Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Right Brain Organized - Things I Love Thursday (TILT)

I have been accused of being organized before.  Mostly by people who don't know me well.

I am, by nature fairly free-spirited, spontaneous and also a titch forgetful.  I add that last one because my Mom reads my blog and I know she'd want me to admit to that for posterity.

Being free spirited gives me the freedom to share a "Things I Love Thursdays" post on a Wednesday  Tuesday (did I mention about he forgetful?!)  after not posting anything TILT-worthy for a month or more.

I love starting projects.  I'm even fairly good at finishing projects, right up until the point of clean-up. I create phenomenal messes when I do. Period.  Even my clean laundry piles are enormous.  I get a lot done and create a lot more work for myself while doing it.  The flip side is, it drives me nuts to live in my self-induced chaos.  I still am trying to figure that one out.

So, all of that to say, I find it funny when people tell me I'm organized.  I never feel that way, but, I will admit that living in spaces that were, until we moved to this house, very small considering the size of our life and then leaving the national average family size in our rear-view mirror and having five kids, and then choosing to homeschool them has sort of forced me to either enjoy the chaos I create (I don't) or to learn how to do something that doesn't come naturally to me at all (amazingly, in some cases, I have).

What was the point of this confessional again?

Oh right.  Anything I do that appears to be organized could be compared to someone learning to speak a second language.  I vote for German, because I'd love to learn how to say "Ich Liebe Dich" without it sounding like a threat.  It must be possible because German people continue to fall in love and have babies.

Sweet little German babies with appropriate names like Frederich and Lizel.  If I had a baby named Frederich I would sing to him all day long...High on a hill stood a lonely goatherd, lady-odle-lady-odle-lay-HE-WHO!.

Where were we? Babies?  Oh. Right. Organizational Metaphors. Carrying On.

I know  it when I hear it.  I can learn how to replicate the sounds and what it means, but it's never the language I speak in.  So, it is true, I have learned how to help myself be a little more organized.  It's not usually in a way that would make it into a "how to make things beautiful and pinterest worthy" book, but I've found those book are great for helping naturally organized people become more organized.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Below is one of my favourite things.  It's loud, not pretty, which fits me better than it should.  It hangs on the middle of the wall in my kitchen nook and screams everything I'm supposed to be doing each day.  But it works, and maybe some of you right-brain-random-abstract types might find it helps you too.  All of you linear-sequential people can just shake your heads and wonder how people like me manage to remember to breath.

I call it:  Big Fat Magnetic White Board Calendar with This is My Life Magnets.

Brevity is something I'm also working on, with much less success.

I got the calendar white board at Costco for $15 if memory serves.

It was a huge improvement from the calendar I kept forgetting to look at in my phone drawer.  However, I didn't love having to fill it in with the monotonous weekly events each month I had to re-do it.  Because not only am I not  truly organized, deep down, I'm a little lazy.

My laziness has been saved by these fantastic inventions.  Blank magnet sheets - available in both languages at an office supply store near you!

What you see above are the new additions needed for this school year.  I am still using a lot of what was printed off last year as well.  They sit in jumbled chaos on the left side of the calendar, where I am sure an organized person who do things like write out their grocery lists or favourite bible verses.  I just make a mess there, cause I can.

I made the magnets by creating a table in Microsoft word  with our regularly occurring events, colour coded them and then printed it off and cut them out. Yippee!

I still keep the large paper yearly calendar in my phone drawer and put things like appointments and upcoming birthdays etc, but each month I transfer it onto this bad boy and do a much better job of keeping track of my life.  As long as I remember to write everything down on it.

I'm working on it.  Ich leibe dich, Ich liebe dich....

What's something that helps you keep your life in order?  Share in the comments section or write about it on your blog and share the link here!


  1. My MotherWord fridge calendar is my organizing location. Of course, some people prefer their iphones or what have you, so they know their calendar while they're out and about, but there's something about an old-fashioned calendar that I like. One that has squares big enough to write 4 or more events for one day (though i try not to have so many events in one day). And I can write things in different colors and cross each day off, so I know what day it is (except for when I fall behind and someone writes a blog about Thursday when it's actually Tuesday but I have to stare at the calendar to figure out what day it really is since I haven't crossed off my days since last Thursday).

  2. You are cheeky aren't you :) I have one of those "more Time Mom's" Calendars that has huge blocks like too! That's the one I keep in my drawer to write things for upcoming months - my fridge is a split door fridge, so those lovely big calendars just won't fit all of the life we get to live on it!

    Thanks for sharing - and for being my friend even though I thought it was Wednesday every single day this week! I must have been looking forward to you coming over!

  3. okay, I just need to come over and straighten those magnets....but that's just me ;) I've been considering those magnet sheets, but have yet to have a good reason to buy them....

  4. You make me laugh, Tara - love the comments! Probably if you feel the need to straighten the magnets, it's a good sign you don't need them the same way I do! When are you stopping by for that visit anyway?


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