Saturday, 26 February 2011

Being Organised

I love to be organised. I am not, by any stretch of the imagination a control freak,
but I do like to know what I am doing tomorrow. And preferably into next week.

When I was married we had the motto "if you never plan anything then
nothing can go wrong". Which in a weird kind of way is true,
(what were we thinking??)

But it doesn't work for me now.. not with four children.

I sometimes have a brain like a sieve and I find if I write it down,
I don't have to have it rattling around in my brain.
All I have to do is remember where I put the list with it on.

For the last five years I have kept a diary, not a diary of what I did,
a thoughts and feelings kind of diary, but a dairy with notes,
important appointments, what's for tea, when things happened,
ideas for the garden, reminders, school dates that kind of thing.

It is very, very handy. It fits in my bag and I pretty much take
it everywhere with me..

Now my Motto is "Fail to prepare, prepare to fail"
(stolen from a poster in the school Charlotte goes to)

And if the diary isn't enough, we have a whiteboard so that everyone can see what's happening this week. It saves having to answer ten times "what's for tea?"

I generally write what's happening Monday to Friday, what meals we will have all week and anything that is important. Sometimes it gets vandalised and you have to check it now and again for rude poems (Jim) or smiley faces (Katie) words inserted where they shouldn't be (Charlotte)...

It's also a good place to put the Council rubbish collection times and a timer, in the hopes of making people move faster in the morning.

Like I say, it is a hope and is yet to be achieved....

The fridge is a good place to put letters, mostly school ones with exam timetables on,
parents evening times and there is a letter there for Jim from his Music teacher telling
him he needs to hand in some overdue homework from last summer.....

I write these into my diary but leave the letters here for the children to see what they have to do in the coming weeks.

These are the time tables for Charlotte, Jim and Sam. In the morning you will usually find them standing there with a rucksack in one hand and stuffing books in it with the other and their faces pressed up against the fridge, reading what books they need for the day.

And if you think I'm not organised enough yet, then there are the lists.List of things to do, lists of bills to pay, lists of things to remember, lists of things to get at the charity shop, list of things to do in the holidays, lists of things to pick up at the shop on the way home, lists of the lists I've got.... haha, only kidding, that's on a spread sheet on the computer...No really, I'm kidding...

(I don't know how to do spread sheets yet, but if I did...)

So, in my list I might have an order of things to be done. On Monday, the children are back to school so when I drop Katie off I need to check in the school office for what time her after school cookery class finishes on Wednesday, and while in there I need to hand in the £1 for the lesson. The pound in the envelope will go at our front door on a poly pocket that is attached to the door so we don't forget it, along with Jim and Sam's lunch cards, which they still forget...
I also on the way home need to post a CV and letter as I go past the post box, I need to phone and re-book Jim's ADHD Clinic appointment, which clashes with me signing on at 9:40am and his PSP meeting at 11:am that day. I need to phone and make an appointment for Spec savers and ask will I qualify for a free eye test, put in for a repeat prescription for Jim and Myself on the way past the doctors, go to my friends and do her ironing for her as she has family visiting this week and she won't get time to do everything.... phew
But if I didn't write it down I'd forget and I would never forgive myself if I missed a school assembly, parents evening or sports day because I didn't write it down and was unorganised.

So maybe I am a bit of an organised freak after all, but I can't afford to be unorganised, I know what's for tea, I know what bills I need to pay and how much money I have in the bank, I know when the school breaks up for the next half term and when Charlotte's 11 exams are before June.

But that's my job, our lives run better when you know where things are and what's happening tomorrow. If there is a change of plan I can adjust things accordingly. I know if there is spare time, spare money, enough food for a friend to stay for tea. It's all out of my head and written down and that relieves me of the stress of having to remember things, or not forgetting things, which I know is the same, but I don't know which one explains it better.....
So I put both, just in case...

And now for something completely different, With my Tesco club card vouchers I had always bought more shopping with them. That week I would do a larger shop than normal and used my vouchers that way. I had read a few blogs where they had exchanged their vouchers for days out tokens and restaurant vouchers as a treat. What a brilliant idea, so I went online and used what vouchers I had left and exchanged it for a Cineworld Adult ticket, It's worth about £8.
When the next statement comes through in May I will exchange the next lot of points for Children Cineworld vouchers. With the next statement after that I'm going to exchange the points for Prezzo restaurant vouchers. In the summer holidays all five of us will go to the cinema and out for a meal at Prezzos FOR FREE !!!
(because I'm organised)
And as if that wasn't enough, I joined Tesco DVD rental for just under £5 per month, I get three films to watch each month and send them back when I'm ready to. No postage to pay and the next one arrives in the post a few days later.
It does save me money because I might have been tempted to buy the DVD, watched it once and it just sits on the shelf. So I get to watch a film from a list I have chosen three times a month for under £5.
And then, they sent me two adult Cineworld tickets, for free.....
So in trying to save money I have received a few freebies.
Guess who's going to the cinema soon, I just need to pencil in some time for myself....



  1. I know what you mean about being organised - especially when yoy are a single parent. I spent many years as a single parent (admittedly only for one child - father walked out when daughter had just turned one) so I can appreciate how hard it is to have to juggle so many balls. It looks like you are doing a fantastic job in raising your children to me - you're a credit to them!! :)

  2. Thank you, It is a real struggle some days and if I don't write things down they float out of my head, all I have to do is remember where I put the list lol.