- The Basket. I have a woven basket that I use to pick up and house everything that is going from one room to another. It serves as a visual to-do list of things that need to be put away, addressed by the end of the day, or generally dealt with. It’s woven fabric because then it doesn’t catch on my nylon athletic gear (which I am usually sporting, no pun intended) and it has handles for when I’ve overloaded it and need to get a grip (pun intended). It’s big enough for random toys (perplexus ball, anyone?) but not so big it becomes a toy bin.
- The Clipboard. If I had to name the top five things that make me efficient each day, one of them has to be my clipboard. That’s right. I carry a clipboard. This allows me to: a) write down anything at a moment’s notice, especially in the car and b) administer the Presidential Physical Fitness test at any time, as long as I have my trusty whistle and a stopwatch.
- The Schedule. On the clipboard is the schedule. I know, I know. There are digital devices for this. But I find that I don’t really retain what’s going on until I’ve written it down by hand. So I do. On Sunday night, I sit down with a notepad for the week and write out all the big and small things that I need to do. It gives me a good mental picture in my head about the structure of the week so when people ask me about something on the fly and I don’t have my phone, I’m able to trust my gut reaction a little more about whether it’s going to work.
- Organizing Errands. The night before a school day (or a busy weekend day) I will sit down with my Lands End tote and a bunch of mesh zippered pouches and sort through my errands. Any returns or exchanges with receipts get a pouch, and it allows me to visually see how full the morning is going to be. Sorting them like that also allows me to group them by location so I can organize my route and use as little gas and time as possible, thereby being and saving green. The tote goes on the bench by the mudroom, and is taken out to the car as soon as I start my day.
- Car Organization. In the car, I have a Lands End gardening tote. Yes, a gardening tote. I have a gardening tote because: a) it has double handles so can be moved into the trunk on weekends when the passenger seat is not my mobile office b) it has lots of pockets and c) the dividers are soft so if I get into an accident I don’t worry I might be impaled by a wire bin.
What do you to do to stay organized day to day? Leave a comment, share the wealth!