I took my first-ever Myers-Briggs personality test recently. Some friends advised going through all the neat information for each personality type on Pinterest, and so I did. I found one article that dealt with each personality’s responses to stress, and it said that my type is prone to being orderly in times of trauma or chaos.
I had to laugh: it takes disaster to get me organized. Sounds about right.
I enjoy being a mostly laid-back, right-brained mom. It works for our family dynamic. It worked really well while I was a preschool teacher and our eventual dive into homeschooling. As the kids have grown, however, their schedules have as well, so to juggle their needs and wants and activities, keep relationships healthy, keep our home running smoothly, and find some time for myself in there, I’ve had to step my game up a bit. Even without the prompts of doom and disaster, I had to get us a little more organized.
My more put-together friends, they make it look so effortless, I’m always in awe. This isn’t something that comes naturally to me, and for years I found myself trying to imitate their patterns or habits, never considering that I might do better finding things that worked for me. Turns out there are plenty of paths you can take to get your life right — who knew?
I don’t do it all well (or even get it all done, for that matter), but here are a few things that keep life humming along over my way:
1. A planner. A pretty, pretty planner.
I’m a visual person, so having something that is pleasing to the eye and inviting to write in has helped me so much. I still keep important dates and appointments on my phone, but having a large overview of our months has helped me not only keep track of things, but prevent myself from over-scheduling (and sometimes double-booking) our family. With stickers and brightly colored pens, I find that I enjoy laying out our months and weeks, and revisiting as needed. Some of my die-hard friends are married to a certain brand or style, but I’ve hopped around year to year. I try to purchase my planner at a craft store and take advantage of the coupons, so on average I’m spending $20 for a year to 18 months of planning, and that is $20 well spent when I don’t forget due dates or overbook our weekends.
2. Online grocery shopping.
We all know this magical, relatively new option is amazing for the convenience factor, but for me, it’s even better for keeping to my list, meal planning and maximizing my savings. I don’t mind in-store shopping at all, but I’m always forgetting something, be it items on my list or my coupons, and I almost always end up at least a little over budget. Being able to lay it all out and take my time is so helpful that I actually find myself excited to grab a cup of coffee and get it done.
3. Makeup I can forget about.
I love me some makeup. It’s so fun, and unlike my high school jeans, it always fits. I adore the entire process, and it’s something I enjoy doing for myself. The only problem? I tend to get caught up in whatever I’m out and about doing and forget to reapply, so all that work can be for nothing just a few hours in. Even if it’s a tad bit more, low-maintenance makeup that I can apply, forget, and still have on by the afternoon is so worth it. Some of my favorite no-budge products are Lipsense, Shadowsense, and Urban Decay’s All Nighter setting spray.
So, I mean. I didn’t know this was a thing. I had no idea you could LIKE your mop. I thought you just…had a mop and it was a mop. Until I fell in love with one. Like, really. And in my mop honeymoon phase I had an a-ha moment: you can, and probably should, like the things that get your house clean. Having products that I actually enjoy using, be it because they are super efficient, or kind to animals or the environment, or novel, or they just smell really nice, makes me look forward to getting things done that felt like pure drudgery before.
5. A Mary Poppins Bag.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I carry a beach bag as a purse. It doesn’t LOOK like a beach bag, and it sure wouldn’t get MY family to the beach, but that’s what Noonday calls it. All I have to do is remember once in a blue moon to put all the Band-aids and Neosporin and Clif Bars and extra headphones and gloves we may need one day in there and I don’t have to think about it anymore. I remember one day handing over some bandages at a park for a stranger’s child’s scraped knee. Her mom laughed and said, “Wow, you’re one of those moms who always has everything.” Except I’m so not. It’s the bag, I’m telling you.