Keeping tabs on life

Today’s Saturday morning found us in fog with the sun just starting to break through now late in the morning. This is one way I know that it is summer. The other is that I am revisiting the goals I set for my self on January 1st.  My goals were to get organized, simplify and to downsize. To rid myself of clutter in all forms and keep only the things or people in my life that I loved and made me happy and had a purpose.

I think I am doing fairly well. I have (with a lot of help) reorganized the kitchen/ dinning room area making it usable. Followed by the living room and my office. Both of the bedrooms are next and they need a lot of work. Not to mention the garage (scary!) We have taken several carfulls of stuff to the Goodwill and I have no idea how many more to go.

I have also worked hard and simplify my life via my wardrobe. I am trying very hard to get to the 10 piece wardrobe. At the moment I am still around 15, but it is getting easier to let go of things and I don’t have the desire to buy more. It also made packing for our recent trip to L.A. a breeze for me. Not only did it take about 5 minuets to pack me, I had room left in my suitcase, AND I knew I felt great in everything I brought with me.

The latest venture I have been embarking on is time management/ memory management. How to you keep all the balls in the air so to speak and everything moving forward. Picture a juggler with a ball named housework, one named garden, one named for each family member, one named bills, one named food on and on with all the different duties and obligations we have. That is how I feel sometimes and frankly I need help so I don’t forget things and to make space in our life for the important stuff like fun and family time.

One way to manage it all is my calendar. You may remember it from the Friday Five when I talked about my favorite products. I would not, could not (to quote Dr Seuss) use another wall calendar. The spaces are huge so I can write in everyone’s schedules. I also use different colors for different members of the family. As much as I love this calendar, it stays on the wall and doesn’t come with me . So I needed some extra, complimentary  solutions.

As I was perusing the blogs I follow I found just the post with just what I was looking for. Honestly she had me at “workhorse” which is how Emily describes her “Homemakers Binder” which is what her, and my primary profession is. She talked about how she came to the one she uses now and how she decided to make up her own system, complete with photos of her pages. I have for many years tried to combine the best of all the different systems I have used to make one for me and have fallen sadly short. I had a light bulb moment reading this post when she said she uses a binder for 8×10 papers because that is the papers that come her way. Some times it is the small details that make the big difference. All these years I had tried to shrink down all this information to fit into something I could carry around something more like 5×7.


Now I really wanted a nice leather holder like the one she has alas I don’t have one. I procrastinated a while until I remembered my Adult rule of “do it now”. I decided to make use of what I had. I had a binder in a bag that was just the right size. So down it came from the shelf and in went the new items. A calendar, some daily sheets, menu plan, and some lesson plan sheets for Little. All in one lovely package! I have that ginormous purse so I can bring this around with me if I wanted to but Emily had yet another solution for that. A journal that is sized to carry and has categories!

I immediately picked up the first notebook I could find and started using it as this Journal. It’s the one on top here and as you can probably guess it not really my style. I think of this picture as one of these things doesn’t belong.


So I found an old Oprah magazine and took out the breathing space picture and glued in on the cover.


ahhh much better. You can also see my tags sticking out. They are my perpetual to do list, where I write anything and everything I need to do and then cross it off when its done.  Lesson plans for little (I made this journal before I got my printer working so it was before the large binder was made. I am going to change the tab to my Other Work which is care giving for my mom and dad.)  Ideas which is for any idea that comes to me for my garden or parties or my witchy stuff.  Remember which is where I write down quotes I like or dreams I had and gratitude. This was based on her tabs and to be honest having lived with the journal for a while I can say that I really love it AND I will be using almost her same 12 categories when I use this notebook up and make my new one. For now though these things are all working for me.

There is one final piece to all of this and it is my Book of Days.

Categories: daily life | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Keeping tabs on life

  1. genandbryan

    helen! i love this post. i have a binder like the one you made and i haven’t opened it since Cora was born. i am going to bring it out and update it TODAY! I have also been trying to pare down my wardrobe, which should be easy since the weather in SF is the same 90% of the time, but the link you provided is also so helpful. YOU ROCK 🙂

  2. Aw Gen your so sweet! I have just uploaded my menu plan shopping list sheet if that helps at all. You know how I love my planning and binders 🙂 We have you to thank for our Thanksgiving one. You will have to share how you put yours together.
    As far as the clothes go well were in the same boat. I pretty much wear my same mom uniform all year long with more tanks in the summer and more sweaters (not much more) in the winter. Your so stylish though I can’t wait to hear what you pick for the wardrobe pieces.

  3. Pingback: Lughnasadh (what that was so 19 days ago!) | bookofshadowsandblessings

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