Follow this one simple tip to make everything easier and organize your life!

Hi friends! I’m kicking off the new year with my best tip to make everything easier and organize your life.

But first, a little story.

Back in September, on a regular school morning, I was rushing around to get myself and the kids ready to get out the door and on our way.  I went upstairs to get my son a pair of underwear, and slipped in my socks on the hardwood stairs on the way down, fell, and broke my arm.  Holy heck it hurt so bad.  I’d never broken a bone before, but I knew immediately that my arm was broken.  It felt crumpled.  Like it wasn’t attached right.  And It hurt so badly I just lay on the floor in the hallway crying and holding it.  My kids rushed over, started crying, not really understanding what was going on.  My husband was in the shower.  He heard me fall, ran down the stairs (thank goodness he didn’t fall too!) and when he saw what had happened he draped his towel over my arm so I wouldn’t have to look at how gross and broken it was.  You guys, he must have been standing in the hallway naked as the day he was born, but I honestly don’t even remember I was in so much pain!

So he goes to get dressed, and I’m just still lying in the hallway breathing hard, crying, trying to hold it together because my precious 3 year olds are just hovering over me, upset and confused.  My husband comes downstairs and I tell him he has to make 4 phone calls: my school, his school (we’re both teachers), daycare, and my mother.  He grabs the home binder and starts making calls.  He calls us both out of school and tells them to use our emergency sub plans.  He calls our daycare provider and tells her what happened and that the kids will be late.  He calls my mother and asks her to meet us at the emergency room.

We go to the emergency room, they set my arm, my mom brings the kids to daycare, and I come home with a cast up over my elbow.  A week and a half later I have surgery and get a plate and four screws to hold my bone in place.  A cast, then a splint, then a brace for about 10 weeks.  Now, a little more than 3 months later, I’m out of the brace and finally feeling much better.  

It was a rough couple of months caring for 3 year old twins with one good arm!  The house was put on the back burner, and I didn’t blog as much as I would’ve liked.  We ate a lot of chicken nuggets.  It was totally unexpected and out of the blue, breaking my arm like that.  I still can’t believe I fell down the stairs and broke my arm fetching underwear for my son!  But the thing is, things happen.  Life is unpredictable.  I would never have thought that would happen, but it did, and we were forced to face it and figure it out.  

Two things this accident made me grateful for (besides the support of my amazing family, or course!), are our home binder and our emergency sub plans. My husband knew right away to grab the home binder and flip to the contact page to find the phone numbers he needed.  It was there, ready to go, when an emergency arose.  Also, my husband and I had prepared emergency sub plans to use in case of a last minute, unexpected absence.

This situation could have turned out very differently, had we not had the home binder and our emergency sub plans ready to go.  The thing is, there are so many situations in life, and especially life with kids, that you can’t plan for.  Life is unpredictable, right?  But what you can do is plan ahead and try to be ready for whatever might come your way.  This tip, if you follow it, will help you avoid headaches, problems, meltdowns, annoyances, and even help you out in an emergency.  Ready for this?

Be prepared.

I know, I know, it’s the Boy Scouts’ motto.  But they were on to something!  If you plan ahead and prepare, life is so much easier.  It’s simple but true.  This tip really will make everything easier and organize your life!

Here are some examples from my own life:

Getting Ready in the Evening

As a working mom, I try to do whatever I can to make mornings run smoothly.  I have to be out of the door with the kids by 6:45 am to get them to daycare and get myself to work.  When I spend the time to prepare meals, set out clothes, and pack bags the night before, I’m always a much happier mama in the morning!

Packed Diaper Bag

I always try to have my diaper bag packed and ready to go.  With two 3 year olds who are potty training, I still need to carry this around with pull-ups and spare changes of clothes.  Not to mention a few books, snacks, small toys, tissues, etc.  I’m ready to go when I need to leave the house, and when I’m out and about, I have what I need to keep the kids dry, fed, and entertained.

Mini First Aid Kit

I always carry a mini first aid kit in my purse, and sometimes a slightly bigger one if I’m traveling or on a field trip with students.  I keep pain meds, bandaids, etc. in it, and it has helped me out more than a few times!

Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping

I try to plans meals for the whole week on Saturday morning, write out my grocery list, and then shop that day.  This way I have what I need in the fridge during the week, I save money, and I don’t have the headache of not knowing what I’m cooking for dinner!  Check out this post for more details and a free printable grocery list!

Home Binder

A few years ago, I set up a home binder to store important household information.  I keep it in one of my hutch drawers in the dining room, and we refer to it often.  It has important phone numbers, photocopies of important documents, restaurant menus, and other things we might need.  I think we mostly use it to look up the phone number to the pediatrician’s office!  

Teaching/Sub Plans

In my teaching life, I try to have everything planned and photocopied a few days to a week ahead of time.  This helps if when I have to be out unexpectedly when my kids get sick.  I also have emergency sub plans ready to go in case I don’t have anything ready or if what I had planned can’t really be done by a substitute teacher.  These emergency sub plans came in handy this fall when I fell and broke my arm.  I didn’t have to spend even a second thinking about what my students were going to do, or worry about making sub plans from the ER.

No one’s perfect, least of all me, and there are definitely places in my life that I could be more prepared to avoid last minute headaches.  But in all the places where I have used this tip, it has saved me money, time, and a whole lotta hassle!  

If the thought of being prepared for everything overwhelms you, try to implement this tip in just one or two areas of your life.  Pack lunches the night before.  Write down all your important contact phone numbers and post them on your fridge.  If you keep preparing little things like this, eventually you’ll be prepared for it all!  It really does help make everything easier and organize your life!

What do you prepare ahead of time to save you a hassle later on?  I’d love to hear in the comments!

Gina from Sweet Maple Lane

5 comments on “How to Make Everything Easier and Organize Your Life”

  1. Awesome tips! We had a “family command center” in our house–a master calenda beside a bulletin board (for important reminders and flyers), plus in/out trays for forms that needed to be signed. It was a small thing that made our lives SO much easier.

    • Thanks, Pam! I agree, a command center works fabulously to keep everything in one place. Since my kids are still little we don’t have lots of notices and flyers and such, but I like the idea of in and out boxes for when we do! I use them as a teacher, and they work great!

  2. I have a binder with all the kids’ school and activity stuff in it, but reading this makes me think of some great ways I can expand on it and flesh it out a bit more. I work in an office, so thankfully, if I don’t go in, the world doesn’t end. I used to be a teacher and those sub days always killed me!

    • Thanks for commenting, Rabia! I just used free printables I found on Pinterest for our home binder. A contact page, important phone numbers, menus, anything you use on the regular, really! I have some free printables in the works, so come by again soon to check them out!

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