In Pursuit of an Organized Life

. . . putting life in order

“I make no secr…

“I make no secret of the fact that I would rather lie on a sofa than sweep beneath it. But you have to be efficient if you’re going to be lazy.” —Shirley Conran

I loved this quote.  It’s kind of what I’ve been working on lately.  I’m not sure I’ll ever love cleaning.    I may like having a clean house or I may learn to enjoy the tasks a little more , but it will likely never be a preferred task.

So the question is how can I either make the cleaning take less time or make the time spent more enjoyable.

One idea is to try to be more mindful and pay attention to what I’m doing and make it a meditation.   Another idea is almost the reverse; combine the task with a preferred task.  Today that was listening to NPR clips online.  I think I am giving up on the idea that I can clean and watch tv.  I end up watching more than cleaning regardless of the show.

The other angle I think about when I read this quote is to use those wasted bits of time to clean.  Like when I’m waiting for the coffee to brew or while my kids are getting ready for the next part of our day.  Instead of getting antsy,  I might as well get tasks done in the mean time.

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Condiments

I started to tackle the job of cleaning out the fridge.  First step was the side door with all of the bottles and jars.  Salad dressing, ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, etc.  It’s amazing how much I forgot about or haven’t used in a while.  Little packets of chinese food dip.   Two jars of marmalade. 

It’s amazing how much it accumulates.  I’d buy salad dressing when they are on sale and have 3 in the pantry and 2 in the fridge.  On the radio, one of the random thoughts of the day was “Say Happy 2nd Birthday to your Mustard” (or something like that).  It made me giggle and also motivated me to tackle that part of the fridge.

Who knows maybe later today other drawers or shelves will be conquered.  Or maybe it will wait patiently until I’m ready for my next burst 🙂

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8 Secrets to Success

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I’ve been recently enjoying TED talks. It’s like NPR meets YouTube. I can search by key words, topics, or length of time. Tonight I watched this video and one about the dung beetle. I’ve used them as background for tidying the main level. I probably watch the shows more than tidy, but maybe it will at least get me to start the task more often. Starting is the most difficult part.

I thought this video was a fun short way to look at success. Light hearted and ways to give ideas without feeling a huge amount of pressure. It was fast paced and humorous and had some valid points. Enjoy!

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Quote of the Week.

“I am thankful for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home….

I am thankful for the piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby.” ~Nancie J. Carmody

I am trying to focus on where I want to be instead of where I’m at.  I thought a quote of the week could be a fun way to start.  I thought this was a positive way to look at the treadmill of housework.  This quote it home with me because my daughter was sick.  She spent the whole day asleep or curled up on the couch.  The last hour before bed she perked up into her playful self.  It was almost fun to have her pop out of bed to get one more animal.

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Failure—-or delayed success.

Well.  The kitchen looks better.  The main level might still get vacuumed.   Overall, few items on my list got done.  I folded a pile of laundry and put that away.  I finished my book and enjoyed my family.  So a good weekend overall.

I’m  not sure why it’s so hard for me.  Lazy?  Bad goals?  None of the cleaning and organizing tasks are that hard, but I can’t seem to find a way to get them done on a regular basis. 

Ah well.    Moving on.

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Goals for Today

Well,  I didn’t get much done yesterday.  I did yoga, made stir fry, loaded the dishwasher, and did a few loads of wash.   None of those loads are folded and the kitchen and the rest of the house are a mess.   Oh and I got groceries and bought some clothes for the kids.  No real good reason, just moving slowly.

In hopes to motivate me,  here are my goals for today.

  • Vaccum main level
  • All dishes in kitchen clean
  • Clean toliets
  • Clean a few of the most finger printed windows

Well that’s enooooough for  right now.  My youngest daugher is “helping” me type.

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Back to basics

I had a wonderful weekend.  I was relaxed and I made a dent on the list of tasks I set out to complete.  I could have gotten more done, but I’m okay with not getting around to vaccuming the basement.  I enjoyed the time with my husband.  I had some time to myself and I enjoyed being lazy.

What I wish I would have fit in was the maintainance tasks.   Folding the clothes and putting it away.  Keeping the dishwasher and washing machine working.  The kitchen is a disaster and is way less fun to try to deal with it now than in little bursts throughout the weekend.  10 minutes of loading and unloading is worth not having the dishes cluttering the counters.  I could have even visited with my husband while I did it.  Ah well. Next weekend.

Well I’m off to sleep.  I stayed up later than I intended, but at least the laundry is folded.

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Decompression

I can feel my body and mind decompressing.  It was a productive, but long work week.  There is more work in my future for this weekend as well as catching up on housework.  For now though, I’m not letting them exist.  Is this smart self care or rationalized stalling?   We will find out Monday morning when I see what got done and didn’t get done this weekend.

Here is my list of goals for the weekend.

  • Visit gym (bonus if I take an exercise class or run)
  • Buy new running shoes
  • Buy work clothes
  • Get Groceries
  • Plan for Monday and Tuesday
  • Finnish billing
  • Help husband with projects
  • Bathrooms
  • Vaccum Basement
  • Watch playoff game

There’s obviously more I’d love to get done, but if I get those done I’d be happy.  Now off to make tea and initiate the final relaxation sequence before bed.

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Not Friday

I just checked—-it’s not Friday yet. 1 out of 4 meetings done at work. So I guess it gives me more time to get all of it done. I just want to lie on the couch, but I don’t want to loose progress on cleaning and exercise and have to play catch up.

So far I paid a bill. I’m hoping to get laundry folded and empty and load the dishwasher. If I’m real motivated, I may brown some ground beef. Ooooh Aaaah.

Wish me luck!

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Time Invested

I’m starting to realize that organization and exercise are more about time invested than a plan. I have spent time reading books and researching cleaning plans, schedules, and charts. Sadly, I’ve often spent more time on those plans than I did actually cleaning. I did the same thing with exercising. I’d pay for personal training sessions and not follow the plans that were created. Plans are great because they keep me “I’ll do it later” and help me stay focused. They also help create a rhythm to life that can be calming. However, sometimes they add unnecessary pressure. I feel like a failure if I don’t do a specific chore on that day or life happens and plans change.

I’m trying to keep it simple and just invest sometime into exercise and cleaning everyday. I’m still using the Chore Master and am currently on Level 4. It helps me to see my progress and see what chores I’m consistently neglecting. I’ve also started the Nexercise app. It’s a similar idea for exercising. You get points, levels, and medals for completing exercises. You can get bonus points by trying new exercises or exercising a certain amount. You can connect with friends and have discussions on message boards.

Once I can make it a habit, I can work on making it better. I’d rather spot clean the floor than wait until I have the time to give it a complete scrubbing. I think I will see more progress being consistent than having high levels of motivation for short periods of time.

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