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Sunday, January 9, 2011

One Year to a {more} Organized Life, Week Two

The Bare Minimum

Clear off your refrigerator. You're gonna need it! (Or another place you can post a couple papers and see it many times a day.)

This week's assignment is two fold.

First, take your purpose and display it somewhere in your home where you will see it many times a day. You can get fancy and create a work of art with canvas or vinyl or cross stitch or some other pretty craft. Or you can create a decorative scrapbook layout for it and hang it in a prominent place. Or you can print or write it out on good ol' white paper and post it on your fridge. The method matters not. The point is to quickly get it up and look at it many times every day.

Second, determine the bare minimum for each day. Post it. And follow it! Getting organized is kinda frustrating. If you think about it, you have to be organized to get organized, and get organized to be organized. It's like a dog chasing his tail.

It's going to take time - a lot of it, actually, if your life is like mine - to get to a point of "being organized". In the meantime, we're got to get a hold of this chaos and just make it through each day feeling like we're at least keeping up and not drowning. This is where the Bare Minimum comes in.

We're not talking about all the things you'd like to get done every day. Nor the high and lofty dreams of complete peace and tranquility. We're talking about just the bare minimum... things you must do to ensure that your family has food to eat, dishes to eat off of, clean underwear, good hygiene, and a mostly happy wife and mother. That's it. We're talking survival here. Your home, time, and schedule is not going to be perfect. But something is better than nothing. And as Kellie brought out in her week one post... as Flylady says, “Imperfect cleaning still blesses your home!”

Print this week's worksheet and write down the bare minimum for each day. You may have things that only have to be done on certain days... such as pay bills or make a shopping list. These will go on the left side where the days of the weeks are listed. Things you must do every day will go on the "Daily Do or Die" list on the right.

Do not overwhelm yourself by including too much or getting too detailed. Keep it simple. Do not write "brush teeth, brush hair, wash face...." Just write down "personal hygiene". There's no reason to include things that are already habit. If you already keep up with your dishes on a daily basis, there's no need to include that on your list. The more words you put on your list, the longer it will look and the more overwhelmed you will feel.

One more thing. I'm going to try to hold myself to not cracking open the laptop until all bare minimum items that can be done, are done. I identify with EOS Mom, "...on a daily basis I am surrounded by clutter and clueless how best to use my time--should I be playing with my kids or going through the piles in my closet? Should I clean the powder room or the master bathroom? And there's so much to do that I get overwhelmed and play on the internet." If this counterproductive malady describes you too, I'd challenge you to hold yourself to the "bare minimum first" rule.

Blog about this week's assignment and link up below.


  1. EOS's description describes me to a T. The biggest struggle for me NOW is that I have a "smart phone". I don't even have to open my computer. This one is going to take some MAJOR discipline but it is VITAL to the well being of my home & family!!!!

  2. What an excellent resource! Looking forward to next week. :)

  3. I'm with EOS Mom! And, what to do when your EOS lil' un is getting sick every where. I'm starting to realize that my EOS life will be much easier with a little bit of organization.

  4. Woohoo, thanks for the shout-out! Now I know where the little bit of extra traffic has come from on my blog. ;-) Great worksheet! Simple...which is just what I need. And I agree about the laptop...I will be reinstating my "no laptop between nap & lunch" rule to start with.

  5. I LOVE this worksheet! So easy!

  6. Thanks Brenda, this was a great exercise, now I've gotta post this stuff where I'll see it--and get to work! Oh and thanks for quoting me, so fun to see myself mentioned! :-)

  7. I'm in. I seriously have no idea how you do what you do, Bren. I only have one job, one small business, and two pets (that I can ignore as needed) and I get behind. Here's to building a life of order!

  8. I think I pretty much failed this week but it was eye opening :-)

  9. A little late in posting this. Here's my link up:

    Hopefully I'll be on time this week!!