"Therefore, be careful how you walk,not as unwise men but wise, making the most of your time." Ephesians 5:15

                                                                       Organizational Binders
I was not born a natural organizer. Over the years I have come up with many ways to keep everything organized. Then I would have days where I just couldn't find anything, keep up with anything, or know what I needed to get done for the day. I came up with what I call, Organizational Binders. They are a 2" or more binder with labeled tab dividers, notebook paper,calendar, sheet protectors. And a designed paper or fabric inserted in the outside clear pocket. Printable templates are below.
For the Personal Organizer,  I labeled each section for a certain area in my life. Ex: family,home,personal wellness,finances,cooking and entertaining, travel,friends gift ideas,family gift ideas. On the back of each different tabbed page I labeled what I specifically used that section for. for example: family section has ~ Goals to achieve ~Activity ideas ~family "to-do" list. Home has ~ decorating ideas ~"to buy" list, etc.... 
The Home Organizer : sections for cleaning routines, meal planning, address book, financial records and receipts, stamps,etc...
The Christmas Organizer: labeled each section for ~planning, gift ideas, recipes, traditions, tips and ideas
The Recipe Organizer: labeled each section for chicken, beef, fish, appetizers, salads, sides, desserts. This is where I keep all my favorite recipes handy and easy to find. 
The Gardening Organizer: labeled for seed planting records, landscaping plans, gardening ideas and goals,harvesting records
The Prayer Organizer: labeled each section for Husband, self, kids, pastor, family, friends, and world
The Holiday Organizer: labeled each section for every other special holiday that I like to celebrate, prepare food for, and  decorate. I also have a print out of each month and the "wacky" holidays to celebrate each month.
Wacky holiday are holidays like "the day the donut was invented". That day we have donuts or make donuts. "Neil Armstrong;s Birthday"~ we look at the moon and stars at night. "Flag Day"~ we make a flag. "Quilt Day" ~ kids make a quilt
(how to make a quilt, kids style: have your child color a picture, press down hard. On a sheet , turn the picture color side down, lay cloth over that, and iron until it is transferred. Repeat in blocks until the sheet is covered. We gave our quilt to their MeMe, the original quilt maker of the family!  For more ideas for fun with kids, see Fun wth Kids Section)
The School Organizer:   Section for each child, calendar section, important numbers, dates to remember, lunch box notes, note to teacher, weekly to-do list, and special envelopes.

*These pre-made binders are available  with a variety of choices
.**Buy a basket for your office or special place to keep all your binder handy and together.
                               Organizational Tips

First simplify you home! 

Prayer basket and Binder
My morning quiet and prayer time is a special time for me. I chose to have it early in the morning so I could start my day of renewed and fresh. I have a special chair I like to sit in as my "Prayer Chair". Underneath this chair I have my prayer basket. This is where I keep all my things for my prayer/quiet time. I have my Prayer Journal, prayer books(like Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian), note pad, notecards, pens, pencils, and highlighters.
Living Room
~ Collect baskets for storage, place under chairs or behind end  tables, to be hidden
~  Use drawers from dressers and shelving units. Make each drawer a specific home for a specific object. Like one drawers for candles,  one drawer for remotes and batteries, one drawer for games and accessories, one drawer for coloring books and crayons, one drawer for living room toys,etc...
~  Use hope chest for coffee tables or behind couches. Store extra blankets and sheets for company.
~ Use a coffee table with doors or places for storage baskets. Keep children's book and toys handy for anytime reading and play. 
~ Use large glass or plastic jars/containers to store flour, sugars, teas, cornmeal,etc...
~ Use candy jar/dish as special treat and tie with a ribbon the bible verse "
~ Store recipe books  and your Recipe Binder together with favorite book easiest to reach. Put tabs on the pages of your favorite recipes.
~  Use only outside of fridge for necessitates. One side for calendar, "Month of Meals" calendar, kids homework folder(I have a white mailing envelope, front half cut away, held up by a bulldog magnetic clip to hold this weeks homework, bible verse cards,special papers to be signed and turned in by Friday,etc...)
~ print out and laminate children's chore list and routines and put on side of fridge and low for them to easily see.
~ Use the calendar or a separate calendar to write down what you are having for dinner each day. A meal plan!
~  Assign each person a color and write their activities on the calendar with that color
~  Arrange food in the fridge to likeness on the shelves. Ex: school food and leftovers -top shelf; condiments, jars, butters, tubs-2nd shelf; biscuits,crescents,eggs-3rd shelf; milks, juices- 4th shelf; etc...
~ Put a "snack basket" on one of the fridge shelves. This is great for easy to reach , healthy snacks for little one. Put in containers or snack size baggies: fruit, veggies-cut up, ham and cheese roll-ups, cheese sticks, yogurt, hummus(for dipping), Peanut Butter(the good kind had to be refrigerated), ranch dip,etc...
~ Make refrigerator magnets of  snack foods. When a child has eaten a snack have them place the magnet under one of their pictures(to show what they have eaten for the day). make a rule that they only get to have one or two snacks per time period and this is an easy and fun way to keep up with it.
Children's bedroom
~ Use under bed storage boxes for box for a specific toy. (if you can't fit anything under the bed, use bed risers that can be purchased cheaply in a laundry/storage section of  Wal-mart)
~ Use one dresser for each room.  One drawer each and share socks and underwear drawer, divided with dividers. I have three big boys in one room that share a large, tall dresser.
~ Install shelving in the closet to hold storage baskets of toys and books.
~ Install more clothing rods and a step stool for reaching
~ Use floor to ceiling shelving to divide beds. Store books, devotionals, cd player and cds. We love to listen to Adventures in Odyssey.
~ Install a small shelf above each child's bed or head for their "personal toys and books".(like devotions and prayer journals)
~ Put up a cork board or dry erase board above the heads of their bed to hold spelling words, weekly bible verses, calendar,etc...
~ Use their very own calendar for them to record the months activities. Teaches responsibility.
Laundry Room
~ Install shelving over washer and dryer(or anywhere) to hold baskets
~ Use one basket to store an item. ex:basket for light bulbs, basket for socks,basket for clothes that need mending, basket for sewing supplies, basket for iron and ironing supplies, etc...
~ Install a retractable clothes line. I purchased mine for a few dollars at Wal-mart.
~ Use only a few laundry baskets to minimize laundry back up
~Put up picture frames of family pictures.
~ Print out bible verses, frame and put on shelf above folding area.
~ use color coded bins for each child/put folded laundry in their bin for them to put away
~ assign each family member a color for towels
~pick only one day to iron
~  install shelving and put above or around office desk.
~   Use baskets to store office supplies
~  Use stack-able trays to hold different kinds of printer paper.
~  Use binder to keep up with bill pay and record keeping
~  Use a basket for each child to hold the whole years important papers. At the end of the year file what you want to keep in there own special file. Label each year
~  Keep the School Binder near the school boxes
~ Use a basket for each school supply
~ use the top of your computer desk for only necessities. Computer, notepad,pencil holder, picture of family, and a candle
~ When storing seasonal items in boxes or Rubbermaid boxes, use one color per season or holiday. Red for Christmas, Orange for Halloween, Light green for Easter, Pink for Valentines Day, Dark Green or gray for Clothes,etc...
~ When storing clothes, print labels and put on all sides of box telling what is in the box.( ex: 2T/winter)
~ Store clothing in order of age or size.
~ Store seasonal boxes in order of easy access.
~ Store all camping gear and sleeping bags together.
~ Store all camping kitchen ware in a Rubbermaid box. Tin plates or paper plates, utensils, camp stoves, camping pots and pans, trash bags, paper towels, soaps,etc...
~ store luggage where it is easily accessible 
~  When labeling boxes other than clothing, tell specifically on the label what is in the box.
~  Or number each box. And on an index card with the number, write down all contents of the box. File in an index card file box. Keep in office.   

                                                               Financial Organization

" In this world, it is not what we take up, but we give up that makes us rich."  Henry Ward Beecher

 Make a decision about financial responsibility. Start today. Get a Home Organizational Binder , envelopes, labels, budget worksheet. Then:

1. Calculate a budget

2.Make a goal for a retirement plan

3.Establish good credit

4.Look for ways to stretch a dollar

5.Buy thrifty. Goodwill, Salvation Army, thrift stores, major stores clearance racks.

6.Teach kids the value of money. How to spend wisely and how to save wisely. Open a saving account in their name and help them learn to use a checkbook register.

7.Shop smart for food, clothing, furniture,gifts,etc...

8.Save all receipts for the month and put them in an envelope labeled for that month. Keep in Home Organizational Binder. (At the end of the month, go through receipts to see where you can eliminate extra spending.)


                        Making your house a home:                             

"She senses that her gain is good;her lamp does not go out at night." Proverbs 31:18

1. "Mess causes stress". De-clutter your house 15 minutes a day. If it really needs it; work 45 minutes, then take a 15 minute break to drink water.

2. Dark rooms are depressing. "Open the House", by opening windows every morning. Allow natural light to come in the house.

3. Keep your daily cleaning routines, but be flexible. If you didn't get it done, don't worry! There's always another day!

4. De-clutter your furniture. Keep only what you need and is useful.

5.Make everything serve a function. (ex:  decorative dresser drawers can be used to hold toys, candles, coloring books, playing cards,etc...)

6.Display faith,family, and friends in each room. Like frames, verses, books, photo albums, kids art.

7. Make your home smell pleasant. Light a candle, bake cookies; simmer o.j., apples and cinnamon in a pot on the stove.

8. Make your home pleasant for when your spouse comes home. Light candles, clear away clutter, pick up "hot spots", lessen the noise, clean up kids.

9.Make your home "feel" comfortable. Soft blankets and pillows, warm and cozy, sweet smelling kitchen(you can cheat with a hazelnut candle!), and even a sweet smelling bathroom!  Light candles!

10. Make sure that all the beds are made before leaving your home. When you return it's one less thing to worry about.

11. Before you leave for work or to run errands, clean "hot spots", make beds, clean sink, straighten everything. When you return , you'll enjoy a nice, cozy home.

12.Light a candle as soon as you come home.

13.Plan ahead for guests. Plan meals, put out fluffy towels, make a "guest basket": coffee, chocolates, mints, books, notepad, toiletries, etc...