Posts Tagged ‘organizing’
After a very unproductive week in my ongoing basement declutter project, we made some headway this weekend.
My husband took our ancient, broken old computer and the giant monitor to the recycler. For only $10 a piece, they’ll dispose of the toxic elements and recyle the rest – what a great deal!
Next weekend is the big push, where we rent a small truck for a dump run and get rid of the trash. Vintage Girl will be with her auntie, so we hope to spend some time together over a nice meal, planning what to do with all the wonderful space we’ve created.
I promised Marelisa I’d post photos of the piles we haul out, so stay tuned!
Now that the downstairs of the house is in good shape (and I’m managing to keep it that way) I decided it was time to tackle some paper and files that had been accumulating as I moved my office to get ready for my new job.
which included making a “to file” stack, throwing as much as I could into the recycling, putting things in their proper place if they had one; making a pile of stuff that needed a home, etc. And then there was the – play Jaws soundtrack here – “to do” pile . . . . .
I’ve tried twice to tackle that pile, but my anxiety gets the better of me. I end up moving stuff from pile to pile and feeling panicky. Just writing about it makes me uncomfortable! I don’t exactly know why; I guess it represents all the “undone” stuff in my life, some of which is important, some is rather urgent, and some I just don’t want to deal with.
I decided that if I have to tackle this project one piece of mail/paper at a time – and no more – than that’s what I’ll do. My very slow pace in the basement has been paying off, and I bet that I’ll be able to handle more than on item at a time once I get started.
Wish me luck!
Yesterday I needed a gift bag and some tissue paper for the end-of-year gift for my daughter’s teacher. A few weeks ago I probably would have just bought them new, rather than face the mess in my basement.
But this time, down I went, put my hand (almost) immediately on a pretty bag, quickly found some matching tissue and we were all set. I could get used to this!
We had a wonderful last day of kindergarten morning: the gift looked lovely, I wasn’t stressed and frustrated, and I gave myself a pat on the back for the work I’ve done to create some order and serenity for myself – and for my family.
If you’re facing a decluttering and organizing job that seems so overwhelming you can’t even start, try working just a little bit at a time. I’ve done all this organizing in just five-minute bites; I aim for five minutes every day – slow but steady – and I see the results.
Give it a try – the payoff of a small amount of time is enormous!
Yes . . . chalk it up to end-of-school-year busy-ness, Father’s Day busy-ness, whatever! But this morning, I tried to pick up my check and it was stuck to a drop of maple syrup, left from yesterday’s Father’s Day breakfast.
And I was so proud of myself for getting the laundry done, making progress on clearing out my file drawer, going for a run, doing my five-minute declutter in the basement . . . oh well, a mother’s work is never done . . . and a little maple syrup never hurt anyone.
You’ve finally decided to tackle the clutter weighing you down. You’re standing at the door of your closet, staring at the piles, and you suddenly decide: “I can’t do any of this if I can’t do all of it – right now!!” but you don’t have time to do all of it – so you give up entirely.
That’s an example of All or Nothing Thinking – and it can derail us from achieving all sorts of goals.
Many of us are (sadly) very familiar with this kind of thinking related to our food and fitness plans. One cookie, or one missed workout – and we give up – and we often fall off the wagon in a big, bad way.
“I ate one cookie and blew my diet so I might as well eat 10 more”. OR, “I didn’t get to the gym this morning so I might as well abandon my exercise program”.
Don’t let All or Nothing Thinking get in the way of creating some order for yourself! If you’re facing a big organizing job, make peace with the idea that it will take you a while to complete it. While it’s true that the mess may get worse before it gets better, if you keep at it – even in small bursts of work – you will get it done. So much better than the alternative of working like a fiend for two hours until you can’t stand it anymore, and then never going back to finish the project because it was so miserable! Or giving up completely before you’ve even started.
Clearing clutter can feel completely overwhelming; I know because I’ve been there. I used to set aside whole weekends to “get my house in order”, but it didn’t work; I just couldn’t sustain my energy or focus. I still have some piles of paper and files from my last marathon session – at least three years ago.
But now I practice what I’m preaching: I work for short periods of time (sometimes just 5 minutes) and I stop when I feel paralyzed and can’t make good decisions anymore. Slowly but surely I’m clearing out the clutter and gaining order, serenity and peace of mind.
We finally decided to move QPR’s “studio” (Queen Pack Rat, my lovely daughter) into the spare room and I’m moving into her little space in the kitchen nook. This means I no longer have to step over and through Polly Pocket and her tiny little shoes; contraptions and inventions made with tape, yarn, and paper (the latest was a money machine, but it doesn’t seem to work that well); “special” drawings, FOOD, etc. etc.
My new space is much smaller, so I’m trying to be lean and mean with what I bring into it – which is a challenge but empowering. I’m hoping to be much more organized in my new little nook, and having less stuff is the first step.
I decided that one thing I did need – close at hand – was a small notepad where I could write down post ideas for One Bag Nation. Yesterday, inspiration struck! I sat down at my desk, where the notepad lay waiting for me and my brilliance. I felt so organized, efficient, productive – and YES, serene – I could hardly stand it!
And if you can believe it, that big “MOM’S” label actually gave QPR pause . . . haha!
Jennifer at myorganizedbiz is away on her honeymoon, so she asked if I would write a guest post on her blog this week. I was totally flattered!
In my post I suggest three tips for keeping your home office organized, and if I just followed my own good advice on a regular basis, I’d be in excellent shape!
Learn more about Jennifer and her unique perspective on home office organizing at Inspired Home Office.
In the world of weight loss – where I’ve lived for a very long time – there’s a lot of talk about motivation through tangible rewards, and it seems to work for lots of people.
My experience is that the positive change itself is reward enough for me. If I stick to my food program and see a weight loss, I’m thrilled. If I stick to my Now Habit commitment and work diligently each day, I’m thrilled. If I stick to my routine of picking up the house before I go to bed, I’m thrilled. The reward for me is the weight loss, the work getting done, the tidy house in the morning.
It took me a while to recognize this about myself. I was always marking catalogs with clothing I’d like, or writing down books or CDs I wanted to buy, and then setting weight loss or other goals. But I wasn’t motivated by the clothes or the books.
Tackling clutter and disorganization can be overwhelming, and staying motivated to keep at it is half the battle. I guess we all need to discover what drives us to good – or not-so-good – behavior and act accordingly.
I’ve recently been doing some consulting for an organization I worked for several years ago. Back then, one of the senior managers always handed out tons of paper at meetings: big, thick packets of stuff stapled together. Those packets caused me so much anxiety!
A couple of months ago, I saw his office again. Although the piles and piles of paper were all very neatly stacked – and I’m sure very well “organized” – I instantly recognized that he was creating safety with all that stuff. He was literally surrounding himself with a fortress of paper!
I’m sure you can guess where this is going . . . no doubt some of the stuff we buy, save, and move from room to room and pile to pile is stuff that we don’t need, except that having it provides some sense of safety and security.
Seems to me that before we can really let go of the clutter and the mess, we need to figure out another way to feel safe; how else to achieve order, serenity and peace of mind?
I recently read that dark lipstick is not flattering as you get older. I decided on the spot to make getting rid of my old lipstick my next decluttering project, and I pulled them all out of the cupboard. You can see by the photo that I had a pretty good pile; I have to confess that many of them were at least 10 years old, and many of them were definitely too dark . . . remember the days of ghoulish purples? Had these ever looked good on me??
The writer (Charla Krupp) recommended pink (and specifically mentioned Clinique “Bamboo” as a universally flattering color). There was one shade in my stash that fit the bill for light/pink and I discovered I had no fewer than four tubes of this shade – by four different manufacturers. I bought the first tube when I had a makeover (in 1997!) at a Bobbi Brown counter, so I figured it was still a good color for me. I put two of the pinks (called “Mystery” by Prescriptives and “Twig” by MAC) in my purse, and the other two in the medicine chest (called “Brown” by Bobbi Brown, and I’m too old to be able to read the Neutrogena label) and tossed the rest. In the spirit of my quest for order, I’m committed to using up at least one of these tubes before I buy a new one, but that Clinique “Bamboo” is calling to me . . . . it’s an awfully nice color.