Use Sunday to organize your week

Since starting my 10-pound challenge I have learned that finances, fitness, and organization all go hand-in-hand. Whether you are single, married, married with kids, whatever your situation may be, we all have to find time to properly organize our lives or else we aren’t hitting our MAXIMUM potential in life!
Deep, right? But it’s true! On days where I make up my “plan” as I go, I find that I don’t get nearly as much accomplished, and go to bed feeling anxious and feeling behind.
I thought I’d share a series of posts with ideas on simple methods I use to get and stay organized. Now, understand that I’m nowhere NEAR perfect at being organized. Shocker, I know.
 
BUT…I’ve learned that even the simplest ideas can change lives for the better (namely my own).
 
Another thing I’ve learned? It takes 21 days to make or break a habit. So while it won’t happen overnight (boo!), I know from experience that simply working on organization will help you with your FINANCES, FITNESS, and any other goals in your life (yaaay!).
 
That being said, let’s start at the beginning!
The beginning of the week, that is.
 
I use Sunday as my big “home-base day”. We think of it as our day to touch home base; start over, reconnect, and visualize the week coming up. It’s our day to center ourselves, prioritize the week, set short-term goals, re-write the to-do list, and simply FOCUS on what’s coming up!
WHY
(Do we use Sunday as our organization day?)
  • We don’t work on Sundays. Thus, my hubby is home with me which helps me tackle the day-to-day tasks that typically take up most of my time. I also try not to work. So aside from working on an occasional post (like I’m doing now), I avoid emails, calls, and other inevitable bloggy-tasks.
  • We don’t exercise on Sundays. Sunday is the one day per week that we don’t exercise during this 10lb challenge (and in general we don’t do rigorous activities on Sunday). This also gives us TONS more time at night to focus on organizing.
  • It’s the beginning of our week. On all our calendars (and most American calendars), our week begins on Sunday. It just makes sense to take time at the beginning of the week to PLAN out the rest of the week!
  • We eat dinner early. Funny that this helps, but it does! We have church on Sunday from 9am-12, so we usually eat dinner between 5/6pm. This is earlier than normal (in the summer especially), which allows us to put the kids to bed earlier (always needed after staying up late over the weekend), which means we have more time at night to…take your best guess…organize!

HOW?
(Do we use Sunday to our best advantage?)

  • We nap. You heard me. We try to rest up as much as possible to prep our bodies and minds for the upcoming week, and recover from a (typically) late-night-filled weekend.
  • We calendar. After putting the kids to bed and cleaning up dinner, we sit on the couch and say, “should we calendar out the week?” What that means to us is getting out our literal calendars and going day-by-day throughout the week. “We have dinner with so-and-so on this night, I’ll get the sitter, you confirm where we’re eating.”…”Hutch has baseball on Wednesday so why don’t you meet us at the park at such-and-such time”…
  • We sort. It’s a day for me to organize my coupon notebook, sort through the inevitable junk-mail pile, pay bills, clean out junk drawers, etc. Once again, 99.9% of all of this happens at night once the kids are in bed. We typically only have a few hours, so we’ll pick one or two projects and work on it while watching something on the DVR, or we’ll multi-task and one of us will calendar out-loud while the other sorts through the project.
  • We plan. Aside from planning out the logistics of the week, we plan out date night, activities with the kids, what we want to do at such-and-such party we’re throwing, and I plan out our meals for the week using my coupon-free grocery shopping method.
WHAT
(Do we use to help us organize ourselves on Sunday?)
  • Digital calendar. Years ago I used to carry a physical paper planner around in my purse. I have since updated, and we now do all of our calendaring on our phones using Google Calendar. We like it because all our calendars now update at once, we can share events with each other, and we can access the calendars from any computer and any phone.
    • On my digital calendar I put general reminders on there that help me remember things: “look over Sunday School lesson for next week”…”plan out meals”…”call Grandma”…I also jot down my chore for the day.
  • Paper calendar. While the digital calendar is our #1 most helpful tool, I found that a VISUAL reminder is also helpful, especially for things like birthdays (so I see in advance when it’s time to buy and send gifts to people). I bought this large paper calendar from Walmart for a few dollars, and copy/update our weekly calendar on it. I leave it in our bathroom next to our toilet, so that it’s what we are forced to stare at when going to the bathroom (TMI, sorry, but it WORKS!). I also include things on this calendar such as “call your mom”…”return books to the library”…”Groupon for pedicure ending in 1 week” or other reminders that don’t necessarily fit well on my digital calendar.
  • To-Do lists. For me, if I don’t write it down, I WILL NOT remember it. I have too many things going on in my life for my poor little brain to keep track of! And, frankly, isn’t that why paper was invented; to make our lives easier?! I keep my grocery list on my Evernote app on my phone. We also keep on-going family lists such as home repair projects, things we are saving up to buy, and other lists that we constantly revisit and re-prioritize. I keep a pad of paper by my bed and by my desktop computer in my kitchen for quick “jot down” type things, and I found this book for $4 at Walmart that I really like with tear-out pages for small to-do lists specific to days of the week:
  • Dry-erase boards. I have a cute dry-erase weekly list that I got in the dollar section of Target a while back, that magnetizes to my fridge. I use it when planning meals. I jot down the meal I plan to make that day, and any ingredients I need to pick up in order to make that meal. And, of course, I always use Deals-to-Meals to help me plan my meals around what’s on sale that week, which helps me save just about 1/2 on my groceries.
  • Dry-erase markers on mirrors. As you have seen in recent Instagram posts about the 10lb challenge, I write notes on my mirror with dry-erase markers often. They are hard to avoid, because it’s hard to see yourself through the writing! My hubby and I use them to communicate to each other…”remember to take garbages out”…”I love you”…”honey-do list today”…or whatever we need the other to see asap.

So, there you have it!
Those are a few of the simple ways that we’ve used Sundays to our best advantage. It’s a simple concept, but one that works for us. If Sunday isn’t a good day for you, simply choose the best day of the week for you as your “home-base day”, and stick with it! You’ll find that by having a day to regroup and refocus, you’ll be able to accomplish a lot more throughout the week that way.

What day is YOUR home-base day? What do you do on that day to help keep your family organized? Leave a comment and share, or play along on Instagram using #FCFOrganization 

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