Mission Organization!

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image credit: stock fresh
image credit: stock fresh

All these delayed boxes this month have left me time to work on other projects around here. Including getting organized! Some things I have plans and ideas for, but others? I don’t know where to even begin and am hoping to get some help from some of you all! Here’s what I’m planning:

~Cleaning Out the Closets: I still haven’t gotten together a bag for thredUP, but that’s #1 on my list here. I am planning to do just a bag of my old stuff for them because I have had the best luck with that. Kid’s clothes wise (and that’s where my real issue is), I am thinking of a Spring Mom2Mom sale. I am hoping that L’s school does one. I’ll instagram a picture of kids clothes I have going on in our spare bedroom. They are taking over my house. It’s insanity. How many bins of clothes can I bring to one of these things? Do people only buy for the next season or would they buy fall stuff too? I mean I will buy a 3T summer shirt for WB now if it’s adorable and on super clearance.

~The Nail Polish:  Since B has taken SO long to hang the shelves I bought up, I am now rethinking my organization system. I have a ton of polish and it’s all stored in plastic shoe boxes right now, which is NOT the way to go.  It’s all falling out of the boxes and sometimes I just get overwhelmed and don’t even bother painting my nails!  But one way or another, this will be corrected.

~Meal Planning:  I SUCK at meal planning.  I don’t do the cooking (B is the best) so maybe it’s that, I don’t know.  But I’d love to hear how some of you meal plan.  Do you plan a week in advance?  Two weeks?  B’s starting back to school on Monday and I’d love to get a plan together to make things easier for everyone.

I do feel more organized (schedule wise) already with my Erin Condren planner.  I pretty much have it next to me at all time so I think that helps because I am forced to look at it.  I also have been using the Wedding Planner (I use it as a Notebook) I ordered and it’s awesome to have all my notes in ONE notebook instead of the ten million little ones I used to use.

What are your best organizing tips?  What are you working on getting organized in 2014?  Any tips or tricks on meal planning or organizing in general???

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Jennifer is the author and founder of Subscription Box Ramblings. She first discovered subscription boxes in 2012 and has been addicted since. Current favorites include CAUSEBOX, Boxycharm and Beachly!

This Post Has 42 Comments

  1. Nichole Van Bruggen

    If you search Melmer for Nail polish storage you will find so many cute things. You can get melmers at Michaels and if you go with a coupon they usually are to bad. They hold quite a bit of polish and you can decorate them so cute 🙂

    1. Jennifer

      Those are cute!! Do you organize by color or brand?

      1. Nichole Van Bruggen

        Um well about 100 of mine are all the same brand, I am very partial to the Zoya brand (they have a get 3 free just pay $12 Shipping/Handling promo right now.) 🙂 So buy brand and then from there by color also.
        Nail Polish is so addicting!

        1. Jennifer

          I was this close to placing a Zoya order. This close. But I just couldn’t do it!! So much polish!

  2. Elizabeth

    I am horrible at meal planning too. Every week we make or buy pizza, then I buy 3 meals from Trader Joes refrigerated section (like the stuffed chicken breasts). Then I only have 3 meals left to plan on my own. It’s not perfect but it has helped some. And I don’t plan what I’m having on a certain day until that morning. Otherwise I plan something, decide I don’t want it and we end up with take out.

    1. Jennifer

      I think that might be what gets me. I plan in my head and then that meal comes and I am not in the mood for it!

  3. Laurel

    I have given up all paper calendars and planners for the Cozi app/website. It works on ALL of your family’s devices (computers, ipads, androids, etc.), and updating something on one, updates all of them. I have ongoing events (like soccer and swimming) scheduled, as well as doctor appointments and birthday parties. If I change something, I can send alerts to any family member who needs to know. When I schedule things for my husband to do, I can even set up 3 text reminders for him in advance for each event, to make sure he doesn’t forget. (I think you get one alert unless you upgrade to gold, which I did.) It even has a meal planner. It’s got to do lists for each of us, and I can actually check in on my husband (without him knowing I’m looking) on his off days to see what he’s checked off! I also use and love the ourgroceries app. It keeps real time lists for all of your shopping, so that if you husband remembers 10 different things that he needs at 10 different times during the day, you don’t get 10 different texts, it’s just all added to the list. It keeps your recipes, too, so you can add everything you need to your list at one time. It looks like the cozi app does mostly the same thing now, but I’ve never used that part of it.
    I can’t tell you how much I LOVE the cozi app. Love. Love. Love.

    1. Jennifer

      Well it clearly sounds like I need to check this app out! I would love to be able to send my husband lists like that!!!

  4. Catherine Faulkenburg

    I plan weekly. I do the plan on Sunday, and shop Monday. I make it my “assignment” for those two days that has to be done. I have posts on my blog about it. Simple is best, IMO.

    1. Jennifer

      I just need to make a plan and stick with it. No excuses!

  5. Lana

    I plan on Thursday, and then do my shopping Saturday, and usually cook/prep for the week on Sunday. Then all I have to do is heat up or grill up and go on the day of, which helps me stick to it!

    1. Jennifer

      Then do you freeze it and just heat up?

      1. Lana

        It depends on the meal! If I make a casserole, or a pasta dish, or soup I will either put it in the fridge for the week or the freezer and heat it up.

        If I do something like stir fry, or turkey burgers, or grilled fish – something that’s better cooked the day of – I will preportion it earlier in the week into little baggies, and then just take out however many I need depending on how many people I’m cooking for!

        1. Jennifer

          You are on it lady!!!!

  6. Erica

    I hate meal planning too. There are some different websites that make it easier. I use Emeals. They plan all the meals and give you a list of ingredients to buy. I like it because there is always something new to try and I never get in a dinner rut. I subscribe to the portion control plan, but there are a bunch of different ones. They even have plans for specific grocery stores that take advantage of weekly sales. I forget how much it costs to subscribe. I bought a year-long plan on groupon a while back. It was totally worth it for me! It makes my life so much easier.

    1. Jennifer

      Oh, that is a good idea! I will look into them!

  7. C

    Meal planning, for my family I’ve had the same plan for a decade and it works.
    Mon. And fri. Are fish days. (This could be fish or any seafood baked, bbq’d etc.
    Thurs is pizza nite. This could be, pizza, Stromboli, calzone.
    Tuesday is sandwich nite. This could be subs, sloppy joes, tacos, meatball sandwiches, Tuna melts, the bread carb thing is endless.
    We’d is pasta nite. Also endless choices. Pasta dishes, lasagna, ravioli etc.
    Weekend one eat out night and one crock pot or down to earth make from scratch nite.
    Has worked like a charm for years when I worked a ton of hours and when I didn’t.

    As for nail polish. Come on. How many colors does a person really like. Pick five and don’t keep the rest. Big space saver.

    1. Jennifer

      That would be a huge space saver for sure!!!

      Okay, I love this idea of having a general menu and then picking specific meals out based on those. Do your meals depend on what foods you have in the house or do shop for the stuff weekly?

  8. alyssa

    I’m trying to get my nail polish organized and asked my dad last night if he would be able to make me something like this cute wooden butterfly nail polish rack I’d seen online and he’s like ‘yeah I could do that but why do you need that?’ Men just don’t understand our need to have all of the nail polish and then organize it in a cute way so we remember what we have and can easily pick one.
    Luckily i did organize all my makeup including samples into 5 old glossyboxes I had and set them all up beside my magnifying mirror I got for Christmas! So that’s had me feeling accomplished lol

    1. Jennifer

      Yay! My brother was like I can come over and hand those shelves, but is it really necessary to have nail polish shelves? LOL!!!

      1. alyssa

        Yes it is necessary to have shelves for nail polish. Lol
        O and I finally have a date set for my big eye surgery it’s February 25th! One thing I’m not looking forward to is the rule that I can’t wear nail polish day of surgery, my mom told me it’s cause it throws off the finger pulse oxygenation machine but I hate my nails with no polish. I’m already going nuts having had the same gel polish on for a week lol I usually change it every few days.

        1. Jennifer

          It’ll be worth it though!!! I want to see your polish collection!

  9. Ashley C.

    I menu plan for the whole month. It helps keep everything on budget for us — especially since I buy all of our meat for the whole month on that first weekly trip, and just store it all in the chest freezer. But a lot of our “planning” is writing down “steak” or something simple. Then, when that day comes, I don’t have to worry that I’m not in the mood for something specific — most of what I would need for side items, or a marinade, etc I keep on hand all the time. I can just choose what I want to do with the steak and get to cooking!

    1. Jennifer

      So how often do you grocery shop? Weekly and then just buy meat once a month?

      1. Ashley C.

        I do one major trip at the beginning of the month — I buy ALL the meat, plus I stock up on a lot of things that we use as staples. Canned goods. Frozen breakfast items. Oatmeal/cereal/grits. Bread — I buy 6-8 loaves at the bread thrift store for $1/loaf of the good Nature’s Own bread, which also gets put in the freezer. Paper goods — toilet paper, paper towel … anything like that that I know we will need I buy in that first trip. The rest of the month, I shop weekly — but each trip is small and quick. I only have to buy the fresher items – milk, eggs, fruit and veggies, or replenish things for my husband’s work lunches. By doing it this way, I am better able to keep with our budget, too. We no longer get to the last week of the pay period {state employees get paid once a month here} and have to rework our menu to include cheap gross meals because we have no money left! We already have all the good meat and most of the side items!! Its been a blessing since I started doing it this way!

        1. Jennifer

          You are crazy organized!!!!!! I am going to steal some of your ideas!!!!!

  10. valerie

    I am terrible at meal planning. I saw something different where you have each day set aside for a type of meal and rotate. Sunday – Roast/roast chicken, Monday – Ethical food like spaghetti or tacos, Tuesday – burgers, Wednesday – soup, salad, or stew like chili Thursday – meatless, Friday – leftovers, Saturday – out. I am thinking of trying something like this. Everyone in our house eats differently. I am gluten intolerance and my daughter is allergic to tomatoes. Pass on any ideas, I could use it.

    1. Jennifer

      I like the idea of mixing it up like that!

    2. Kyra

      This is what i’ve been trying to do. I made a list of our faves so at least at a quick glance I have some fall-backs. I am a big fan of meals like lasagna that we can eat for a few meals too. I also have to sometimes cook multiple meals bc my son is allergic to dairy, eggs and nuts…on the bright side he outgrew his wheat allergy so things got much easier!

      1. Jennifer

        I feel like taking that time to plan would save me a ton of last minute time and stress!!

  11. Kam

    I have one nail polish rack on my wall that holds 96 bottles depending on the brand. I am just starting to accumulate bottles on the bottom shelf.

    When the bottles outgrow the rack? 🙁 🙁 🙁 That’s it. I already have a giveaway pile, and my friends benefit from my nail candy crack habit.

    I organize by brand (Barielle, Zoya, Sally Hansen, Revlon) and then color (ROYGBIV).

    I could easily fill a dozen racks if I let myself, but the one rack limit keeps me on track.

    1. Jennifer

      I am dying that you use ROYGBIV to organize. And also, I plan on stealing that?..

      1. Kam

        Oh I tried strict ROYGBIV across the board and my OCD couldn’t tolerate the variances in bottle shape…

        1. Jennifer

          I posted a picture of my first organizing attempt on my most recent post. It’s way harder than I thought.

  12. Mandy

    Every week I try to come up with some sort of meal plan, but my husband (who does most of the cooking) usually ends up derailing my plans. However, since he is the one who has to run to the grocery store when he changes his mind, I can’t really complain. 🙂

    As far as general planning goes, my Erin Condren planner has been a lifesaver. I can’t say enough good things about it!

    1. Jennifer

      That isn’t bad then. As long as it’s him going ;).

    1. Jennifer

      Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Jennifer

      That’s a great idea!!! I do love my label maker!

  13. Mrs. L

    Because we both work and don’t have kids my meal planning is probably different than most. I have a draft in my email box that I use weekly so it’s easy to change on the fly (will be moving that to Evernote soon).
    Breakfast during the week is just variations week in and out (yogurt, hard boiled eggs, oatmeal). Breakfast on weekends is more the eggs/bacon/waffles/pancakes kinda thing.
    Lunch for me is usually leftovers (I factor that in in making meals) or grilled chicken and veggies (my husband eats at his work, unless he too has leftovers).
    I meal plan all week (I’m already starting for next week) so that when I shop on Sunday or go to the Farmers market I know what to get. I can also change plans as new events get added to the schedule.
    We eat out at least once a week…before a movie, hockey game, date night etc. so that gets factored into the meal plan.
    We usually try to incorporate a crockpot meal once a week so that we don’t have to fuss with cooking when we get home from work/gym/play etc.
    During the week it’s really easy meals that I can make without looking. It’s the weekends where my creativity or trying new dishes or dishes that take time comes in. Those might be soups, leftovers, meals we’ve frozen, salads, quick meats (steak, roast a chicken, lamb chops etc).
    I always have “emergency” meals on hand (Trader Joes is good for this) should I get stuck one night (ie just too tired to cook!) . There is always frozen shrimp etc to make salads or meals if need be. There is Subway Sandwich too, which if I’m heavy into training or working out is usually once a week.
    My husband cooks too, so some weeks it’s his responsibility to plan/shop/cook meals. But because it’s something I love to do (seriously, grocery markets to me are like shoe shops to some) I don’t really mind the work.

    1. Jennifer

      I really think you should move near me!

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