In Pursuit of an Organized Life

. . . putting life in order

Ordinary vs Novelty

Whenever I have time off, I debate whether it is better to get the basics done well or go for novelty.   Part of me loves being able to tell people when I return the exciting things I did over my time off.  I love trying new things and seeing the kids have new experiences.

The other part of me feels like getting a head start on the basics allows me to relax more once the pace picks up.  There is something satisfying about having a clean house and food ready to go.  Unfortunately, it never feels like that clean feeling stays around very long.  I can put in effort and have nothing to show for it.

I think today I’m going to try for at home novelty.   Cleaning the house, cooking more complex recipes, playing longer games, and maybe a craft or a fort.  Then tomorrow I can try for an away from home adventure.

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Hand Washing

I’ve developed a new theory for washing dishes.  I used to think it was easier to do a large load of dishes at once.  The problem was the bigger the pile became, the more I avoided doing dishes.  I usually ended up needing to fill multiple sinks full of water to get the job done. 

I’m hand washing dishes when I have 3-4 dishes that need to be done.  I let a few items soak while I work on a different chore. I wash the dishes until they are done or the water gets dirty.   When the water is dirty, I wash off the first layer of dirt off the dirtiest pots and pans.  Then I save what are left of the dishes for another day.

The plan is nothing spectacular, but it’s happening.   I know I should wash dishes the moment they get dirty and wash all of them until they are done, but that is not happening at this point.  Babty steps.   Now I have to put all of these little tricks together to make a clean house. 

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Home and Away

I’ve found that I like having a day at home and a day away. Yesterday, I had a day of organizing and laundry. I did not have an agenda. I did not accomplish everything, but I made a good start.

Today I’m hoping for a day of shopping and groceries and out and about. Had I thought about it, I would have picked the rainy day to be out and about. Luckily I am washable.

Here is what I’m hoping to get (in no particular order):

  • birthday presents  ( At least a start for 2 presents I needed to buy–one is done)
  • groceries
  • book for book club
  • trip supplies
  • crafts
  • batteries
  • plastic totes
  • school supplies (not done, but a dent)
  • sports bra    (Found the one I wanted on sale—bought 3)
  • Whatever else falls in the cart   (movie for tonight)

Update:

Errands went well.   I will make the last few stops later in the weekend.  Nice day out about.  Now to pick up the children.

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About the kids

I have decided that today is all about the kids. Playing with them and getting them involved in activities. I am still doing the basics on house work and spending time on my own, but the main focus is engaging with them.

Since last night, we have . . . .

  • made strawberries sundaes
  • went to the splash pad  (me too)
  • played a phonics and letter game
  • played with indoor snow
  • had lunch outside

Nothing horribly fancy, just simple joys.  It’s nice to have a focus and get to other stuff as time allows.  The other part that is nice is that I have learned that I can’t completely take off from housework.  I make my life harder later if I avoid dishes and laundry and basic cleaning for another day.  I snuck in the dishes before going to the splash pad and am on my way to put in a load of laundry.

Have a great day!

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Clean Car!

My car is clean. Not just free from toys and books for work. Free from dirt and grim and spills. It looks so much better.

This chore was not on my list of things to do, but my husband suggested it. I’m so glad we did it.

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Kitchen

Last night I tackled the kitchen.  Washed dishes and tidied the counter. Emptied and loaded the dishwasher.  It looks much better.  Now to maintain it. 

Below are my long term goals for my kitchen:

  • Sort through cups (get rid of broken and old cups)
  • Find a way to organize coffee and water bottles
  • Reduce/organize storage containers
  • Consistently organize and file mail
  • Develop a schedule/routine to clean fridge, microwave, etc

Today is a cleaning and grocery day.  Off to visit with the kids and drink some coffee.

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The Clean Up

Off to start to clean and organize after our trip.  It was a great trip with only a few complications.  Off to clean and return to the real world.

 

First coffee then clean the fridge before groceries.

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Pre-Vacation Stress

I am approaching the vacation.   While I am very excited for the trip, I’m finding that my stress level has increased.  I’m trying to get work related tasks done for both this week and next.  I am also trying to run errands, pack, and prepare for the trip.   I would also like to have the house be clean so that I don’t have to come home tired to a messy house. 

Along with all of these tasks,  I want to keep up with normal priorities: get sleep, play with kids, help kids with reading/learning, run, exercise, and relax. 

I was doing okay with everything until today then today I became overwhelmed.  Well I’m off to wind down and head to bed.  Maybe find something quick to wipe or tidy. 

Maybe all of this is made to make me appreciate the vacation even more!  One moment at a time.

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Sitting Room

What started out to be a formal living room has shifted to be a kids toy room.  The room houses art supplies along with many toys.  I am happy with how the room functions overall.   There is room to play and also places to sit. 

The sitting room is also the room that I have decided that the children are in charge of cleaning.  Most of the mess in that room is from them.    The space is also small enough that they can clean it in a relatively short amount of time especially with the guidance of adults.

I am frequently telling them that they can have a dessert or go somewhere or watch a movie after the sitting room is clean. 

 

Off to wash dishes, eat ice cream, and go to sleep.

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Estimation and Honesty

I’ve decided time management comes down to a few main skills.  For me, I’ve been thinking mainly about estimation and honesty. 

Estimation

     How long will the task  ACTUALLY take?  The tasks that will just take 5-10 minutes often end up taking much more time when you factor in set up, clean up, drive time, etc.  The other side of the issue is tasks that I dread and put off that in reality only takes 15 minutes out of my life—less time than it took me to convince myself to do it.

Honesty

     Honesty is the realizations of the situation.  If I am tired and cranky and burnt out,  I will likely get less done or take longer to do the same tasks.  I may be able to complete the drive in 4 hours, but realistically I will probably want to take a break, drive slower, or leave later than intended. 

I read a great post by 365 Simplify that discussed taking what you need and kindness towards yourself http://365simplify.com/2014/06/06/day-156-take/. I think that factors into productivity. Taking what you need instead of running on fumes and not beating yourself up if the to do list is not completed.

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