Since my daughter entered school, I’ve always thought of September as the beginning of the year. So in August I do a lot of organizing/housekeeping things. This is a glimpse into the crazy that is my brain: my August to do list.
- Use all food that is in my pantry and freezer. I like to know that there is no food product in my house that is over a year old. I will use every can, box, grain or frozen thing before the month is up. I don’t have a large pantry- but I end up with an odd assortment of grains- half container of quinoa, half container of barley. There are also cans of soup that we pick up “just in case”- this never happens- my family hates canned soup. And there is always an errant chicken breast or half bag of shrimp loitering in my freezer- I want them gone! On the Tuesday after Labor Day, I will begin buying things again.
- Buy printer supplies and paper. I know- this is a logical back to school step. And I once had to run out to the 24 hour staples to pick up ink- I will never do that again.
- Buy new towels and pillows. I know there are January white sales- but really- with online shopping, there is always a sale somewhere.
- Empty every drawer, shelf and closet in our house. I take a long hard look at what we have. I think about what we use, and if we haven’t used something, I consider how much it will cost to replace if we ever need it again. I have yet to donate something that I ended up rebuying. (my Achilles heel are charging cords. I can’t throw them away- I always wonder if I’ll need them and be unable to replace them. I actually have a box of them in our storage locker)
- I reorganize where our possessions are stored. I try to keep like objects together. This makes it logical to try and find something. I also try to keep most used objects in an easily accessed spot. Simplify.
- I set aside one or two things my daughter did in school. (I have saved more like 8 things a year from when she was younger- sue me) I either frame the work and hang on my wall, display on a shelf, or place it in a portfolio book.
- I make my family donate 10-20 pieces of spring/summer clothing that they did not wear. I look over summer clothing to see what basics will need to be replaced next year, and I make a note in my electronic date book for March 1- reminding me that some basics are needed so I can begin to look. I do not buy clothes at end of season sales. I have found that we never really love these pieces, but are swayed more by the inexpensive price. if you don’t love something, you are not going to wear it. if you don’t wear it, you’ve wasted money.
- I review our medical history for the first 8 months of the year. I see how much of our FSA has been used. We need to make allocations for the following year in October- August is the time to review this information.
- I update my calendar with the school calendar- to see when there are vacations and scheduled half days. I also mark down high school specific meetings and events.
- I reevaluate how my paper organizing system is working. Even though I feel like I am receiving all things electronically, I still end up with a mountain of paper. Every year I refine my system for dealing with the paper monster.
- I reevaluate how I deal with my personal to do list and date book. Again- this is always a work in progress- I always think I can make things more streamlined.
Wish me luck- this weekend will be the big shelf/drawer reorg. You can find me at the donation center. pulling my hair out.