By Kristl Story, The Budget Diet
Making a home inventory fits in with a lot of items on your organization to-do lists. So we turned to expert Kristl Story for some tips to organize your life. Her recommendations are neatly fit into ten days to organize your life. Enjoy!
Family Notebook: Create a notebook with a divider for each school or organization that your children are involved in. This is a great “one stop shop” for phone lists, schedules and rosters for those many activities! Use the back pocket to keep invitations or flyers for upcoming events. Use the front pocket for school directories. Keep the notebook in the drawer with your phone books and make sure your family knows where this important “resource” is!
Calendar Clutch: Keep a calendar or planner with you at all times and make sure your children know where it is, so they can check it! This will save you the time of having to tell someone, “I’ll check my calendar and get back with you.” I’m an old-fashioned paper calendar in the purse person, but electronic calendars are great. Use what works for you, but the important part is: use it!
Mail Mess: When mail or school papers arrive use this rule and avoid piles: do it, dump it or delegate it. Example: bills go in the bill paying file, write down dates from school flyers on your calendar, put the junk mail in the recycler.
E-Junk: Speaking of junk mail, in this internet era we are always giving out our e-mail address which seems to generate more and more junk in our inbox. Solution: get a free hotmail, g-mail or y-mail account and use this one exclusively for giving out to stores, etc. You’ll only need to check this e-mail for purchase confirmations or an e-coupon they may send.
De-clutter & be green!
– Stop junk mail (free): DMAchoice.org
– Stop credit card offers (free): OptOutPrescreen.com
– Stop catalogs (free): CatalogChoice.org
Medical Forms: Get your child’s physical done every year around their birthday instead of rushing to make an appointment right before the school or camp form is due. As long as a child has had a physical within the year, you can drop off any form, and the doctor will sign it.
Plan ahead: It’s the beginning of the month, time to check the calendar for birthdays, anniversaries or other events that you might need to buy a gift for.
Great Ideas: Start idea files, and whenever you see a great idea…to the file it goes! Then when you’re ready to start a project you’ll have an instant resource. Suggested files:
– Birthday Party Ideas
– Gift Ideas
Artwork overload: look for inexpensive frames on sale at Michael’s (usually $5) and decorate a hallway or a laundry room with your child’s artwork. Of course, this will be a gallery with rotating artwork!
Clean Out: Make a plan to tackle one room, closet or bookshelf each month (or week) and make 4 piles: throw out, recycle, donate, sell. Remember, if you haven’t used it or worn it in the past year…it’s time to get rid of it! Get the entire family involved and use the money you make for a family vacation! Places to sell: garage sale, ebay.com, consignment shop, craigslist.com, Half Price books, freecycle.org
Remember: Time is money, so organize your life to save both.
Kristl is the CEO of her family and also the maid, the cook, the coupon queen and yes, the bargain shopper. She’s not a financial planner or an accountant, just a mom that knows how to live the good life on a budget. Kristl’s tips have been featured in publications like Consumer Reports, All You Magazine and Good Housekeeping. Discover more frugal living tips at TheBudgetDiet.com