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Monday, October 25, 2010

One Year to a More Organized Life

I've been thinking a lot about how stinkin' stressful it is to try and fit everything in... how much goes undone because I just can't do it all. But I also realize there's a lot I could do to make my life more organized and more efficient. Judging from my current state of mind and physical stamina, I would benefit greatly from a bit of reduced stress. And I think organization is part of the answer.

So this coming year, I plan to focus on organizing my life - all aspects of it. This is going to have to be a purposeful thing that happens a little at a time. Otherwise, all high hopes will fall to the ground and be trampled upon.

Every week during the year of 2011, I will post my focus for that week. I'll think through and list every aspect of my life that needs some organization and follow up with detailed methods of how to smooth out the wrinkles of chaos for each one. I am calling it OYOL (pronounced much the same as oil) - One Year to an Organized Life.

My goal is quite simple. I wish to come to the end of 2011 more organized than I am now. If you're feelin' much the same as I am currently, you are more than welcome to join me in this quest.

Along these lines.... Do you think women take on more than they should? Do you think there are things we add to our list of jobs that are unnecessary? What do you do when you're feeling like "I CAN'T DO IT ALL!!" I'd be super curious to know.


  1. Yes, I do think that women take on more than they should at times. :) And there are definitely things that are on my to-do list that aren't necessary (sewing projects, scrapbooking, redecorating, etc).

    When I'm feeling really overwhelmed, I sit down and cry. :P Or get a cup of tea and sit down with a pen and paper and make a list of everything that's running through my head. Then sort by importance and find something I can do right now. Getting something crossed off the list (even if it's something small) makes me feel better.

    There are two things I'm doing right now to help my organization and sanity. :) First, I'm redoing our filing drawers. I want to be able to file a paper right away instead of having to put it in a misc folder and create a folder for it later. The other thing is creating my 'Home Management Guide'. Then following it once it's made. :) I can show you it to you next time you're over here if you want to see it.

    Hope you don't mind the long reply. I've been thinking about this same thing a lot lately. I'd love to join with you to get a more organized life. :)

  2. I don't know too many moms who don't wish for greater organization and order in their home! Recently, an older woman in my life shared a resource that had helped her. Wow! I love it! It is called "Managers of their Homes" by Steven and Teri Maxwell. Now, as a warning, it could be overwhelming in and of itself. But the basic premise is that you write down everything God has given you to do in a day and then schedule your day so that it all gets done. It has SO helped me because I quit fretting over what isn't getting done. I know there is a time in my day for reading to the little ones or for putting in the next load of laundry. There is time scheduled for school planning and even for Mom's nap! The children are happy because they quickly learn there is a time for things to be done. It also helps me not get too involved in a project (spend 4 hours deep cleaning the bathroom) when it isn't the appropriate time for that project! Oh, and a year sounds great to get organized! It doesn't happen over night! Wish I could share my copy with you . . . but feel free to ask any questions you may have! I had intended to share this with you when you blogged about being overwhelmed and stressed.

  3. This sounds like such a happy thing. I love it when I feel organized (as opposed to frazzled and stressed). The biggest thing for me is to know what my priorities are. Brian got tired of me being stressed all the time after baby number 3 arrived and sat down one day and made me a schedule. It works marvelously even though I was originally completely against running my day from an Excel spreadsheet. Basically, he made me give him a list of things that I just couldn't handle NOT having done regularly. Put them all in a weekly schedule. Then I have a couple of lists. One is a list of "extras" that I want to do that have a deadline (hosting a party, reading a book, writing something, taking/editing pictures, etc.) and the other is a list of things I want to do that have no deadline (taking the wallpaper off the bedroom, organizing the basement, etc.) When I find that I have extra time -- which I do about every day at some point -- then I work on something from that other list. The only reason that it works is that my "I have to do this" schedule is very basic. I have given up a lot of things that are "good" but that are too time-consuming for this phase of my life. Baking my own bread, hanging laundry out on the line, etc. etc. Since my husband is fine with this, I don't feel guilty about it. Oh yeah, and when I cook, I cook something we will like to eat for another meal or two or that can easily be altered for another few meals so I don't have to cook three meals a day every day. Again, too-time consuming. =) Maybe I'm lazy, but it's just not worth it to not have time to go for walks with the boys when the weather's nice!!

  4. Laura...

    I checked out those links to Want What You Have. Very inspiring. I'll definitely be visiting her in my quest for organization. I would love to see your Home Mangament Guide. Maybe I can look at it tomorrow.

    I like what you said about making a list when you feel overwhemed and then GO DO SOMETHING. I tend to make lists and then sit and wallow in the hopelessness of being overwhelmed.

  5. Christina...

    Sounds like a wonderful resource. I might have to check and see if the library has it. It's easy for moms (or me anyway) to lose sight of God's plan for our day and just think of every single thing we want to do. Then we lose the eternal value of obedience to God and become frustrated with our children when they interrupt our plans.

  6. Janel...

    I had to smile a little when I read your comment. That so sounds like something Aaron would do. He loves to solve problems for me and loves to make spreadsheets. :)

    A daily, weekly, and monthly schedule is definitely on my list of things to do to be more organized.

    I hadn't thought of having those side lists. That's a very good idea. I have a lot of projects that never ever get done becuase they're not top priority, but when I have those free 30 minutes or so, every now and then, they never come to mind.

  7. I have a list similar to Janel's of the things I would like to do, but aren't as important. That way when I have a few minutes I can work on something else I have a list to remind me what I would like to do. :)

    I found out pretty fast that if I make a list then sit and stare at it wondering how to get everything done without doing anything, it only encourages me to become even more depressed and overwhelmed. It's so obvious, but sometimes I have to remind myself that in order to make my to do list shorter I have to get up and actually *DO* something.

  8. Brenda,
    You may not find the book in a library. Ebay or Amazon is a good place to find a used one (where I got mine). The book basically uses a spreadsheet to map out every 30 minutes of the day. What I appreciated was it spent several chapters talking about keeping right priorities, fitting in homeschooling, nursing babies, etc. (not too many organization books talk about that!!) and then provided many sample schedules from people with all different ages of children. I would be happy to send you my schedule as a sample if that would be helpful. This fall has been extremely chaotic for us (morning sickness and working on the rental), so we haven't stuck to our schedule very well. But when we have a day at home, we pick it up and it works so well.