Monday, September 8, 2008

A Plan to Plan

As I launch into this week of "domestic challenges," I can't help but think about my first year of marriage.  Up until that point I hadn't really had full domestic reign, and I therefore had no idea how I'd do at managing my own household (I know...I married young).  Incidentally, right around that time Real Simple started becoming a popular magazine, and I snagged a two-year subscription.

If ever there was a bible for home organization, it would be Real Simple.  I distinctly remember creating some kind of over-the-top flow chart detailing my daily, weekly and monthly cleaning activities based on the advice of the Real Simple gurus.  Of course I never actually implemented the plan, but it made me feel good having it.

The magazine just made everything look so simple.  Sure I could set aside an afternoon and photo copy the contents of my wallet in case it ever gets stolen (six years later I still haven't done it).  Sure I could plan out my meals for a month, complete with a laminated pantry checklist and a perfectly aligned tupperware system (do lime Tostidos count as dinner?).  Sure I could set aside a small box with party supplies in case I unexpectedly need to throw a part (which has never happened, by the way).  It all seemed so reasonable, so doable.

Since then I've decided that reality lies somewhere between the enchantment that is Real Simple and the disaster that is the back of my pantry.  My goal is to find that reality this fall.

I have a two-part strategy.  Part on is to spend some time planning.  Meal planning, most specifically, but also planning ahead for the holidays and parties and emergencies.  Part two is to actually follow up on my plans.  Obviously this is the more difficult step.  I'll let you know how it goes.

For those of you who are glutton for organizational punishment, Real Simple is still faithfully churning out lists.  Here's the link to their "worksheets and checklists," where you'll find everything you need to eat seafood, plan a wedding, prep for Thanksgiving, and grocery shop like a pro.  Just beware of the flow charts in "everyday cleaning."  They can be tricky...

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