Don’t be confused, my little squirrels, it is Thursday. I thought perhaps I’d combine our typical Thursday “mental health” topic with the “organizing skills” thing that we haven’t done in awhile. Why not?
So, here are some of Mama’s tips for mental folks to stay organized.
Day Planner / Calendar
I keep my calendar in my phone these days, mostly because my work email and calendar are synced to it and I can add personal appointments to my Gmail calendar through the same app, but I did used to use a leather day planner similar to this one. A monthly view wouldn’t have worked for me, but everyone is different. The point is to find a system that you find comfortable and easy to use. If it’s not easy to use, you won’t use it. The idea is to have a way to keep track of appointments and tasks so that you don’t lose track of anything.
These don’t have to be expensive. There are places online where you can download and print templates that can be 3-hole punched and put in a binder. The great thing about that is there are ample opportunities to personalize your system for very little money, and express some of your personality while staying organized.
Keeping Track of Finances / Budget
Knowing where the money is going is important for anyone, often it’s even more important for those of us who have extra medical bills to cover. You can setup a worksheet like this in a word processor, or, if you have a little skill with Microsoft Excel, you can setup a worksheet that includes formulas that add your totals for you and even calculate differences. There are also templates similar to this that you can download blank to print and fill out by hand.
What I really like about doing a budget sheet is that I can easily tell where our money is going, and where I can cut costs. I do ours in Excel, and I know just enough to setup the formulas. Well, I did.
The beauty of using some form of pill organizer is that there is never any confusion about whether or not you took your pills. Anything we NEED to take goes into these. My PRNs are in separate containers because it’s up to me if I take them or not, but I only ever carry as many on me as I’m allowed to have. My brain is just too busted at this point to keep track of too many things.
One of my absolute favorite things about using the pill organizers is that I always know that I’m going to run out of something well in advance. Most of my meds are on perpetual refill and the pharmacy just does that for me and then sends me a text, but filling my pills a week at a time gives me a very clear picture of whether I’m running low on something. This is crucial for Josh because 2 of his meds are controlled substances and can’t be “grace” filled like mine can.
Taking pill organization one step further, I keep all of the bottles of pills in the medicine cabinet in the upstairs bathroom. They’re all in the center section and they’re separated – the top shelf is mine, middle is Josh’s, and the bottom shelf is for vitamins and other pills we don’t take regularly. This makes it easier when we go to fill pills.
This is a family thingy pictured here, but it was so pretty I just had to use it. Anyway, the idea is that any paperwork you need to hang on to – bill statements, papers from any of your docs, warranty info for the car or electronics, etc. – needs to be organized and kept in a safe place. If you don’t have a file cabinet or a file drawer in your desk, you can get free-standing file boxes. If you are just starting to get organized like this, take your papers and start making piles of like things. Once you have all of your piles made, you can make folders from there.
Depending on your insurance situation, saving the paperwork you get from the doc’s office and the pharmacy can be crucial. Having a well organized file system makes it easier to find the paperwork you need when you need it.
Those are the 4 biggies for me. What other organizational tips do you think are especially important for us mental folk?