A note from Jessa: Today’s GET ORGANIZED advice comes from author, mom and perpetual motion machine, Jenna Bayley-Burke. She always has something going on, so I know she’ll have great suggestions on how to keep it all together.
GET ORGANIZED advice from:
Author of Drive Me Crazy
I’m excited to see all the tips everyone else has during the Resolve 2013 tour. Alas, organization is not my strong suit. I’m always forgetting something. And most of my tips have to do with kiddos, not writing. But here goes…
- Carpool – Any and everywhere you can. I trade ride duties for the kids preschool, chess team, matholympiad, yearbook club, play practice, soccer, basketball, gymnastics, ballet – if I can get out of driving half the time, it’s beyond worth the work of scheduling. I even carpool to the gym for Zumba because it gives me time to chat with a friend.
- Menu Plan – It is boring as all get out, but planning a week’s worth of menus before you hit the grocery store can save time in many ways…you don’t have to think up what to cook and it really cuts down on trips to the store.
- Recycle – This is very easy here in Oregon. The recycling goes in a giant bin at the curb that is collected every other week. It gives me the deadline to make sure all the newspapers, junk mail, cardboard and magazines have made a mass exodus from my kitchen counter.
- Donate – I cannot throw away a book. Ever. I can, however pass them on to those who need the distraction. I take a bag of books with me every time I visit the hospital. (Sadly, I know where the family lounge rooms are and like to keep the shelves stocked with romances.) I donate books the kids are done with to the local library. I’ve even been known to sell books back. For more books. Not really helpful with the whole organizing bit.
- Bankers Boxes – OK, so this is going to sound crazy. But I bought a pack of bankers boxes for like ten dollars. And when the pile on my desk gets too high…I load the whole mess into a bankers box. And then I date it. And if a year goes by and I haven’t opened it in a mad search for something important…it hits the recycling bin. It’s all paper anyway.
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Another Jessa note: The bankers box idea is brilliant! The clutter builds up in massive, dated chunks, so I should unearth it in massive, dated chunks. Nice. Today I’m posting with Susan Lute on her resolution to reduce stress – find and follow your bliss.
Stops on the “Resolve 2013” tour: January 1-9, 2013
Maggie Jaimeson – Take a Vacation
Jessa Slade – Get Organized
Paty Jager – Volunteerism
Linda Mercury – Creating a Literary (or Creative) Life
Jenna Bayley-Burke – Eat Healthier
Cassiel Knight – No More Procrastination
Cathryn Cade – Take Time for those OTHER Creative Passions
Su Lute – Reduce Stress: Find and Follow Your Bliss
Jamie Brazil – Shrink My Closet
Jenna, I agree with Jessa. You are a perpetual motion machine, and somehow you manage to laugh through all the craziness. Thanks for the tips.
I love how you keep your sense of humor through all the choas of family life. The menu planning is great — not just time and gas saving, money saving!
I like the banker box idea. I know if a box sits too long my daughter will throw it out! LOL When she helped me clean up my office area I had a hard time keeping her from throwing out ms that are paper only. She didn’t understand that there may be a kernel of a story in them that I might be able to resurrect.
Beware the banker box as a long term solution. My mother-in-law’s basement has dozens that haven’t been opened in years.
I work with real estate agents in my day job and my favorite quote from a mock-up flyer one of them did: “Nothing here that a gallon of gasoline and a match can’t fix.” I use that on my WIPs sometimes 😉
I may use that – the quote, not the gas and matches.
One of my New Year’s resolutions is to “Menu Plan” to help stick to the diet but I’m really bad at it!
I do toss the boxes. I flip through them first and usually find lots of notes, magazines, and post-its. Easy to trash. Though…we also have a firepit and the boys have a tradition of torching their school notebooks to celebrate the last day of school. Maybe I’ll do that next time…