My New (School) Year’s Resolution—Get Organized!

I love the start of the school year, always have. Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for new pens and notebooks. Maybe it’s because I know fall weather is right around the corner. Maybe it’s because I’m a big nerd and love learning anything new!

Whatever the reason, I have found myself trying to smooth out the wrinkles of my life more at this time of year than any other, including January, the traditional resolution-setting season.

So instead of waiting until January 1, I will recommit myself to the resolution that I make every year: to get more organized. Or, I should say, organized at all. This is pretty much my resolution by default each and every new year (which makes it pretty handy since I’m not really organized enough to come up with a new resolution).

Ironically, though I am organizationally challenged, I am completely drawn to organizing products. Planners, folders, file cabinets, bins, baskets, label makers—You name it, I want it. Or already own it. (But am not using it.)

My ultimate quest is to find the perfect planner for me. I have traditionally been a paper-and-pencil girl but upon getting my iPhone decided to give iCal a try. So far, it’s very handy to have my calendar literally at my fingertips instead of forgotten in my work bag or on my desk, however, I have found that I still make to-do lists on paper and miss the cathartic art of writing things out and hopefully! crossing them out. So now I’m looking at combining the digital and the paper but am not sure I’ve yet discovered the best paper solution for me.

Paper planners I’ve used:
Franklin Covey: I used to be a Franklin planner gal but found that I was wasting a lot of paper by having a two-page spread for each day. I didn’t need quite that much detail, I wasn’t good at keeping up the priority list (although it’s a great idea), and the refill pages were a bit expensive for me. I tried all sizes: Classic, Pocket, and even the Mini planner when they offered that. None seemed to be quite what I needed, however I do know this system works well for tons of people, including my friend Jody of Have Kid Will Travel.
If you dig the Franklin Planner, here are some good deals for you: Buy 3 items get the 4th for $1 (until Sept. 8 ) Get 20% off your order until Sept. 14. They’re also advertising new LOWER prices on many of their planners and refills, which is definitely a plus!

MomAgenda: Last year I purchased a MomAgenda planner, which was a beautiful bound book with a page dedicated to each day and a portable organizer in the back that you can transfer to your new planner each year. I loved the look of the MomAgenda (so elegant), but again, it was a bit too big for me and since it didn’t fit in my purse, I never seemed to have it when I needed it. A beautiful, functional planner, especially for busy moms, but not quite suited to my tastes and needs.
If you want to give MomAgenda a try, save some money: Use code 15NOW2 for 15% off at MomAgenda until midnight Sept. 6

The world of Etsy: I just purchased a cute little weekly planner from Things by Bubbo-Tubbo. It is slim enough to slip into my purse and I love the handmade style. Now I’m thinking I should’ve ordered the monthly planner from Bubbo as well. That may be my next purchase!

Of course the return of fall always brings the return of longing for a new purse as well… I can’t even describe the euphoria I feel when I neatly stock a new purse with all of my necessities. Everything has its place, and there are no stray gas station receipts or used tissues. Every time I get a new purse and get it all organized, I make a pledge to myself that I will keep it neat and organized this time. And every time I end up breaking my pledge by the next day. *Sigh* But if I get a new purse for fall, THIS TIME I will keep it neat and organized, FOR REAL. (That last sentence was directed at Husband.) Curses—why does the man know me so well?! Since there are so many Labor Day Sales this weekend (including TONS on Etsy!), I may just have to LOOK at purses. I’m just sayin’

I’m also trying to get the kids organized now that we’re officially back in the swing of things. Not real easy for someone who’s organizationally deficient, like me. But I found some great (and FREE) printable charts at Family Fun that may make our lives a bit easier.
Kids’ weekly calendar
Chore chart
Weekly meal planner

And speaking of meals, fixing weeknight meals seems to be a challenge for me. Even though I’m only currently working part-time, it doesn’t matter. Mealtime seems to creep up on me and then I’m suddenly staring into the pantry trying to figure out how to make a dinner out of corn meal and marshmallows. So I was excited to see a new feature in my Kraft Food & Family magazine—1 Bag, 5 Dinners. They give you a menu plan for the week, along with recipes and a shopping list. And the great part for me is that the meals all seem pretty simple yet something my family will like. You can find the menu plans online here.

So what about you? Does the start of the school year give you a desire to get organized as well?


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