Meal time can be one of the most hectic times in a mama’s day. With today’s busy schedules, it is easier to drive through than dive in to your kitchen.
These easy steps will help you make meal planning easy so that you can get to the fun part of connecting with your family and not just the food!
Create a master list of meals for the month. Click here for a list of FREEBIES where you can find a shopping/inventory sheet to make your meal planning easy! Keep in mind your family schedule as you create meals for each day. Tuesdays and Thursdays tend to be less chaotic in our home, so I can plan a little more elaborate meal for those days. Now, some days, elaborate may mean that I just put a pat of butter on the green beans before serving, but usually it means that I can make something that might take a bit more time or preparation. The “What’s For Dinner?” Solution is a wonderful resource to create quick, easy, affordable meals.
Put each of the meals into categories for easy planning. A few that I use are Freezer meals – ones that I have on the freezer already, Slow Cooker meals – ones that I will need my crock pot for and create ahead of time, or LOOP meals – Left Over On Purpose. This might mean a turkey pot pie from the leftover turkey from the dinner the night before. Once you have the meals, you can organize what you need for each meal.
Create the calendar and make copies of it for the next couple months. Some things might change, but when you have a template to work from, it makes life a whole lot easier. After you use it, you can evaluate if the system is working.
Planning your meals ahead of time will help you feel more in control and less frazzled at dinner hour. Thinking ahead gives you the freedom to enjoy your day. To help you start planning right away, just subscribe to my blog right over there in the purple little post-it and get a free copy of The Ultimate Guide to Man Food. Easy Peasy!
I am a bit obsessed by necklaces – the chunkier the better. Not only do I buy them, I am often given great jewelry by my mom, my kids and believe it or not, Roger hits it on the chunky jewelry nose almost 100%. So keeping it organized is mostly about only keeping the things that I love, and moving the rest on. Here is how I keep my collection under control.
- Get All Your Jewelry Together- This is where you go through your bathroom, your closet, your jewelry box, your purse – everywhere that jewelry hangs out and hides. Get it all in one place so you and deal with it.
- Use the 3 Boxes, 2 Bags System Start to sort through your jewelry using the 3 Boxes 2 Bags System. As you go through your jewelry put every piece in one of the three boxes or two bags: Perfectly good jewelry that you don’t love anymore can go into the “Give Away” box. Everything you love and wear can go into the “Put Back” box. Buttons, prescriptions, receipts, lip glosses and other things that are hanging out with your jewelry go into the “Other Rooms” box. Broken jewelry that you won’t repair goes into the garbage (unless you have a crafty friend who can turn all those crafty beads into something amazing – and is willing to pick them up so they are not around your house for the next month, then put them in the recycle bag.) Put all the Put Back jewelry, back.
- What to do with the Leftovers? OK be honest – there were a couple of necklaces you love but never wear. Or that broken owl necklace that you love, but needs a clasp? You don’t want to throw it away, but you don’t quite know what to do with it. Here are some ideas:
Here are a couple of other things that have helped me: This is the best thing you can do for your jewelry – Only keep what you actually use, make the pieces that aren’t working for you, work.
- Have a necklace that feels a little “Lightweight” for your outfit? Stack it with another necklace. I do this a lot with a chunky gold chain with a couple smaller gold chains, or chunky long turquoise with chunky short turquoise.
- Turn your long necklace into two short ones by looping, or into a bracelet by looping four or five times.
- Have a single earring that you love, but can find it’s friend? Can you turn it into a pin?
Do you have any great ideas for organizing you jewelry that have worked for you? Please share in the comments below (and if you have pictures, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org – we may do a future blog post sharing your great idea!
Stay with me here. I know that those piles of books seem better left untouched- like they just might lead to more bad than good if messed with. But like all organization projects, it is necessary and freeing once accomplished! For ideas on how to organize your books, check out my Pinterest board.
Cull – this means going through your books and making decisions about what to keep, what to put in other rooms, and what to give away. Use my Three Boxes Two Bag System to sort through your books:
1. Purple Box
These are all the books you want to (need to!) keep. Here is my criteria for what books to keep:
a. They are books I read on a regular basis. (The Bible Baby…)
b. They are books I refer to on a regular basis. (Commentaries, devotionals, etc.)
c. They are books I love reading over and over again. (Bird by Bird, Bitter is the New Black,)
2. Orange Box
These are books that have made their way onto your bookshelf, but need to be in other places in your home:
a. Kid’s books
c. Reference books
3. Green Box
For all the books you want to give away, sell, etc.
4. Bag 1 Garbage
There shouldn’t be too many in here, methinks. Your kid let a Popsicle melt on a book, it’s a child’s book that you can’t recycle because of the binding, etc.
5. Bag 2 Recycling
Again, hopefully few – books that no one would want (How to Raise Great Kids by the mother of O.J. Simpson, things like that.)
Once you’ve got them all sorted, you are ready to put them in their place. For all the books you decide to keep, download and print the name plates provided here and put them on the inside of those books. If you print them out on a full sheet of sticker paper (try these full size Avery labels) you simply cut and stick, or use rubber cement if you use card stock.