#1. Paper – Set up a system for dealing with papers that come into your home. 3 baskets, bins, or drawers (we have 3 drawers in an old Hoosier cabinet that we converted to our landing strip) that will handle all the paper that comes into your house. Your drawers should be:
- Financial – for checkbooks, receipts, and bills.
- Filing – for papers that must be filed. This is where you will put items that need to go into your filing cabinet system as well as items that need to be filing in the kids’ memory bins (that too cute picture from church). Anything that needs to be dealt with on your filing day goes in here.
- Frugal – for all the coupons, store offers, sale adds etc. This is where you keep your coupon organizer, coupons that you clipped or printed, store adds that have deals you plan to take advantage of etc. Anything paper relating to saving money goes in here.
#2. To Do – Set up three To-Do lists: To-Do Today, To-Do This month, To-Do Long Term. As something on your monthly list needs to be done today, move it there. When a long-term project becomes something you want to do this month, move it there. This system allows you to keep an ongoing list of daily tasks, as well as the projects that you hope to do someday.
#3. Daily Tasks – Each morning, identify your top three tasks for the day. Once they are complete, identify three more. Keeping the list down to three means you won’t get over whelmed with a huge “to-do” list and your top priorities get handled first.
#4. Projects – Each month identify three projects you want to accomplish during the month. Special organizing, refurbishing a dresser, painting the family room – whatever – list those top three projects, then spend 15 minutes each weekday and three hours total on the weekends to accomplish these projects. At the end of the month you will have spent almost 20 hours toward the completion of these items (and you will likely have finished well before the end of the month).
#5 Activities – Limit everyone to three activities during any season. At our house we have one music, one sport, and one church activity for each kid (or adult). Luckily, many of these (like church small groups) overlap and can be accomplished with one block of calendar time for everyone. Limiting this to three activities means you select only the things that are really important to each person and your goals as a family.