Monday, November 16, 2009

Organization Challenge Week 1

There's No Place Like Home
There's No Place Like Home

Most people like to start new things at the beginning of the year and here it is November, but I'm not one to follow the crowd and I am about to launch a new project. :) As I have mentioned before, I am now a part-time homemaker instead of full-time and I have been a little overwhelmed(not my first choice, but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do). I used to have a good daily routine and everything was fairly organized. That has been turned upside down over the last few months and I need to start fresh with a new system.

Homemaking is still a priority to me and I want to make sure our home is beautiful, warm and welcoming. As Alexandra Stoddard says in her book Time Alive: Celebrate Your Life Every Day in the chapter "Order Precedes Beauty":

"Without order there is no beauty. Living can be a messy business. The more engaged we are in living fully and well, the more stuff we seem to accumulate. We live in an orderly universe. Our homes and offices need to be kept orderly so we can spend our time in beautiful spaces that answer all our needs, arranged so that everything is both practical and uplifting."

I'm going to loosely follow Organize Now!: A Week By Week Guide To Simplify Your Space And Your Life (Spiral-bound). It looks like a great book to help you get organized in a realistic way without trying to do it all at once. I first saw the book at Lowe's Home Improvement of all places and finally decided to buy it.

If any of you want to join me I would be thrilled! Every Monday I'll list my goals for the week and let you know how the previous week went. If you want to share too that would be fun. The author recommends finding a friend to keep you accountable, and you're all friends, right?

The first week in the book is "Organize Your Mind". The goals for the week (a few from the book and some I came up with) are:

1. Go to bed on time! Get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep every night. This is so important! I know my brain doesn't function properly if I haven't had enough sleep and lately I haven't been getting enough. No more folding laundry at midnight when you have to be up before 6. Read something slightly boring before you go to bed...that will help. ;)

2. Spend some time reading your Bible and in prayer every day and remember Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Be careful about what you are letting into your mind.

3. Start a journal. Mine is just one of those 15 cent spiral notebooks from Wal-Mart. I write down everything from happenings in my life to prayer requests. If you don't have time to write in it everyday, that's OK. I'm kind of sporadic with it.

4. Check your calendar and jot down a short To-Do List for the next day before you go to bed. This will free you up from having to remember and save you from worrying all night about forgetting something. There are even several online calendars that can email your list to you each morning if that's helpful to you.

5. Do something fun every day. Spend a few minutes reading a good book, knitting, or just find a spot to listen to nothing but silence (even if you have to sit alone in the garage). Find some small way to treat yourself. Think of it as the "carrot" that encourages you to keep going.

6. Eliminate energy drainers in your life. Clutter is one of course (read "The Cost of Clutter" at Living on a Dime), which we'll be working on. Some others may be unfinished projects, unhealthy relationships, or items on your To-Do List that don't really need to be done.

Let's have a great week!


Amy said...

Hi, I'm commenting for the first time after subscribing to your blog last week.

I love this challenge and will enjoy following along with you. I kinda started on this list last night--the going to bed on time to be able to get up early and read my Bible.

It's a great idea to start a challenge like this before the craziness of the holidays and the trap of New Year resolutions.

rachel said...

what a fabulous challenge! i will be reading along and hope to implement at least some of it myself!

Amy said...

Ooops, I meant got started last week. It's going well so far. I highly recommend it. :)

A Touch of Country said...

I love Alexandra Stoddard books and this challenge seems doable.

Fall Blessings,


Geezees Geezees Custom Canvas Art said...

I love this challenge!!!

Catnap said...

This is great timing for me, I have gone back to work PT as well and am REALLY struggling to keep up with everything--i need to simplify and organize things/life differently for this 'new' life.

Tera said...

I'm IN! I actually began some of this on my own last week, courtesy of a great group on CafeMom called Susie Homemaker. I got up and hour earlier all last week and loved it! So this week I will incorporate your challenge!

Ax Lady said...

Love this challenge! We've been decluttering here for some time because we're moving, and I was bound and determined not to move stuff that didn't bless us or our home (I know, I'm commenting more on your clutter part). I've been following FlyLady with great success, but I will definitely add some of these into my routine.

Kate said...

Hi there
this sounds great I have that book (haven't read it yet) but I'm going back to nannying in the new year so I have to get organised before then.
Great idea and have a good week

Noelle said...

I've heard about this book but never read it. I'll check it out. Although working and homemaking are difficult to do together, it *can* be done. I work full-time and still manage to keep house. I'm not saying that my house is perfectly clean all of the time, but it works for us. Like you mentioned from the book, there is a frame of mind you need to be in, and if you have systems in place to conquer clutter, manage your time, and if you always have a plan (and a backup plan), then it can be done.

I'll be following along on your journey, and if you want any tips on how I do it, I'd be more than happy to share!

(Absolutely love your blog!!)

Anita said...

I think your blog is wonderful, pretty, inspiring, entertaining, just great.
I used to do FlyLady's routines, but even with them, caregiving took my attention and strength and routines fell by the wayside.
I checked Sink Reflections out of the library just Saturday, and fully intend to resume the straight and narrow. There's only me in this house, and there's no excuse for letting it get away from me!
Blessings on your effort.

Tracey said...

Great blog.. love this! I'm listening to a "Clutter" book on tape right now. Trying to get in some tips while driving.. multi-tasking!! Can't wait to see more! Good luck to your endeavor.

A Gracious Home said...

I have at least 20 books on getting organized. I started 20 something years ago with all the sidetracked home executive books and did their program for twenty years. I still do at times. I then went to Sandra Felton books. I used a notebook with her and learned I was a perfectionist messie. That means I want things so perfect that it takes me forever to do anything. I do the Fly Lady now. That use to be The Slob Sisters that I have loved for so long and still follow. They are the Sidetracked Home Executives Peggy and Pam. I have read all the Christian books on organization. I want to join you now in your clutter freedom. I know how to do everything I'm just not very motivated to do it. Doylene

A Gracious Home said...

I also love Alexandra Stoddard books. I still use her entrance to your home hints.

patches of me said...

I had just started kitchen cleaning and decided this would be a good time, but strange, right before the holidays. I'm starting into mixing up some batches of cookie dough to bake later and noticed some of my cupboards could use a cleaning. I want things to look decent if anyone wants to help do cookies. Then I found your blog. So I'll be joining in too.

Anita & Doylene -
I've done flylady too. It sure helped me get back on track at a difficult time. But (grin) I still can't get into the shoe's first thing in the morning.

John and Lucy said...

Just this morning I said to myself (yes - I do talk to myself!) I really need to find a way to get this house in order, etc. So much of it does begin with the mind and motivation.

I'll be joining in each week to see what new ideas I can use in my life to simplify things a little.



. said...

I'm doing the same. I need to organize so many things in my house and the time is going by. I must hurry.

Lady Queenie said...

Thanks for your post. I seem to be in the same place, so this is going to be a big help, I think I might just buy that book. Love all your notes.

Gourmet Candles Distributor said...

Thanks for sharing the organization. I sure could use an overhaul in that division before the chaotic holidays!

Bloglifetime said...

Great blog...  I am loving it!!! 
Thanks for sharing

prashant said...

I have gone back to work PT as well and am REALLY struggling to keep up with everything

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J.A.Scherff said...

Been so busy lately I haven't been reading blogs much and I just ahppened upon this. Sounds great! We're moving soon, but I want to remember to look this stuff back up to try after our move! Thanks!!