Around the House

A Touch of Organization

Getting Your Life On Track

It seems that January is all about losing the weight gained during the previous few months (holiday time) and February is recovery from January’s efforts. March, however, seems to be a reminder of those pesky resolutions to Get Organized.

Since we seem to be halfway to March, it feels somewhat appropriate to at least address the organization issue. A bit. Think of it as a headstart with the ambition of tackling the problem.

I’m not the most organized person on the planet. I’m better than I once was and, at the same time, seem to have new issues with the same old problems. Confusing? Yep.

I used to be able to keep my shopping list in my head. Now, if I depend on that method I find myself missing items I Really Need while stocking up on things that aren’t used that much. Fine if you have an extra roll of bath tissue when you need it. Not so fine if you don’t.

One of my Pet Peeves is food waste. So, for me, having a disorganized fridge that allows the fresh veg to go bad because I (a) forgot I had it on hand or (b) couldn’t find it when I wanted it without cleaning the fridge is not a viable option. The equivalent of setting fire to my ATM card. After burning down the bank.

For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.

Benjamin Franklin

Like many people, the idea of “Organization” is a touch repellent. It somehow seems to take the spontaneity out of pretty much anything. I get it, I also get the reality that without a touch of, shall we call them guard rails, nothing gets done that needs to get done. (Putting off doing the laundry because it is a bore tends to lead to some other issues…)

So, in the effort to get yourself on track and reduce the potential problems of not doing stuff, how do you go about getting organized?

The K*I*S*S* Method

Keep. It. Simple. Silly.

We live in a world that bombards us with the idea that Everything Should Be Done Immediately if not sooner. The reality is that things take time. Not always as much time as we think they will, but occasionally more than we thought they would.

If you are one of those folks who look at the <cough> Huge List Of Stuff To Do and find yourself a bit overwhelmed, might I suggest that you stop. Take a breath. Take a second breath. Pick up a pencil and a piece of paper and write down what you need to accomplish and put it in some sort of priority order.

Notice I didn’t say pick up your phone or your computer to do this. Why? Because it is very easy to get distracted using the tech. Let’s go a bit Old School on this project, okay? Trust me.

Here are some items you might add to your list:

  • Make your bed
  • Laundry
  • Clean the bathroom
  • Sweep / vacuum the floors
  • Dust
  • Take out the trash
  • Wash the dishes
  • Clean the kitchen

Before you groan and slide back into the “That’s Too Much Work!” mode. Let’s think a bit, shall we?

You will never be completely ready. Start from wherever you are.

C.J. Hayden, MCC

Start somewhere, anywhere. If you feel overwhelmed, set a timer for 15 minutes and start on a task with the goal of getting as much of the task completed before the timer goes off. Once that happens, stop and look around. You might be surprised at how much has been accomplished.

There are things you can do to help yourself to avoid being crushed under the weight of So Much To Do. Make your bed every day. Set aside a specific day (or night) to do a load of laundry. Spend one day a month preparing foods for the month’s meals.

Okay, that one may be a bit much for now, but file it away in the back of your mind for “Later”.

I remember when I was a youngster there was a set of kitchen towels that had the day of the week with a specific task assigned. Monday was laundry day. Tuesday was ironing day. Wednesday was for vacuuming and dusting. Thursday was mending day. Friday was baking day. I forget what Saturday was for, perhaps shopping? Sunday was designated a Day of Rest.

We can follow a similar plan, if we choose. If our homes are small enough, several things can be accomplished on the same day. Put in the laundry, dust, do the floors, take out the trash, clean the bathroom. Laundry pretty much does itself, so the rest of the time can be put to good use. Dishes can be put in the dishwasher every day. Handwashing can be done either every day or every other day, depending on the amount. I like to do mine every other day, putting them in to soak when I’m done with the meal. Less water and soap used and reduced time to spend doing the chore.

If our homes are larger, we have the option of spreading tasks out over the week. Or weeks.

You can take that original paper list and build on it, or you can move to a white board, calendar, bullet journal to help you keep track of what needs to be done – and when it is done.

The idea is to break down that Huge List Of Things To Be Done into smaller, more manageable steps that can easily be accomplished in the time you have.

One may walk over the highest mountain one step at a time.

John Wanamaker

In a Nutshell

  • Make a list of what needs to be done
  • Assign a priority to each task
  • Set aside at least 15 minutes per day to complete at least one task.
  • Repeat

Give yourself one month with this process and see what you have accomplished.

Leave me a comment about your progress. 🙂

Leave a Reply