In Pursuit of an Organized Life

. . . putting life in order

Mental Health

I’m excited for my new resolution.  I’ve struggled with wanting to improve several areas of my life, but not knowing how to do that without getting overwhelmed.  I found an article ” Understanding Anxiety from a Different Perspective: Treat anxiety from a lifestyle approach”.

It linked all of my goals into one theme—fitness, hobbies, cleaning, family, and stress.  It gave a purpose and a reason behind them.  It also keeps me from obsessing to much about any one area.

I think this is particularly meaning full for my cleaning and organizing goals.  I wanted to have a clean and organized house.  I’ve envied other people that could do it seemingly effortlessly.   It had always seemed like something I had to do and should do and added to my stress and anxiety.

We are currently in the middle of a kitchen remodel.  I am actually enjoying organizing and gradually moving from a state of construction chaos to an organized home.   I’m seeing how the mess is affecting my mental health when I can’t find what I need, lost something, or see clutter sneak back into something I just cleaned.

Hopefully I can continue this energy as I approach the year.   Make meaningful changes without getting to frustrated with my progress or loose momentum.   Here’s to waking up this website and a clean and organized 2018.

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Progress

I am just thinking back to where I am and was.  It’s funny that the week that I feel I am behind on my workout schedule—-I still end up working out 4 times.   I may not have followed the plan or exercised as long or as hard as the plan said, but I remember a time (not that long ago) that working out 3 times a week was as goal.

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Grown up Home

Hello.  I am trying to develop a grown up home and taking pride in my house.  I’ve had several years of trying to get better at cleaning and minimal changes have been made.  I’m trying to change my focus and focus on having people over and decorating.  My hope is that the cleaning and decluttering will come when the motivation is stronger.

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The Highlighter

I am currently on spring break without kids.    I want to enjoy the time, but I also want to get projects done.   I found a spring cleaning list and made a list of other tasks I want to accomplish.   I acknowledge that I will not finish everything on my list.  The challenge is to take the large list and make it a  motivator instead of a source of stress.  To make it a reason to get off of the couch not as a mountain that seems too large.

My solution—the highlighter.   It allows me to see what I accomplished instead of crossing it out.  It emphasized what I have gotten done instead of what is left to do.   If I get to the point where there is more yellow than tasks, it’s time to change colors or get a new list.

Off to work on the list—first on the list exercise—-then check on banana bread.

Have a great day!

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Monthly

I’ve learned to enjoy events that are monthly.  Weekly can often be too demanding and seem to add more stress than take it away.  I’ve joined a wine club and a book club that meet monthly.   It keeps me from completely avoiding social activities because I’m “too busy” or “too tired”.   I’m reading more both for book club and otherwise.  I am also keeping in touch better with friends.  If I can’t attend, I only hurt myself.   There is no team that is missing a player or less volunteers.  A bonus side effect is that I am cleaning for the babysitter.  Not that a 15 year old cares about a clean house, but it’s motivation to get the house cleaned before the weekend.

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Slow start—-Fast finish?

Starting with a lazy morning.   I have played on the computer and watched a show and drank a lazy mocha (coffee and cocoa mix) for several hours.   Luckily I woke up early so it is only now 8:30.   Hoping for a strong finish because the kitchen exploded.  Dishes, toys, clothes, clutter everywhere.   The temperature has dropped significantly today.  Perfect for a hermit day of cleaning.  I have some surprises for the children to hopefully motivate them to help.  Below is a list of tasks I hope to accomplish.  Wish me luck!

  • Sweep floor
  • Hand wash dishes
  • Load dishwasher (at least 2 times)  1 2
  • Wash, fold, and PUT AWAY 2 loads of wash (plus the ones not put away yet)
  • Shower/bath
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Clean tubs  1 2
  • Retire summer toys and clothes  (my clothes switched)
  • Make grocery list (printed grocery list template)

I’d like to get more done, but I should also be realistic.   Hopefully my husband will notice the difference when I get done.

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Cooking vs Cleaning

I like to cook and find it relaxing.   I am not a gourmet chef and typically don’t cook meals that take long than 1/2 an hour to prep.   I find that I can kind of zone out into the details of the task.   It doesn’t happen all of the time, but most of the time once I am started I enjoy the task.

Cleaning on the other hand, I typically avoid.  The two tasks has several similarities. Both:

  • Require attention to detail
  • Incorporate movement (fine or gross motor)
  • Have to be redone on a daily and weekly basis

I think if I could find more ways to make them similar I might like cleaning more.   What’s the difference?

  • Home cooked meals have immediate feedback (kids/husband like not like) while cleaning often goes unrecognized
  • Spend less time cooking than cleaning
  • Cooking smells better
  • Cooking forces me to stay in a small area and I’m less likely to get distracted
  • Kids are willing to help with cooking

Let me know if you see any similarities or difference.   It may be simply a frame of mind theory.   If I think it is meditative and peaceful, then I will enjoy the task more.

Enjoy your day!

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Just Finish

The goal for the week is to finish tasks that I start.  I tend to take breaks and not get back to it until much later.  More often than that is that I get distracted.  I start emptying the dishwasher and decide I should load the washing machine or read to the kids or make a phone call.  Then it’s remembering or having time to return to the dishes.

I remember reading about if you don’t have time to do it now, when will you have time to finish it.  The task may take less time, but there is less satisfaction in completing a partially done task than in completing a new task.  There is a different feeling between taking care of the dishes and making the kitchen look okay and giving it a deep clean.

Speaking of finishing.  There is a load of laundry that is calling to be folded.

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Weekend with a Clean House

We went out Friday night and had a sitter for the kids.   We cleaned the house so that it would look good and she wouldn’t have to step over any major messes.   The side effect is that now the house is mostly clean before the weekend.   I still have to vacuum, but it feels nice to know that the basics are done.   We have people coming next weekend as well so I will have to keep it clean.   Maybe my husband picked that weekend to try to help me get into better habits.  I suppose there is always more to do, but at least I will be doing different chores.

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Lazy Weekend

   I remember feeling like something was wrong or that no one liked me if I had some free or unplanned time.  I hated the uncertainty. 

    I am so excited for a lazy weekend.   As an adult, I’ve learned to appreciate the slower moments.   Catching up on the chores and doing mundane tasks seems relaxing and productive.  We had two great family outings last week filled with foods, friends, and shows.  Mix that with the fact that a new school year is upon us and comes along with changes.  The busyness has shifted from I have to work out and clean to I GET to take time to focus on the house and routines.  Hopefully that motivation will stick around so that the house can progress from scary to my normal to clean.

Enjoy your weekend, whatever you choose to do.

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