Getting organized - Home, Health and Life

Jem

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So these past several years I find my life has spiraled into a giant cluster :censored:. One step forward 10 steps back....some of it, is my own fault and today I'm finally going to commit to all of the plans I've had swimming in my head. Some will take time and some will have to wait, but I will actively take steps and quit procrastinating to move forward and stop thinking..."one day"...
I'm coping (well, I guess apparently struggling :rolleyes2:) with some anxiety/stress and some physical health issues but I also I have OCD and control issues, which has increased because I find my life is in complete disarray. I guess that's one point for vicious cycle and zero for me!:runaround: So, basically that's it, I'm done and I'm starting from complete scratch! (No big stuff like quitting my job or getting divorced or anything like that just the way I move thru life and "get 'er done"....so to say.)
I'm going to fully evaluate my current routines and habits, see what works and what needs to change and be added. I'm also going to take this step by step because this overhaul and undertaking will at times be overwhelming....Just thinking of all the things I need and want to do is giving me palpitations! LOL!
I'm starting this thread because not only are you fine people on this site a super nice and encouraging group, but this will also hold me accountable and perhaps even help others who may want to take this journey with me.
I'm open to suggestions and tips if you wish to contribute and I will keep things updated as I move along as well.

So to start, my first step is to make lists....and lots of them! I love lists and am kinda giddy right now thinking about making a binder or something of the sort to get my brain on paper. I'll finally start using all my note pads and colored pens and stickers....I love office supplies!
My lists will include...
1) Making a budget
2) Making a health routine
3) Making a beauty routine
4) Making a "de-clutter" list - areas around the home that need it
5) Making a "future project" list
6) Making Cleaning schedule
7) Creating inventory lists/charts for the pantry, freezer, fridge etc....
8) Making a general "to do" list, for example...I need to defrost my freezer.
9) Make a shopping list of things I need to accomplish my goals
10) Making meal planning charts

.........Well, that's just off the top of my head......any other things I'm forgetting?

I found these 2 sites that have some good info...the second one has checklists!:biggrin:
How To Get Organized: 99 Ways To Get SERIOUSLY Organized
How To Get Organized: Printables & Checklists To Help You Get Started

Let's. Get. Started!!!!!:woo:
 

MoochNNoodles

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Have you looked into Vision Boards? My BFF loves them. I've done versions in a binder; but it's good to have something where you can see it every day. I sometimes use the chalkboard in my kitchen for lists; but if I go overboard making too many lists I just shut down and don't do anything because it's overwhelming. DH likes to keep them on his computer or phone.
 

daftcat75

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I would start with this book.

Your Best Year Yet!: Ten Questions for Making the Next Twelve Months Your Most Successful Ever Your Best Year Yet!: Ten Questions for Making the Next Twelve Months Your Most Successful Ever: Jinny S. Ditzler: 9780446667845: Amazon.com: Books

In a nutshell, it will help you evaluate your previous year, both good and bad and the lessons learned. It will ask you to identify your limiting beliefs and reframe them into empowering paradigms. It will ask you the roles you play in your life and how well you play them. All of this is to set some goals for the coming year based on what’s most important to you or most needed this year. When you’re done with your Best Year Yet plan, this is where you can use your love of office supplies to make it into a single page you can post somewhere prominent to keep you focused. Or you can make it into a vision board.

But then that’s just the start. How do you follow through?

For that, I suggest what’s originally called Gold Time Management. But I changed it to Gold Time Assessment because I like the idea of a weekly GTA (aka grand theft auto 😹) It’s four quick questions that you journal out each week—usually a page or two that doesn’t take much more than 30 minutes. In pre-pandemic times, I’d grab my journal and go out for a weekend brunch to do this.

The four questions are:

1. What did I accomplish this week? (Go crazy here with the back-patting. That’s the motivation to keep doing this.

2. How did I do on last week’s goals?

3. How am I doing on my monthly goals?

4. What do I want to accomplish this week? (Your new weekly goals.)

This brings me to another subject. When you have your yearly goals from the Best Year Yet, chunk them down to monthly goals. And then further reduce the monthly goals into weekly action items.

To be continued...I have lots of ideas on this.
 
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Jem

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When you’re done with your Best Year Yet plan, this is where you can use your love of office supplies to make it into a single page you can post somewhere prominent to keep you focused. Or you can make it into a vision board.
This brings me to another subject. When you have your yearly goals from the Best Year Yet, chunk them down to monthly goals. And then further reduce the monthly goals into weekly action items.
Ha! I'm terrible with self reflection. And that kind of thinking actually gives me more of a sense of being overwhelmed than the "to-do's". It seems my plan is a bit backwards. I wanted to start with the goals and break them down....THEN do some self reflecting on one little thing at a time. I'm kinda critical of myself, but am a super organizer. So I wanted to start with the latter so I wouldn't get discouraged. From your experience, do you think I'm making a mistake?
I'll look into that book...thanks or the tip.

I've done versions in a binder; but it's good to have something where you can see it every day.
That is also part of the plan! :thumbsup: Start with the "big picture" for my referencing, then make more "visual" displays as I break down my goals and such.
 

daftcat75

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Another idea I played with one year that was AMAZING in the changes I was able to make is a self-styled plan I called Habit Lab. The main idea is that to change your life, you have to change your habits. Because they are your autopilot and they will be your strongest resistance. Each month, I picked one area in my life I wanted to work on. I chose a few new habits to learn or develop (because I believe it’s easier to crowd out bad habits with good habits than to break bad habits with no plan to replace them.)

One month that was financial literacy. I got all my accounts set up in Mint (although I prefer Personal Capital these days.) I created a spreadsheet of all my fixed and regular expenses including subscriptions and their billing dates. I identified my largest budget categories and challenged myself to make a 5 or 10 percent reduction in those expenditures. I downloaded various apps to evaluate how any of them might help me. One I liked was Daily Budget. You put in all your expenses and your budget categories and your income into it and it calculates how much you are spending and can spend on a daily basis. This allowed me to make a quick evaluation of an purchase or expense I was considering based on how many days of allowance it would cost me.

Another month, one of my favorites, was a deep cleaning month. I created another spreadsheet (I like Google Sheets because I can view and edit it anywhere on any device) for housecleaning. I used a different tab for each room. In each tab, I put down all the cleaning tasks. Not just wipe things down but go through the cabinets and empty them out. Go through the cupboard and look for packaged food that’s been there forever that I still haven’t eaten and would see better days at a food bank than more time in my pantry. Closets. The space above my kitchen cabinets used for storage. Cleaning the appliances. Everything I could think of. Then I assigned weights to each task. Because cleaning the oven should be worth more than sorting a stack of papers. I kept it simple with three values: 1, 2, and 3. Larger value, larger weight. I summed up each sheet into possible total values. Then, knowing I was probably not going to complete everything, I decided an acceptable cutoff for each sheet and assigned a reward for making that cutoff. If I had 100 total points to achieve in the kitchen, I may have decided 70 was worth a reward. Now that I know what needs to be done and have the proper motivation to do it, I got to work any extra time I had during the day. Sometimes I’d set a timer for 15 minutes. I can spare 15 minutes, right? And I’d see how much I could get done in those 15 minutes. Usually I’d be in the middle of something when it went off and not wanting to quit. So I’d set another timer. It was a useful motivation trick.

By focusing on just one area each month and the habits I would need to develop or strengthen to support that goal, it also meant that my mind, conscious or otherwise, was always thinking and coming up with new ways to support those habits and goals.

I have been maladjusting to life after Krista’s passing within the confines of an out of control pandemic. I always thought that when Krista passed, I would travel again and spend more time with friends and family. Covid has other plans. 🤦🏼‍♂️

Perhaps now that I’m less anxious about the election and the threat to its result, maybe I’ll finally finish my BYY plan for this year and decide on the habits I want to work on to support it.
 
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susanm9006

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For many years I carried a small 2 x 4 inch notebook in my purse. Along with the reminders and shopping lists were the to do and the dream lists and notes. Whenever I had a moment while waiting somewhere or at lunch I would pull it out to review And to keep myself on track, be that a diet, plan or a project. Now I suppose would keep those things in the NOTE folder on my IPhone. The important thing is to keep it up and review your goals often.

As far as anxiety, I have had to learn to distinguish anxiety caused by something being wrong in my life vs anxiety caused by growing and stretching beyond my comfort level. The first kind is to be minimized but the second is to be welcomed but neither is easy.
 
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Jem

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I also wanted to make a "reality check" type thing. Sort of like a list of things that are out of my control that I can reference, perhaps a journal? I'm not sure if this would help or hinder me. I've come a long way in terms of accepting things I can't control in the last year, but lots of things still stress me out.
One book I wanted to get was "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff....and it's All Small Stuff". I read it a while ago in little bits and found it interesting....

By focusing on just one area each month and the habits I would need to develop or strengthen to support that goal, it also meant that my mind, conscious or otherwise, was always thinking and coming up with new ways to support those habits and goals.
That sounds awesome! More in line with what I was thinking.

I have been maladjusting to life after Krista’s passing within the confines of an out of control pandemic. I always thought that when Krista passed, I would travel again and spend more time with friends and family. Covid has other plans. 🤦🏼‍♂️
I'm so sorry about Krista...I've read many of your posts about her...she was so well loved. You most definitely were her angel in life, now she is yours.:hugs:
 

daftcat75

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Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey is another book I’d recommend. Or get the audio book. I like audio books while I’m working from home. It’s been awhile since I’ve actually sat down to read something other than TCS or Apple/Google News.

In Seven Habits, he talks about Circle of Influence and Circle of Concern as concentric circles. Everything you’re worried about will be in your circle of concern. Those things you can actually do something about, those will move into your circle of influence. In a worry-free person, their circle of concern would only be as large as the circle of influence within it. A highly effective person would spend the majority of his or her time on those things s/he can control or the circle of influence.

The circles are basically a visual representation of the Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.
I find self talk is also very important. I strive to eliminate the words “hard” and “happy” from my self talk. Hard I will often self-correct to challenging. Because it asks me to step up to the challenge rather than shy away from what’s hard. Happy is a different beast. So many thoughts begin with “I’ll be happy when...” Rather than conditioning my happiness on something or making it always out of reach, I ask what brings me joy? I try to cultivate a habit of joy rather than stringing happiness always out in front of me and never with me now.

Another self-talk exercise I do, and this one I got from a therapist, is whenever I am having a strong negative emotional reaction to something (usually another driver), we’re always so quick to judge and then justify our reaction by making up some story about the event or the person. That guy in the expensive car cut me off because he thinks he owns the road. I ask myself three questions: is that accurate? is it helpful? is it kind? If it fails any one of those (and it almost always does because how can you know the accuracy of someone else’s motivations and how is your reaction helpful or kind?), then I have to reconsider the premise of my reaction and thus the reaction itself.
 

maggiedemi

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2) Making a health routine
3) Making a beauty routine
This sounds interesting. What do you have in mind for your health & beauty routines? What helps me is to stick to a schedule. I find that when I go off my schedule, everything goes wrong and I just want to put my sweatpants back on, sit around, and sample snacks. So I set aside 7:30am for my stretching exercises and 3pm for my walk.
 

misty8723

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I started decluttering several months ago and my efforts have stalled. It's a lot better, but not where I want to be. I envy people who can motivate themselves to do something. Maybe if I didn't have to work 40 or so hours a week I could do better, but it seems the usual things like cleaning, cooking, etc. get in the way and tire me out.
 

daftcat75

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Mantras are also very useful tools. Because in the heat of the moment, you’re probably not going to remember what Richard Carlson or Stephen Covey or Brian Tracy or whoever you have read has said about that situation. Instead it’s helpful to have something simple and habitual to fall back on to help you focus or refocus.

One mantra I have is “Do it anyway.” Some tasks are challenging or disagreeable or unfulfilling or pick your reason why you don’t want to do it. You can acknowledge that you don’t want to do it. Then do it anyway. Personally I believe doing the don’t wannas is a path to resilience. And who doesn’t want that?

Another mantra I have is “just do something.” Many of us get so caught up in wanting to do it right that we use it as an excuse for not doing anything. Just do something. Take a step towards your goal. Evaluate. Did it help? Take another step. Otherwise take a step in a different direction. You don’t need to know the entire path from here to there. Just make sure you’re taking steps in the right direction and adjust if you aren’t.
 
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Jem

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Maybe if I didn't have to work 40 or so hours a week I could do better, but it seems the usual things like cleaning, cooking, etc. get in the way and tire me out.
Yup! But that's what I'm trying to change. By creating better routines and being more organized, the everyday crap should be better. I know it's going to be "challenging" ( daftcat75 daftcat75 :D) but I feel like I'm finally up for it!

This sounds interesting. What do you have in mind for your health & beauty routines?
....I'll get back to you...my oven is beeping...
 

daftcat75

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I started decluttering several months ago and my efforts have stalled. It's a lot better, but not where I want to be. I envy people who can motivate themselves to do something. Maybe if I didn't have to work 40 or so hours a week I could do better, but it seems the usual things like cleaning, cooking, etc. get in the way and tire me out.
I would recommend my 15 minute timer trick for this. You can find 15 minutes out of your day, yes? Say for these fifteen minutes, I’ll work on clutter clearing. I’ll set a timer. When it’s up, I can go back to whatever I was doing before. But most times I don’t like leaving something unfinished. So I’ll set another timer and try to finish within that new interval. I game myself into finding time to do those things I’d rather not.
 
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Jem

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OK M maggiedemi ...I'm back :)
Well, I haven't got it all down yet but, I've put myself on the back burner for too long.
For health, just simple things like taking my vitamins everyday. I'm terrible at it! Also doing my exercises, which can be challenging because of my condition. Meal prepping will play into my health as well, as it will hopefully allow me to eat better. Then of course there is the anxiety part. I'm still trying to figure all that out...but overall, I feel like if I can get my poop together, it will lessen dramatically. I don't have an actual list/routine set yet.
For beauty, I need to stick to my facial cleansing stuff. I'm bad for not washing my face before bed..I tend to just do it in the morning in the shower which is terrible, but I'm usually too tired or just plain lazy to do it as a night time routine. And with covid and having to wear a mask all day, my skin is taking a poop kicking. I used to do hair masks and other treatments which was very beneficial...but that too I've fallen off the wagon. And even little things like giving myself a pedicure and making my nails all pretty. Now all I do is cut them but I haven't taken the time to polish and treat myself...Again, I don't have it all listed yet.
I will post all my lists and hopeful routines as I go...
 
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maggiedemi

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And even little things like giving myself a pedicure and making my nails all pretty. Now all I do is cut them
I file my finger & toe nails every Monday and Thursday, that way I don't have to cut them. I also shave my legs and chin. Not sure if other women shave their chin and above the mouth, but I do that with my electric razor. I only wash my face once a day since I don't wear makeup anymore. I always shower and get dressed in jeans now, no more sweatpants all day.
 
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Jem

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Not sure if other women shave their chin and above the mouth, but I do that with my electric razor.
I only have one chin hair...so no shaving just a pluck every once in a while. And I wax everything else. I have very reactive skin and am allergic to metal so I end up with hives all over my legs and "nether regions" if I shave...waxing only irritates my skin for a short time where as I have to take a benedryl if I shave...not so good if I want a clean smooth surface before going out somewhere...I'll end up falling asleep, and it's not very lady like to be scratching your crotch in public! LOL!
 

Maria Bayote

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I envy your list. I wish i could do that, too. The problem with the "list" for me is when something is not achieved or done on that list and it will make me more stressed, being a person who also deals with a lot of anxiety.

Anyway, it is good that you are doing this for yourself. In your "Health" routine I suggest that you take time to walk around the neighborhood, or to a nearby park at least in the morning, before your hectic day begins, and just reflect there or smell the flowers. I would do that too for myself when I get the time. I used to do that when I was in Tokyo. I'd stay at a nearby park for at least an hour and write poems. It was a stress reliever.

I wish you well. :)
 
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Jem

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So I decided to start with a Cleaning Checklist, that I will then categorize into a schedule (daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally)..I might also have a bi-weekly section....

I wanted to know...in terms of helping to keep allergens at a reasonable level.

How often do you take down and wash your curtains?
For those who have removable covers on their cat beds, how often do you put them in the wash?
How often do you wash the bedding? (blankets, comforters)...Sheets, I always try for weekly.
And also throw blankets?
 

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Curtains once a year. I have multiple cat bed covers and switch them weekly and wash whenever my cleaning and cat laundry hamper is full. My sheets and blankets get changed weekly, washed every other week. Top coverlet gets washed and put back on every other week. Throws maybe once a month
 
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