Sunday, October 24

Organization - the Key to Managing a Household

Recently I heard an entertainer (singer) discussing his daily routine. Because his work was all-consuming, he said that he just didn't have time for certain things, including everyday chores. Laundry, bills, scheduling... the mundane but necessary parts of life were tedious to him. In fact, he went so far as to say that he didn't even think about those things. Trying to cope with the tasks overwhelmed him to the extent that if left to him, they'd more than likely never get done at all.

He sounded just like my husband. 

My husband is not lazy and he certainly isn't a chauvinist. In fact, he's a good cook, knows how to do laundry, wash dishes, and has never once complained about doing chores or running errands. That being said, I am the household manager. I am primarily responsible for keeping the house clean, keeping our pantry stocked, cooking meals, paying bills, organizing our schedules, and other things that keep a household running smoothly. Over time, I've learned just how much this helps my husband function well. When he can focus on getting through the day without worrying about looking for clean socks or trying to find keys, he has a lot less anxiety. 

So do I.

Although I love being organized, I'm no Martha Stewart. Instead, I have my good weeks and my not-so-great weeks. There are definitely a few tools that make my job a little easier and actually make being house manager fun, though. Most of the time. My suggestions:
    1. A good calendar - more than one in our home. Use a large one. The more room to write, the better!
    2. A color key - write everyone's appointments in an assigned color to make it easier to find a specific item.
    3. A dry erase board - perfect for messages that may be important but temporary.
    4. Sticky notes - little reminders, daily reminders, on the bathroom mirror, in the car, on the fridge...
    5. Lots of designated spots for important things: keys, wallet, meds...
    6. Paper and pen or another dry erase board on the porch - if someone comes by when you're not home, this can be useful too.
    7. A medicine or pill organizer - again, more than one.
    8. A weekly or monthly menu - we just use a basic one.
    9. A grocery list based on your menu.
    10. Lots and lots of notebooks - these are invaluable for keeping track of stuff. It's even more helpful if you label them.
    11. Labels!
    12. Plastic storage containers in about a million different sizes.
    13. An organized laundry room - keep it simple, though.
    14. A laundry schedule
    15. An alarm clock... or two... or three!
    Different things work for different families. I've learned not to force my family to use anything that frustrates us, no matter how popular or clever it is. Instead, we focus on what will make life easier... for us.

    The singer I mentioned had a staff of professionals to help him organize his life. At times, it seemed almost like he took them for granted. Fortunately for me, my husband appreciates what I do. I know this because he tells me so all the time and he also shows me. Whether flowers or a card or even just a little note, I really feel like my husband values my help.

    That makes it all worth it, really.