The Get My $#^& Together Series: Big Picture

Lately, life has been looking a lot like this:

  • My high schooler receives a text while we are at Target from his fellow marching band members asking where he is because the bus is about to leave.  Panic ensues.  How didn’t we know about this?
  • My kindergartener has a program at school and I pull out his nice jacket and pants only to discover they don’t fit anymore and we have to leave in a half an hour.
  • My husband calls to tell me he has invited some people over to watch the game and I spend the next 2 hours cleaning like a madwoman, enslaving my children in the process.
  • It’s three days before payday and my bank sends me a text telling me I’ve dropped below my notification balance.  Where did the money go?

I love roller coasters…but only the fun kind at Disney World.  I don’t need my life to be one.  So, if you feel like you don’t quite have it together and things spin into chaos when you really thought things were going along okay, this series might be for you.

I’ve embarked on an attempt to “get it together.”  I thought maybe, just maybe, there might be a few of you out there who could benefit from my journey.  Each post in this series is going to be dealing with a different aspect of getting it together.  We are going to take this one chunk at a time and today’s chunk is titled Big Picture.

It seems as thought hubs and I are so busy juggling work, kids, making pancakes, taking the dog to the vet, and fixing cars/toilets/computers/sprinkler systems that we can’t see the forest from the trees and live in a constant state of putting out fires.  We don’t see the big picture.  So, I’ve come up with a plan to slow down, smell the roses, and communicate.  For me, this starts on a daily basis…so let’s start there.

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  1. Start the day with a devotional.  A few years ago I did the whole Jesus Calling Devotional and loved it so I pulled that one back out again.  Wanna know my trick?  I read it while the coffee is brewing.  I literally make the coffee, hit the button, and stand by the coffee pot and read the day’s devotion.  By the time the coffee is ready, I’ve read it and start my day off on the right note.


2.  Clean, organize, or dust one room every day.  I am tired of spending my weekends on housework.  By making Monday living room, Tuesday master bedroom, Wednesday bathrooms etc…it breaks up the housework into small 20 minute chunks.  It’s amazing how much you can get done with 20 minutes of dedication.  Isn’t it better to spend 20 minutes a day cleaning rather than 2 hours on Saturday?

3.  Exercise 30 minutes a day five times a week.  Nothing big.  Just a walk will do it.  The other two nights spend 30 minutes going through the mail.  Mail stresses me out.  Having two days a week when I deal with it is better than the constant shuffle of mail.  While you’re exercising or looking at mail…let the washing machine run which brings me to…

4.  Do one load of laundry each night.  If you don’t have that much laundry, spread it out to 3 or 4 nights a week.

5.  Go through kid’s stuff right before bed and get backpacks/shoes/coat ready for the next day.  No more surprises!!

6.  Treat yourself to your favorite shows…but not until 9:00.  I always feel guilty if I sit down to watch something when I could be doing something that needs to get done.  With this system…you can sit down guilt-free and enjoy some “me” time.


  1.  Plan a menu for the week and stick to it.  With all the extra time you have on Saturday now, spend a half an hour planning a menu for the week.  You can kill two birds with one stone by planning your grocery list at the same time.  By planning ahead, not only can you avoid the fast-food fix saving yourself time and money, but you can save time not running to the grocery store multiple times each week.  That’s a time sucker for sure.

2.  Update chore list and job responsibilities for the week.  Make a central calendar/list that everyone has access to so everyone in the family knows what is going on.  I can’t tell you how many times I plum forgot to tell my husband about an event because I had it in my mind and never communicated it to him.  It can be a centrally located calendar, chalkboard, or even a piece of paper on the fridge.  Communication eliminates confusion.


  1.  Hold a monthly planning meeting.  Schedule a meeting with your spouse (maybe even include older kids so they learn the skill).  Make it like a real meeting with paper/pens etc….At the meeting discuss what is coming up in the NEXT month.  Are there any events, doctor appointments, or project that need to go on the calendar?  Are there items that need to be purchased (nice clothes for Easter is on my radar)?  Divide the jobs up at this meeting so everyone know what they are responsible for and things don’t fall through the cracks.

2.  Create a monthly budget.  Now that you know what is going on for the month you can allocate money.  I know when I don’t plan things out and things seem to “spring up” on me, my bank account suffers.  You can get as specific with this as you want or keep it more general.  The choice is yours.  Just know where the money is going to go for the month.


  1.  Create a home punch list of all the things that need to be repaired, maintained, or updated.  Pick a month you are going to do them in.  Maintaining your home is really vital to keeping it in good working condition.
  2. Plan out vacations and choose vacation days.  Many a year my husband either ran out of vacation days or had some left over.  Plan it out for the year which will give you some great things to look forward to while keeping your schedule on track.
  3. Make some financial goals.  Want to invest a certain amount?  Buy a new car?  Put in wood flooring?  Make some big financial decisions for the year so everyone is on board.

I’ve just started these and will let you know how it is going.  If you have any other tips to help you “keep it together” I would love to know what they are in the comments.


Other topics to come:

  • Pantry Organization
  • Purse Organization
  • Spring Capsule Wardrobe
  • Skincare routine

Let me know if there is anything else we should explore as we get it together.



  1. valarie sanford

    February 6, 2018 at 10:22 am

    These ideas are just wonderful Nancy, thank you!

  2. Shirley @Housepitality Designs

    February 6, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    Hi Nancy! with 2 active boys and a full time job, I do not know how you do it all and manage to blog too!….Sounds like you have a wonderful plan….

  3. Lisa Taylor

    February 8, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    Good luck on your journey. I am right there with you. I have drastically changed the way I am doing everything this year. So far so good.


    February 8, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    Oh my goodness, Nancy, you really have been on a roller coaster ride! I feel for you! I really do like surprises but just not the kind that leave you wondering what on earth you are going to do! These are definitely not good!
    The hubs and I have our “yearly” agenda book out on our hoosier in our kitchen and so far, this has worked well for us.
    I love your ideas, Nancy, and they will definitely work well for you and your family — and us, too! It looks so helpful the way you have covered the weeks, months and year. So great of you to do this so we can all benefit! Hope you are having a great day, my friend! Blessings!

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