Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Let's Get Organized"

When I was a teenager, my stepmother had a favorite saying, "Let's get organized." Every time we had a project, whether it was a picnic or moving across town, she would immediately start out with, "Let's get organized!" That was her battle cry.

I've spent the entire day on Monday, attempting organization. While my daughter and son-in-law were here this past weekend, they helped me move some furniture I've been anxious to have rearranged. The trouble with rearranging furniture is that you have to clean up/reorganize/put away a lot of stuff.

In this case, the sleeper couches were moved from the small room we've been using as a catch-all out to the living room. And the catch-all room is now my office. Or...I should say, it will be eventually--just as soon as I get organized.

There is also a spare room/work room that will be included in the general reorganization. Some of that stuff belongs in the office. Some belongs in the trash. And some belongs at the Goodwill Store. Sigh...

Anyway, I am not nearly as tired as I should be for the amount of work I did yesterday. And that's because I hit on one trick--a trick I picked up after reading through multiple "getting organized" sites. When we clean, we tend to clean until we drop. And then we don't clean again for months.

Well, I tried this new trick. I set the timer, picked a job, and worked for fifteen minutes. Then I stopped, had a cuppa while I contemplated what I might do next. I had one other rule. Nothing was moved unless it was put away. I didn't allow myself to move any item to another spot in the meantime.

The combination of planning and only handling any item one time meant that I actually accomplished quite a bit. Living room is done. Kitchen is done. Office is about half done. And the spare room is started. Down side... two demolished lamps and about three loads of towels to wash (remember we had company all weekend). However, I've decided the broken lamps was a "sign" that I need new lamps. And laundry is a never-ending chore anyway.

While I was to-ing and fro-ing around the apartment, I was thinking about my works in progress. So besides cleaning, I've been contemplating what I want to do with my stories. See? A win-win situation.

I've purposely taken this week to pull my life together. Cleaning and reorganizing the apartment will give me a visible sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when I return to writing next week. And it will allow me the chance to make some decisions about the direction I want to take in the coming year.

Cleaning has given me the opportunity to weed out more than clutter. It's allowed me to declutter my mind. It's allowed me to decide what items I can "let go" and discard. I'm a stellar pack rat and it's time to unpack.

I don't know how Feng Shui my place will be when I finish with it. But it will definitely be a different space. Perhaps that's the best I can hope for... a new space.



  1. Oh, Anny! Cleaning? Would you mind spelling that? Your ideas for organizing sound marvelous. Now...let me see...if I could just pick one spot to work on...hmmm.

  2. I am having a throw out of stuff tomorrow. Please advise your arrival time and I'll await your assistance

  3. Hmmm, that method sounds doable! I tend to overdo it everytime. Maybe that's why I put it off for so long! :)

  4. I'm one of those people who likes clearing out once or twice a year. I've always been like that. I've often said that I was probably the only kid who never had to be told to clean her room. LOL I've relaxed somewhat over the years--hubby is a drop it and put it away later kinda guy, but later rarely comes--but I hate when things get too cluttered.

    I was part of a family yard sale last week with my sister and brother and got rid of some stuff. That's always fun. The leftovers got dumped at the Salvation Army thrift store. Now I have some money to buy something new for the apartment.

  5. Oooh, I love the timer thing. Great idea.

  6. Welcome to FlyLady world, Anny:) Well done!

  7. Bloody brilliant! Hope you find new lamps that are perfect!

  8. Yep. I like these ideas. Must get a timer.

  9. You're absolutely right, Anny. It seems when the 'cleaning bug' bites, it becomes so overwhelming that exhaustion and the desire to not do it again any time soon follow in it's wake. Putting the time limitation is a fantatastic idea.

  10. Oh I really like that 15 minute rule. I think if I try that it might not seem so overwhelming and I could actually get something done.