We are in the midst of the time warp known as summer. The symptoms are: vast periods of completely unproductive activity, irregular meals, excessive snacking, sleeping late, staying up too late, watching too much television and playing too many video games, faces stuck in books for hours.
Like all things, there is a point when too much becomes unhealthy. We have pretty much reached that point.
I'm beginning to crave structure, schedules, to-do lists, and organization.
I have some more wall painting to do, and I'm going to give myself until the end of July before I force myself to become organized, but I'm starting to think about the month ahead and all that needs to be done -- sort of like the light on the train that I can see coming toward me in the tunnel.
I thought I'd share with you a few nice websites I've found in my recent searches for organizational resources.
This one was inspired by my friend Jennie, who mentioned recently that she developed a household planner. I didn't see Jennie's planner, but when I thought about what a household planner would need, I decided that it would be helpful to have one sheet for each day, and to plan a week in advance (at least). I have started using this one (pdf) (which is free) and I think it's a good choice for me in the long run because there is plenty of room to write down each day's meals, household chores that need to be done, as well as a few jobs for each child, and errands that need to be run. This website has some nice planner pages as well -- maybe something that suits your needs better -- free as well.
A couple of years ago I purchased a household planner from this company (it's half price -- only $4 right now) and though the days and dates are different from year to year, I still use it as a guideline for what to do each day. It reminds me to do things like "declutter nightstand drawers," and "wash windows and clean curtains in the dining room" -- stuff that isn't on my regular rotation of chores. Now I just glance at it and write down the chores that need to be done on my household planner page linked to in the previous paragraph.
I used to use chore calendars for the kids, but after a day or two, they would cease to look at it and I would have to beat them with wet noodles every day (that how efficacious my scoldings are). I find they work better with a to-do list, (ah ha! just like their mum). With the above-mentioned to-do list, I have room on my daily page to write in a few chores for each child.
This link has some great menu-planning resources, including a page (pdf) for each week's menu to be written, and along side it a column for groceries. I say it all the time on my food blog, but I'll say it again -- menu planning frees up vast amounts of time previously spent worrying about what to make for lunch and dinner, as well as money spent when dinner isn't planned. Mary Ellen at The Bonny Blue House has been talking about menu planning lately as well. Leila at Like Mother Like Daughter also has some great posts linked to in her sidebar about menu planning as well as cleaning and the organized way in which to do it.
I find sometimes I am so uninspired by my own mess, I need to turn to my girlfriends (even the virtual ones) to motivate me. Even just picking up a home decorating magazine can sometimes be enough to motivate me to go clean a room. Home Comforts, by Cheryl Mendelson is also is a great motivator -- I can just read a small section on, say, laundry, or kitchen organizing, and I'm up off my behind ready to roll up my sleeves and get busy.
On a normal day I would add my meals under "Morning," Afternoon" and "Evening," but today is not a normal day and we have plans elsewhere for our meals.