September Organizing Challenge: Plan with Printables

Organizing with Printables

printables for cleaning

I have a really smart smart phone. And I have a pretty cool to-do list type of app (Astrid). But for me, there is just something about physically writing something down and/or crossing it off a list that triggers accountability and motivation.

Enter printables, the perfect blend of written yet reusable. Currently, I use a weekly menu printable, a daily schedule printable, and a cleaning schedule printable that has daily cleaning, weekly cleaning, and monthly cleaning lists.

I actually use them (key!) — and they really work to save me time, money, and energy and to help keep my family well-fed and my home reasonably maintained.

printables daily scheduleTips for Using Printables Effectively

  • The printables featured in this post were all FREE and found online. Of course, you should look around to find what’s best for you.
  • Laminate the printables you will use every day or that need to hold up well over time, or use a sheet protector.
  • Using wet erase markers, not dry erase markers, is essential so that your hard-earned cross-offs, checkmarks, plans aren’t wiped away by errant fingers. Try Expo Vis-A-Vis Wet Erase Markers, 8 Colored Markers (16078).
  • Keep your printables visible. You need to see what you have done and what you still need to do in order for your printables to motivate you and keep you on track.

Three Reasons to Organize with Printables

Organization begets organization. You’ll find that once you start using a printable that works for you in one area of life, you’ll want to apply the method to other areas to get those tasks in order as well.

Energy begets energy. When I know what cleaning task is set before me, or the things I have scheduled to accomplish in the next hour — and I can check them off — I find myself being much more productive and efficient rather than having a general cloud of “I have so much to do” hanging over me — and then wasting time at the computer.

printables daily scheduleCleanliness begets cleanliness. Running through the first cycle of your cleaning printable or cleaning checklist may take extra time because you’ll have extra work to do. For example, you’ll have to clean up everything on the floors to be able to vacuum bedroom carpeting. But once you make it through one cycle of your cleaning schedule, you’ll be amazed by how what you’ve done motivates you to keep things clean as you go; you’re much more likely to wash a dish you’re about to put in a shining sink than in a sink that’s already partially full.

Meal Planning Printables

meal planning printable
Via No longer available. Similar available at  Jenny Collier Photography.
  • Meal planning saves money by allowing you to create a grocery list that consists only of what you will actually use. This means what you have gets used and you don’t buy anything that will go to waste.
  • Meal planning prevents multiple trips to the grocery store. I meal-plan once a week, and do my best to grocery shop only once a week (or at most, once at each store I frequent).
  • Meal planning prevents the five o’clock what’s-for-dinner scramble and the possible eating out escape, incidentally also saving money.
  • Meal planning helps keep your family healthy by helping you plan, for instance, fish once a week, vegetarian meals once or twice a week, and red meat definitely not more than once a week (what I try to do).

Schedule Printables

  • Making a schedule helps you get everything done that you want to do in a day.
  • Making a schedule minimizes multiple trips to the same area of town.
  • Making a schedule clears your head for doing what it is you need to do because you’re not constantly trying to remember and work in everything you have to do.

Cleaning Printables

cleaning printable
Via Money Saving Mom. Bonus: It’s customizable.
cleaning printable
Via Money Saving Mom. Bonus: It’s customizable
  • Cleaning schedules help you maintain a clean home throughout the week.
  • Cleaning printables help you map out what you need to do when and how often.
  • Cleaning schedules keep cleaning tasks from piling up and becoming a monumental all-day marathon activity.
  • Cleaning printables make cleaning tasks bite-sized so that they can be done in reasonable smaller chunks of time every day and not too much time goes by before a task is repeated.
  • Separating out daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning to-dos ensures that everything in your home is properly maintained. And you won’t constantly be thinking that you really need to dust those baseboards because you’ll know it’ll get done when scheduled. 

printableThe Challenge

So the challenge this month, which is totally do-able in what’s left of it, is to find at least one printable that suits your needs, and prepare it for use. Who’s up for it? 


As a special treat and motivation, I will send a laminated weekly menu planner to the first five new followers

Disclosure: Compensated Affiliate.