Friday, August 26, 2011


I love organization. I crave it. I like knowing EXACTLY where stuff is. I love bins and labels and pretty little things all in a row. However, seems that somewhere along the lines of having kids, my organization went kaplunk and with each kid it slid a little further to the worse. Now there was not just MY stuff to keep track of but the farmers, the farm, and one, then two, and now three kids. It also didn't help that before moving to the farm, the farmer and I each had houses that we had lived in for years but where each bigger than the farm house...

When I found out I was pregnant with our third, I knew I had to get back on track. We started by finally downsized to one checking account. We had kept an account locally but banked in the nearest "big" town. Then we could get cash and cash checks without having to either make trip that took an hour or get hit with bank fees. But having one would save time in tracking and reconciling.

We also started really getting the house in order. Craft and art supplies, sewing supplies, clothes, blankets, kitchen all got a little bit more order. The farmer got a planner he could keep in his bag so he knew about appointments, schedules, and so that I could put mine and the kids stuff in his and he could put his work stuff in mine so we were both on the same pages. The house was rearranged so it made best use of our space (this is still a work in progress). The only thing we (meaning I since I do all the finances) wasn't organized about was our finances. Everything was always paid and always paid on time but it's pretty much just kept in my head.

That has slowly started changing. It became important to finally tackle when we were working on a refinancing and we couldn't find a document we really needed. We had stuff in storage, stuff in a file cabinet in the attic, stuff in my file cabinets at the work table. When I did taxes last year I also spent too much time chasing down medical tax deductions and the rental property tax information. Not a good use of time for a mother of three.

I also went back to work this week part-time (that's why I've been kinda quiet this week). When I worked before I worked at night. Now I work in the morning so it's been an adjustment for all of us. The kids have to get up earlier to get to Grandma's, I have to get my butt outta bed before the sun comes up (that's not a pretty thought), and the farmer has to adjust to helping get everyone where they need to be with all the things they need to be there with!

I have a momAgenda (which I LOVE!). But it's bulky so it's hard to carry around. I looked at other planners and they have elements that I like but I don't want to plan weekly or it has just too many other things that I hate to spend money on something where I won't use half the stuff. So for next year I'm ordering another momAgenda calendar and carry the calendar but keep the binder at home. It has page protectors and when I have documents I need to keep for either reference or taxes, I just slide it into the write pocket and I know exactly where to find it. I also keep my website logins/passwords, important information like insurance, medical information, and phone numbers, etc. all in the binder.

I have my notetaker/organizer where I keep my grocery lists, etc. So I created a document to track our finances throughout the month. I can print it out and keep it in my calendar so it can continually be a working document.

This allows me do a budget each month but also put in actual incomes and expenses. The other side of the paper allows me to make notes about why expenses varied or if something is tax deductible. I also make notes on the rental property like cleaning expenses when someone moves out and leaves with no notice and leaves half of their belongings and what looked like 2-3 months worth of garbage...just sayin'.

I'm more than happy to share my spreadsheet, shoot me an email if you'd like it and I'll send it right off!

Now I'm off to snuggle with my babies and keep on eye on the babe who went from, "Oh look, he's starting to crawl" to "He can get from one end of the house to the other in 2.2 seconds and is quieter than a mouse in the bread box."


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