Oct 22, 2014

House Tour: Organization

This house tour prompt was from last Monday and I still haven't managed to post anything. I'm not sure what in my household organization is interesting to warrant a full blog post.

I have my shoes organized by type of show and by color. Not interesting.

My closet in organized by sleeve length and then by color. Not interesting. Perhaps interesting is that I pulled out a selection of nursing friendly shirts (button downs and flowy shirts) so they are easy to grab for. Nope. Still not interesting.

Everything in my pantry is protected by Oxo Containers to protect from getting (another) infestation of pantry bugs. It isn't actually organized, but it looks pretty. Not interesting.

At one point my spice cabinet was all pretty and alphabetical. Then life happened. So not organized anymore.

My office and craft supplies are organized and sorted into labeled boxes. Useful, yes. But, not interesting.

I like my life to be sorted and labeled and organized, but I don't do anything special or different. I don't have a great household system worth writing about. My kids aren't old enough for an awesome command center in my house complete with their schedules and a place for school take-home folders (although you can tell I've given this some thought and want this!).


The most interesting organizational thing I do is that I recently returned to a paper planner. I was a calendar on my phone kind of girl for a very long time. And I still think the phone calendar is really useful and has a place. But, I needed a place to jot down notes when I'm at meetings. I needed a place to store my prayer list. I needed a place to organize blog thoughts. The answer? My paper planner.


I looked at the ever-popular Emily Ley Simplified Life Planner. I looked at the always trendy Erin Condren Planner. But, I really didn't like how static they were. I need something flexible. I need something that change and grow with me. So, I built my own planner.


I started with a Russell + Hazel mini binder. I chose the pretty multi-colored one (no longer available) but I also love the solid black and white which are both leather and have great gold accents. To coordinate, I have these great binder labels on the spine of the binder so I can easily see which binder I am looking at. They are no longer available in gold, but here they are in silver.

My mini binder collection.

Inside an empty R+H binder.

The first section I have inside my binder is my calendar. I use the Russell + Hazel mini SmartDate calendar set. This is a monthly calendar and is classic and simple. Between the monthly pages, I use the R+H weekly sheets to get my week at a glance. I am happy with the simple way these are laid out, but I dislike that Saturday and Sunday are combined and receive so little space. We have so many activities on weekends and I need more space there, so once I am out of weekly sheets, I will design my own printable.

November Monthly Calendar
Inside an empty R+H binder.
August "List" and dates overview.

The next section in my binder is prayers. I have basic lined paper (cut to 6.375x8.375 so it fits in the binder) and each week I start a new page. I write the things I am praying for in my own life. I write prayer requests from my MOPS group. I write prayers for my friends. I write prayers for my online friends. After hearing a speaker last Friday, I am going to start writing prayers for myself. (How have I been neglecting prayers for myself?!?) Because I want my friends prayers to remain confidential, I take my completed prayer page out at the end of the week and file it away. This was I don't have private things about my friends traveling around the city with me. I heard a speaker last year (and I wish I could remember the person's name to link to them!) who recommended each year we as parents should choose a bible verse for our child. Every day for that year, pray that Bible verse over your child. When your child graduates from high school they will then "own" 18 verses that have prayed over them and for them. I want to get better about praying the Bible over my boys and love this idea. I intend to write the verses for each of my boys in this section. Just as soon as I choose them.


My blog page for this week.

The next section in my binder is for the blog. I use this little printable I created to think about the upcoming week and what needs done for the blog. I currently only plan a week in advance with things that are further ahead than that written onto my actual calendar. I wish I was better at planning further ahead. But I'm not. In this section I also keep a list of future blog post ideas. This way I can jot down ideas when I am out and about and think of things! Sometimes Oftentimes, the things I think of throughout the week end up trumping the "plan." The plan also suffers when I forget to hit publish on Monday's post and it goes out on Tuesday morning instead. At some point, I hope to be a more consistent blogger and get posts out more frequently. This will (presumably) open up more opportunities for product reviews and giveaways. Once this happens (fingers crossed!) I will probably pull blogging out into its own binder and just leave jotter sheets for ideas while out and about in my main planner.


Inside my planner.

The final section is Notes. It's as basic and boring as it sounds. But sometimes you just need a place to jot a few thoughts or grab a piece of paper.


Contact page with business cards.

I used to have a section in this binder for contacts, but the binder got too full. Now I have a black patent leather mini binder for contacts. I love the "People Trackers" from Russell+Hazel. They have all of the lines to write out a contacts information OR the pages have perforated corner spots to pop a business card in. I have all of my personal contacts in my phone, but I use this to keep information on our pest control service, the great guy who installed drywall for us, the people I called for quotes on painting, and other service folk. At some point I would love to get all of my personal contacts into here as well. Ideally, I will type all of my contacts up and print them out onto business cards and then pop the business cards in. I have memories of rewriting my mom's contact book for her every year as a kid to keep it looking legible as people moved and got new phone numbers. This business card method will make it easy to change one contact without having to rewrite!


As you can see, by choosing to use a mini-binder instead of a pre-made planner I have ultimate flexibility. I could add a meal planning section (I do my meal planning in my weekly calendar right now). I could add a budgeting section. I could add a "to read" section. I can add anything I want! Since it is a binder, I can create my own printables to fit exactly what I want. I can also rescale and use the printables other bloggers have already created. Score!

So, what does your life organization look like? Do you have a paper planner? A binder? Do it all in your phone? Tell me about it!




  1. I am so impressed! I just keep track of stuff in my phone and I see a lot of places that I need a better system. I don't know that I would keep up with all of this but I really like the concept.

  2. I actually have an Erin Condren planner :)

  3. This excites me to no end. I LOVE paper organizers but I've switched to electronic too. It's working ok but it's not doing it for me like the paper ones did. I'm giving it one more go otherwise I'm going for it and rejoining team paper organizer!