Resolve 2013: Laughing in the face of organization

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.

art-resolve2013GET ORGANIZED advice from:
Jenna Bayley-Burke
Author of Drive Me Crazy

Jenna Bayley BurkeI’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…

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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