31 Day Organization Challenge: Life Edition: Week 2

Read Introduction Post: 31 Day Organization Challenge: Life Edition.
Read 31 Day Organization Challenge: Life Edition: Week 1.

Week 2 has arrived and it’s time to start organizing two major categories that some love and some hate: Food and Fitness. Summer is a great time to go through recipes and rework your meal planning strategy, so you’re all ready when school starts back up and family dinner nights can re-appear, but more organized and delicious than ever.

Sure, organizing the exercise part of your life probably should have happened months ago, unless you were on the ball and you’re already rocking your beach bikini body. But, it’s always a good idea to take a hard look at how you work out and hey, you may realize you need to tweak some parts of your routine or actually begin exercising for the first time in 10 years! There’s never a better time than now to start. So here we go.

Nothing will work unless you do.    – John Wooden

CLICK HERE to download the printable schedule for this week and post it on your fridge so you know what tasks to focus on each day.


Food

Day 1 – Recipes

Where do you keep your recipes? Whether it’s online, on your phone, in a binder, or a card box, it’s time to take inventory of what’s in there. Go through each one and see if anything needs to be…

  • tweaked: For now you can remember that you really have to add 1 teaspoon of baking soda instead of the 2 as written, but shame when the time comes and you forget. Poor batch of cookies.
  • rewritten: If you can barely read the recipe through the years old chocolate stains, then now’s the time to rewrite it or else you’ll never be able to make your favorite cheesecake again.
  • or disposed of: Will you really make your Aunt Judy’s fruitcake again?

Then start reorganizing your recipes either alphabetically, by category, or by what you make the most often. It seems tedious and boring, but it will make your life in the kitchen a bit easier and certainly more organized.

Need a new place to store your recipes?

Here are a couple high-tech ways:

  • The BigOven app lets you store both recipes you’ve found online and your handwritten ones all in one convenient place right on your phone.
  • Paprika is another app that allows you to organize and store your recipes, as well as make meal plans and even create grocery lists.

And a couple low-tech ways:

  • Check out these beautiful recipe albums from Moleskine and MeadowSweet Kitchens that will not only make cooking in the kitchen well organized for you, but you’ll love writing in them too!

Day 2 – Take Out

For those of you who dedicate part of your week to your favorite takeout Chinese place, you must have a bunch of takeout menus floating around your kitchen. Gather them all up and toss out the ones for places you no longer like or eat at, and reorganize them in a better, more useful way.

  • Try installing some corkboard to the inside of a kitchen cabinet door, and tack up your menus there, in addition to notes, coupons, and other paper necessities.
  • Instead of or in addition to corkboard, hang up adhesive clear plastic pockets to the cabinet door and slide in your menus.
  • If you’re an eating out aficionado, then you may want to dedicate an entire 3 ring binder to your takeout menu collection. Store it in a kitchen drawer for easy access.
  • Check out this awesome, streamlined modern, and simple takeout menu organizer from Meadowsweet Kitchens. You can also store restaurant coupons in here, so you don’t forget to use them next time you order in. We’d start eating more takeout if we got to see this beauty everyday!

Day 3 – Coupons

Organizing and using coupons could almost qualify as an Olympic sport! We won’t go into too much depth in this post about couponing, but we do encourage you to go through all your coupons today, toss the expired ones, and find a new place to organize and store your coupons if your current system just isn’t cutting it.

We will of course share some of our favorite products for making organizing your coupon stash fun, fashionable, and effective. Etsy is the queen when it comes to providing handmade coupon organizers that are perfect for those who like to keep couponing classy.

Be sure to check out Couponing 101 for some tips on how to use your newly organized coupons more effectively if you’re not a pro yet.

Day 4 – Meal Planning

Now that your recipes and coupons are well organized, let’s put them to use! Today, focus on reorganizing your current meal planning strategy, only if yours isn’t working great. Again, there are lots of ways to organize your menus and weekly eating, so find something that works well for your family and lifestyle.

  • You may want to consider planning out meals on a monthly basis, and have them written down on a dry erase board that hangs conveniently in the kitchen. This way you only have to rack your brain for meals once a month instead of every week. Plan each month and shop each week.
  • If you meal plan weekly, set aside some time on Sunday to sit down with your family and write down all meals for the week, including breakfast and lunch. Get your family member’s ideas and input so you don’t have to come up with all the meals yourself, plus the chances of them eating the food you make are higher if they’ve participated in creating the menu.
  • Consider dedicating a week (or more) each month to freezer meals. This takes some planning in advance, but if you can pull it off, that’s one week you don’t have to cook each night! Read Tips & Tricks for Preparing Freezer Meals for help on how to make this happen effectively.
  • A great way to keep meal planning organized, consistent, and fun is by creating Theme Nights (this is extra great to do with kids). Dedicate a night each week to Fish Friday, Taco Tuesday, or Soup Sunday, etc. This makes it easy by following a certain direction while meal planning and gives your family a heads up on what to expect.
  • In addition to Theme Nights, if you can leave one night open for leftovers, that gives you one night “off” and allows for any extra food that week to be eaten before it spoils. Win win for you time wise and money wise!
  • Read Prepping Dinner for the Week Ahead.

Fitness

Day 5 – Exercise Planning

Just like you planned your meals for the week or the month, it’s important to also have a well organized plan for exercising and fueling your body, not just by food but also by activity. Whip out your calendar and figure out a consistent workout plan that is realistic for you and your schedule. You can start slowly if you don’t have loads of time to dedicate to exercising, such as starting at two or three times a week. The most important part to organizing your exercise plan is writing it down. If it’s written down on the calendar, that means you’ve allocated time for it, so there’s no excuse not to do it! It doesn’t have to necessarily mean joining a gym or going CrossFit hardcore, just start doing something active on a consistent basis. Even start right now, by noting the next time you and the kids head to the pool or playground and follow 10 Effective Pool Exercises for Mom and 10+ Playground Exercises for Mom. Sometimes we have to get creative when we’re trying to fit in working out as busy moms!

For extra guidance in trying to organize your exercise plan, be sure to read Best Free Apps for the Fitness-Minded Mom, 10 Best Fitness Apps, How To: Become a Runner, and basically anything else in our THRIVE category.

Day 6 – Exercise Station

Maybe you’ve decided the best way to organize your exercise routine is by choosing to work out in the most convenient place there is, your home. If so, you want to choose a spot in your house that will allow you to effectively and easily workout on a consistent basis, whether it’s a whole room or a corner of the living room. Once you have that spot chosen, or if you already have one dedicated for this purpose, then start organizing your exercise station today. Depending on the amount of space present will determine what kind of equipment you can include. You don’t necessarily need elliptical and treadmill machines for a great workout if your budget and space won’t allow it. Check out 5 Inexpensive and Effective Items for Building Your At-Home Gym.

Some ways to keep your exercise station well organized include:
  • Hanging certain items such as yoga mats, jump ropes, and resistance bands on the walls with heavy duty hooks or over the door hooks.
  • Using GearPockets for holding small weights and other miscellaneous fitness items.
  • Using Wall-Mounted Dumbbell Racks.
  • Installing a Doorway Pull-Up Bar.
  • Keeping a calendar on the wall of your exercise station with your organized fitness plan for extra motivation and accountability.

Day 7 – TAKE A BREAK

Today marks the halfway point of the 31 Day Organization Challenge: Life Edition, and it’s summer, so we’re going to give you the day off. Enjoy the sunshine this afternoon, take a dip in the pool, and get ready to dive into organizing some Techy Tasks tomorrow for the start of Week 3.


Remember to check in with us via Instagram @dailymomig #DM31DayOC!

Photo Credits: Dani

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Dani

Dani lives in North Carolina with her two preschoolers. She is a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom who loves to clean and organize anything and everything. Her happiness is found in Jesus, days at the spa, and combating dark chocolate peanut butter cups with everyday workouts at the gym. She owns a wedding, lifestyle, and freelance photography business, Dani Nicole Photography.

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