In Pursuit of an Organized Life

. . . putting life in order

New Home at Work

We have a new office space at work.  It was a nice day as there wasn’t the fear of what our new space will be like, but the excitement of opening boxes and finding a home for everything.  It was neat to interact with people I may have not otherwise seen.  As I was unpacking, I had these thoughts.

  • How much stuff do I REALLY need?
  • How will people share?
  • How do you decorate a shared space?
  • How do you balance shared storage versus individual storage?

We will figure it out as time goes on.   As a collegue said  “Ride in the direction the horse is going”.    We will see what the new space is like and go from there. 

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Closet Help!!

We are currently in the process of redoing our closet.   It is being expanded and hopefully it will be reorganized.  I want to do it right and find a way to keep it organized.  Any tips or advise you have are appreciated. I know I need some  help organizing.  I need to get rid of items that don’t work for whatever reason.  I also need to build my wardrobe since I’ve avoided shopping and spending money on clothes for far to long.

 Below are some of my questions:

  • What kind of hangers should I buy?
  • How do I organize my space?
  • How do I decide what to fold and what to hang?
  • How much clothes do I keep that are not my current size (up and down)?
  • What basics should I have in my closet?
  • Which clothes do I keep?  Which clothes do I upgrade?
  • How do I do all of this without spending a fortune?
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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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New Purse!!

Purse

I found a new purse!   I am so excited.   I found it at a used clothing store after unsuccessfully trying to find pants that fit.

Reasons I love it!

  • Durable
  • Long handle
  • Zipper closure
  • Big pockets
  • Fits big new blue wallet and epi pens (for allergies)
  • Only $25
  • Big enough to fit what I need, but doesn’t look like a beach bag
  • Feels grown up
  • Neutral color

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I don’t care if it’s designer or a knock off.   I don’t care how much it was originally worth.  I don’t care that it was used.   Hopefully I can keep it from being a catch-all and cluttered.  I’m trying to keep things I don’t want to put away right away or random receipts in the outer pocket so that it doesn’t clutter the inside.  I’ve found a home for cell phone, keys, gym card, and other key items.  Any tips for keeping purses neat?  Or finding the balance between having what you need and keeping random stuff that will never get used?

Have a good day!

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Weight lifted

IMG_1503

 

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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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.

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Photos

I’ve been thinking about photos.  We just had a family photo and the girls’ pictures taken.  In case you were wondering, they turned out super cute.  We don’t take the formal portraits often and we are inconsistent about taking pictures with our camera.  How many pictures do you take? What do you do with the ones that you take?

I often forget to take pictures or choose not to take them.  Sometimes it feels odd to make everyone stand in a line and take pictures or snap shots while people are doing things.  My dad had a nice way of getting everything documented and taking those special moments.  His theory was film is cheap.  Now with digital its even cheaper.  You take 50 pictures and  to get the 1 or 2 really good ones.  My sister grew up and caught the photography bug and I learned to rely on his photography skills and let him and my sister document it.  I enjoyed just being a part of the action rather than documenting it.  I am not great at multi-tasking or figuring out stuff like lighting.  Luckily my husband enjoys photography.

Then the organizational part is what do you do with either the professional prints or how to organize the digital photos into something meaningful.  We still have a pile of photos we didn’t get handed out from the last set of photos.  Some that I intended to mail but didn’t get around to or ones that I didn’t get framed.  I’ve joked that I’ll hand out some of their extra baby pictures when they get their senior pictures done.  Then what to do with the digital prints.  I enjoy making and having the photo books.  They take up so much less space than traditional albums and  I’m not crafty or patient enough for scrap booking. I love that you can change the layout and fit several or a single image on the pages.  I really enjoy having the photos as a screen saver on my computer.  It’s such a fun way to remember and chat about past events.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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System Update

I’m liking my new system for routine activities. It’s low tech, but it’s functional. It feels satisfying to transfer a card from “To Do” to “Done”.  In many ways more so than crossing it off a list.  I love the fact that I can take them out and move them around to plan out my day or look at what I’ve accomplished.  The different colors help to see if I’m out of balance in one area.  I can see quickly that I haven’t done any fitness related tasks or that I only have a few chores left to do.

I have a few tasks that I will likely change.   I can probably take out—“Take a shower”.   While it’s sometimes relaxing, its mostly just something that gets done.  I probably don’t need a card to remind me of it either.  I’ll have to think of some other self care item to replace it with.  I’m not sure what though.   It feels like I’ve gone away some of my old interests, but haven’t found new ones to replace it yet.  On the other hand, my fitness goals are fufilling that area as well.  I’ll probably change some of the chores as I figure out who does what with my husband.

I was going to post a picture of my system, but I can’t find the camera.   I better put “Clean Counter” and “Tidy Family Room” higher on my list.   😉

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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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