In Pursuit of an Organized Life

. . . putting life in order

Pick Up

P is for pick up.  I will be starting to do that after I write this and my Q post.   Well, honestly first I will make coffee.   I vacuumed last week, but did a really hurried pick up so the counters and tables and floor are too cluttered.   I don’t mind the task, but I tend to get easily distracted.  I will put one thing away and then start cleaning a different area.  I will straight or organize an area I wasn’t planning on.   I might take time to reminisce and look at books or photos.   I do the best when I can force myself to stick to small visual spaces.  

  • Clean up stuff on big chair
  • Clean up behind chair
  • Clean up coffee table
  • Clean under coffee table

If I can stick to those objective steps and stay on task, I am much more motivated and see progress faster.   Now to find ways to get the kids to help me more.  I am trying to get them in charge of cleaning up a small section of the house that is primarily used for their toys.   Clean up this room before we do __________.  They want me to help them and I am trying to do less and direct more.  If you have any tips or blog posted related to kids cleaning up, I’d love to hear about it. 

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Heavy

H is for heavy.   H was one of the first letters that I had to really think of to come up with a topic I liked.   Home or heart seemed like a natural H word for an organizing blog, but I didn’t have much to say about either of those topics at the moment.

I picked heavy because I am trying to downsize in my life.   Most literally, I am trying to lighten the load that I am carrying in my work bag that I carry every day to work.  Today I carried my bag 10 different times.  Since I am going in and out of my car and buildings several times a day, the weight of my bag can cause pain or discomfort.  I want to have what I need available, but I often don’t know what that will be.   I try to keep some go to forms, handouts, and materials with me.  There is a slippery slow with having the basics with and having everything I may need “someday” in my bag.

I am also trying to downsize the areas of my life where the clutter feels heavy.  Those moments where I spend scrambling past items that I don’t use to get to the few items I use on a regular basis.   Those areas of my house that weigh me down instead of energizing me.

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Projects then basics

I have been tackling some mini projects.   I organized the play kitchen and art supplies—thanks to plastic drawers.   We also finally put the Christmas and random other items into the attic so there is more space in the guest room.  There are still plenty of projects to tackle.  Organizing the filing cabinet and the puzzles and coloring books are next on my list.

Right now my goal is to get back to the basics of kitchen, laundry, clutter, and surfaces.  I am off for spring break so my goal is to stay productive and keep the house clean.   I don’t really care what I’m doing that is productive as long as it is purposeful.  Off to start the laundry.    

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Spring Cleaning

I have unintentionally started spring cleaning.  I sorted through some boxes that have sat in my room for months.  I am currently in the process of cleaning out a closet and trying to organize my work supplies. 

I am trying to get rid of items, but there is a feeling of I might need that,  a flood of memories, or wanting to double check with my husband before throwing it out.  I also am thinking about how much time I’m spending dealing with stuff that I haven’t touched in months or years or have never used.  Part of me wants to get a small portion of my life really simplified so that I can see what it is like. 

For now, it is biting off small pieces and going from there.  We shall see what happens.  

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Insight of the Day

I’m trying to be better at throwing away things that I USED to like.   Before the stain, before it was broken, when it fit, etc.    Even if I once loved it,  does it serve a purpose for me NOW.   Work in progress.

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Quote of the Week

If your house is really a mess and a stranger comes to the door greet him with, “Who could have done this? we have no enemies” 

                                                                                 Phyllis Diller

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Officially Messy

My house is officially messy.  It has been for a while, but in the last day or two it’s reached a point where it just bugs me.  The mess kind of sneaks up on me and then recently slapped me in the face how messy it was.

I think much of it comes from the fact that we had a lovely impromptu visit at a friend’s house.  It made me think about how I’d feel if they had done the same thing.  I would have loved to see them, but I would have been embarrassed by my house.   Too much clutter and dirty spaces to welcome them properly.

 

Hopefully it will give me motivation to deal with it and make some major improvements. Not only with it’s future state, but also with my cleaning routines.

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Sorting and Finding

Trying to spend some time sorting and organizing the clutter in our house while I have some free time. It’s finding the time to deal with the clutter without taking away the time of maintaining the house.  Then trying to find a system to remember where I put everything.

So far I’ve sorted the plastic containers with the help of my Mom. The lids are matched and my go to ones are in a plastic drawer organizer sorted by size. I threw out the ones without lids and the ones where the lids didn’t stay on.

Today I started a “Where is it” document in Access. I want to make a list of the items that we don’t use frequently and make a list of where it is stored. I’m thinking it will also be helpful to keep track of the extra food that is in the pantry. That way I don’t keep buying beans and forget to buy tomatoes. There is some initial set up time required. Then I have to remember to update it.

Next on my list is to sort my school stuff. What can the girls play with? What can I use next year? What will I not need for a while?

Off to work on that, laundry, and house. Then off to lunch at 1.

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Chaos then Calm (hopefully)

We are in the process of cleaning out our attic and closet.  Right now the house is a mess.  The guest room is filled to the top with stuff.  Other areas have extra stuff as well.  We have discovered all sorts of “treasures” that we forgot we had.

Right now it feels like a disaster.  Good news is an old Christmas tree and bed frame are now gone.  I also found some shirts that I forgot about or lost.  Hopefully when its all done we will have less stuff and more functional spaces.     We are at the point of no return and have a lot of work ahead of us.

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Weight lifted

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I checked out the book “Lose 200 LBS. This Weekend” by Don Aslett.   The book describes the risks of clutter, the benefits of de-cluttering, types of clutter, strategies for de-cluttering, and success stories.  The book is well-organized and easy to read.  There are lists, bullet points, headings, and quotes which makes the book easy to scan and find what you are looking for.

I read a total of maybe 20 pages out of the 176 pages.  Paging through and reading a little bit from each section.   The book helped me to find the why of organizing and permission to throw away some of the items that I was holding onto.

The result??

  • Put new books away
  • Take out infant/toddler books from main shelves
  • Remove baby toys from main level and basement play areas
  • Sorted some catch-all toy bins
  • Started de-cluttering the garage (increase from 0 to 2 cars in garage)

I would say that I (with help from my husband) met the 200 LB Weekend.   The house looked nice for my husband’s family.  I still have probably 600 LBs left, but that will have to wait for another day.

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