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How to Organize Anything

16 Jul
The task of organizing can be an overwhelming one, especially if you don’t like to do it.  Even though I like to organize, there are times when I still feel a bit intimidated by the task ahead of me.  But, like anything else, if you break down a large project, say “organizing the garage”, into smaller, more manageable tasks, you will begin to feel a little less overwhelmed.  With that in mind, I’m going to share with you the 5 steps I use to organize anything: Sort, Purge, Assign, Contain, and Maintain. 
{And, no, it’s not some fancy or clever acronym.  Unless “S.P.A.C.M.” spells anything. 
Which, I don’t think it does.}
Step #1 – SORT

martinlee – Fotolia.com

The first step is to sort through everything within the space.  Think about what you do when you sort through your laundry.  More than likely, you separate your clothes by color: lights, darks and whites.  When you begin to organize, you’re going to separate using these categories: keep, toss, and donate {or: yard sale}.  Consider using laundry baskets {inside} or tarps spread out on the ground like they did on the TV show “Clean Sweep”{outside}.

The “keep” pile should be filled with items that you use on a regular basis.  The “toss” pile should consist of trash {broken items that cannot be recycled}.  Lastly, the “donate/yard sale” pile will corral those items that you no longer wish to keep but are still in good enough condition for someone else to benefit. 

Depending on what area of your home you’re focusing on {clothes closet, for example}, you may want to also have a fix/mend pile.  However, give yourself a time frame to have those items fixed or mended by and if they are not, go ahead and toss them.

Step #2 – PURGE


reb – Fotolia.com

Once you’ve removed all of the items you no longer want, it’s time to get rid of them.  If it is beyond repair and cannot be recycled, then throw it away.  If it can be recycled in any way, please do so.  {Use this phone app to find recycling locations near you.}  Lastly, if the item is in good condition, be sure to donate it to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army.  If you’ve got plenty of items that are in working condition, consider having a yard sale and using the process to go out and celebrate your organizing success with your family.

Step #2 – ASSIGN


Byron Moore – Fotolia.com

So far, you have sorted through your belongings and gotten rid of the items you no longer need.  The next task is to categorize the remaining items.  For example, if you’re tackling your pantry, you may use these categories: breakfast items, snacks, dry goods, canned goods, condiments and sauces, beverages, etc.  Another example is the categories you may use for your books: romance, science, mystery, home decor, crafts, etc. 

The important thing is that the categories make sense to you {or whoever uses the space the most}.  If it is an area that the whole family uses, such as the living room, make organizing a family project so that everyone takes responsibility for that particular room.

Step #4 – CONTAIN


Graça Victoria – Fotolia.com

Using your categories above, decide how the items within each category should be contained.  For example, you may be able to use baskets to contain some of your pantry items.  In your clothes closet, you may decide that an over-the-door shoe organizer is the best thing for keeping your collection in order.

In the same way you should personalize the categories, you should also personalize your containers.  Keep in mind, if the container is going to be out in the open, you may want to splurge for something attractive, such as a pretty basket.  However, if it is going to be out of sight {read: behind closed doors}, you do not necessarily have to go for something pretty.  Clear plastic bins are not necessarily the most attractive of organizing products but they work just fine in spaces where guests are not likely to peek, such as your linen closet, laundry room, pantry, etc.  If the plastic bins are too plain for you and you’d like to dress them up, all it takes is creating cute labels with your computer!

Step #5 – MAINTAIN


Tomasz Trojanowski – Fotolia.com

This is THE MOST IMPORTANT step of them all.  It does you no good to organize a space in your home if there is no maintenance plan.  Why?  Because things will go right back to the way it was before you exerted all that time and energy trying to get it all in some kind of order.

In the week or so after you’ve completed an organizing project, it’s a good idea to evaluate how you or your family is doing in the area of upkeep.  If things are leaning towards “messy” again, ask yourself this questions:

“Is it not working because the necessary habits have not formed yet or is it because I need to make a change?”

Just because your kids have failed to use the hooks you’ve provided them, doesn’t mean that the hooks are not the answer.  It may mean that they haven’t formed the habit yet.  In this case, you will want to work with them to create that habit.  Give yourself some more time and see if things don’t improve.

Maybe your kids are using the hooks like you’ve asked but something just isn’t quite right.  This is when a change may need to be made, such as switching out smaller hooks for larger ones, hanging them a little further apart, or removing them all together and trying out something completely different.

BOTTOM LINE

Like I stated in the introduction, these steps can be used to organize anything!  By breaking the project down into smaller tasks, you are less likely to feel intimidated and more likely to make progress.

If you’ve used this method to help you organize something,
I’d love to hear about it.

Do you have another process you use to get organized?
{Maybe something with a more clever acronym?}  😉

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Just Wanted to Share

5 Jul
Don’t Forget to Join this Week’s
Organized Homemaker’s Linky Party {HERE}.


{Via}

Cleaning Out My Closet

I decided today was the day,
To take and cast out some old things.
Things I have kept far too long,
Things that no longer belonged.
I opened the closet door,
With determination inside.
I started to sort through things,
That were left hanging way to long.
First I came upon Bitterness,
Buried deep inside,
So I took it and cast it
Into my box of sin.
Next was envyness,
I needed that no more,
So I took and tossed
That envyness clear out the closet door.
Well my closet was looking better,
Yet more needed to go,
So I dug even deeper,
Deeper then ever before.
Hid deep into the middle,
I thought that was long gone,
I found unforgiveness,
It seemed to just hang on.
So I took that unforgiveness
Along with self-pride,
I took them both,
And cast them both aside.
I looked at my closet,
Looking good I had to admit,
Yet something was left there
Hanging, that needed to be cast.
I grabbed a hold of the hate,
Firmly I gave it a yank,
It was the hardest article,
More stubborn then the rest.
I knew if my closet was to be cleansed,
That this one above all the rest,
Had to be cast deep into the pit.
So with determination, hate was cast aside.
Now as I looked into my closet,
I had room for new things.
Like love, and happiness,
That had no room before.
Now my closet is only filled with
The Holy Spirit, Our Lord Jesus Christ,
Isn’t it amazing what our closet
Can hold, when we cast away Our sins,
Inviting Our Precious Lord Jesus Christ In

Author Unknown

Disorganization is Ungodly

28 Jun
There.  I said it.  As a Christian I believe it is ungodly for me to be disorganized.  Does that mean I’m always going to have my “ducks in a row”?  No.  Does it mean my house will always look spotless? Not at all.  (I do have a two and a half year old, after all.)  But it does mean that if I am striving to be more and more like Christ every day, I’m going to have to get my act together.
As a part of the SITS challenge, I am supposed to write an opinion post.  I sat and though about what I wanted to write and then remembered a couple of weeks ago I share reasons for a lack of motivation.  One of those reasons was that we suffer from a heart condition.  No, I’m not talking about cardiology, I’m talking about spirituality.  We forget WHO we are serving when we manage our homes and serve our families.  So, I’ve decided to attempt to answer the question: “Is being organized next to godliness?” 
(Get it?  Instead of “cleanliness is next to godliness”? … Oh, never mind!)  🙂
~*~ GOD IS A GOD OF ORDER ~*~
“For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”  – 1Corinthians 14:33 KJV
Other translations use the word “disorder” in place of “confusion”.  Either way, it means that God doesn’t do things last minute or half-heartedly.  He made a plan before the world was created and He has stuck to that plan ever since.  We may feel like He’s doing things last minute, but that’s when we forget that our timing is not necessarily the same as His timing.
One example of this truth is found in the creation story.  Each day He built upon what he had already done in the previous day.  Here’s how it went:
Day #1 – Light (Named “Day” and “Night”)
Day #2 – Sky (Named “Heavens”)
Day #3 – Dry Land (Earth), Vegetation/Plants, Named “Seas”
Day #4 – Sun, Moon, & Stars
Day #5 – Sea Creatures & Birds
Day #6 – Land Animals, People
Day #7 – God Rested
What if God made the land animals before there was land?  Or, what if He created the sun before he created light?  That just wouldn’t make any sense.  God knew what he was doing.  He knew animals would need food so He created vegetation first.  He knew the birds would need somewhere to fly, so He created the sky first.  He had a plan and He carried it out.
Also, on the 7th day, He rested.  I don’t believe He rested because He was tired.  I believe He rested in order to set an example for us.  He knew we would need to rest and He set aside a day for us to do that.
Do you make plans ahead of time?
Do you stick to them?
Do you make time to rest?
~*~ GOD DON’T LIKE LAZY ~*~
I know that in this post I seemed to encourage laziness.  However, if you read it, you know that I was being a bit facetious.  Being lazy is NOT okay.  In fact God has some strong things to say to us about being lazy:
“A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” – Proverbs 10:4 ESV
The diligence the Lord instills in us as Christians is one way He provides for our material needs.  When you slack off and become lazy, you’re no longer utilizing the tool God has given you to provide for your family.  Yes, in my family, my husband is the breadwinner but I am the one to makes sure our dollars are stretched and our resources are not wasted.  Personal example: If I choose to become lazy by allowing my pantry and coupon stash to become disorganized, I am causing us to become poor by having to pay more for groceries than was necessary.
Have you slacked off in certain areas of your homemaking?
“The sluggard says, ‘There is a lion in the road!  There is a lion in the streets!’ As the door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggard on his bed.  The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.  The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly.” – Proverbs 26:13 – 16 ESV
This paints a picture of someone who is so lazy that they won’t do anything for fear of danger (lion in the streets), who stays in bed all day and who won’t even do what is necessary to nourish themselves.  This person avoids everything but still thinks himself to be wise.
Do you avoid doing something out of fear? 
Fear of failure?  Fear of not being perfect?
Do you sit around all day doing nothing in particular?
Do you do what is necessary to nourish yourself?
Do you make excuses for why you haven’t done something?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of those questions, be careful not to think yourself more wise than you really are.
(Don’t take offense.  I’m talking to myself here mostly!)
“As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so [is] the sluggard to them that send him.” – Proverbs 10:26 KJV
Vinegar irritates teeth.  Smoke irritates the eyes.  A sluggard irritates those in authority over him because he is unreliable.  How does that apply to you?  Well, for starters, if you work outside the home then your employer may find it annoying if you are lazy on the job.  When we become lazy at home, our husbands become irritated (at least mine does.  He doesn’t complain but I can tell it frustrates him in a I’ve-been-busting-my-tail-all-day-but-you-haven’t-done-a-thing kind of way).  When we DON’T do everything to the glory of God (even folding socks and mopping floors), I imagine that it bothers our heavenly Father.
Have you become lazy?
Who are you irritating because of your laziness?
~*~ IT’S OKAY TO SAY “NO” ~*~
So far, we’ve talked about God as One who favors order.  We’ve also talked about laziness and it’s consequences.  Now, I want to talk about the other extreme: being a busy-body.
I have a habit of agreeing to do anything that anyone needs me to do.  I love to help others and I SHOULD help others.  The problem arises when my helping other people gets in the way of my responsibilities to my home and my family; when I become too busy.
Patsy Clairmont once said:
“To do too much is as dangerous as to do nothing at all. 
Both modes prevent us from savoring our moments. 
One causes me to rush right past the best of life without
recognizing or basking in it, and the other finds me
sitting quietly as life rushes past me.”
God wants us to slow down.  He tells us how to do so in this verse:
“‘All things are lawful’, but not all things are helpful.  ‘All things are lawful’, but not all things build up.” – 1 Corinthians 10:23
In other words, just because something is technically “good” and you can do it, doesn’t mean that it’s the best use of your time and effort.  This is why it is so important to know what your priorities are and to only take on things that line up with them.  Be picky about what you sign up or volunteer to do.  Learn to say “no” to those things that don’t go along with your values, priorities and goals.
~*~ BOTTOM LINE ~*~
So, going back to my original question: “Is being organized next to godliness?” 
I would say with absolutely certainty: YES! 
Just as God made a plan and stuck to it,
we too should make plans and abide by them. 
Just as the sluggard in Proverbs had consequences,
we too will have consequences when we embrace true laziness. 
Just as 1 Corinthians tells us that all things are possible
but not all of them are profitable,
we are to seek out the best for our lives rather than settling on just “good”.
Throughout today’s post I asked several questions that I hope you will take the time to ponder but I do not expect you to answer them in the comments.  What I would like to know is:
Do YOU think being organized is next to godliness?

A Taylor Made History

17 Jun

MADE IT TO EIGHTY

Taylor Made Home has 80 followers!  That may not sound like much to most people, especially since there are plenty more blogs out there who have thousands and thousands of followers (plus millions of pageviews per day).  But, I am so grateful for each and every person who chooses to take a few moments out of their day to pay little ol’ me a visit!

Today, I’d thought I’d share with you how this blog came about, how it has changed since its “birth”, and the direction I envision it will go.  (But don’t worry.  I will be back with more organizing related goodness tomorrow!)

IN THE BEGINNING

When it comes to maturity, Taylor Made Home is still in it’s infancy.  However, my blogging adventure started a little over a year ago.  In March of 2010, I started a blog.  The intention was to blog about my transition from a working mom to a stay-at-home-mom, and then continue to be a “mom blog”.  I would write about all of the wonderful meals I would whip up (mind you, I DON’T cook well at all); how amazing my house would look once I had extra time to decorate (HA!  Turns out you need money too!); and how stylish I would look without the restrictions that my employers dress code impossed on me (Um, ashamed to say I have fallen prey to the tshirt-and-jeans-mom-uniform-combo that sucks the youthful style out of so many of us young mothers).

Needless to say, life at home was not what I imagined it would be and I was not accomplished all of the wonderful things I had set about to do.  I had zero content for my blog because I was so uninspired with my life (read: discontent with my life) that I grew frustrated.  Not to mention, maybe three people followed it and I would have (maybe) 15 pageviews per day.  Yep, the blog was just another disappointment.

CHANGE OF HEART

It was only when I took the time to bow my head and ask God what HE wanted me to do, that I realized what I was doing wrong:

  • Although it is an admirable thing for a homemaker to be able to bake fresh bread, sew her own curtains, and maintain a perfectly spotless house (all while wearing a dress, heels, and red lip stick, of course!), this standard is one that the WORLD has told me that I must maintain.  God showed me that even though I should always work on improving my homemaking skills, I should be more concerned with allowing Him to create in me a content heart and a serving spirit.
  • He showed me that my first attempt at blogging was done in a completely selfish manner that He would not bless.  I wasn’t trying to help anyone, I just wanted to “brag” online about everything I knew how to do and how much I resembled “June Cleaver”.  When He impressed upon my heart that my blog could be a tool for ministering to busy women who were doing all they could to juggle family, home and possibly career, it gave me a bit of a taste for how He might want to use me and my talents.  (What few talents I have.)

LET’S TRY THIS AGAIN

With a renewed heart for my home and for ministering to other women, I made my second attempt at starting a blog.  I sat down at my computer, logged into Blogger, and breathed a quick prayer: “Lord, use me!”  Then, I typed in the words “Taylor Made Home” and officially began my journey.

In my very first post, I shared that my goal was to motivate and inspire you to become a better wife, mother, and home manager.  The idea was to consistently work to improve certain areas in my life (parenting, cooking, finances, style, etc) and then share what has worked for me, in hopes that it may work for you as well.  (Or at least provide you with a starting point for your own self improvement journey.)  Thus, I classified myself as a “General Homemaking Blogger”.

Then, in a later post, I expressed my goal to give this blog a bit more focus by writing on topics that had more to do with decorating and organiznig (the atmosphere of the home) versus trying to include all areas of homemaking.  This worked well for me because creating a beautiful (this would be the decor part) and effecient (this is where organizing comes in) home is my favorite hobby.  Plus, no matter how organized you are, there is always room for improvement and we can improve together!

Even though sticking to decorating and organizing (mostly organizing) gave me more direction, I was still unsure about what style of blog I should create.  In other words, did I want to be a more “upscale/designer” blogger or would I rather stick to “budget decor/DIY”?  (Looking back, I’m not sure why it was such a hard decision.  As the ol’ saying goes: “I’ve got Champagne tastes on a beer budget”.)  I decided that I didn’t want to put on a facade and pretend like I was this uber-chic woman with discriminating tastes.  I wanted to be real with those who came to be for information, advice, and inspiration.

GOING FORWARD

Since joining the “31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge” over at the SITS forum, I have decided to fine-tune the direction of this blog a little bit more so that I would know exactly where it was headed and exactly HOW I would help you as a woman.  The new goal of Taylor Made Home is to show you how organizing principles can be applied in all aspects of home management in order to create the calm and efficient home that you crave.

With this focus in mind, there are several exciting things that I have planned for you:

  • A New Linky Party – Click HERE for more information and to enter the “Name that Linky Party Contest”.
  • Commenter Rewards – Beginning immediately, I will be giving a shout out to my top commenter each week.  Meaning, the person who leaves the most comments on Taylor Made Home will be gifted with an entire post dedicated entirely to them and their blog.  This is one of the ways I want to show my appreciation for you.  I only ask that your comments related to the post and contribute to the discussion somehow.  In other words, please don’t comment for the sake of commenting.  But please do add your two cents, ask questions, and share your knowledge with us!
  • An Organized Homemaker Series – I haven’t decided if I will do this on a weekly or monthly basis, but it will focus on how to organize each task that you’re responsible for, including: cooking, cleaning, paying bills, running errands, decorating, entertaining, etc.  This series will include guest speakers, challenges, and (hopefully) giveaways.  It’s a lot to plan but I am hoping it will be a huge success; a way for all of use to brush up on organizing skills together.
  • Ask the Organizer – Do you have an organizing question you’d like to ask?  Is there an area of your home that needs some attention, but you don’t know where to begin?  Ask me!!  Email your question to ourtaylormadehome (at) gmail (dot) com and I will happily answer it for you.  Doing so, gives me permission to use it on my blog in an “Ask the Organizer” post.  (Your identity will be kept private as I will only use your first name and the first letter of your last name.)  You never know who else is dealing with the same thing. 

THE END

Geez, this was kind of a long winded post.  Thanks for hearing me out.  Now, I’ll turn the mic keyboard over to you:

Is there a certain area of homemaking that you would like for me to tackle from an organizing standpoint?

Just a Couple of Things…

14 Jun

I had another post lined up for today, but I’m going to wait until tomorrow to post it because there are a couple of things I want to talk to you about:

First of all, I’m SO excited because I’m am working on putting together my very own linky party!  It’s going to be a place for you to share your organizing sucesses all week long!  Each week’s party will be kicked off on Wednesday (maybe posted late Tuesday night) and will focus on a different topic or challenge each time.  Also, I will be writing a separate post later on the following week that will feature my favorites from the prior week’s linky party.

NAME THAT LINKY PARTY
CONTEST 

What I want to do now is announce a “Name that Linky Party” Contest.  Based on what I’ve told you about the new linky party here at Taylor Made Home, I want you to come up with a creative name for it.  The name should clearly define what type of links I am looking for (organizing posts). 

What’s in it for you?  Each and every linky party will include a shout out/thank you to you for naming the party as well as a link to your blog.  Which means, as long as the linky party is a part of Taylor Made Home, your name and blog link will always be mentioned!

DETAILS:

  • You may submit as many names as you’d like.
  • I will be doing a little digging to make sure that the chosen name isn’t already taken by someone else.  If I find that it is, the entry will be eliminated. 
  • If two entries are exactly the same, I will go with the one that was submitted first.
  • You can email me at ourtaylormadehome (at) gmail (dot) com with any questions you have that may help you in your name brainstorming. 

When you’re ready to submit your entries, please fill out this form:

Best of Luck!!

The second item I want to bring to your attention is something a little more personal to me.  If I may, I’d like to give you a little bit of background before I present a question that I would appreciate your input.

I have only 1.5 years of college under my belt.  Needless to say, I do not have a college degree.  Over the past several years, I have toyed with the idea of going back.  However, right now I am a stay-at-home-mom who is raising one son (with plans to add more to our family in the future) and managing a household.  I have no itention of becoming anyone’s employer anytime soon (preferably, never again).  Instead, my goal is to start and run my own business or at least work from home so that I can contribute to our family’s finances without giving up the flexibility of being available to my family as well as being able to effectively manage my home.

The idea I have come up with, since organizing is my passion after all, is to teach organizing workshops locally (and maybe one day, online).  My target group is busy moms who I would reach through local churches, mom’s day out groups, daycare centers, schools, YMCA’s, and other places that these women frequent.  I believe women everywhere would benefit from learning how to better manage their home, family, and career, as well as other responsibilities. 

I am currently working on my first workshop which will cover the basics of Time Management.  Being my first one I want to focus on one particular group of busy women: those involved in local women’s ministry groups.  The plan was to charge $30 per ticket with $5 of each ticket being donated to the church they are associated with.  I would also offer large group discounts by reducing the cost of each ticket to $25 with $5 still going to their church.  (Date of workshop is still undetermined.)

I was all excited to get going witht this new venture when, yesterday, someone mentioned to me that I might have a hard time getting people to come and listen to what I have to say since I don’t have a college degree.  It really bummed me out and I spent the better part of last night feeling like I had to cross this off my “Ideas-I’ve-thought-of-doing-but-haven’t” list.  So, with all of this in mind, my question is:

Do you think a college degree makes a person more qualified to teach a class on organizing?
In other words, would you base your decision to attend an organizing workshop on whether or not the person teaching it has a college degree or not?
BONUS QUESTION:
Do you think the prices I quoted are reasonable?

Please either leave a comment below with your answer or if you’d rather have your answer remain more private, you can email me at ourtaylormadehome (at) gmail (dot) com.  I really appreciate any light you can shed on the subject for me.

Lack Motivation?

13 Jun

A couple of weeks ago, I asked you all to take a homemaking survey.  Some of you shared that, many times, you don’t do what needs to be done because you simply lack motivation.  Believe me, I can totally relate.  Some days (especially rainy ones) just beg you to stay in your pajamas, veg out on the sofa, and watch TV all day.  And you know what?  We SHOULD do that (or whatever helps us relax) every once in a while.

(Another funny shirt from HERE)

However, I suspect that for most of us, this motivation issue rears it’s ugly head more often than we’d like to admit.  Am I right?  We have to be careful that we don’t use the excuse “I’m just not motivated” when, if we were honest, the right reason is that “I’m a procrastinator” or “I’m just lazy sometimes”.  Now, before you go throwing virtual tomatoes at me, let me be the first person to admit that I am a big time procrastinator when it comes to things that I just don’t want to do.  And, sometimes, I’m just downright lazy, too.  It doesn’t make me a bad person or even a disorganized person.  It makes me human!  Same goes for you.

If you find that you lack motivation more often than not, there may be something else (other than simple procrastination) at work.  When I came up with these reasons I was thinking of hinderances to organizing or housework, but they really could be what’s holding you back from a lot of different things.  Like we learned yesterday from my new friend, Adrian, our lives are like spider webs, when we “tighten up one thread in the web, the other ones just automatically tighten up as well”.  See that post HERE.

POOR HEALTH

If you don’t feel like doing anything, it may not be a lack of motivation as much as it is a lack of energy.  When you lack energy, it could be that you’re not getting enough exercise, sleep, and/or the nutritious foods your body needs (Think: fuel in a gas tank).  I’m no fitness expert, but I do know that a healthy body has more energy than an unhealthy one.
INCORRECT TOOLS
I’m a firm believer that having the right tool for the job can mean the difference between a job done well and a job that’s just done (if done at all).  Not to mention, lacking the proper tools can cause us to dread a task or worse, cause injury.  Keep in mind that when I use the word “tool”, I’m not just talking about something you hold in your hand.  I’m also referring to knowledge.  If you don’t know exactly HOW to do something, then you are probably less likely to become motivated to “give it a shot”.  It’s only when we are armed with the proper information that we can become confident enough to tackle the task head on.
If you’re not sure what tool you need, get online or go to the library and research for yourself.  You can also ask around (friends, family, store employees, professionals, etc).  There are plenty of people out there (myself included) who would be happy to help.
HEART CONDITION
For those of you who are Christians, you can probably relate to this one.  When I don’t want to get off the sofa and do my chores, it isn’t because I am not thankful for my home or because I don’t love my family.  More than likely, it’s because my heart isn’t where it ought to be.  I’ve forgotten WHO I’m working for.  If my husband was my ONLY motivation for cleaning the house, I can tell you right now it would not get done.  (Just being real!)  But, when I remember that I should do EVERYTHING (that includes cleaning toilets and folding socks) to the glory of God, I tend to not only do my chores in a timely manner, but I actually smile while I’m doing them.
LACK OF DISCIPLINE 
As a military brat, I can tell you that my Dad was/is BIG on discipline!  I define discipline as “doing what needs to be done regardless of whether or not you FEEL like doing it”.  So often we tend to do things based on emotion.  I don’t know about you, but as a woman, my emotions are kind of all over the place sometimes.  Which is why I cannot rely on them when it comes to whether or not I get things done.  Instead, I should have the discipline to do what I HAVE to do regardless of whether I WANT to do it or not.
STRESS, DEPRESSION,
OR OTHER UNHEALTHY EMOTIONS
This one kind of goes along with leading a healthy lifestyle because in the same way that poor physical health can lead to a lack of motivation, poor mental health can as well.  Life isn’t easy and we often having things that weigh on our minds and hearts.  Problem is, we allow those things to suck the joy out of us.  We mentally check-out and give up.  Instead, we need to work on our mental health so that we can care for our families the way we are supposed to. 
If you suffer from a consistently high level of stress, anxiety, depression, or any other serious emotional issue, I want to encourage you to seek help.  Talk to a pastor, counselor, or friend.  Let someone know you’re struggling.  When you get to a place where you feel better on the inside, then you will be better able to focus on maintaining what’s on the outside (your environment which is your home).
BOTTOM LINE:
Managing a home, family, career, and everything else that we, as women, have to juggle is not an easy task.  It is so important that we take care of ourselves spiritually (reading God’s Word, praying, and giving our day to Him), physically (exercise, healthy diet, and proper rest), and emotionally (make a weekly appointment with a friend and vent to each other if you have to.  Also, don’t feel like you have to do it all… delegate!).  It’s only when we are completely healthy that we can be motivated to serve our family the way they deserve.
After reading this, were you able to idenify a part of your spider web of life that needs tightening?

Organized People are Lazy

23 May
Lazy Shirt
It’s true.  Before I offend anyone, let me explain.  First of all, I don’t like to waste time and energy.  I don’t like to repeat tasks unnecessarily.  And I like to make each task as easy as possible.  Basically, I’m not going to exert any more effort than truly necessary to complete any one task.  Lazy, huh?
Feel the same?
Congratulations!  You’re lazy too!  🙂
If you find that you tend to be a little more disorganized than you’d like, you can ask yourself these questions to help you put your ducks in a row and lead a more “lazy” life:
Is there anything I can do now to prevent more work later? 
If procrastination were a sport, would you be MVP?  If so, chances are you are spending more time and exerting more energy than you need to.  What do I mean?  Think about those mornings you spend looking for keys that have “sprouted legs and walked away”.  You used up at least 15 minutes on your search when that time could have been better used on something else.  Plus, it probably created or added to the stress you were already experiencing, thus raising your blood pressure and impacting your mood (potentially for the rest of the day).  All because you don’t have a designated “home” for your keys, such as a bowl or hook.
Think about some other situations in which acting on a task now can decrease your work load later:

  • When your evening routine includes laying clothes out, preparing lunches, and setting the table for breakfast, you are doing your part to make sure your morning runs smoothly. 
  • When you create a menu plan, clip coupons, and write out a grocery list, you are ensuring a pleasant trip to the store with as little impact on your wallet as possible. 
  • When you designate a well lit place in your home for your kids to study and you also provide them with a “Homework Kit” filled with paper, pencils, markers, scissors, and anything else they need to get the job done, you are decreasing the chance of an I-don’t-wanna-do-my-homework meltdown later on (see THIS POST for more ideas for organizing with kits). 
Just think about it this way: “If I go ahead and do something now, then I’ll get to be a little more ‘lazy’ later on.”
Also ask yourself:
How can I be more productive with my time?

At the beginning of this post I told you all that I don’t like to waste time.  I imagine you don’t either.  I mean, who really LOVES to waste time, right?  But we do it ALL the time; sometimes without even realizing it.
Lets say you are in the market for a new television.  Which course of action more closely resembles the one you’d take?
  • Option #1 – Load up the hubby and kids.  Drive around to 5 different stores, looking for the best deal.  Realize the best choice was at store #1. Drive back.  All the while enduring the I’m-tired-can-we-go-now whines and the I’m-hungry-when’s-dinner cries (and sometimes joining in because, face it, you’re tired and hungry too).
  • Option #2 – While the kids are napping, you log on to your trusty computer and search for the best deals.  You may even make a few phone calls to have some questions answered, all while hanging out in the comfort of your own home (maybe even in your pjs).  Once you decide on the best choice for your family and your wallet, you load up the kids, drive to the store, and make your purchase.  Then you drive home in plenty of time to whip up a homemade pizza and enjoy your favorite show or movie.
Maybe your shopping adventures already resemble the second one.  Heck, maybe you go one step further and just have the purchase delivered to your front door so that you never have to leave at all!  But is there another area of your life where your time could be managed just as effectively as it was in Option #2?

What about this?: Do you ever get distracted while cleaning your house?  Me too.  I’ll start wiping down our coffee table only to realize our end tables are cluttered.  So, I set down my cloth and cleaner so that I can return items to their proper home.  While returning items to my bedroom, I notice that I forgot to make the bed.  As I begin to make the bed, I see a pile of my hubby’s clothes on the bathroom floor.

The problem with the above situation is that I never finished wiping down the coffee table, putting items in their proper place, or making our bed.  All tasks remain unfinished even though I was running around the house like a mad woman in an attempt to clean.  This isn’t good use of my time.  Instead, I could place sticky notes on items that need my attention. (Forgot where I read this idea. Sorry.)  If I had done so, here’s how the above story would have changed:

I start wiping down our coffee table only to realize our end tables are cluttered.  I put a sticky note on the end table that reads “Declutter” and continue wiping down the coffee table.  When I finish wiping it down, I remove the sticky note from the end table and take things back to their proper homes.  While returning items to my bedroom I notice that I forgot to make the bed.  I place a sticky note on top of the bed that says “Make” and continue putting things away.  Once all things are returned, I go back to my bedroom, remove the sticky note, and begin to make the bed.  I then see a pile of my hubby’s clothes on the bathroom floor.  I place a sticky note on top of the pile that says “Pick Up” and go back to making the bed.

In this case, the coffee table was wiped down, the end table was decluttered, items were returned to their proper homes, the bed got made… things were accomplished!  It may sound silly to keep a stash of sticky notes in your cleaning caddy but it may be just what you need to keep from getting distracted while cleaning, thus making the most of your time!

Another Tip: Use the computer to pay bills, schedule a post office pick up, and shop for gifts.  Not only does it make the best use of your time, it also saves money because you’re not using up gas by driving around to take care of these errands.

So, when you think of getting more organized, think about ways to become “lazier”.  Ask yourself if there is anyting you can do now to keep you from working harder later and how you can be more productive with your time.

What’s your favorite productive and time saving tip?