In Pursuit of an Organized Life

. . . putting life in order

How many steps?

I decided to measure the number of steps it takes to complete different tasks. It combines staying healthy with getting chores done. It’s much harder to be lazy while standing than while sitting or lying down.

  • Put away clothes—–253 steps
  • 30 min of cooking/tidying—-182 steps
  • Vacuuming main level—-145 steps

And the big winner . . . . Shoveling with 597 steps

I also cleaned the bathrooms, did basic dusting, and completed some You Tube workouts.

I still have a little day left, but I intend on not adding too much to that total.

Grand total for the day was 6511.  


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Pajama Day!

I declare today “Pajama Day” or as my daughters say “PeeGee Day”.   It’s snowing, the kids are playing kitty, and I have finnished folding a huge pile of laundry.  If I didn’t have to deal with clothes or dishes, my house would be cleaner.

In all honesty,  it wasn’t that bad.  The washer and drier did most of the work.  I could relax and fold clothes while watching the “Amazing Race”.   Now if only I could find those missing socks . . . .



There is the point where the house feels like home and is acceptable.  Above that is really clean or party ready.   Below that is considered messy.  The house seems to settle back into that state relatively quickly.

For each person that level is different. While most people would still consider me having a pretty high tolerance for mess,  I can feel that level of homeostasis shifting for me.  I used to feel that as long as I had dishes to eat off of and clean clothes to wear I was content.  I’d dream of a cleaner house, but it wasn’t part of my routine.

I see chores slowly slipping into the routine of chores that just need to be done regularly.   Vacuuming and sweeping are starting to become more frequent.  I’m starting to feel like my house is cluttered if I don’t have my three main surfaces in my kitchen/family room cleared off and wiped down.

There are still too many piles of papers and messes that should be cleaned up faster than they are. However, I’m feeling like my baseline is cleaner than what it was and that it’s taking me less time to go from messy to baseline.

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Worth doing Badly

I heard someone on NPR say that “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly”.    I’m not sure who said it or if the quote is exactly right, but I liked it.  It talks to me about consistency and  being gentler with yourself.  It’s the old catch 22—you want to be good before you do something, but to be good you have to put in the time.  The more you do something the better you get.  A “bad” workout is better than no workout.

I did that with the guest room yesterday.  I had piles of blankets, papers, and picture frames.  The blankets are now hidden in drawers.  The paper pile is cut in half and the rest is partially sorted with other paper that need to be sorted.  The picture frames are still there, but the family picture that included my youngest daughter is now on the wall.  The rest of the frames are in bags or in a more organized pile.  Will I win any organizing awards? Nope.  Did I delay some projects until later rather than dealing with it?  Yep, but it’s closer than it was and I dealt with some papers that were from a job 3 years ago.

The floor is now washed.  There are still random sticky things that I may deal with if I have time, but I figure I’m better having off having the whole house partially clean rather than one area sparkling.


Quote of the Week

“The harder you fight to hold on to specific assumptions, the more likely there’s gold in letting go of them.”
— John Seely Brown

I liked this quote because it talks about the struggle and value of letting go.  The mind, body, and space are interconnected so much more than I initially thought when I started this blog.  Not being able to let go of a minor inconvenience or comment can affect my mood and productivity for an evening.

Letting go also relates to cleaning and organizing.  Letting go of items that are no longer useful.  It’s also letting go of how or when things should be done.  I run into that with exercise and cleaning.  I ran out of dishwasher soap, so I can’t clean the kitchen.   I can’t make it to a class at the gym so I guess I won’t work out.

It can also be letting go of an idea that something is an awful task.  The tasks that I dread often aren’t as bad as I fear.

What are you struggling to let go of?




Peek at My Snowy Sunday


I decided to keep track of how I spent my day today. The weather is predicted to be a “wintery mix” all day so I’m camping out at home with my girls. Hopefully it will motivate me to get a few more things done or at least see where my time went.

5:30-7 am Brain woke me up and wouldn’t let me go back to bed. Came downstairs watched MY shows and folded laundry.

7-8 Visited with husband while he got ready to head to work on a project.

8-11 Desperately searched for some scrap of coffee. I found 2 scoops of decaf and 2 scoops of REALLY old ground coffee. Drank coffee while relaxing with kids and serving cereal. Followed by kids helping to make double batch of banana bread.

11-12 Drafted this post 🙂 Eat chili  and banana bread. Put away load of laundry and put in a new load.

12-1 Not actually sure what I did. Debating if I should take a nap.  Wandering.  Unload and load dishwasher

1-2:20 Put away clothes and bibs that are too small for my youngest daughter, tidied the upstairs, vacuumed the upstairs.

2:20-3:30  Folding clothes and watching tv.

Hope you had a great Sunday!

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Thank you Joseph!

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dream Coat” helped me through the cleaning today.

The kitchen is more clean than dirty. Dishes are all either clean or in the sink.

The counters and tables are wiped down.  Floor was given a quick sweep and spot cleaning.



Self Care is not the Enemy

I’m starting to realize that self-care is not in opposition to productivity.  I say I’m too busy to exercise or socialize or meditate, but giving up those things does not guarantee that I will get more done.  Usually if I say I’m too busy,  I spend more time stressed out or dreading tasks than actually getting stuff done.  So I’d be giving up some of that time rather than productive time.

Now timing plays a role.  I’m not going to go out to a movie and dinner with friends the night before some huge day at work.  I may have to miniaturize the task to fit the current scenario.

  • Workout at home instead of hour-long class at the gym
  • Calling a friend instead of visiting
  • 3 minute meditation instead of following the program as written
  • Weekend getaway instead of week long cruise

It’s like Tim Gunn—-“Make it work.”