Saturday, October 1, 2011

31 Days Of Fall Cleaning- Day 1

I'm hoping to get more creative with my post titles. :) Day 1, day 2, day 3... might bore you a bit! 

I decided that it would be easy for me to share my "adventure" of fall cleaning this month! I'm fairly new to staying at home after working for nearly a year and my house is a mess! It looks decently clean but up close, it's a cluttered, disorganized, disaster zone where the tornado of our chaotic lives stormed through last year. 

Okay, that was a bit dramatic-but you get the point! Our house needs some deep-cleaning love! I'm going to tackle some serious projects on my list and get things organized the way I need them to be. 

Just so you don't get overly bored with my daily ranting about household cleaning, I'll try to infuse a few, more exciting topics like cleaning tips and some decorating projects. 

You know it's going to be an adventure because we have the added challenge of living in a house that was built in the 1930's- when storage was not something they thought about. It's not exactly the organizer's dream home... :) So I'll share a few things we have done to make things work for us! 

Today, I'm tackling our household in general. My first couple of weeks at home were a mess! I felt a little overwhelmed with all of the things I wanted to do and the things that needed attention. My list was huge! I saw several ideas for a household notebook and drooled over the Erin Condren planner, but decided that it was something I could do for myself! 

I'm sure you've seen several posts on household notebooks, but I wanted to share my notebook too. 

I'm a paper girl. With everyone being eco-conscious these days, my paper addiction is taboo. I'm not sure why but I remember best when I actually write something down on paper. I also have what I call my "crazy" moments when I get an awesome idea or I have too much in my head and I need to get it out. I always write things out and make lists, but they tend to get lost along the way. The binder helps to keep everything contained. 

I printed a ton of pages. I wasn't sure what type of template I'd like the best. That's part of what slowed me down with posting about it. I've been weeding through and trying to decide on which styles are my favorite. If it were up to me, I'd just design all the pages myself so I could have everything in my favorite fonts and color co-ordinated, but I didn't want to take the time to do that. I'm really happy with the pages that I've got now though! 

I spent a lot of time researching websites and reading blog posts about what worked for other people. It really is all about what works for you and your personality. I almost have an issue with the pages not all being from the same place and co-ordinating, but I have gotten over it. (I know I'm a bit obsessive!) Here are some of the sites that worked the best for me: 

The first section in my binder has all of our information. I found the information pages here. I have a babysitter's info page that I think is great and also a page for birthdays and anniversaries. 

I also felt like I was constantly asking people for their addresses, so I printed off some of these contact pages

That's the first tab. The next tab is for schedules. I put my to-do lists and month calendar. 

I put a monthly calendar in the front to reference too and I try to fill it in. I like to see the overall month. I found these best time to buy calendars that I thought were cute and helpful! 

I have a cleaning checklist next. I found that here. I really like the way she breaks down the tasks daily, weekly, and monthly. You can read about how to use this with her daily docket here

(I actually put my weekly menu plan in next- the one that is just for the current week- but I'll talk about that in the next section.)

The next page is my daily to-do list. I found a daily docket page here that I absolutely love. It has a place to write our meal for the day, a blog section, I can cross off my daily water intake, Bible reading, etc. It's perfect for day-to-day. This page from Simple Mom came in a close second. 

I also have a master-to-do list. I've not really used this page yet, but since October is so full, I just might be using it now. 

I have a separate tab for my meal planning. 

I've included pages for recipes to try (organized by appetizers, dinner, and lunches for Thomas) and a page for our favorite recipes. Honestly I'm not using these like I could be right now. But I am glad to have them there if I need them. These are both from here

Frugal living at had some really cute menu planning pages. I like these pages because the squares are big enough that I can write in the sides we are going to have and I even have space to plan out Thomas' lunch on the days he takes his to school. Like I mentioned before, at the beginning of each week, I pull out my menu and put it with the daily docket pages, so I have a quick reference. 

I have been planning our menus out for the month using her Monthly Menu Planning Worksheet. I actually have all of October filled out and as I come across a new recipe I want to try, I just put it down for the next month, so I'm planning out November as I go.  She has another page that is set up so you can make your grocery list at the same time too. I like that, but don't need it right now. 

Okay, now I'm cheap and I like to get a good deal, so I downloaded a price book page where I've been writing down what some things cost. I just write down the things I tend to buy frequently, so I can compare prices with ads and from different stores! I've been surprised about some of the things I've learned doing this! 

Behind all of that I put recipes that I've printed off or pulled from a magazine. 

I also have a freezer storage cheat sheet that comes in handy and an internal cooking temperature cheat sheet

Still with me? I know this is a lot of information, so I am going to stop there for today. I'll finish with the rest of my notebook tomorrow!


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