Category Archives: Organization

My Perpetual Calendar

Journaling With A Perpetual Calendar

I’ve always wanted to keep a diary. When January 1st rolled around on the calendar, I would make a resolution to document my days. I always had the best of intentions, but after only a few weeks it faded into the background of my busy days.

One of the gifts I received when my first child was born was a “Baby’s First Year” calendar. It had little stickers to place on the days he reached milestones, as well as ones to note doctor appointments, etc. I really enjoyed having a separate place to record all his “firsts”. When my daughter was born a few years later, I purchased another one to save all her important dates too. I found myself referring back to my son’s calendar, remembering going through all the same developmental stages with him.

Then I decided to use my regular wall calendar in the same way … without the cute stickers. I put everything on that calendar, combining the whole family’s schedules. As the kids grew older, my calendar pages really filled up with all their activities and school schedules.

I have saved all these calendars. Over the years, usually during the week between Christmas and New Years, I have gotten into the habit of paging through these old calendars. I usually go through and write birthdays on my new calendar at this time. Sometimes I’m looking for a specific event, other times I’m looking through them to be reminded of old memories and reminisce.

This year, I’ve decided to try to combine my hope of keeping a journal with documenting events on my calendar. While browsing on Pinterest, I came across the idea of a perpetual calendar. Each day of the year has it’s own card. Each daily card would have several years worth of events that happened on that date. The idea being that I would write a quick sentence or two about my day on each card. Then the next year, I’d write my short journal entry on the same card as the last year. Over time, I would be able to look back over many years, all documented on the same card for that date. I’m hoping that since it’s only a sentence or two, I won’t feel overwhelmed by trying to come up with profound thoughts while staring at a blank page in my journal. Some days will have exciting entries, some days will be boring … but they all add up to life 🙂

Filing Cabinet Tips

Getting Organized ~ Tips For Keeping Your Filing Cabinet Organized

I don’t know about you, but I’m kinda glad the Holidays are over. Don’t get me wrong … I LOVE the Holiday season, but I’m the kind of person who does better having a routine. Part of me likes being in “vacation mode” ~ but the other part of me longs to get back to my routine / schedule 🙂

January is the perfect time to take a good look at your files. In the first couple of weeks of January, I like to purge and get my files organized. It’s a new year, and the perfect time to update your file cabinet.

I usually sort through and file my paperwork once a month, but I skipped November and December. You know how it is … decorating, baking, shopping, wrapping, going to all those holiday parties … so I spent a few hours last week trying to get caught up 🙂

First I updated my household management file box. I purged all of 2012 papers, then moved all of my 2013 files into the last year folder to make way for this year. For a more thorough explanation of my filing system, you can check out my previous blog post here. I then had quite a large stack of 2012 documents to shred.

Then I had to take my own advice, and get my paper clutter back under control. In just those couple of months, my paperwork and junk mail really piled up.

Now I have a fairly full recycle bin (lots of holiday sale papers). Unfortunately, I was only able get partially through my shred pile because my shredder died … so I’m on the lookout for a great sale price on a new one.

Are you making progress on getting your paper clutter under control ? Share your tips and techniques with us 🙂

photo by: mrmanc
Tracy Helps You Top 5 Blog Posts 2013

Tracy Helps You’s Top 5 Blog Posts 2013

Tracy Helps You was founded in the spring of 2013. It has been a year of learning for me, and I feel that I’ve had quite a successful first year of business. I’d like to thank everyone who reads my Blog … I truly appreciate it 🙂

I also would like to thank Kris at www.weirdunsocializedhomeschoolers.com & Angie at www.manylittleblessings.com for hosting List It Tuesday.

Here are my Top 5 Posts …

  1. Getting Organized – Paper Clutter
  2. Lending A Helping Hand
  3. I am so Excited, Another To-Do List Item Checked Off !!
  4. Getting Organized – Tips For Filing Your Important Documents and Paper Work
  5. Getting Organized – Garage Storage
Pita Christmas Trees Appetizer

Tracy Helps You’s Tips for Holiday Parties

December is here and with it comes numerous invitations to Holiday parties and get-togethers. I attended one last night and have another tonight, and it’s only the beginning.

Santa Hats

Santa Hats … Fun Christmas Dessert

It’s always so much fun to spend time together with friends and indulge in delicious foods. There is usually a buffet table loaded with quite a variety of appetizers, desserts and drinks … that’s probably where you’ll find most of the guests 🙂

Which brings me to my tip for Holiday Parties … I always ask if I can bring something. Many of these parties are actually annual celebrations for various groups I belong to, like my bowling league, small group or choir. We have a Christmas party every year and all bring a dish to share.

As you know, I love lists … so I created a list (spreadsheet) for Party Food. I keep track of what dish I bring to each party, each year, so I don’t bring the same thing to the next year’s party or to another group party (some people overlap groups). I also keep a copy of the recipes with my list. Then it’s easy to send a copy to someone if they enjoyed my dish and asked for the recipe. I try to plan out what dishes I’ll be bringing after everything is cleaned up on Thanksgiving night (my official start of the Christmas season) … I just love having a plan 🙂

I really enjoy looking through magazines and cookbooks for new recipes to try out. Actually, my latest obsession is browsing on Pinterest … don’t knock it til you’ve tried it 🙂

PS … I brought the little Santa Hats last night, they were a big hit … I’m bringing the Pita Christmas Trees tonight !

Shop for Christmas Gifts during Back to School Sales

Holiday Gift Shopping During Back-To-School Sales

Its September … schools are back in session, fall routines and schedules are falling into place, calendar dates are filling up fast … and there are only 112(ish) shopping days left til Christmas !!

As you probably know, I love having a plan for everything I do. I would just love to have an organized plan for the whole hectic holiday season; more fun and family, less stress and chaos. I’ll talk about this more in a future blog post. Continue reading

photo by: ell brown
Filing Tips for Your Imortant Documents and Paperwork

Getting Organized – Tips For Filing Your Important Documents and Paper Work

Filing … I don’t know anyone who likes to do it, at home or at the office. However, it has to be done or you’ll have mountains of paperwork and won’t be able to find anything when you need it.

There are numerous different approaches and tips to setting up an organized filing system. You can probably spend the better part of a day searching Google for the best one. The trick is finding what works for your household needs. Once you decide which setup is right for your family, it basically comes down to the mundane task of ‘just do it’ 🙂

Here is what works for me … Continue reading

photo by: 401(K) 2013

Getting Organized – Paper Clutter

Paper ~ it’s everywhere … newspapers, junk mail, catalogs, magazines, sales papers, bills … and all too soon, school papers ! Piles and Piles of paper ! They’re everywhere – the desk, the coffee table, the kitchen counter.

As with most organizing jobs, I like to try to break it down into smaller tasks. It is a plan that serves me well in many situations. Depending on how long you have been accumulating your piles, you might want to attack one stack at a time. In dealing with paper clutter, you’ll find that the recycle bin and the shredder are your friends. Continue reading

photo by: cogdogblog

Back to School ~ Homeschool Planning

Being a planner at heart, I just love this time of year! I love seeing all the sale ads for the back to school supplies and getting homeschool curriculum catalogs in the mail. It’s fun talking with other parents about what has worked for them in the past and what new approach they’ll be trying this year. Yes, I love the preparation / planning for the beginning of a new school year!

In my mind, organizing and planning go hand in hand. It’s like giving stability to an idea; like having a firmly rooted plant that can grow many different branches. You start with what you would like to see happen ideally, and then hammer out the logistics to come up with a workable plan. Your original idea can take off in many different directions, taking on an entirely different form. Continue reading

Getting Organized – Garage Storage

It can be overwhelming, where do you begin?

I recommend that you start small. Assess the whole project and then try to break it down into more manageable parts.

Take the garage for example. Typically, they hold much more than just our cars. For most families, the garage is one of the main storage areas. As a matter of fact, some people park their car in the driveway and use the garage space exclusively for storage. Continue reading

photo by: joguldi