My goal for 2017 is to get my entire house back into perfect order. Five days into January and the Organize It! project is starting well. For the month of January I chose to work on setting up a home office. I’ve taken over one end of my sun room and now have a small office in working order. I have gotten the household paper under control – all those stacks of magazines, newspapers, bills, junk mail, coupons, advertisements.
Now it’s time to turn my attention to updating all of my “books.” I’ve always been a fan of organizational tools and different types of books can be very helpful.
Book #1: The Day Planner
My 2017 “Doodle” coloring planner arrived in the mail and I have transferred the important dates from last year’s calendar to this one. I have used one of the note pages to plot a basic plan for my Organize It! project. It looks something like this:
- January: Home Office; Basement Storage Room
- February & March: Dressing Room; Attic Space #1; Attic Space #2
- April: Kitchen and Breakfast Nook
- May: Garden and Outdoor Spaces
- June: Garage
- July& August: Basement; Tool Room; John’s Office; Basement Bedroom
- September: Bedroom; Bathroom
- October: Dining Room
- November & December: Living Room; Front Porch
I expect the schedule will change as I begin to get into it, but I’ve tried to allow more than enough time to cover all of the areas of my house.
Book #2: The House Book
When we bought this house in 1998, I purchased a 3-ring binder and a set of index tabs. I labeled each tab with a different room of the house. My first project was to measure each room and draw it out on graph paper. Those graphs became the first page of each section in the book and I’ve used them many times over the years. When buying a new couch or looking to add a book shelf to a corner I can tell immediately if a piece of furniture that I’m considering will fit. As we began renovating, I used the notebook to store all of the receipts, samples, and information about products, paints and flooring that we were purchasing for the house. I continue to update it whenever I buy something new.
Book #3: The List Book
One piece that I expect will become even more important this year is an extension of my house book. It is a small notebook that I have carried in my purse for years. It’s only 3″ x 5,” but it contains just about anything and everything that I might need to know. When I measured the dining room in order to purchase wallpaper I wrote the square footage down in my “list book.” When we needed a new refrigerator, I measured the available space and wrote the dimensions into my book. My little book contains the variety names of the fruit trees we planted, the battery sizes for things like the doorbell and my wrist watches, the sizes of storm windows which need replaced. Paint brands and color names or numbers that I’ve used, the number of my furnace filter, the length of my sofa – any detail that I might need to know either now or some time in the future gets recorded into my little book and the information stays there until I’ve no further use for it.What it does is save me time and energy. Instead of hunting for model numbers or remeasuring things multiple times the numbers I need are right there in the book. Only once in about 20 years have I filled the book and needed to buy another. This is that year. I’ve bought a new little book, this time with a more substantial cover that won’t fall apart from too much use, and I will transfer all of the still relevant and useful info. As I begin cleaning and organizing the house I will use the little book to make notes and list things that need to be purchased.Embed from Getty Images
Book #4: The Business Address Book
As I was cleaning out a desk drawer the other day I came across a new and as yet unused, address book that I had received as a gift several years ago. I am also constantly coming across business cards in my purse and (mostly) on the top of my husband’s dresser. The address book gave me the idea to collect all of those business names and numbers that need to be saved and enter them into the new address book. It will become a central place to keep numbers for our auto mechanic and the guy who installed our new roof, our snowplow service, various doctors and dentists, etc. One project always seems to lead to another new one! This one at least is the sort of thing that can be done in front of the TV. Now to gather up all of those business cards and loose scraps of paper…