Monday, July 25, 2011

Organization -- Finally! (And a Giveaway from Blue Sky!)

The trouble with me + planning is that I always start out really gung-ho, and then my efforts at timely organization seem to fall by the wayside after a few days of effort.  I think it's because I DO begin so forcefully that I can't possibly keep up with my own momentum.  I become all bluster and no follow-through.  All talk and no action.  All hope and no reality.

But on my horizon, there are a few things that are having the tendency to FREAK me out about my lack of organization:

1.  We are having our entire home re-floored this week.
2.  I want to take two family road trips between now and September.
3.  Mia starts Kindergarten next month.
4.  Baby Boy is due in October.
5.  My house is a mess.
6.  I forget what else, but let me assure you, there is lots of 'else'.

The only thing I've done in preparation for any of this is to compile detailed lists in my head, jot down a reminder or two on soon-to-be-lost scraps of paper, and wring my hands helplessly together.

Let's face it: I'm terrible at organizing our family's life at this point in the game.  I'm keeping us afloat, but only because I'm displacing the waters by sheer luck.  And I keep waiting for those waters to float me away, whilst I forget everything that needs to be done.

But here's the silver lining: somebody has thrown me a life-raft.

The kind folks behind the Blue Sky Home Series have sent me a sampling of their newest line of dated organizing products, and for the past month, I've been saved. 

My favorite product in their lineup is the 8x10 weekly/monthly planner.  It's slim and sturdy, with plenty of room for detailing what our weeks will look like...

and keeping all of my lists in one place...

plus it lays flat on my desk -- next to me at all times -- so I can immediately add to its calendar or remind myself of the day's events.

I know -- it's just a calendar, really.  And couldn't a regular wall or desk calendar do the same thing?  Probably.  But I've never been too enamored with wall calendars for ease of use, and desk calendars either seem to take up my entire workspace, or become messy and ripped over time.  Plus, the Blue Sky planner is pretty. Really pretty.  They've teamed up with Susy Jack Contemporary Paper to make a line of products that are eye catching but not flashy.  Beautiful, but not obtrusive.  They're simple and clean and lovely -- perfect for keeping me company at all times.

But the coolest part about this planner is that its calendar begins in July, not January.  Because whose busy year actually begins in January?  I need a calendar that begins when I do -- which, this year, is right now.  I don't have to wait for a new supply of January-starting products to line the shelves before getting myself organized.

Plus, there's a giant stack of lined note pages in the back of the planner -- fabulous, because I don't want to carry a notepad and a calendar to my few meetings, but I want to have plenty of space to write. 

And the tabs for each month make me happy. 

Also nice, but not quite as useful to me as the planner, are the grocery listmousepad, and door notes.  The door notes are a cute idea, but I just can't get past the kitschy-ness of the product and the extra clutter they would add to my entryway.  I know a few teenagers that might benefit from it, though...

The grocery list has come in handy for making sure I take note of what I need to buy as soon as I run out -- it clings nicely to the fridge with strong magnets -- but I don't necessarily love being trapped into only a few lines for each category.  Still, I can definitely see the appeal for many busy moms. 

But there are some other products in their lineup that have caught my eye -- and I'm sure would catch yours, too.  Take a look and let me know what you think.

And in the meantime, Blue Sky has generously offered to provide one of my readers with the same sample package I received (8x10 planner, magnetic grocery checklist pad, mouse pad, and door notes)! 

To enter this giveaway, simply leave me a comment describing your feelings towards organization: are you flummoxed by it all?  Are you an organizing genius?  Whatever the case, tell me a little bit about your status quo, and you'll be entered to win.

For an extra entry, tweet about the giveaway and copy the link into a separate comment.

That's it!  Super easy!  I hope you'll love the Blue Sky Home Series as much as I've begun to -- a little bit of assistance in the organization department has made all the difference, and I want that for YOU, too!

This giveaway, (sponsored entirely by Blue Sky) will close at 6 PM on Friday, July 29th.  The randomly chosen winner will then be contacted by email.  Good luck!

This giveaway is now closed -- thanks for entering!


  1. mllb: I always manage to get to the right place at the right time, but it sure ISN'T because of my organizational skills!

  2. Oh, honey, I need all the organizing help I can get!

  3. And your tweet shows that I retweeted:!/HeavenlyLife/status/95498610187309056

  4. Oooh I like that organizer…I keep trying to do online calendars but I really like paper in front of me. I'm the worst organizer ever but with two kids now and back to work I need to find something that works!

  5. I was flipping through planners at the bookstore yesterday (which is, in and of itself, really unusual for me) and I was *floored* when saw a planner that started in July. It was so brilliant, I almost bought it!

    Because honestly? Right now my "organizational method" consists of a list (written in crayon) that's hiding somewhere among the girls' art supplies.

    So, thanks for the great giveaway! (And good look with the re-flooring project! I can't wait to see pictures!)

  6. Finally, a giveaway that would be so helpful and not just add to my clutter! I feel like my organization is inconsistent. Some weeks I am on the ball; other weeks I fly by the seat of my pants. With 4 kids and a busy husband, I could use some extra help. That planner looks fantastic!

  7. I have the very best of intentions about organization, but never seem to be able to get my big projects off the ground. With four littles running around and a big, BIG move coming up, this stuff would be awesome! And like many others, I just love that their calendar starts in July -- genius!

  8. Wow! Cool giveaway, Sarah! I am very organized at work and manage to keep everything in it's place and filed away. But somehow, my organizational skills get lost on the car ride home as nothing in our house feels organized. I try over and over to restore order but little gremlins (or maybe my lovely husband and toddler) move everything around when I am not looking. I would LOVE to restore some order to my life before this baby comes!

  9. I heart planners. And tabs!

  10. Thanks Lenae for leading me to this blog! I have the same organizational woes! Start strong just to fall apart shortly. I just started following FlyLady and that seems to help my "momentum" issue. But i LOVE a good calendar! I like this size of this's similar to what I use butI like the attached page for lists....AND IT"S SOOO PRETTY!! I wouldn't want there to be messieness around something so pretty!

  11. Oh my goodness I'm just like you. I start off with grand ideas and then rarely follow through. It's terrible =0\ I'm always buying planners and what not but always forget to actually CHECK them lol. But maybe the way they've organized their calendar will be helpful...with the notes and stuff on the same page. I'm a big note/list writer.

  12. I am an organizing nerd! Nothing makes me happier than writing out my to-do list for the week. (Usually I'm just copying stuff that didn't get done from the previous list, but still...) My favorite is having a menu planner up on the fridge each week, with a notepad next to it to jot down grocery lists.

  13. Okay, so I'm drooling a little bit over this! I LOVE me some planners! I usually use college-style planners, which start in August, and I've gotten into the habit of using one planner for both my lesson plans/school stuff and the rest of my life stuff. I wear my planners OUT! And when they're full I save them... I have a box of old planners that are almost like diaries...

    (isn't this a terribly long comment about planners? I'm a nerd!)

  14. I tweeted!!/laanykidsmom/status/95815231049170944

  15. Came here via Laanykidsmom. I am desperately trying to maintain organization in my home! Never have been a list maker, but perhaps that's where I need to start...thanks for the chance to win!

  16. Being a mom of 4 little ones, there is barely anytime to organize my thoughts, let alone get them on paper. You are an inspiration Sarah!!! I love reading all your posts.

  17. Hi-- I'm not a regular commenter but I couldn't resist. I admit I am a total calendar/planner addict. I had to swear off buying them for the time being but I never said I wouldn't try and win one! Haha! Besides this one is amazing! I love how it's all like a set. Some women have a shoe thing, I have a planner thing!

  18. I am totally unorganized. I try. I want to have it together and never have that panicked "what am I forgetting!?" moment, but it never works.

  19. I start home-schooling in just about a month for the first time. Ever. And I need all of the help I can get.

    Plus I just realized I have no place to hang my wall calendar in the new house. I'll need a desktop version. Thanks for the info on Blue Sky!