I was so excited when two of my bests asked me to share my crazy ways with all of you. I lived with Desire and Jolene in college so these girls have seen first hand what my organized (little bit OCD status) brain is like! Aside from currently working three different jobs, I also volunteer at my church, am taking classes, take daily runs with my adorable pup Mac, travel most weekends, and I love to spend time with the people I care about most. Needless to say, organization is a must with this busy girl’s schedule (as well as the occasional glass of wine!). As I am sure all of you have schedules just as crazy as I do, I’ve decided to share my little secret to sanity: organization.
Get Your Shop On
Even though I am no longer a student, “Back to School” is one of the happiest times of the year for me… We’re talking almost better than Christmas good! Stores are like paradise for a girl like me, with stores full of every color binder, note pads with kittens or One Direction, and tons and tons of PENS! So once you’ve gotten passed all the glory of the school supply isle, here’s what you’ll need:
Remember to pick colors, brands, and sizes that you like. I want you to love your new organized life and get excited about getting started![divider]
Binder – Mine is 1” and, of course, pink!
Pencil pouch – Complete with colored pens, a highlighter, post-its, and white out
Planner – Make sure you’ve picked one with plenty of space
Wine – A girl needs a little motivation, right?
It’s a Process..
Now, just so you’re prepared, I’m about to let you in on the insanity of my ways. I do a LOT of binder switching. We’re talkin’ daily. Everything starts with getting tucked into my planner during the day (which I have on me AT ALL TIMES), then emptied into my 1” pink binder at the end of the day, everything stays in the binder for the week then and at the end is emptied of anything I no longer need and is transferred to the (much larger) accordion binder.[divider]
Plan Plan Plan
Now, it’s time to get started! Block out a little time in your busy schedule and spread out on your living room floor. Get all your loose papers, different schedules, and fabulous new supplies.
Let’s start with your planner.
A planner should hold everything you could need in a day. Many have sections in the beginning with important or emergency information, fill it out. This process needs to work for you, so get started by deciding what exactly you need to put in. Mine includes to-do lists, schedules, goals, reminders, workouts, and some inspirational words to get me through the week. I take it one little OCD step farther and make it all color-coded. This really helps when I am glancing quickly, plus it’s just so much more fun to be writing in pink than black! I highlight certain events that I think I may forget and post-it (or pencil-in) what is questionable.
Here are some quotes to get you through your first few weeks of your new planner:
“If you think you can, or if you think you can’t – you’re right” – Henry Ford
“Every day may not be good, but there is some good in every day.”
“Try not to become a person of success, but rather a person of value.” – Albert Einstein
“Go the extra mile, it’s never crowded.”
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Creating Your Binder
Now, that you’ve got your planner handled time to start the binder!
Sections in My Binder:
Work or School Info
*If you have a hubby or kiddos you might make one section for any important information you may need to know.[divider]
After a few personal experiences, talks with those older and wise, and reading many articles, I have realized the importance of having a budget. Now, since I’m no expert I’m not about to give you a big talk about budgeting, but there are a few fundamentals you should keep in mind when figuring out yours.
1. Have $1,000.00 saved for emergencies
2. Have 3-6 months of living expenses saved
3. Diminish your debt (smallest to largest).
Once these three are under control you can save for the fun, big stuff! Like that house you always dreamed of or for the life of luxury you plan on living when you are a retiree or the new Chanel bag you’ve been wanting for forever! Start by getting these 3 steps, calculating your finances, and get in the habit of writing it all down and you should be good to go!
Health and Fitness are so important! It may seem like such a pain to get out of bed and go on a run, but you will feel and look so much better once you do. I sit down Sunday night to schedule out my workouts, then it goes in my planner and in the binder. This is a great place to keep your gyms monthly schedule! If you have some goals, like being able to run 5 miles by Christmas, this is also where you place them.
Meal Planning Section:
Meal planning! This sounds like a super intense process, but I promise you it just takes a little practice. Depending on your goals (dieting, experimenting, or just surviving), this will give you the kind of food that need to be put into your schedule. Plan out each meal, snack, and a go-to if you need a little something extra! I love the Healthy Girl On The Go Article by the Darling be Daring girls, for new ideas on planning lunches. AND I am super guilty of going to Pinterest first thing for new recipes. Once you’ve decided what you’ll have you can create a grocery list and print out recipes you may need so that you can have a stress-free cooking week!
For my work & school section I pretty much keep schedules or the syllabus. This keeps me on track for anything that might come up during the week. I also keep Resumes in this section so I can have on if I am on the go! And your last section of hubby, kiddos, or other can be used for whatever you need. This could be your family’s schedule, your extra activities, or letters/bills you plan to send that week.[divider]
And last but DEF not least… The BIGGER Binder!
Now, that you’ve got your planner and weekly binder ready to go it’s time for the accordion binder. This holds everything for the year! This will have more or less the same sections as your weekly binder. I add sections for pay stubs, banking information, church papers, and invitations/thank you cards that I receive throughout the year and want to remember. Having this binder hold everything makes life so much simpler when searching for something or dealing with all of your taxes at the end of the year.[divider]
You made it through! I hope this is helpful in organizing your life and making things a little easier for you in the long run. The key is to make it work for you, and turn it into a habit. Good luck!
Ps This is my cute doggy Mac 😉