Occasionally here at Frugal Upstate I branch off slightly from my main topic of frugality and discuss organization. It’s a natural progression. To be organized saves you time and money. And much of organization is just planning, which is free.
Now to me “getting organized” is sort of a fun project! Especially if it involves my beloved label maker. I love making new “systems”. It’s the STAYING organized over time that is difficult.
That’s where routines come in handy. Routines are not difficult, they are just a flow of actions that normally take place in a particular order. Once you have mastered the order and completed it several times, you cease to have to think about them. It’s almost like they just sort of “happen” 🙂
Just think about it-when you first learned to drive a car it was hard. You had to think about every single action. To change lanes on the highway you had to remember “signal, look in both my mirrors, look over my shoulder, change the lane, cancel the turn signal”.
Contrast that to now. The process has become so routine that you complete it with barely any thought at all.
Routines can be especially useful when dealing with children. Princess and Buddy might not always know exactly what time dinner is, but they know that after they eat them must ask to be excused, clear their plate, and brush their teeth before the TV comes on. Many reminders and repetitions have led to the point where it happens with little supervision-freeing me up to do other tasks.
This morning just such a routine saved the day.
One minute I swear the clock only said 5:45, then I blinked and it was 6:55.
I jumped out of bed in a panic. The kiddos have to hit the bus stop at 7:30 each morning! They had to be woken up, eat breakfast, get dressed, get all their stuff together and make it out the door in just over half an hour.
Believe it or not, things went pretty smoothly. I explained that I had overslept and that we really needed to get things done fast this morning without any crying or complaining.
Due to my nighttime routine, there was a full pot of coffee waiting for Yankee Bill and I (God bless whoever invented coffeepots with a timer.) I made breakfast while the kiddos got dressed (a slight routine deviation-usually breakfast is first) and then they ate and handled brushing teeth and combing hair with minimal fuss.
Due to our afterschool routine the backpacks, folders and coats were on the hook by the front door where they are supposed to be, with the school sneakers somewhat sloppily pushed under the bench (we wear old sneakers once we get home from school). Thankfully today was “Pizza Day” at school so I didn’t have to worry about packing a lunch.*
We made it to the bus stop with time to spare!
What kind of routines help you organize your life? Do you find that having routines helps you save money in any way?
*I admit it-I would have had them buy anyway today just to avoid cramming in one more thing.