by Kelly · 7 comments

in Frugal Organization

I’m trying to become more…streamlined this year. Not necessarily more organized, because I’m already fairly organized, but less distracted and needing to do 20 things at once. Part of the reason for needing to multi-multi-multi-task stems from the fact that I tend to overbook myself and my family- with activities, chores, fun & games or distractions. This isn’t all negative- our family has three kids, all five of us like to do different things for fun and relaxation and my husband and I work full-time. But it is a fact of life in our family that we often go, go, go, with little time to slow done.

One of the ways that I’m trying to streamline my life is in taking things off my plate and either benching them completely or handing them off to someone else. For example, we hired a cleaner this year, who comes weekly for three hours. I love not having to clean my house, because I can either work (and make more money than the cleaning service costs), or do something else- especially with my kids. Another example is having my kids fold the napkins and place mats; the important thing is not having perfectly folded table linens- it’s that my children take responsibility for making the house run well too. I’ve also stepped down from a few of my extracurricular activities (yet added one, yoga, in) and it makes a difference in the weight on  my shoulders!

Another thing I’ve been trying to do more diligently, and the more organized amongst you will scoff, is prepare on Sunday for the week. Today, for example, I prepped a series of meals that will take us through Wednesday: tomato & veggie sauce for homemade pizza (using my magical six recipe) and lasagna, tuna noodle casserole ready to pop in the oven for when we get home late Monday night from chess, veggie stir fry for Tuesday and the beginnings of a chicken and veggie something or other that will become clearer as the week goes on. I’ve also made sure that all the laundry got caught up on (now that I’m paranoid about running appliances when we’re not home) and the swimming bags, back packs etc have all been readied.

I don’t know how long this good intention shall last, but it feels nice to be sitting in the kitchen, as my husband does the dishes and the dryer hums in the background, knowing that tackling fewer things, one thing at a time, isn’t that hard after all.

I managed to clear my inbox of all emails, read and unread this week! What was your act of streamlining this week?


1 Erin February 6, 2011

Dear Kelly,

Thanks for keeping it real. I’ve been stream-lining, too. I’ve be unsubscribing from all sorts of emails, I’ve been limiting my DIY projects to the weekends, I’ve been prepping Sunday night for the week (I’m doing our homeschooling assignment sheets as soon as I’m done with blog reading) and I have been emptying my blog feed reader daily. Dave Ramsey talks a lot about being intentional and, while I think that is a misapplication of the word as a verb, I’m taking it to heart and trying to live that way. For now, I’m seeing huge improvement in the quality of our lives and that is what matters.

2 Clarissa February 6, 2011

That’s it…..My girls will start folding napkins and place mats tomorrow!!! I hate doing this simple task and they are old enough(4&8) to help take this off my plate : )

Thanks for the enlightenment!

3 YoungTightWad February 7, 2011

Great Article and timely. I’ve spent a lot of this week willing myself to get things done and feeling like I’m putting too much energy towards too many things. Streamlining is definitely necessary and I like that Sunday food prep idea.

4 Patricia Polk February 7, 2011

I understand where you are coming from. I have began to rebel against gadgets because the more you use, the more you are expected to control. I actually like focusing on things and not just getting through them. My kids are in college and I like to actually call and talk rather than text.

There is no longer a focus on a “Main Thing”, we try to pile on as much as possible and then wonder why we are so tired mentally. It is time to slow down and focus on things for a change.

5 JP February 7, 2011

I am a big fan (although still a fledgling follower) of Flylady. She is a wonderful guru when it comes to keeping things “together” and streamlined (routines)…and de-cluttered.

6 nancy February 8, 2011

great insights. i love getting organized for the week on sundays. it makes a huge difference in how the 5 days of work plays out and usually for the better! when my girls were in grades 5 and 8, i scaled back on my volunteer obligations at school. i worried about feeling guilty then but oh my, was it ever worth it. better to do fewer activities and enjoy them more or better rather than ho-hum.

7 Meg March 26, 2011

I have been thinking the SAME thing! Maybe I’m growing wiser with age, or maybe I’m frustrated because I see so many things I’ve started and not finished! I’ve started saying “No” to additional commitments and started prioritizing my to-do list. I’m a stay-at-home mom right now, but am changing careers in the Fall by going back to school. I realize that my time will be much more crunched than now and I need to start seeing things differently. “Streamlining” is a great name for it, thanks!

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