Time to Get Organized!
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I seem to have a yearly break down in my systems of organization.
I can get systems set up, rooms de-cluttered, schedules made and being used, etc. for about 6-9 months and at that point, they start to disintegrate. I fight desperately to hang on to them, but generally it is of no use until I set aside specific time to really re-organize and figure out some new systems or get back into my old ones. Once a year seems to be the key for me, and lo and behold, its that time again! My routine has gone out the window with a baby who’s nap schedule is changing, more homeschooling to add into our day, a hubby who’s come home from the corporate office to being just down the hall and numerous other life changes.
Not to mention that in the midst of one of the busiest Fall/Winter seasons we’ve had, my kitchen has just come apart. My recipe collection is a mess, my meal planning is not coming together as well as it used to (due to disorganization), and my pantry is chaotic and bursting at the seams. I’m still working to fit blogging in to my life in a more balanced and minimal way, I’ve got a book that I’m trying to get complete and published, and now garden season is steadily approaching yet again!
Forget my visions of completing my throw pillows and organizing all of my digital photos (so much for a slower season!)… I’m all about practicality right now. How about you?
Here’s what I have in the works for January, as I work on these areas in my own life and will be sharing some of what works (and doesn’t work!) for me:
- Meal planning- How to keep it quick and simple, doing either weekly or even monthly plans, and even through special diets.
- Recipe organization- To help keep meal planning easier, I’m revamping my system of recipe organization. This includes my recipe binder, as well as lists of our favorite meals. I will be using several different lists from ListPlanIt to help me with it and I’ll share exactly what it looks like as I finish my system up.
- Food prep in the real food kitchen- Cooking from scratch requires planning sometimes, so that we remember to soak beans and grains, make condiments, keep enough bread or other baking on hand, etc. I’ll discuss some methods for making sure these things happen and your meals continue to flow smoothly.
- Kitchen storage- Fermenting/soaking/rising foods, leftovers, frozen foods, and the biggie… BULK storage!
- Preparing for spring gardening- Planning what to plant and where, seed starting schedule, etc.
That will definitely take all of January, but I’m so excited to cover these topics and work on these areas more in my own home as well! In the beginning of February, I will be attending the Blissdom blogging conference in Nashville, TN. After I return, I’ll be continuing on in mid-February, on topics like adding to the homemaking binder that I’m beginning this month, and completing a new daily routine/schedule for a new season of life.
To accomplish a lot of this organization, I am excited to announce that I am working in partnership with Jennifer of ListPlanIt once more (you can read my review of ListPlanIt here)! She has graciously offered to allow my readers print access to a few specific lists that I will be using in some of my kitchen organization, and you can look forward to another giveaway from ListPlanIt as well.
Lastly, one request to all of you:
Don’t share your tips and techniques in the comments just yet, but if you have something helpful to share with my readers in either of these areas, please send either a brief tip (2-3 sentences) or a descriptive photo (I would LOVE to get lots of photos!) to me at stephanie (at) keeperofthehome (dot) com. Thanks in advance!
- Bulk food storage (especially in small spaces or in very creative ways!)
- What do you do with all of your ferments and soaks? Where do you keep them? How do you remember them?
Any other requests for specific topics or things you’d like to see addressed? What are your biggest struggles in any of the areas that I listed above?
Yeah, my life is a little upside down right now. We are in the beginning stages of pregnancy and so nausea and tiredness make me very unhelpful in the house right now. Fortunately my older kids are getting older and have been a wonderful help right now. When I feel better I need also to sit down and work on schedules etc. I am so not a schedule person, but have to admit that when I have a rough routine going I get a lot more done in a day.
Those sound like wonderfully helpful topics. I am really in need of some organization in my life right now. I start classes and clinicals next week (I am in nursing school) and I am already anticipating the stress of an inconsistent schedule and long hours that will make eating frugally and healthfully very challenging. I am always encouraged by what you share on your blog, so thank you so much for the time you take out of your day to minister to others through this blog!
those sound like great topics so far 🙂 I never seem to keep my fermented stuff going. And I’ve never soaked anything before.
.-= The Local Cook´s last blog ..Dark Days Challenge: Honey Baked Chicken, Collards, and Apples & Squash =-.
I’m excited you mentioned the gardening part…I really want to plant a garden with our girls this year, but I am SCARED! I have never done one and I have NO idea where to start! I’m looking forward to reading those posts!
I’m working on organization too. I think that so far I’ve had unrealistic expectations. I always want to spend a day or two setting up systems and routines and then I expect them to continue nicely…but I don’t quite build in the proper maintenance. Like, some days I feel great because I have the diaper bag packed with fresh diapers and clothes, all the kids’ toys are cleaned up, everything’s perfect. But three days later I wonder why I don’t have a clean diaper when it’s time to go out…because I forgot I need to re-stock the bag all the time. Oops.
I’m also trying desperately to get a better routine going for dishes and weekly cleaning. I have laundry, sheet-changing and stuff worked in but I don’t always remember (I do it at least every other week and usually every week, but…you know). I’m interested to see your weekly routine, and anyone else’s.
Interestingly, meal planning and food storage is an area I’m right on top of. I’m finishing up the next two weeks’ meal plan and shopping list right now, actually! I put that in place months ago and even though my son’s birth it didn’t fall apart.
I found I need to add one new thing to my routine every couple months and it slowly becomes habit and then I won’t forget or lose it…usually. 🙂
I hear you! I am glad I am not the only one who seems to set things up and then have to re-set them. I think its the flexible, changing nature of lives of mothers and homemakers. Just as we “have it” then the kids change napping or what they can do or something else does. My husband’s job has different seasons and that also throws things off. I thought I was the only one! 🙂 Silly me.
I am really looking forward to hearing more about organizing. Its something I am really working on. Especially the homemaking binder and bulk food storage. Those are the things I would like to see addressed mostly.
I’m trying to develop a better way of meal planning than “think of five meals to cook and put the stuff on the grocery list.” I have an app on my iPod that stores prices for all my grocery items so that I know what I will spend before I get to the grocery store, but I wish I had something that would price out per serving each of my regular meals so that I could really crack down on the meals that are cheap, easy, and super nutritious (lentil soup comes to mind).
I will definitely be looking forward to the meal planning advice!!!
I am feeling unorganized now too. I guess organization doesn’t last forever (why?) and you have to keep on top of it. Now is the time for me to get back on top of it. 🙂
My menu planning is totally crazy now. I think it’s because our routine was ‘upset’ (in a good way) over the hoidays with all the dinners, guests, parties, etc. Again, time to regroup!
Have fun in Nashville!
Hi Stephanie, I just tried e-mailing you a photo and comment, but it keeps getting returned to me, so I hope it’s OK that I briefly mention here how I handle all the things I soak:
I find that it works best for me to keep the items I’m soaking right out on my kitchen counter. They’re really not in the way, it makes me feel productive to see them there (even though I’m not doing anything!), and then I never forget about them because they’re in clear sight!
@Susanna, Have you tried using stephanie (at) keeperofthehome (dot) com? I’ll check my junk to make sure your email hasn’t landed there. Thanks for the tip about your soaking!