How I Divide My Year Into Thirds

by Lisa Woodruff

Dec 2, 2016 | Episode 134 | 19:57

My 3 New Years.

I always thought that I divided my calendar into three separate years because I was a schoolteacher or because I had children. But the more I talk to women without children who work 9-to-5 jobs, the more I find that this way of looking at the calendar actually rings true for most women.

I will walk you through how I organize my calendar three times a year, and how each time block starts out structured and organized and ends up chaotic and unstructured.

Sept through Dec

I spend the most time planning my calendar in August. I plan out the whole school year from September through May. Then I double back and focus on the months of September to December.

The new school year, even if you don't have children, brings about more structure from the lazy days of summer. Fall is a natural time to re-orient to your calendar and set goals both personally and in your home.

Fall is the best time to time block new personal and home goals. Once those blocks of time are on your calendar, they are easier to sustain for the rest of the year.

The typical home organizational goals during this season are to organize the kitchen, food pantry, schedules, calendars, clothing in closets, and the storage room.

It is also the best time of year to organize kids toys if your kids are in school. Toys are least played with from September to May and are the easiest to declutter in September.

The structured days of September end in the chaotic and fun holiday celebrations with family and friends in December.

Jan thru May

January to May is the longest stretch of planning that I do each year.

While the desire to plan and set your long New Year's resolutions is high in January, the natural hibernating feeling that comes about in the Midwest at that time can easily derail any plans made on December 31.

The typical home organizing goals for January through May are to organize indoor projects that are more detailed like paper, tax organization, photo organization, craft supplies, and memories.

The best time to schedule organizing in this season is on Saturdays and Sundays. The darker, shorter days make it very hard to organize in the evenings.

The high feeling New Year's resolution goals end in a frantic May filled with family events, spring activities, and preparation for the lazy summer days ahead.

June thru August

If you are not careful, June will arrive and no planning will have been done at all. This is the shortest and most unstructured section of my year that I plan.

The best time to schedule organizing in this season is to set your goals and try to accomplish as much as possible in June. Even I am no match for the long hot days of July!

In this season, I brainstorm a long list of household projects that I want to accomplish and tape it inside the cabinet door in my kitchen. Then whenever we have some extra time, I look at my list and pick a project to tackle from start to finish.

The only subset of the population I have found that can overcome the hot days of summer and still be productive are teachers. Knowing they are racing the clock to the start of the next school year, they are able to buckle down and organize their entire house in just a few months each summer.

The best time to do home organization projects in the summer is early in the morning or late at night. The long days of summer allow for your natural early bird or night owl tendencies to be used for organizational purposes.

The long carefree days of June and July are replaced with the frantic August back-to-school frenzy and the longing to get ready for structure... and start all over again.

I would love to hear if you also find that you schedule your year three different times of year and if you set goals in those three different times. What do you do? Leave your comments below.