Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Meal Planning and Being Organized

One of the most important things that has been on my mind lately is being organized! The last two years were extremely stressful for me because I had 20 credit hours of classes and work. I was busy from the minute classes started until the last final of the semester and when all was said and done it was work full time and back to classes and work again. I didn't like the crazyness and I know my being stressed out affected David (sorry cutie :D). With that being said Pharmacy School will probably be just as hectic so I decided I better start planning now while I have free time to be as organized as possible. For me one challenge is meal planning. In the first few years that we have been married we always make a menu for 2 weeks and on pay day go grocery shopping for the food to make those meals (and a little extra just in case). It worked well because we weren't going to the grocery store that often and we weren't spending a ton of money on groceries. We still do this and I really like how it works. The only problem I have had as of late was finding new stuff to make because after awhile the same old stuff gets boring. For my birthday my mom gave me a cookbook called Fix, Freeze, and Feast. It has a ton of delicious recipes and each recipe make 3 frozen meals that you just take out of the freezer and heat up. The ladies that wrote the cookbook own a store that makes meals for the freezer, sort of like those "Dinner's Ready" places where you go and bag a couple meals for the freezer and put labels on the bag so you know how to cook it. I have jotted down all the recipes that I wanted to make and made a huge list of all the ingredients. I plan on shopping for most of the ingredients when I get to Columbus and preparing the meals. I'm excited that we will have a ton of meals in the freezer and if I am ever at school for long hours David can just follow the directions and make himself some food.

Another major issue for us was keeping the apartment clean. One reason was because we didn't have a dishwasher and I hated hand washing dishes! We will never live without a dishwasher again! And happily our new apartment has a dishwasher!!!

Another reason was because laundry! We didn't have a washer and dryer (no room for that in a studio apartment) and I had to take it to get it washed (so we did every 2 weeks). Happily I just bought us a new washer and dryer (and saved about $500 in the process, thanks AAFES (no taxes), coupons, and rebates!) and our apartment has a laundry room in it. So now I can do laundry whenever there is a load to do. I'll need to get some laundry hampers to organize the clothes into colors etc.

Clutter! I hate clutter. I major source of clutter for us is paper! David likes to hold on to every scrap of paper he gets (and for good reasons most of the time) but they end up being all over the desk and kitchen table. So I have been reading organizing books and magazines. They suggest having paper trays that are labled, Outgoing, Bills, and To File. That way when you come in with the mail you can automatically organize the mail and get rid of what you don't need. We need a paper shredder. That's something I plan on buying when we get to Columbus. I plan on having a desk near the front door (another suggestion from a magazine!) that has the paper trays and a shredder right next to it. On the desk will be a valet (something else I have to buy) to store keys and have a place to charge our cell phones. There will be a hook for my purse (so I know where it is at all times). A pencil holder for all of our marking tools. A drawer with paper, envelopes, stamps, and whatever else you might possibly need for mailing things.

A messy pantry. I hate having a messy pantry and having to shuffle things around just to find something I need. I fell in love with these oxo containers. And bought a box for my birthday (thanks mom for the 20% of coupon and the birthday and graduation money). I plan on buying a few more so I have all the containers I need. I like how simple they are, how easy they stack, and how nice they look. I also bought a P-touch labeler from Amazon for $19 yesterday (deal of the day) and will be making labels for the containers when I put stuff in them.

Most of the organizing books and magazines I read said the major reason we have clutter is because or stuff doesn't have it's own place. Everything in your house should have its own place (not the floor, desks, and counters). If you don't have a place for it, find one or get rid of it. If you have any other organizing tips for me leave a comment!


Chrystina said...

Amen! I am still trying to get organized. I think it is a life long process & something you have to work at every day. I am also realizing the beauty in the "less is more" quote!

ACDC2005 said...

I am always trying to become more organized too! I don't think it'll ever end! And food storage! We've been working on that too but we have the tiniest place ever and I already feel cramped enough!