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My Personal Improvement Projects (PIPs)

There are several areas of my life I want to work on. I am hoping by blogging about them I will be more likely to continue to work on them, especially when I don't want to.

Cleaning & Organizing
Before I had children I kept a fairly tidy house. There were definitely rooms and areas I would prefer people not see. Once I had children it got significantly more difficult. Over the last year I have read a lot of books, blogs and websites on cleaning and organizing. Before 2010 ended I created a list of chores I needed to do and when I needed to do them. The work now will be keeping up with it.

I want to gain better control of the clock and calendar. As far back as I can remember, I have been someone who might be late. Not always, but too often I was. Before kids, I would leave the house and get where I needed to be either just in time or just a little late. I have not adjusted my departure times to accommodate two small children. When the kids were really small we didn't have to be anywhere at specific times very often. As they get older and both are in school and activities, there are more and more places we need to be at specific times. I do not want to be late anymore. I don't want my kids to feel like I did as a kid arriving late. In addition, I'm hoping to go back to teaching this fall. That scares me. How am I going to get three of us out the door, completely ready, on time everyday?

I want to stay on budget, reduce debt, use coupons effectively, be frugal and spend wisely.

I want to spend personal time with each kid. I want to help both of them learn to be responsible around the house. I want to spend more adult time with my husband.

I want to meal plan every week, try new recipes every month, allow the kids to help me prepare the meals more and feed my family better by reducing the amount of packaged food and preservatives.

Being green
I worry about the chemicals that I am exposing my children to. I think a lot about what we are doing to our planet. I want to live my current lifestyle while leaving the smallest carbon footprint possible. I try to do what I can. I recycle and compost. I have significantly cut down on the amount of napkins and paper towels I use. I buy organic as much as I can. I use green cleaning products. I still don't feel like I do enough. Recently, I was explaining to my daughter why we need to reduce the amount of trash we create. I told her that when the trash leaves our house it goes to a place with lots of other trash and gets buried underground. She was shocked. She said, "Mommy! Why would they do that?!" I want to be able to tell her I am doing everything I can.