If you’re a mom you know it’s difficult to stay on top of everything. Now.. add in being a full time college student, homeschool teacher, and all of the chores that come with having a house. There’s day I have no idea how I survive or how my house doesn’t fall apart! LOL.
Right before we decided to homeschool A I fell into the Happy Planner hole! It’s a good thing I did, though! As it’s been the glue to holding me & my life together!
I first purchased a classic size planner for my own personal use & to keep track of my assignments for school. The one that I purchased had a vertical layout where the days were split into three sections. I used the top section for personal stuff like my to do lists, chores, errands, etc. The middle row I used as a decoration spot to make my week more colorful – this made it so much easier, for me, to want to look at my to do lists and get shit done. The bottom row I use for my school assignments or school related meetings, events, etc. This process has worked for me for over a year. I did have to buy a new planner when my classic size was all used up (pic attached above). This is the big happy planner. But I am using it the same as what I just explained, with just a tad difference in decoration. It’s not just left to the middle row anymore. I spread it out depending on how my days look to switch it up from time to time. You’ll see above that not all of my decor stickers are in the middle row.
I am a list maker so in my planner where I make my to do lists I only jot down vague descriptions – for instance if it’s kitchen deep clean day I’ll write down kitchen. On my fridge I have a dry erase board where I will write a more detailed list of what needs to be done in whatever room that’s listed in my planner. So for kitchen day I’d write down stuff like clean baseboards, clean appliances, clean counters, clean out fridge, etc. That way I can cross those things off as I’m done and once the whole room is done I can cross it off in my planner and move on to the next thing on my to do list!
In this planner I use my monthly layout as my budget tracker. Where I’ll write down what bills are due when, how much they are, when pay days are, etc. In the monthly view I also write down any dr appts that we may have and then when I get to that current week I’ll add them to my weekly layout in the top section. I also keep a folder in this planner that I move month to month for any bills we get in the mail. I will stick them in the folder and when they’re paid I’ll move them to my “paid” folder in our filing cabinet.
When we started homeschool I tried to add her stuff in my planner as well and it just became too much. I ended up buying the teacher Happy Planner (picture above) and have been using that for A’s weekly lesson plans. It has been amazing! I love the layout – it has enough room where I can write down what her lessons are and what pages. The best part is that she’s able to easily read what her daily workload is and get on it without too much help so she will pull it out, read what her assignments are, pull out whatever books & workbooks she needs, and get to work. This planner also holds all the paperwork I have to keep for the state plus our attendance tracker and reading log.
I have yet ANOTHER happy planner, the mini, (pictured above) that stays in my pocketbook. I use this to jot down appointments, play dates, etc and keep track of things on the go. I also meal plan in this planner and write down grocery lists.
Now, that may sound overwhelming to some but it has honestly helped me so much with keeping on top of things and staying organized. Once I got my routine down it was habit for me to pull out my planner and get to work. Having these planners that each have their own specific purpose also helps keeps me on top of everything without feeling an insane amount of overwhelm.
I love how easy it is to customize the happy planner, too. There are so many accessories – stickers, folders, paper, paper clips, stencils, stamps.. that allow you to make it your own! I can easily pull out the pages I need to plan for the week so that I’m not getting aggravated with the rings when I’m trying to write down stuff for the middle of the week. That was always my biggest issue with spiral bound planners. I’d use them for a bit and then get so aggravated with the spirals being in my way and just stop using them.
I can also buy extra rings and just some notebook paper to make a notebook for whatever reason! It’s really nice having something that I can make exactly how I want and need it!
I did talk about our filing cabinet a bit earlier and this is just a small wire basket that I put file folders in and use for important papers, paid bills, A’s completed worksheets & projects for the year, etc. It’s simple but keeps everything in a place where I know where it is! Which is always helpful when hubs will say “I need the title for….” or “Where’s the paperwork for…?” I can easily walk to the filing cabinet, go to the file folder it’s in, and pull it out!
How do you stay organized? Let me know in the comments!