control Panel

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I guess that I lied!  We are not totally out of the kitchen, as I promised previously, we are going to visit what I referred to as the Control Panel of the house.  At the beginning of the school year I knew that I needed some place in my house to hold school papers and important info for the kids.  One pinterest a teacher had pinned a file system of important items to be put on her desk, I twisted into a similar item for my counter.  A file for each child, for me, and for general items.  In their folders go the book orders, permission slips, Friday folders, Read-At-Home books and other items that I am not supposed to lose! 

Control Panel: contains the important info needed to run this household.
Also, on front of the file system is a chore list; each kid has a daily job and then a couple of additional jobs that need to be completed either Friday or Saturday.  {No they do not always do them, but at least when life seems to be getting a bit chaotic I know who is in charge of what room rather than arbitrarily assigning jobs}  The green binder is my planner that comes with me almost everywhere (see below for more info).  The white binder is a household management binder, which contains important to do lists, medical info, blog ideas, and other projects - basically things that do not need to be carried around with me everywhere.

 Something that I knew that I should have done a long time ago, the planner happened due to a blog post pinned on Pinterest {I am slightly addicted}.  Actually there are several great tutorials/challenges out there from super organized people.  See Becki, Toni, and Jen.
My planner contains:

  • Calendar: holds all the important items that need to happen in this house - when I am being really organized I have a daily schedule breaking down each day into half hour increments - I stay on task much better when I have a piece of paper telling me what I have to do each second of my day.
  • School Info: Kids weekly specials, teacher letters, homework/projects
  • Menu Planning: 30 Meal Plan, master list of ingredients, weekly plan {I need to improve my menu planning habits - at the moment I can only think a week at a time, but I would like to get in the habit of monthly shopping for the non-perishables and weekly shopping for the fresh items}
  • Activities: Sport schedules, household daily to do lists, priority items, ideas for future activities
  • Shopping Info: This is my personal favorite - it seems that I often think of things that I need {grocery/household items} or could use while I am at home, but when I get to the store my brain seems to back fire and I forget those items, ending up purchasing useless items that clutter up my life.  With this section of my binder I can keep lists of items that we need/want in our home.  A couple of weekends ago it proved priceless on an out of town shopping trip - although I spent way too much money I stuck to my lists and brought home items that I have incorporated into this home in a positive way!  It also provides a landing place for the coupons that I receive in the mail.
  • Rewards: The kids love this one - different rewards for positive reinforcement of good behavior - so worth the effort.  I need to find some other ideas for what to put in this folder.
  • There are a couple of blank tabs that are kind of there waiting to see if I need additional categories for my organizational efforts.
This small addition to my life has cleared up so much space in my brain that it is unbelievable - I love that there are places for me to write down and a system to keep track of things that are happening in this household.  I would strongly encourage any mom to create this type of binder for their homes - unless you have an amazing memory it would be well worth your time and effort.

My Planner
Finally this area also contains supplies that are needed to keep all things operating and fully functioning within this space - a stapler, paperclips, scissors, pens, pencils, tape, pencil sharpener, hole puncher, and small pieces of paper.

The back side of the control panel!
In my life this currently is a great space for keeping my kitchen counters clear of clutter - much better than the past years of schooling paper piles and lost items.

Have a wonderful day!

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