There's no place like home - Best Organizational Tip

by Narelle Kolos
(Penrith NSW Australia)

Organization is not big on my list although I would like to get there one day.

Have you ever:
- Got to the end of the day and thought why are there workbooks all over the kitchen table (why didn't I just get the kids to put them away before going to friends houses)?
- Planned to sort all those cut out recipes from the latest magazine and put them into some sort of order?
- Looked at the clock its 5.30 and don't know what to do for dinner?
- wanted to sort books on my shelves so we can find what we are looking for.
- Arrived at kids pocket money day and I have no idea who had what jobs or if they actually did them?

Welcome to my world.

I have good intentions and print off a menu planner write it up and display on fridge for the world to see. Then stick to it for a couple of weeks and then stop. Why I don't know. Sometimes we have leftovers or an unexpected guest or an activity which throws a spanner into the most organised looking menu ever seen. What IS a typical week? Every week is so unique there sometimes seems to be too much flexibility in our week.

At times it works really well and it is then that I will tell my friends how great it is to have one. But then it falls apart. Why can't I stick with it? By telling my friends I somehow think this will help me to stay on track, a bit like support at a weight watching class but lets not go there, I failed there too. I have two friends who have adopted the wonderful idea of menu planning through my success of two weeks and now I feel guilty when I cant make it happen. It works for them. It does make shopping easier when you know what's on the menu in advance.

Home schooling is about being flexible isn't it?

My kids certainly know this. They have a planner each. Which I put together each term in a binder as each term brings on new activities. This is essential for them to know whether at 3pm when their friends come knocking if they are free to go and play. I have 3 boys Yr 9, Yr 7 and Yr 5 and it seems I am required for reading, marking, quizzes or sounding board constantly throughout day by one or the other so to have a set time when an activity happens hasn't worked for us. If I am not free they just go onto one of the other activities which needs to be done. The board of Studies sees a timetable as I think this is what they like to see from their school backgrounds but it just does not get beyond the page even though it looks good in my folder.

Something I cant live without is my Family Calendar. This is one thing that does get updated regularly and is in a central place in the house so all can check what is happening.

Organisation is not something that happens easily it is something that needs to be planned and stuck too for it to work efficiently. Just reading the books and the articles with all the wonderful ideas doesn't make it happen either. I wish it did. Emilie Barnes - 'More Hours in My Day' is a good read and has some great ideas Yes I have read it but not sure how much I actually implemented.

I have a girlfriend who is very organised. Whenever I go to her house there isn't even a cup on the washing up sink. Everything is in its place. It used to make me embarrassed to have her come to my house which has a lived in look. I then read the book Personality Plus by Florence Littauer and then I could appreciate our differences. I am an organiser and one who is what is called a Choleric always busy. She is a Melancholy and has things done the right way in a specific routine and works from lists. Despite our differences we are best friends and enjoy spending time together and both know that we do things very differently. She can't understand my world and I can't understand hers.

I have come to realise that God has made us all uniquely different and what a blessing that is. My children hopefully will be more organised than I but for now they have learned to cope in the world that my Husband and I have created called home.

Like Dorothy in Kansas - 'There is no place like home'.

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