Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Tuesday Tell-All: Assignment Organize!

This week's TTA is about organization tips. I told Matt last night that I wasn't sure I would do this one - I am normally VERY organized, but feeling quite UN organized lately! As most of you know, we are living in Matt's parents house while they are serving their mission in Nauvoo...so we have a lot of things in storage, and a lot of things NOT in storage, sitting on top of Mom and Dad Madsen's things! So, this is not the ideal situation in which to talk about organization, as I am sure you understand.

BUT...in my vast experience as an event manager, I have learned a thing or two. SO here are a few of my tips on organization, some of which I actually plan on following again one of these days!

  • SAVE all church lesson-type stuff! Chances are quite good that you will need to use these again someday. Create a file, box, or a notebook to hold all those props. I am in my second turn as a primary chorister, and boy do I wish I had kept everything from the first time around! (I am keeping it all this time for sure.)
  • Keep music in a file box. I have all my sheet music in a big filing bow - granted, the box itself needs to be more organized, but when I need my music, I know exactly where to go.
  • Use an online source to download all your family photos. We have all seen the victims of Katrina and other disasters lament not over sofas and jewelry, but over destroyed family photos. Use a source like Kodak Gallery or Snapfish to save all your photos - then they will be there when you need them. I also order all my photos from Kodak Gallery, and you can create lots of photo related items there are well. Love it!
  • Calendar everything! I have a huge-boxed calendar that has EVERYTHING on it that is going on with the family, from my voice lessons to soccer games to church activities. That way I have one source I can go to, making sure we don't plan too many conflicting activities.
  • Buy birthday cards or presents at the beginning of each month. At the first of every month, I write down all the names of those who have birthdays for that month, and buy all the cards then, and mail them out as the date approaches. We also buy b-day presents for all our nieces and nephews, so I do that at the beginning of the month as well. I have LOVED getting all the cards out to all Matt's and my siblings on time. (Although b-days at the beginning of the month sometimes sneak up on me...sorry Marci!!)
  • Lists, lists and more lists. My mother is a list maker, therefore I am a list maker. We both write the things that need to be accomplished, then a little box next to each item to be checked when completed. (Also inherited from my wondrous mom..if I complete a task that is NOT on the list, sometimes I add it to the list, just so I can check it off! Hey - it's all about feeling good, right??)
  • Write any regular medication dosages on the inside of the cupboard door. I know a lot of you don't have to give regular meds to your children, but Dylan takes two meds twice a day, with the dosages frequently changing. So the dosage he gets is not always the dosage on the medicine bottle. I write the names of each medication, along with the current dosages, on a piece of paper and stick it to the inside of the medicine cupboard. That way anyone who is caring for the children and may need to medicate them will know the correct dosage.
  • Frequently called numbers all in one place. I haven't done that here at this house, but I usually have a list of our most frequently called phone numbers right inside a cabinet on the door - easy access!
  • The Ticket System. Not sure if this falls under organization or not, but we are in the process of adopting the Ticket System for good behavior. Explanation: Our kiddos LOVE video games, tv and computer time! In order to keep track of how much electronic time they are getting, we are implementing the ticket system. Buy a large roll of carnival tickets at a party store (or make tickets). Each ticket is worth 5 minutes of time. Make bed = 1 ticket. Empty garbages = 2 tickets. 1 hour yard work = 4 tickets...you get the picture! Of course, there are only certain days they can redeem them. This way we can keep track of how much "screen time" they are getting, and they'll be more motivated to do chores! (Thanks to my good friend Rachel for this fantastic idea!! I think when she told me about this I actually heard a heavenly chorus singing...)
And that's my two-cents on organization!


Marcie said...

What great ideas. I use some of those. Some I need to implement. So glad you participated!

crystal said...

Oh, I love the ticket system! I had thought to do this once for xbox & tv, and I've forgotten about it!

Yet another thing to figure out how to incorporate into my imaginary job charts....yoga-breathing, yoga-breathing (go read my tta post--i'm pathetic).

Matt & Laura Edwards: said...

Oh I love this post! Give me more tips! Give me more! I love hearing organizing ideas! THANKS!

Matt & Laura Edwards: said...

You don't really have to give me more tips. I was just showing excitement- but of course you are always welcome to :)

Dancin Queen said...

Brilliant! Thanks for sharing!

SuperCoolMom said...

Great ideas! Your medication list inside the cupboard is awesome and I do the phone list in a cupboard too. My brother (who has Down Syndrome) was actually in an accident one time. The neighbor called the police and they were looking for contact information (he doesn't speak well) - thank goodness my Mom had her "Family Phone List" taped to the fridge! They were able to call her at school so she could rush to his rescue.

SuperCoolMom said...

Oh, I'm Hot Mama on the TTA list =)

I'm a blogfriend of Crystal and Wendi

Desiree said...

What a great way to keep on top of birthdays! Thanks for sharing.

tiffanymadsen said...

Your ticket idea reminded me of an article in this month's Ensign about 1 hour of TV,video, etc. time and one more hour can be earned by doing 1 hour of activities to equal 15 min of TV time. Sounded like a great idea. Love you, Mom