Organization of Information,
Record-keeping and Planning Helps
and Storage of Extra Supplies
This is a continuation of ideas–Helpful Hints, part 2: (Go here to read Helpful Hints, Part 1) A downloading of my brain and “What’s Worked For Me.” I hope that you can make sense of my explanations and maybe that some of the ideas will help you. Sometimes the simplest idea has been for me a lifesaver. An idea that “Works” takes me from feeling like a failure to feeling like a success in a moment. The littlest idea can make so much difference, don’t you think? So, here you go:
11. Keep a record of Hospitality Received: record the date, hostess gift given, thank you sent, return invitation extended.
12. Keep “like” things stored together. For instance, all recipe books on 2 shelves of the bookshelf nearest the kitchen; extra household supplies in the cupboard in the hall: Recipe books/recipes; photos/scrapbooking supplies; paper products (paper plates, napkins, cups, plastic silverware); extra household supplies (paper towels, toilet paper, light bulbs, batteries).
13. Place a phone message notebook by the phone with a pen attached: record the date and time along with the message and who it is for. (The Person Phoned can put a check mark by the message when they have read it.)
14. Keep the Church Directory, phone tree/prayer chain and schedule for serving responsibilities on the inside of the nearest cupboard by the phone in the kitchen.
15. Write on a notepad on the fridge items you run out of and transfer this list to your Master Grocery List when you’re ready to go to the grocery store.
16. Make your menu plan for two weeks (one at a minimum), considering any hospitality events you’re planning, potluck dishes or meals you’ll be making for others, and make your grocery list from your menu plans. List the recipe, where it can be found, and its page number on the bottom of your grocery list. This helps in the event that you aren’t able to get all of the ingredients; you’ll know what dish you needed the ingredient for and be able to adjust your plans.
17. Keep receipts from stores such as Cub, Kohls, etc. in #10 envelopes, sorted by month: write the month and year on the outside of the envelope (January 2007). At the end of the year rubberband the year’s receipts together. This makes it easy to find the receipt when you have to make a return or need to be reimbursed for a purchase.
18. Have a place where you keep unpaid bills and always place them there as soon as they come in the door: e.g. a section of an organizer on the wall or an envelope or file folder in your desk; keep all paperwork from bills that have been paid throughout the year together in one place: a shallow box will work, or you can sort them in file folders.
19. To avoid forgetting to pay a bill: Record in an excel spreadsheet this information or on paper. Make a chart to record the pertinent information regarding the payment of the bill. List all the bills you commonly pay down the left side and the months of the year along the top and record the check number (or AW for automatic withdrawal) and the amount paid in the appropriate box as you pay each bill. It will be easy to see if you have missed any, and which ones, and to track check numbers, if necessary.
20. Buy a small spiral notebook (3×5”) for each vehicle you own and keep it in the glove box to record gas purchases: record the date, odometer reading, location, # of gallons, cost, and whether paid by check/credit card or cash; also record any maintenance done on that vehicle in the same notebook: it will be easy to calculate your gas mileage, determine when you need to do an oil change, etc.
21. Keep a medium-sized open box in the bottom of your bedroom closet (if you have a master bath) or another handy location close to the bathroom, if you don’t, for extra toiletries and bathroom supplies. Always keep in this box at least one extra of each thing the members of your family use on a daily basis: e.g. deodorant, shampoo, bar soap/body wash, mousse/gel, hairspray, after shave, feminine products, etc. When you run out, you then “shop” from the box, and when you use the last one of an item from the box, you write it on your list on the fridge. This eliminates those last-minute emergency trips to the store for one item you’ve run out of!