In Pursuit of an Organized Life

. . . putting life in order

Home Organization

    Organization at home has not been as successful as at work.  My daughter was sick so my priorities were on her, connecting with my husband, and relaxing.  Long term I’d like the cleaning to be part of my routine so that I continue doing it even when things are busy or stressful.   Also there is a “have-to” element at work and a “it would be nice” or “I should” at home.

    Despite the set backs, I am making some progress.  I am close to making a mini goal I set for myself.  I am embarassed to say it was clean the bathrooms 3 weeks in a row.  It feels like something I should be already doing.  Maybe I am doing it more than I remember doing it, but it always seems dirty.  I did a quick clutter burst that felt really good.  No real noticable difference, but it was fun having music on and putting things back in their places. 

   Well my youngest sounds like she is getting up.  I’m off to try to empty or load the dishwasher quick before I get her.  She likes to “help me” put dishes away.

Happy cleaning!

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Work Organization

I am back on track to making an effort on cleaning and organizing. I organized a shelf of books at work. I loved the idea of taking everything off and adding in what I want versus getting rid of what I don’t want. Mentally it is so much easier. Now granted, I haven’t done anything with the maybe or “I might use” books, but they are at least in a pile. I’m hoping that eventually deciding what ones to get rid of will get easier. I love the fact that the books I love are within in reach and easier to find.

I’ve also improved my planner skills. I’ve been doing well at planning out my student days a few days at a time. Last week I had the whole week planned out and I loved going home and not having to think of work stuff especially with my daughter sick. I’m improving at making my to-do list meaningful. I start by looking at my previous weeks to do list and carrying over anything that wasn’t done. I’ve started to sort them into type of jobs—IEP, evaluations, phone calls, and other. I have been trying to pick 2-3 tasks per day that I would like to accomplish. It helps me to stay focused and prioritize and not feel overwhelmed (as much) because of my long to do list.

My next goal is to get my filing in order and writing it into my schedule. I’m good at (and honestly kind of enjoy) writing the IEP and evaluation reports. What I’m not as good at is getting it all printed out and in the master files and keeping those files organized with only the required documents in them.

We had a staff development day at work this week. It was nice to see the whole staff and not be seperated into who we see on a regular basis due to need. It was nice to small talk and have some of those larger discussions that are difficult to fit into an hour long staff meeting. I also got to connect with other SLPs. Its so nice to interact with other people that have the same training, priorities, and job descriptions. On the flip side, the training day got my head spinning. What should I be doing? What am I doing wrong? I had big dreams to do X at the beginning of the year, but haven’t yet. What do people think of me?

But its the weekend so I’m going to take a break from work stuff for now. I made a dent this morning and now need to focus on family and house.

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Key to Productivity

Today I felt like I accomplished a lot (at least for me).

  • Sorted unmatched socks
  • Cleaned bathrooms
  • Sorted Baby Clothes
  • Put away maternity and baby clothes

Keys to my success

  • Mix tapes
  • Coffee
  • No kids
  • Few uninterrupted hours
  • Work out earlier in day
  • Help from husband when motivation was fading
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Forced Motivation

I found out my room at school is being made into a computer lab.  Nothing like an imminent move to make me think about what I actually need and want to store.  Moving has forced me to get rid of stuff simply because I didn’t want to pack and unpack it in the new space.   I have also learned that those boxes of “sort later” are often not touched for years.

Yesterday,  I sorted binders that were left by the previous speech therapist.  They have tons of ideas and could be useful with a number of students, but since August there are many of them that I haven’t open.  So I did a quick sort and put the ones I actually used or really really like and want to use on one shelf.  Then I put all of the ones related to specific speech sounds (s, r, th, etc) or phonemic awareness in an empty drawer.  The others go on the bottom shelf.

So now I’m left with a shelf of binders to sort through and figure out realistically what I want to do with it.  I have a hard time getting rid of items in all areas of my life–paper that should be filed or recycled, books, random broken things that “might get fixed”, and things I haven’t used in years–but like the idea of using.  Now with my work this hoarding is magnified because of the fact that budgets are small and working with a wide range of needs and ages (4-12).

Intellectually, I’d rather have an organized room that is neat and have a smaller number of well used items that I am familiar with rather than a pile of stuff that contains both treasures and trash.

However. . . . .

  • what do I do with the stuff
  • when will I find the time
  • what if I get rid of the wrong thing and need to buy it later
  • how will I find the stuff a good home
  • how do I avoid just passing the clutter on to someone else
  • how do I avoid transferring the clutter from work to home

On a side note,  I have no idea where I will be going next year. Like any school, there is no room that is empty and waiting for a loving occupant.  Typically SLPs are not known to have large offices.  There are frequently jokes about getting a window  and how large of table the room will fit.  In the world of SLPs, my current room is nice. Will I share an office?  How large will the space be?   So downsizing my materials is probably a good plan.  The nice thing about moving is that there is a forced time to have the organization done.  Nothing like some external motivation to kick me in the butt.   And luckily I have plenty of warning to do it correctly or at least have no one to blame if I don’t.

Happy Organizing!

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Back in the Saddle (hopefully)

I’m back. I’ve been out of the habit of blogging and organizing. I’ve tried some 5:30 am classes (I’m loving Tabata!), working on paperwork at work, school carnival, and generally being lazy.

On a productive note, I chose to organize rather than blog about organizing yesterday. I figure it is another step in my goal of being an organized person and gives me something to blog about. Not that my accomplishments were spectacular–tidying main level and cleaning the microwave, but both needed to be done–or at least worked on. I got more done and worked longer on it because of Pandora radio. I also have the ornaments off the tree.

I’m hoping that I can continue my motivation into my long weekend. Now to figure out where I left my caddy with all of the cleaning supplies.

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Process goals

Realistically, I know I will not have a sparkling house that is decorated and free of clutter. Certainly not this year, but maybe not ever. It’s trying to find tasks that I can be successful with and that will stick with.

I’m going to try focusing on process goals instead of results. Spend a certain amount of time on the house each day/week. That way hopefully it will help me to make it a habit and get stuff done. I’m hoping it will help me from getting frustrated that I didn’t get a task done, because I over estimated how long it will take. It should also help me from saying I’m done after completing a 2 minute task. As I do it more often, I should have less mess to clean and be more efficient at completing these tasks so I should get more done.

Now to figure out how much time. Do I want to do a weekly amount so I have flexibility to do more on days that I am in the zone or do I want a daily goal so I get in the routine of cleaning. I’m thinking of maybe separating the time into main level and the rest of the house.  Maybe I will separate it into cleaning and organizing.  Or maybe I should spend more time doing cleaning and less time thinking about it.

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