26 November 2016

A list of lists

After talking about my tendency to organize—possibly over-organize—earlier this week, I have a list for you! A list of lists, actually. It's just about Advent in most of the world by now, though we have several hours left here; whether you're hurrying to finish up Christmas shopping before settling into Advent or just beginning to think about gifts, here are a bunch of ideas compiled by a few of my favorite bloggers. Some even have coupon codes available, so check them out!

Round Up of Homemade Holiday Gifts from Whole Parenting Family

Kathryn's Favorite Things: A Religious Shopping Guide from Team Whitaker

Catholics on Etsy! and Catholics on Etsy, Part 2! from Simcha Fisher

The 2016 Carrots Christmas Gift Guide from Carrots for Michaelmas

And apparently The Catholic Wife will have a two-part Catholic gift guide coming up here as well, so check her page starting December 1 for that!

Wishing you a wonderful (and organized!) start to your Advent.

19 November 2016


The new liturgical year begins next Sunday, the new calendar year a month later; especially with everything that's going on over the next month-plus, it's a logical time to be thinking about schedules, planners, and the like. Kelly Mantoan of This Ain't The Lyceum had a great post this past week on finding the planner that's right for you individually, and it set me thinking about my own organization system. I'm very much a "list person," to the point that it's pretty much guaranteed that before the middle of this week, I'll have written out a list of the lists that I need to make to organize these busy weeks leading up to Christmas.

So my approach definitely won't be for everyone! It's working well for me at this point, though, so I wanted to share in case it might help someone else.

First, there's the planner. I use the Catholic Daily Planner to keep track of feast days, birthdays and anniversaries, appointments, and anything scheduled to happen at a set time. Every weekend, I go through and plan the supper menu for the coming week, jotting that down in the margins of each day and making notes where needed of things that have to start thawing a day early, be pre-cooked, etc.

Then there's the lesson plan book. Preschool doesn't require all that much lesson-planning, but since we are using individual books and not an all-in-one curriculum, I do go through each weekend and write out what we'll be doing each day in handwriting, religion, math and reading, plus any extras (science, geography, history, art...) At this stage, I'm not writing in times for each subject, lunch only happening after X is done, etc, because he's just 4; it's great that he wants to do school and he's learning so much, but I still firmly believe that at this age, laying a foundation of enjoying school is more important than getting through as much material as possible. We do get through everything written down almost every day, but if he's busy helping me with laundry or baking and we don't get around to finishing, I don't mind moving lessons around to other days and/or condensing them, especially since I know he's capable of doing more than I assign per day.

And the most-used organizer of my week: the list book! It's just a thick 8"x10" college-ruled notebook, big enough to hold a lot of words per page, but not too big to put in my purse. Daily and running to-do lists, lists of errands, the grocery list, the aforementioned list of lists... I'd be lost without it, that's for sure.


What do you use to keep yourself organized?