Okay so I’m asked often how in the world I keep my head above water running a small design business, keeping up with a family of four little girls ages 7 and under, managing a growing Instagram and blog, and and and…. Now I’m tired just writing that all out!! 😂 Honestly, our life is just very swirly at times, and that’s why I employ a few tricks along the way to make sure we keep things at least semi-organzied and on schedule.
Now, let me be the first to tell you that I do NOT succeed at this all the time. I’m the mom who forgot to send three different colored apples for “Apple Day” at my daughter’s school, and I routinely get behind on things like laundry, answering emails/DMs, and my house might look picked up in some pictures on Instagram, but I’ll be honest that it’s often in need of a serious vaccuum and/or (but usually AND) a good deep cleaning…. 😬 So please don’t take this post as me making some kind of declaration that I’ve got it all together. I DO NOT. These are just a few small ways I try to keep my head above water in this swirly life that I love so much. We all have different degrees of swirliness throughout the varying phases of life, and, for me in this phase of very small kids and a blooming business, here’s how I do/try. 😉
HALLWAY SCHOOL DROP-ZONE
One of the most practical projects we completed in the summer of 2017 was this hallway drop-zone for the kids. A few sheets of beadboard, some trimming out, a few hooks and shelves and lights from Hobby Lobby, and boom. Easy organization for the girls! Of course, this pic was snapped right after completion of the project, and you better believe it’s not always this neat and tidy and, well, EMPTY! 😂 But having a designated spot for the kids to hang backpacks, church bags, dance bags, and coats, plus spots for outside boots, hats, gloves and lunchboxes has proven to alleviate the clutter in their rooms and closets, and it makes things easy when we are trying to get out the door on time (….another area in which mama struggles….😬😂)!
Hooks, lights, corbels, stools, baskets and bins are all from Hobby Lobby
“Always Come Home” custom wood sign from Harper Grayce
Boots are Hunter wellies
Bead board and other building supplies from Home Depot
LISTS, LISTS, AND MORE LISTS
This might seem like a no brainer, but when I’m feeling overwhelmed and like I almost can’t even take that first step to get started with my daily chores or goals for my business, something as simple as making a big, jumbled list of tasks and writing them down as they come to me starts to sort my brains out! After I make one big, jumbled list of things I need to do, I make another list and sort all to-dos into categories: WORK (IG/blog/design clients), HOME (kids/chores/house projects), and OTHER (errands, other miscellaneous to-dos). I even try to make this second list run in order of importance or deadline date just so I can see what needs to get done first and foremost.
Most of the time, I start crossing things off of the daily lists at the top, and then it’s pretty normal for me to have to carry over the items at the bottom of the list into the next day. There are only so many hours, right?! I think for me, the point is that allllllllllll those jumbled thoughts and worries and “oh man, I canNOT forget about this one thing!” get pinned down on paper so I don’t lose them in the recesses of what used to pass for my brain. 😉 Do I finish every single thing every single day? Nope! But it’s almost like once I’ve captured that thought and pinned it down somewhere, I can relax in my thoughts knowing I won’t be able to forget it. Lists are my friend.
OLD SCHOOL PLANNER WITH ACTUAL PAPER
My husband , Mr. Technology, will never understand why I prefer to use a beautiful old school planner with actual paper and pencil, but there’s something about actually flipping through pages and writing things down by hand that helps me remember better. I love to have my real deal planner filled with to-dos and lists and calendar activities, and I also use my iPhone calendar as a backup and to sync with my hubby’s calendar so we can stay in communication about the week’s activities.
And speaking of planners, this is my very favorite one I’ve used! It’s this gorgeous rose gold color, and it’s the A5 size, meaning it’s nice and big with room on the pages for lots of lists, design sketches, calendaring and more. I recently fell in love with these planner insert pages from Natalie Rebecca Design, because they are simple yet beautiful. Some of the more “scrapbook-y” looking planner page inserts are sort of distracting for me, and I love the simplicity and understated feminity of these pages…plus the prices are great!
I like to keep my planner on my kitchen counter open to the day’s calendar, and I love the “This Week” organizer pages for quick list making AND calendaring all in one. If the planner is left open on the counter, I pass by it many times a day and can check in on my lists, add or cross things off (is there ANY better feeling than crossing things off a to-do list?! It’s like therapy or something! 😂), and then I can easily scoop it up when I head out to my little she shed office for work. This pretty planner serves me well!
So what about you guys? Any of you still use an old school, real deal planner, or are you like my hubby who can’t understand why everyone doesn’t go full-on technology with their calendaring and organizing?! 😉 Or maybe you’re somewhere in the middle like me? Let me know if you have other easy tips and tricks about keeping your own swirly life somewhat organized! I’d love to learn new ways to control our cray! 🙌🏻😂
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