The Structured Life with a Professional Organizer Wife

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Author: Brandon Grant (Taylor's husband)

So a few months back, my lovely wife, Taylor (the owner and operator of Granting Order), wrote a blog post titled “It’s A Hard Knock Life for a Coach's Wife.”  Now that baseball season has come and gone and the most recent football season has come to an end, I have a chance to write my counter blog about having a professional organizer as a wife.  This blog will show how we combat the challenges of the hectic life of coaching while maintaining order at home with a woman whose life is designed around structure and organization.

Disclaimer: I am an awesome husband,  however, Taylor felt the need to try to change me a bit just like every wife makes an attempt to do to their man at some point.

Most of my life I have been on top of my stuff (or at least I thought so) until I met Taylor.  She promptly showed me that I wasn't as organized and well put together as I thought I was.  Which was annoying at first but eventually proved beneficial.  It started with your basic pointless stuff such as putting the toilet paper on the holder rather than putting it on the floor and learning how to load a dishwasher the “proper” way (by far the one that frustrated me the most). Then we moved to the grand transformation of an organized husband: grocery lists, calendars, live budget documents, routine house maintenance, jacking with my garage and tools -  you name it, she has attempted to organize it.

As annoying as being organized all the time can be and having Taylor constantly shuffling things around that I “mess up,” here are a few things I have learned to enjoy (or at least appreciate) because they really are beneficial.  Some of these are my ideas because, once again, I’m awesome.

Learn to Love a Good Calendar

Even Taylor thinks this part of my life is kind of weird, but she secretly likes it.  My schedule is hectic and leaves no room for down time.  I leave the house at 4:45AM Monday - Thursday when we are in season and quite often work between 12 - 16 hour days 6 days a week.  I love it, but it can be hectic on a family.  So about two years ago I started downloading a yearly calendar from WinCalendars in an excel format.  I enter in all of mine and Taylor's schedules including work, exercise, family events, date nights, dinner plans, etc.  This may seem obnoxious but a few hours of work on a day off can save you many hours throughout the month.  Below is an example of one of my Monthly Calendars.

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Grocery Lists

The calendar transitions perfectly into this!  Taylor hates the grocery store, so I do the shopping to repay her for making her a “Sports Widow” for 8 months out of the year.  At the beginning of the month, I know what items I need to buy at the grocery store for the rest of the month because of the scheduled meal calendar broken down by each week.  I print off the lists at that time and keep them in the kitchen, so it’s a grab and go type deal.  This eliminates guessing and keeps you from buying a bunch of random stuff that runs your bills up each week (such as Blue Bell... I love Blue Bell ice-cream).

Laundry Prep

I am a freak when it comes to laundry.  I wear 2-3 outfits a day due to my coaching and teaching schedules, so, needless to say, we do a lot of laundry.  I also have this weird obsession with wrinkles… I HATE THEM!  So, every Sunday, when I get home from work and finish up film study, I lay out my clothes for the week and iron them all.  This can make mornings much easier; no searching for clothes you need, no wondering what you are going to wear.  I can get out of bed and get out the door in 15 minutes due to this.  Otherwise it takes me closer to 30.  In my life, 15 extra min of sleep is a lot!

Budget

Taylor gets the credit for this one.  Because I'm a teacher/coach and have expensive taste in trucks and toys, we stick to a pretty tight budget each month.  I have taught economics before, so you would think this would be easy to me, but it's not.  Taylor put all our bills and the days they draft out of our accounts into a live Google Sheet (Excel for Google).  I then added our other expected expenses and the money we should have in our accounts after those expenditures. Throughout the month this helps notify us if we have over spent or if we have beat the budget and can put money away in savings.  For example, if our account balance should be 4,000 on December 10th and its $4,231.00, I will move that $231.00 to savings for when I do dumb things like go mudding in my truck and break an axle. 

The budget is the thing that is most important to both of us. I'm married to an amazing woman, but, as any couple will attest to, finances can cause a lot of stress in a marriage.

My advice to the average person that does not have a professional organizer running their house (at least the things inside of it... I wear the pants here):

  • Don't try to do it alone.  Find someone to help - a spouse, a friend, or hire a professional.
  • Look for ways to make your life easier by putting in a little more work on the front-end.
  • Take advantage of time saving organizing tips because you can never underestimate the importance of those extra bits of time you get to spend with your family and friends.
  • If you don't want to manage or maintain your organizing yourself, be willing to hire a professional to “clean you up” about once a quarter.
  • Find what fits your life and avoid doing things you hate!  Compromise with your significant other to find a way to get everything done.