Monday, January 27, 2014

Staying Organized While Your Trying to Get Things Organized


This past year I decided that I needed to get my house a little more organized.  Now that all of my kids have flown the coop (sad) I have the time and space to try and get things cleaned up and where I want them to be.  We have all been there, right?  You think you have everything in it's proper place, right where you can find it, but if someone else goes to look for that item, they can't seem to get their hands on it and neither can you.  Frustrating!

I didn't spend any time looking for a fancy list because I just needed 3 basic things on my chart. It needed to allow me to document a:
  1. Done column - So that I could mark things off as I finished them.  There aren't many things more fun and fulfilling then checking something off a list.  For me, anyway!
  2. Date column - To list a due date for a project to be completed by.  I am really good at following directions but the improvising part of my brain doesn't usually work so guidelines are great for me.
  3. Organize description column  - To list each project.  I don't go into too much detail here because I purposefully only organize a small space at a time.  That way, I don't get discouraged and I feel like I am getting something done every day.  If I have the time or energy to move on to another project, I do.
I decided to just use a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet because that way as I went along I could easily make adjustments to my projects as I saw fit and of course because it is nice and neat looking and even more important because I know Excel like the back of my hand so I can do pretty much anything with it!  Oh, and most importantly, ITS FREE!  Here I just needed a simple chart with no frills.  Frills slow me down.

If I needed to change a due date for a project to be done, I simply changed the date and then adjusted the dates of the projects that were scheduled to be completed later.  As you can see from my chart above, there were some days when I completed several organization projects in one day and in those cases I changed the project due dates of the remaining projects.  Some days were very productive, some I missed and had to reschedule due dates.

When I started making my list my thought was to make this whole process as easy as possible.  I didn't want to get discouraged early on, as I sometimes do when I am trying to start something new or change a habit. You know how you have these grand dreams of doing something and you quit early on because you get overwhelmed, discouraged or just can't seem to get yourself motivated?  Been there.  Done that - many times.

So I decided to start small and keep it small.  I would organize by cabinets, rather than the whole kitchen, one at a time.  I scheduled myself to clean one cabinet a day in the kitchen.  I cleaned out and organized one dresser rather than all dressers at one time.  Doing it slowly made it more manageable for me and that is how I was able to keep on going.  It kept me motivated because I was slowly but surely making progress. Doing things all at once works sometimes but sometimes, you just need to take things slow!

There was no real trick to my projects I would just take everything out of the cabinet or drawer, wipe or wash it down, (depending on how bad it was), got rid of things I hadn't used in a while, rearranged and put things back.

It took me almost 3 months but I was able to get all the way through my list and I felt such great accomplishment.  If you have any great organization ideas or tips, please let me know by commenting below. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Happy organizing!

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