Let's Get Organized this Holiday Season (Without Shopping)

I love being organized. I don't often consider myself the most organized person around, but when other people see my work areas, they always seem impressed by the order of it all. Mainly, I just like to have a place for everything so even if I let things go, I can quickly clean everything up. However, since Forrest was born, my work areas have fallen into a little bit of a disarray. I've shown up early to appointments and then late to others. Generally, I only know about half of what is going on at any time. I need to get my stuff back in gear and get organized again. I've been looking through Pinterest for some ideas and these are my favorites. 

1. Use this Moleskine hack. 

Almost everyone has a spare notebook lying around. If you've ever expressed any interest in writing, surely someone (well meaning!) has bought you a notebook. Maybe it's a Moleskine, but it doesn't have to be. I love turning Moleskines into planners, either with month calendars or weeks. They really are the perfect size for it. You can create any kind of planner you want: a bullet journal, a weekly planner, or just a book of lists. Whatever. Use it to plan your goals, set up a timeline for the New Year, or create a budget for yourself. The options are endless. 

2. Pick a Planner.

Getting a new planner doesn't always mean buying something. Lots of bloggers dedicated to planners and organization make planner packs for readers that you can download and print for free. How awesome is that!? I like this one linked above, but there are tons on Pinterest. You just need a binder of your choice, a printer, and some paper. 

3. Create a "Family Planner." 

This is something I've been meaning to do for ages. A Family Planner organizes cleaning lists, warranty information, timelines, and more for your family and more. If you have kids, you can include a calendar and school information. Again, there are tons of free templates for Family Planners out there. This is first on my list for holiday organization!

4. Make it cute. 

As with anything, I think the more personalized you make it, the more you're likely to keep using it. I use a Happy Planner to organize dates, blog posts, and my journal entries these days and I love taking 10-15 minutes every week to decorate the next week. It's just relaxing! Check out my Paper & Planners board on Pinterest for some of my favorite free, printable sticker pages for planners, scrapbooks, and more. 

How to Make a Baby Planner

For months, I had a spare Filofax cover floating around. I ordered it last year and promptly realized that it was too small for my handwriting and I didn't like any of the available Filofax calendars. (I know, I know, I'm picky.) I dismantled it and waited to use it for something useful. I follow a lot of #plannergirls on Instagram, which has given me lots of ideas for how to use spare planner covers and more. (Although, I don't see myself scrapbooking my planners so intricately anytime soon, although I love looking at the creations of others!) After I got pregnant, I knew that it would be a great idea to make a planner for my pregnancy and the baby. 

I'd looked through Pinterest trying to find a good tutorial or at least rundown of how another mom made a baby planner... but I couldn't find anything quite like I wanted. I decided to rough it and ended up making 5 tabs for myself: Basics (for to do lists, contact information, etc.), Hospital, Baby, Post-Partum, and Notes & Questions. 

I used a set of tabs that came with my original Filofax diary to trace onto some scrapbooking paper. After cutting them out, I used a hand punch to punch them for the Filofax cover. I used some stickers from a Simple Stories Baby Boy set to make the tabs, although they look a little wonky on the first one (it was my first try, what can I say?). 

From there, I separated each tab into some separate sections.

Basics includes a page of basic information about Danny & I (our birthdates), my doctor, my hospital of choice, and potential emergency contacts (my mom, Danny's parents). Then, I have sections for To Do lists, both pre-baby and post-baby. The basics section is basically a place for me to jot down things I need to remember to do or write a list of things Forrest really, actually still needs (a changing table pad, a carseat, a stroller) without having a million post-it notes floating around my house. 

Hospital has further information about my choice of hospital (including any notes I write down from my hospital tours, since my doctor delivers are two totally different area hospitals), as well as my birth plan, a packing list, and notes for Danny. Basically, I wanted to make sure that I have all my medical information and wishes written down in one place because, while I will remember them, Danny may not. 

Baby has a section for first stats, medical information, and any other notes I might need to write down and keep track of. This section also has a feeding log (to keep track of feeding times and breastfeeding concerns), as well as a diaper log. (If you're wondering why the "Name" section of Baby Stats is blank, it's because there is always the minute possibility that the baby will be a girl and therefore, not named Forrest. Gender determination is still sometimes incorrect.) 

Post-partum is a pending section: mostly, I'll use it for notes from the doctors, any instructions I might receive, and questions I might have. 

Notes & Questions is my most-used section right now! Whenever I think of a question for my doctor, I write it down here. Whenever I notice Forrest kicking more than usual, I write it down (as well as anything that preceded it, such as drinking a soda or eating ice cream). It's basically where I record anything that might be important for my upcoming appointments. 

If I hadn't had this Filofax lying around, I probably would have used a plain notebook (with dividers) to make a working baby notebook, but I'm glad I decided to repurpose a Filofax. It's the perfect size to carry around and I don't have to worry about buying diary refills for it... I can just cut down notebook paper or other loose leaf paper to use in it. I've found a lot of ways to keep myself organized lately, and this is just another way that I keep my memory in check.