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Showing posts with label Tips for the UNorganized. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tips for the UNorganized. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How do you do it all?

I heard it again yesterday and at least 3 times before within a week.  Curious women asking, with perhaps a trace of angst in their voices and defeat on their faces, "How in the world do you manage to do it all?"

So, in case you are wondering, I am going to answer that question for my blog friends.  Same as I answered them.

Friday, January 31, 2014

The main thing

I deliberately saved this tip for last.  It could've been the first one, because it really is the most important.  Without this tip, none of the others matter at all.

Yesterday I shared a couple of things I learned during my years at the Chick-fil-A office.  Today, I have another one.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Just do it

I had the great privilege of working for several years for Chick-fil-A Inc .   It was a wonderful opportunity for many reasons, not the least of which are the lessons I learned from founder Truett Cathy and then President Jimmy Collins.  Today's tip comes from a couple of those such lessons.

I recall hearing Jimmy often say - "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." By watching his example, I learned to always have a plan.  When circumstances change, that plan can be adjusted but it always helps for a plan to be in place.  I am not suggesting rigidity nor am I na├»ve enough to think that simply having a plan can always prevent disaster.  But, not having a plan, well, that's a recipe for failure.  Apply this to everything from finances to social schedule to housekeeping.  A plan.

The other lesson comes from Truett.  I heard him speak to many different groups and his message often included these three points:
The formula for success is simple -
1.  You gotta have the "want to"
2.  You gotta get the "know how"
3.  Then, you just gotta "do it".

Over this past month, I have shared with you my coping mechanisms to survive my natural bent towards being unorganized.  If you suffer from a similar ailment, then I encourage you to take a tip or two and develop it into a habit.  Make a plan.  Learn how to do something that you aren't succeeding at right now.  Maybe it's meal planning or being on time or taking care of laundry.  You hold the key to the "want to".  There's plenty of "know how" out there if you want it.

Now just "do it".

Good luck!  I'm cheering for you !

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Pick up lines

Nope, I am definitely not organized but I've developed enough habits that help me survive.  Without too much collateral damage in the process.

Today's Tip:

Pick up after yourself.  Yep, that's it.  Simple, yes, but amazing at how much this habit keeps clutter and chaos and incapacitation at bay.  I like breaking tasks down into manageable steps instead of attacking a mountain all at once. 

When I come in the door - purse goes on the coat hook, shoes in the basket by the door.  And kids do the same.
When I am cooking, I put things away as soon as I use them.
I urge (ok - insist??) that things be returned to their proper room after use.  School books, games (although of course I allow the world's longest running game of Risk to remain at the dining room table until world domination is achieved, even if that takes several days!)
Meal clean up happens as soon as we finish.  And since I cleaned up as I cooked, the eating phase clean up is easier.

Decluttering is nullified if we don't maintain the environment.  Simply picking up after ourselves - cleaning as we go - is easier than letting it build up. 

Even if your kids say otherwise!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Declutter. Repeatedly

The buzz word is "declutter".  Fancy for "get rid of stuff". 

Although I think I have done this successfully, somehow "stuff" multiplies and/or my house possesses a magnetic field that attracts clutter in the dead of night.  I need to consistently go through drawers and cabinets and toss "stuff". 

Having less stuff to keep track of makes organization easier.  And "decluttering" doesn't have to be a daunting task.  I like to tackle 15 minutes worth at a time.  Just 15 minutes can clean out a linen closet or several drawers.  A quarter of an hour every day for a week will result in an entire room spiffed up.

Today's suggestion - start somewhere easy, like the laundry room (or laundry closet, like I had for most years of my married life!) or hall closet.  Attack it for 15 minutes.  Toss the trash, donate the surplus, and straighten up the rest. The payoff of an organized corner of your house far exceeds the investment of some 15 minute blocks!!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Dinner in a hurry

Sometimes I need dinner in a hurry.  Nothing in the freezer.  No time to run to the grocery store.  And it's not Tuesday night.  So I keep ingredients for a couple of quick and easy dinners that have saved my hide once!  I credit my friends Cindi and Dianna with the ideas for these two.  I get by with a little help from my friends!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Simple things can have substantial results

When all my kiddos were living at home, there were times I was really really really overwhelmed.  I wasn't trying to keep my head above water, I just wanted the straw I stuck up above the water line to not get clogged up ! LOL!!

At one point, I sent my husband an SOS, thinking his solution would surely be to whip the kids into shape and tell them they had to do all my work or something.  Instead, he came up with

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A picture is worth 1000 words

A few posts ago, I mentioned how I handle mail and that prompted some questions about my, uh, system.  I responded with some pics on FB of my, uh, system.  Since then, I've had more queries so here's more info on my, uh, system.

I sort the mail each day as soon as I possibly can.  And I trash as much as possible.  I don't keep catalogs or most magazines.  Seriously.  If they contain game changing info, I feel sure I can dig it up online.  So I toss it.  Then I distribute what remains to family members.  (For a while years ago, I used different color folders for each of us.  Then I decided the children didn't get enough mail for all that trouble.  So, my current, uh, system evolved)  I put hubby's mail in the contraption shown below and he handles as needed.  This is located on the bookcase beside his chair and I would love to "clean it out" for him :) but I don't dare.  Marital happiness and all that.

Next step - wall mounted mail holder/file system.  I got this as a wedding gift from my friend Beth and it is probably the most used gift we received.  LOVE IT!!  Top slot - all tax info (receipts for my tutoring business, contribution receipts, etc)  At tax time, I turn it all over to hubby.  Middle slot - paid bills and other things that need to be filed later in more permanent folders (not shown here)  This is a temporary holding spot for all those things that I don't have time to file after I handle them.  I know lots of folks use only digital copies and hopefully I will catch up with the rest of the universe one day.  For now, this works for me.  Bottom bin - bills to be paid (I only pay once a month) and any other pending correspondence.  As much as possible, I handle things immediately but sometimes I need input before I RSVP to an event or whatever.

There you have it - my, uh, mail system.

  Notice the keys.  We have a lot of drivers in our family.  Dear hubby lives by the rule that car keys should be placed here immediately upon entering house.  I appealed for an exemption so he lets me keep mine in my purse.  Most of the time that's the case.....
Funny - no, actually it's sad - story on keys.  Sweet neighbor gave me a duplicate of her house key for an emergency.  Of course those things are just a safety net - emergencies never happen, right?  Well, said neighbor locked herself out of her house one day but she didn't worry.  Cuz she knew I had a key to her house!  Right?  Well, except that I couldn't find it.  Oh my goodness.  I looked high and low and tried every key in this collection.  None worked.  Weeks later I found her key - in its labeled envelope - stuck down in one of these bins.  I've been embarrassed for two years.  Thankfully she is a gracious woman and still speaks to me. 

Next pic - organizational tip from my 11 year old.  Her room would make an army colonel proud.  Every single thing is in its rightful place, down to each bottle of nail polish.  She saw my tshirt drawer one day and rearranged it for me.  Changed my life forever.  Instead of folding each shirt, she rolled them up and placed each one like a file folder.  Now they all fit and I can see each one easily instead of digging through a stack to find the one I want on the bottom.
Out of the mouths of babes.  Wow.  This picture is its current state, shirts placed by yours truly.  When Betsy arranged them, they looked even better.

This last picture is of my linen closet.  I want you to know that I really mean it when I say I am not organized. This is really what it looks like and I am not exactly sure what all is in there.

But that's why God had someone invent closet doors.
What I can't see doesn't bother me.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Another BFF tip

Remember I told you my freezer is my BFF when it comes to saving time?  And I mentioned a couple of recipes that are mainstays for me but only shared one?  Well, here's the other one.  This is def a family fav.  I think Katie may have shared it already but since everyone isn't FB friends with her - here it is.  Ravioli Soup.  I found it two decades ago in a book called "Once A Month Cooking". (I tweaked just a few things so if you locate the book and look up "Ravioli Soup", you will notice a few minor changes.  Don't stress - it's all good) This was my introduction to cooking meals to store in the freezer and I've been at it ever since.  I confess to being much too disorganized to pull off an entire cooking day as the book describes but I've been able to survive by adapting the concept to what works for me.  I double or triple recipes and stash the extras.  This particular one I quadruple!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Birds of a feather....

The things I get to learn from my sisters-in-law!  I could write a book - I should - on the ways they make my life better.  Today's tip came from one of them.  It might sound simple but it's quite amazing how efficient and effective it is.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Years ago I read Margin by Richard Swenson.  Highly recommend it.  Here's the concept: 


Read this passage.  I'll bet this one is easier. What's the difference?  There are spaces between the words.  Not unnecessary spaces, ones where they need to be in order to make the words discernible and meaningful.  That's margin.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Company's coming!

I love having guests in our home.  Especially overnight guests.  So that I can enjoy their time with our family to the fullest, I prepare as much food in advance as possible.  Then I can serve them yummy stuff and still spend maximum time visiting -  I don't want to waste their visit spending all my time in the kitchen!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Early to bed

Today's tip will be dismissed by lots of you.  But I guarantee you that it will work if you will try it.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Slow cooking

My next survival tip - use the crockpot.  Often, I have more time around 9 AM than I do at 5 .  This suits crockpot meals perfectly.

Here are a few recipes that we love -

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Time for cookies

The reference to cookie dough yesterday reminded me of one of my favorite survival tips.  I learned to do this one after being the beneficiary of it from my friend Hisayo, many years ago.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Make time count

As you read my suggestions, please remind yourself that I never promised sophistication!  Instead, I warned you that these tips are simple, simply my way to survive my unorganized nature.

Just a disclaimer.                                                             

Monday, January 13, 2014

Quick and easy

This tip is so simple I am almost embarrassed to share it.  But it's something I am intentional about and I think it makes a big difference.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

GIfts in a minute

Gift box.  Invaluable.  I keep a box of gift items under my bed and when it's time for a birthday party or a hostess gift, we go shopping.  Under my bed.  Another box full of wrapping paper, gift bags, tape, tissue paper, note cards, scissors.  ALL ITEMS must be returned to the box after use.  Well, not the used paper,  just the scissors, tape, and remaining wrapping stuff.  You get the idea.  Saves tons of time and $$$ and sanity.  All in one place.

I stock up on things when I find a good deal or something that I think kids, friends, etc would like.  Right now, I have some things from Bath and Body Works recent semi-annual sale, some Pottery Barn deals, Christmas china (I like to give this as wedding gifts to summer brides), gorgeous candles, and some Southern Living closeouts.  From time to time, I stock up on iTunes gift cards, too -- these are always appropriate for tweens and teens. 

That's my survival tip for today!