Starting Off Easy: Organization

Four months ago on 7/16/2012 I gave birth to my second child, a baby boy. Previous to his birth I joked that things would calm down in our lives once he was born and it’s proved to be true. Sounds crazy, right? This year has brought on some of the most difficult times in the 12 years I’ve been with my husband (six of those being married) and most of it had nothing to do with having a baby. I’m not quite ready to delve into those dark details yet but I will say that out of darkness comes light.

Since Simon’s birth, Derek and I have gone through multiple phases: 1) elatement and adrenaline rush of a new baby, 2) sleep deprivation kicking into full gear, followed by 3) frustration and adjustment to life with new baby.

Simon, 14 days

This has lead me to search for something tangible and concrete that I can control in order to better the situation. Organization was my answer. Organization has taken on many forms in my life but most recently I’ve needed something more structured. It has given me some direction in what can seem like endless days of meal preparation, changing diapers, and laundry.

So I’m sharing a “Weekly Planner” that I developed. It’s a Monday-Friday schedule:

1) Regularly scheduled events are already written in on the day of the week. You’ll notice that Tuesday says “Derek” and Wednesday “Ashley.” Each week Derek and I get a night to ourselves to do whatever we wish (see friends, read, exercise, etc-I can see I’ll be adding blogging to my list now) and the other takes care of the kids for the night. This has eased a lot of stress for us.

2) The column on the right lists items that I do every week but maybe not on the same day. I fill it in at the beginning of each week, as well as, add any scheduled appointments.

3) In case you’re wondering “SS” stand for Stroller Strides. I’m a member and highly recommend it for a great workout and socialization.

4) It’s old school in the sense that I actually print this out each week and fill it in longhand. I know, a lot to ask, but there’s nothing like the act of writing to make you think and help generate ideas.

Weekly Plan

(wasn’t sure how to get it to upload as opened so you can view it right away…tips?)

Without boring you too much more I think I’ll stop there. Please share your thoughts and any ideas you have that help you stay organized week to week. It’s always an evolving process and I’m always looking for ideas.

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10 thoughts on “Starting Off Easy: Organization

  1. Good luck with organising things, I just remember how different it was with the first compared to the second, with my first-born I had so much more time to take things slowly and just watch her grow, with the second, I did not have that luxury and being busy made me have to be more organised. I don’t really recall the method, I think we just change and adapt to what is required out of necessity. Allow a little bit of flexibility for change and I am sure it will all be fine. Bonne continuation.

    • Yes, I think my methods change frequently but sometimes it takes a struggle to figure out what works. I agree about time with the second. I love spending one on one time with the little ones everyday and that means that something else has to give. Flexibility is key.

  2. Mom taught us well, Ashley. I think organization is in our genes…I just got done penciling out long-hand my activites for the week!…

  3. I just organized my meals (shopping, prep, work etc.) for the week…..on paper. Mom IS still available if you need a little companionship.

  4. Hey Ash! Several months ago I started writing/typing “no plans” on my phone calendar for an entire day/evening so that I didn’t over-schedule myself with plans, events, parties, dates, or things to do. I look ahead at the month or two months & if many evenings/weekends are full I find an empty day and schedule “no plans”. Then the next time I’m looking through my calendar to find time to meet with someone or do something it reminds me that I probably already have a full calendar & need to avoid over extending myself. I’ve disciplined myself to not change the “no plans” plan and it seems to relieve some of my stress. And, I ALWAYS have tons of things to do that day but I like not having plans to work around. Just a day to stay home or whatever & get things done!

  5. Thank you for the template! Bill is going back to work tomorrow, and I really need to feel like I have a plan. You inspired me to do a weekly schedule. Now I have some goals for each day this week.

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