1.16.2012

PLANNING Your Year

Monday Morning by Sarnoff
How will you spend your year?

It took me about 40 minutes to really think how I was going to fit everything I say I want to do into one week.  I finally came up with:

11:00 – 8:00 SLEEP.  Yes, we need 9 hours. 

8:00 – Get ready – this includes breakfast, exercise, and dressing/hair/make-up/jewelry.
 9:00 – I determined that right now, I can only homeschool 3 days a week in order to keep on top of everything.  By this I mean h.s. that is structured, with my reading lessons to him and supervising every letter my kindergartner is writing.  The other days still have books on tape, Classical Conversations songs, reading before bed, reading to self, and practicing writing.  But I need the other 2 days to go grocery shopping, run errands, make meals, declutter, do chores, and do laundry.  Or to go to the park before lunch, when it is uncrowded and the sunshine makes the whole world look beautiful. 

Monday will still be my grocery day – but mainly Monday will be an AT-HOME day. 

Something new I am going to try is to begin preparing dinner at 1:00 p.m.  I find that so many things can keep (like salad), or can steep (like soup), that to make it early will help me not to resort to quick dinners. I find myself so hungry that I don't give enough thought to a balanced meal.  I'm hoping this will change that bad habit.

From 2:00 – 5:00 on Mondays only I plan on tackling my Home Beautification Projects.  Most of my projects now include painting – and I need more than 15 minutes a day to complete them.  Since I’m used to the idea of At-Home Mondays, I’ll know not to schedule anything and I feel confident that I’ll be completing a lot of home projects and decluttering this year.  (Update - 3 years later & at-home Mondays still work)

5:00 – I’ll have a mountain of laundry to fold, and my little one and I are enjoying old b&w t.v. shows, like Dennis the Menace.
6:00 – Dinner every night at 6:00 except on Wednesdays.
7:00 – I needed to schedule internet & blog reading or writing time.  It has to take the place of something.  My DH loves to watch movies at night, but I can only handle that 3 times a week.  The way the schedule is set up, they are interchangeable. 
9:00 – Shower, read to son
10:00 – Bible study and reading books
11:00 – Lights out

Time
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wed
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
8:00
Breakfast
&
Exercise
&
Get
Dressed
!
9:00
Church
Groceries
CC HS
HomeSchl
House
HomeSchl

10:00
Church
Laundry
CC HS
HomeSchl
Errands
HomeSchl

11:00
Church
House
CC HS
HomeSchl
Park
HomeSchl

12:00
Lunch
Lunch
CC Lunch
Lunch
Lunch
Lunch
Lunch
1:00
Prepare
Dinner
Prepare
Dinner
Errands
Prepare D.

2:00

House
House
House
Or Park
Pictures or

3:00

Project
Internet
Laundry
Or Mom’s
Scrapbk

4:00

Rooms
& Blogs
House
House
or workon

5:00

& Yard
Or project
Dinner
Prepare D.
Genealogy

6:00
Dinner
Dinner
Dinner
AWANA
Dinner
Dinner
Dinner
7:00
Movie
E-mails
E-mails
Internet
E-mails
Movie
Movie
8:00
Movie
Internet
Internet
Drive time
Internet
Movie
Movie
9:00
Shower
&
Read
To
Son
!
!
10:00
Bible
Study
&
Reading
Time
!
!
11:00
Bedtime
Bedtime
Bedtime
Bedtime
Bedtime
Bedtime
Bedtime
12:00







1:00







2:00







3:00







4:00







5:00







6:00







7:00








Tuesdays we’ll be at Classical Conversations.  .
Wednesdays will be homeschooling, more house care & laundry, plus AWANA.
Thursday will be errand and park day (We count down our errands, with the last being the PARK!) or we will go visit my parents.  It is a good day to have playdates.
Fridaythe biggest change I’m making is on Fridays.  Fridays have always been Fun Day.  But with no structured h.s. on Monday – now Friday needs it.  I hope to spend most Fridays at home now, with Thursdays being more of a fun day.  I also hope to have time to work on family albums and genealogies.  Every year I say I’m going to work on this – but the time always gets eaten up.  I hope this is the year to make a few albums that my son has requested, and complete the family histories. 

The one thing that hasn’t been scheduled is family fun.  I find that whatever I’m doing, I always have a buffer so that I can play board games, card games, read aloud, etc.  And you’ll notice that Saturdays and most of Sundays are free to be with family. 

If you plan it…it will turn out a whole lot better than just hoping to get things done!   Blessings on you in the new year!

1.09.2012

Bills, Cleaning, Personal, Family & Bible Calendars

A. Sarnoff
FlyLady taught us to use our calendars, and I’ve had to take that a step further for my sanity.  I use FIVE calendars for five very different purposes.

#1 MY BILLS CALENDAR – A little planning NOW, and every year thereafter will be so easy!

Several years ago I began using a $1 8x10 calendar to track my bills.  What a lifesaver.  Now I can tell at a glance whether I’ve paid all the bills, without worrying. 

We used to get paid on the 1st & 15th – it was so easy!  The 1st check paid the rent/mortgage.  The 15th check paid everything else.  That is how I began shopping for groceries monthly.  Then several years ago it changed to every two weeks.  What chaos!  We had a little less each month, but we looked forward to the two “extra” paychecks.  Problem – if you spend your money on a 2-week basis, the “extra” paychecks just get absorbed!  We needed a PLAN.

#1 – I did a new budget.  I divided our expenses between the 2 paychecks:  Eg: Ck 1:  Tithe, mortgage, Freedom Account savings, credit cards, and recurrent bills that go on a credit card like office parking, Netflix, & World Vision,.   Ck 2: Tithe, electric, gas, phone, savings, gasoline, groceries, haircuts, pizza, spending money.  The last five are cash & go into their respective envelopes. Then I printed out my list, with budgeted amount, and pasted it into my calendar book, on the flap.

#2 – I went through my BILLS ONLY calendar and circled the paydates, and wrote a “1” or “2” for which paycheck pays what.  Because if we get paid on the 25th – well that money is needed on the 1st! Then, at some point, that paycheck sneaks up to the 16th!  Well, that’s right in the middle of the month – is it an “extra” paycheck?  You won’t know unless you map it out ahead of time!  It will just get absorbed.  This year, an “extra” check is coming Feb. 22 because we really need the money to pay our property taxes.  But we can’t go 6 weeks without refilling the grocery and gasoline envelope.  So, it is all set in the calendar to pay tithe, property taxes, gas, and food.  But wait!  That means the next check is on 3/7 – can the rent/mortgage wait until then?  In our case, it can.  Your “extra” check might be the 3/7, while you use 2/22’s check to pay your rent.  See why you need to plan it?

#3 – Are all of your bills listed in your Bills Calendar with their approximate due dates?  Even the credit cards you rarely use, like to a special store?  You’ll find it helpful. 

#4 – I write what I paid & the amount into my calendar when paid.  Helps me compare spending habits.  And assures me at 2:00 am that, yes, I did pay it, without having to log on to the computer or trying to find the miniscule line in my checkbook.

#5 – As bills and requests for charities come in, I simply place them in my calendar.

#6 – I use Bill Pay online, but first I balance all in my checkbook, and leave the date & ck number open and circled for me to fill in when I’ve finished online.

#7 – I place paid bills into an accordion file by MONTH, not by subject.  I rarely have to go back and look at paid bills, so I find this easiest.  I keep this accordion file by my desk in a really nice wooden box with a hinged lid that I bought at Target years ago.  It looks nice and is close by, so that papers don’t pile up.  On Dec. 31st I empty the contents into a large envelope, write the year, and stick in the storeroom. 

#2 MY BEDROOM CALENDAR
I used to be able to say, “I change our sheets on Wednesday.”  But then came along a sweet, little, bedwetter.  I never knew when those sheets got changed.  Sometimes it was daily.  Sometimes weekly.  If there were no accidents, then I’d forget!

Thus, my sanity was once again saved by a free, pocketbook sized calendar that I keep on my dresser.  I write when I change each bed (and towels also).   I also keep track of more personal things in this calendar, things I don’t want company in my kitchen to notice!

 #3 MY FAMILY CALENDAR    If you need help with this, go visit FlyLady.net.

#4 MY BIBLE CALENDAR
Here is the link:  http://www.gracenotes.info   Look for the Daily Bible Reading 2012 PDF.  I wrote all about it in my “Life – In Order” post.  I’m really enjoying this & am reading Halley’s Bible Handbook along with my daily readings.   And the NLT's Daily Walk Bible.

Halley’s is wonderful!  Mine is 1960 & I love it.  Page 925 “Every Christian ought to be a Bible Reader.  It is the One Habit, which, if done in the right spirit, more than any other one habit, will make a Christian what he ought to be in every way.” and “It was the discovery of a Bible by Martin Luther, and its Release to the People, backed by Luther’s own matchless invincible soul, that Brought Forth the Protestant Reformation, and Proclaimed Liberty to the Modern World, - mightiest step forward in human progress ever known in history.  Those who read history know full well how directly we owe our Freedom and All That is Dear to us to the Bible.”

“Great has been the blessing from consecutive, diligent, daily study.  I look upon it as a lost day when I have not had a good time over the Word of God.” George Muller

Halley’s goes chapter by chapter through the Bible with interesting points.  Don’t be afraid of how many pages it has – the book is only 6” x 4” x 2”.  Easy for reading in bed. (Not sure about the 2007 version)

#5  MY CLEANING CALENDAR
This is just one page and is in my homekeeping notebook.  But frankly, since I began my home beautification & decluttering plan room by room, I haven’t had to use this one.  So my cleaning calendar, now, is my 12-page notebook.  This might help someone who doesn’t need the notebook, though. 

January
Tax info together
Change heater filter
Clean brushes & combs
Wash all curtains
Wash rugs
Decluttering
February
Wash range hood; filters in dw
Clean oven
Microwave
Cobwebs
Weed out clothes – turn hangers
March
Clean under fridge
Turn mattress
Clean under beds
Change smoke alarm batteries
Dryclean coats
April
Garden
Move furniture to clean under and behind
Clean out garage
Change heater filter
May
Wash all windows, inside & out
Range hood & filters
Clean Oven & Microwave
Dust high places/ledges
Cobwebs
June
Sanitize dish & clothes washers
& dryer
Wash walls of fingerprints & use Magic Eraser
Clean lightswitches
July
Change heater filter
Clean out medicine cabinet
Deep clean bath tiles & walls
Brushes/combs
Clean fans
August
Range hood & filters
Clean Oven & Microwave
Clean out kitchen cupboards
Under sink
Under fridge & shelves
September
Kitchen shelves
Rugs
Turn mattress
Clean all light fixtures
October
Change heater filter
Dresser drawers
Cobwebs
November
Range hood & filters
Clean Oven & Microwave
Clean windows – inside only
December
Christmas cards, Shopping
Decorating, Wrapping
Advent, Crafts, Cookies
Have fun