Tag Archives: getting things done

Happy

  • YEAR of the Pig
  • Get organized, clean up your computer, and creativity MONTH
  • Science fiction and world introvert DAY!

(There’s more. Want more? Info here.)

So, I’ve been working on my organizer or getting ready to. I couldn’t find another PlanAhead Mother’s Organizer, and I tried. I won’t buy one at Amazon, forget that. I looked though the stores I will go to and didn’t find one. So, I’m back to DIY, again. I did buy a planner, but it;s a regular thing for appointments mostly.

I liked the mother’s organizer because it had columns for 5 kids. With me? That was 5 projects and I could carry things one step one day to the next step two days later on their weekly spread. It was great.

Multi-Day Projects This Month:

  • So, I have a planner/organizer designed, but not made. I’d already had that. So, this year I will actually make it as my first multi-day job.
  • Get the financial info together so that at the end of the month it’s all ready to go to the accountant. Unsure if I’ll make that, but it’s the goal!
  • Write a promised article. The deadline for that is 1/15, so it will probably be done before the financial info, which I can’t finish before all the paperwork from various places arrive.
  • Finish the storage move.

This morning I went through a box in my office full of china and glass pieces. Most are going away. Some of it was pieces I was missing and I wasn’t sure where I’d put them?

There are 2 boxes with pieces priced, boxes labeled and sealed — for the spring flea market. A 3rd is started.

There’s a crate of pieces going to the antique store when they get back from their year-end break.

I haven’t stopped what I’m doing, I just haven’t written about it much!

We’ll see how much I actually can do!

image from workitdaily.com via google images

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No More!

For seven years, well, more than that, I’ve been writing about culling things, getting rid of things, and learning to cope with the panic attacks, PTSD and other related dramas.

I’m totally sick of this! So, I have a NEW life goal, well sort of. It’s to get past all the stuff and see what else there is to do?

To that end, I have:

  • Told the antique store I’ll be leaving mid-February.
  • Talked to another antique shop about buying a few pieces.
  • Decided that whatever I keep for the spring flea market I will price before I box it up, so all I have to do in March or April is load it into a car and take it to the market.
  • Decided what things here need to be wholesaled?
  • Decided to have a sale at the antique store, running from 1/1 – 2/15. Half off the big pieces and heavily discounted “get organized” pieces: bins, baskets, etc.

Hopefully, by the end of April I’m done, or if I’m not done, that the pieces still here are designated to go to that consignment shop, this auction, or whatever.

No more!

house with bookcase.jpeg

(via images.google.com . I picked this because of the bookcase. The images with 2 items on a shelf are NOT realistic for us, both collectors and readers!)

Benchmarks along the way:

  1. Completing the move into the smaller storage unit. In Feb. 2019
  2. Closing that unit.
  3. Removing the bedroom boxes. (in process 12/27/18)
  4. Removing the kitchen boxes.
  5. Clearing enough from the attic that the bays can be built.
  6. Clearing enough from the porch so that we can walk from the corner to the door the long way instead of the way it is now, along the drip edge of the roof. 5/2019
  7. The shed is culled.
  8. The wood shed is culled.
  9. There’s no misc. stuff stored in the crawlspace.
  10. Nothing queued in the living room to go out.

That’s a lot to do in four months, but like I said, I’ve had it! Two things will limit this:

  • If the PTSD/panic starts up so badly I can’t cope.
  • If physically I am causing myself pain from the work.

 

The War with Clutter

I have been fighting clutter for a long time now! My big issue remember isn’t getting rid of things, for decades it was living in a cleared space, which gave me panic attacks. That meant I was “wedded” to having clutter. So — I kept trying and before my PTSD diagnosis and work, there was no way I could fix it.

Since, I’ve tried, lots of different ideas (I’ve talked about some, here, for the past 6 years) and attempted to find ways around/through/vanquish my stupid panic attacks.

In the process, I came to a few realizations about clutter:

  1. Clutter gets in your way when trying clean an area.
  2. Removing Clutter is almost always the first step in a cleaning plan. (For anyone who isn’t me.)
  3. Clutter is normally made up of things you can pick up: dishes, laundry, papers, game pieces, bills, etc.

But because I’m me what this all means is that it’s interesting, certainly, but it doesn’t help me declutter.

What works? Well, the same thing that works when I’m knitting: being just slightly distracted. I tried trying to “dance” while I was cleaning and although that was fun, and Gawd knows I need the exercise, the cleaning was subpar. So no.

I tried “writing” in my head, that is storytelling. Except that what would happen is that I’d inevitably go back to the bad stuff, punch that button AND BRING ON a panic attack. No again.

I don’t know about others with PTSD, but math is my friend. Math is concrete, it is almost always the same. It has no emotional good or bad or family or traditions that I know of to punch any buttons at all.

So, I invented a game for myself. It’s 5:1. For every item I use, I have accrued 5 items I need to clean, clean up, put away, etc. I also learned from the 6-5 lists that I can’t carry it forward, or I’ll get too discouraged, so the counter is reset to 0 every morning.

When I get up in the morning, I have a cup of coffee with milk and stir it with a spoon, and that puts me at 10. After a couple of weeks of this, I am doing things like putting dishes away while the coffee gets hot, so I start with 0 or in the + column. Daily flatware (forks, knives, spoons) 3 pieces = 1, most everything else is 1 for 1, so a pot is 1 and putting a serving spoon away is also 1.

I wrote down one day last week:

Description Negative Positive Balance Time
Mug & spoon used -10 -10 7:30 a.m.
Dishes washed +14 +4 10:00 a.m.
Wood stove glass cleaned +1 +5
Hearth swept +1 +6
Wood stove accessories cleaned +3 +9
Wood box tidied & maintained +2 +11
Kindling boxes tidied & maintained +2 +13
Trashcan emptied & put away +2 +15 10:10 a.m.
Shelf cleaned +1 +16
1 item to trash +12 +17
Mug in sink -5 +12
Swept 5 areas & kitchen +6 +18
Cleaned 5 stairs +5 +23
Rag & spray bottle put away +2 +25
Broom & dustpan cleaned/put away +4 +29
2 chunks newspaper trashed +2 +31 11:25 a.m.
8 papers trashed +8 +39
6 things put away +6 +45 11:38 a.m.
1 plate used -5 +40

5 items used while making lunch -25 +15 12:10p.m.
Dishwasher emptied +10 +25
Cooking, serving lunch used 9 items -45 -20 12:39 p.m
22 items washed +22 +2 1:06 p.m.
Package arrives -15 -13 1:15 p.m.
Dishes put away +11 -2
Dinner was provided by a friend. One pan needed to heat it. -5 -7 5:20 p.m.
2 dinner dishes & 2 forks -10 -17 5:30 p.m.
Washed dishes & culled items +19 +2 9:05 p.m.

If you don’t have to make up games to do this sort of thing — good for you! I wish that was true for me, but it isn’t. Also, I only do this Monday – Friday. Weekends are for being with my husband and focusing on US, not cleaning!

If you’re not dehoarding, you might want to try this at 3:1 or 2:1 or even 1:1. I’m trying to get rid of a lot of excess stuff, finally, and this seems to work. Your mileage may vary!

clutter war button

(The image isn’t mine but I got it via images.google.com)

New Monday List!

Okay, this is a restart of my 6-5 list idea. This is the six things on Mon and 5 each Tues – Fri, and catch up on the weekends notion.

Also I will redo the larger, long-term “to do” list sometime this week.

This will make THREE chore lists! The backlogged 6-5 lists, the current 6-5 lists, and the long-term list. Either I’ll just get overwhelmed and quit, again, or I’ll get it done.

What’s really likely is that I’ll get some of it done, for a while, then get overwhelmed and quit. That’s my pattern problem. Somehow, being organized about getting things done eventually leans on the PTSD and I panic and stop. Since many folk seem to get overwhelmed  I guess I don’t feel so bad about not being able to stick to it.

This blog has been a many-year long set of experiments to get me to be able to set a goal then get to it, ‘eh? A tidy house doesn’t seem to make most people panic like it does me, it makes them feel good. It makes me feel good too, but if I do it too consistently? I panic.

The problem has always been the panic. It took me until I was in my mid-50s to be well enough otherwise (not hurting/running scared) to be able to see that what happens to me in a tidy house is panic, and that because of that, it is instantly overwhelming. Telling me “ignore it,” [I can’t tell you how many people have said that to me!] is really useless. Telling myself that is equally useless.

The only real answer has been to find ways to turn tidying into habit, so that I don’t think about it, I just do it. Fine. Except that the process of doing that causes me to panic too — and the rat wheel goes around — again.

So. Here I am, again. With another shot at it, again.

Monday’s 6:

  1. File something. 5:11 p.m.
  2. Clean the front of the kitchen cabinet that hasn’t been cleaned the longest (I put stickies in the drawers/cabinets that tell me when I cleaned them last.) 6:30 p.m.
  3. Clean the cat food bin. 10:28 p.m.
  4. Straighten an underwear drawer. 10:20 p.m.
  5. (fill in). Bathroom floor & counter clean up. 1:40 p.m.
  6. Get the planner started.

Monday’s 6, backlog, cutting down, and . . .

 

Here’s today’s 6:

  1. Deal with the squashes from the farm.
  2. Make room with the cold cereal for the hot cereal to go too.
  3. Sew the area rugs in the pantry together.Tues. 11/7 2:15 p.m.
  4. Get the island/kitchen side cleared.
  5. Update linked in.
  6. (fill in) Send checks to publisher and BIL.

Backlog:

  • Clean the upstairs doors.10:00 a.m.
  • (fill in) Finish the freezer/fridge cleaning. More done, but not complete. 7:00 p.m.
  • Work on the house binder.
  • Clean out the small ice box.
  • Get through the last of the tomatillos.
  • (fill in) Get things put away in attic which need to go there and pull something out which needs to go elsewhere. Sat. pulled something out.
  • (fill in)Put laundry away.
  • Clean the oven, so it’s clean before Thanksgiving!
  • Dust the electronics in the office.
  • Clear the “hair trap,” i.e., the tub drain. Weds. 8 pm.
  • Eat the last watermelon.
  • Cull or add to the candle collection, as needed.
  • Get the mittens, etc. (winter gear) out of the attic and swap in the summer bill caps, etc.
  • Get the salt & sand next to the front door.
  • Clean the couch.
  • Get the coffee ad framed.
  • Clean part of the upstairs that hasn’t been touched in some time.
  • Double check the emergency supplies. (fill in)
  • Put away the canning supplies if not in use.
  • Put up the 3 missing hurricane clips
  • Put the grill away.
  • Put the tile in the basement. (I recently acquired a LOT of mosaic tiles.)
  • Get the ladders put away for the season.
  • Get the supplies for the knitted pillow all in one place so you can finish it!
  • Get the rest of the better paint into the attic. Done Mon. 11/6, forgot to mark it!
  • Clean the office chairs.
  • Find a place to put away the dehydrator racks and do so when appropriate.
  • Recaulk the bathroom as needed.
  • Figure out a new way/place to store the yarn and put it away.
  • Look at the stored snow tires. Need new ones? In the budget?
  • Examine winter coats for flaws, etc. 

  1. Chores on hold or in process, for whatever reason:

    Pick up the yard, put more items away for winter. 11/3 Chairs put away, hoses, hose table. (All need to be covered.) Also not-so-great paint in the shed. Raked around the house, or most of it. (Need to pick up the piles.)

    Make up/try the Naval Academy brass polish. Deferred because I have THREE containers of general metal polish. I want to use up at least one of those before I make up more. I sure don’t need 4!!!

    Go thru the record collection, cull. First part done. Moving to in-process 10/27, 2nd piece done 11/2

    Wash the net curtains. First pair pulled from over the dry stores 4:30. Washed Tues. 10/24 a.m. One pair to go. Two pairs to go.

    Use up the eggplant from last week. Used the first one for Sunday’s dinner. 2nd one used Fri. lunch. (2 to go!) done, 11/2

    Fertilize the lawn. Did the dooryard lawn and the lawn on the street side of the bulb bed. Tues. 4:30 p.m. Lots more to do!

    Cull books from one “holding pattern” bookcases. Either they’re out or they stay!, in process Thurs. a.m. (I did the 1st shelf.)

    Put family photos in the album. Can’t be done. Photos located, album missing!

    Clean off DH’s desk. This is going to be delayed until he and I catch up. I pulled everything from the top drawer on his side of the dresser, we’re still going through all of that.

    Find a new home for the basket which holds the “cat towels.” (Old towels used for whatever is needed: car washing, spill clean up, whatever!)

    Still 4/35 or 11.4%. 5/35 or 14.3%

Cutting Down? I went through some websites/blogs I’d found about decluttering, going minimalist and other such. Found that as usual, the get rid of these things lists didn’t work for me. Either I already do it, or I am not interested (like get rid of every book you haven’t read/used in a year — seriously?). I also went through the how to declutter, etc. posts I found and deleted a few of those too. Not that they had no real purpose, but “get rid of kitchen items which are broken” (Done already, do it the day it breaks doh!) etc. not my problem.

Then I found one about declutting for your elderly parents or before real estate sales or such, and it’s a system with free printables.

Here:sageorganizing

I printed a copy of their “downsizing your home: room-by-room checklist” which is the first really helpful thing I’ve found which isn’t mine, in a long, long time. It won’t help with my style dilemma, but it might help peel another layer or 4 of stuff outta here. I’ve purged the obvious (the broken, duplicates, etc.) the stuff we didn’t know why we had, and now have gotten to the hard stuff, as I’ve said before (glass door knobs).

This may actually be helpful. Hurrah!

Out of curiousity, I tallied the items I’ve done since I started the week day lists. Total chores done? 144. Not too bad from mid Sept. to the beginning of Nov!

Weekend Catch Up List — Destroy the Backlog!!!

Much of the reason I’m doing this post is because frankly I want the satisfaction of seeing the MUCH smaller list after all my work yesterday (10/27)!

  • Put away the canning supplies if not in use.
  • Remount the last yardstick.
  • Find a new home for the basket which holds the “cat towels.” (Old towels used for whatever is needed: car washing, spill clean up, whatever!)
  • Pick up the yard, put more items away for winter.
  • Clean the ironing board, iron, & supplies. The cover is washed, I will replace the pad at some point and the board feet, etc. have all been cleaned as has the iron. Fri. 5:00 p.m.
  • Polish some of the metal decorative pieces.Sat. noon
  • Dry the mint/lemon balm. Sun. 5 p.m.
  • Put up the 3 missing hurricane clips
  • Replace the saved emergency water supply. (I deliberately used the old water supply this summer.)
  • Put the tile in the basement. (I recently acquired a LOT of mosaic tiles.)
  • Get the ladders put away for the season.
  • Get the supplies for the knitted pillow all in one place so you can finish it!
  • Get the rest of the better paint into the attic.
  • Clean the office chairs.
  • Find a place to put away the dehydrator racks and do so when appropriate.
  • Use up the ice cream base in the freezer.
  • Put garden hoses away for winter.
  • Recaulk the bathroom as needed.
  • Figure out a new way/place to store the yarn and put it away.
  • Look at the stored snow tires. Need new ones? In the budget?
  • Examine winter coats for flaws, etc. 

Chores on hold or in process, for whatever reason:

Make up/try the Naval Academy brass polish. Deferred because I have THREE containers of general metal polish. I want to use up at least one of those before I make up more. I sure don’t need 4!!!

Go thru the record collection, cull. First part done. Moving to in-process 10/27

Wash the net curtains. First pair pulled from over the dry stores 4:30. Washed Tues. 10/24 a.m. One pair to go. Two pairs to go.

Use up the eggplant from last week. Used the first one for Sunday’s dinner. 2nd one used Fri. lunch. (2 to go!)

Fertilize the lawn. Did the dooryard lawn and the lawn on the street side of the bulb bed. Tues. 4:30 p.m. Lots more to do!

Cull books from one “holding pattern” bookcases. Either they’re out or they stay!, in process Thurs. a.m. (I did the 1st shelf.)

Put family photos in the album. Can’t be done. Photos located, album missing!

Clean off DH’s desk. This is going to be delayed until he and I catch up. I pulled everything from the top drawer on his side of the dresser, we’re still going through all of that.

Thursday’s Five & Backlog, still. . .

  1. Get rid of the clothing donations which were supposed to go to the dump Sunday. 11:00 a.m.
  2. Use up the ice cream base in the freezer.
  3. Wash the net curtains.
  4. Do another load of the backlogged laundry. (fill in) 6:15 p.m.
  5. Wipe down the sweeteners and their shelf in the pantry.

BACKLOG:

  • Go thru the record collection, cull.
  • Put garden hoses away for winter.
  • Recaulk the bathroom as needed.
  • Make pepper jelly (or use up the peppers somehow).
  • Figure out a new way/place to store the yarn and put it away.
  • Look at the stored snow tires. Need new ones? In the budget?
  • Make cookies with the frozen oatmeal. Recipe found. Oatmeal removed from freezer Tuesday.
  • Empty my desk, again.
  • Make up/try the Naval Academy brass polish.
  • Move the longer lumber from the shed so it can be put away in the loft.
  • Examine winter coats for flaws, etc.
  • Do the last gather of tag sale materials, last sale is Saturday 10/14 date changed to 10/21
  • Put ice scrapers in the cars, examine and see if they need replacement?

Chores on hold or in process, for whatever reason:

  • Fertilize the lawn. Did the dooryard lawn and the lawn on the street side of the bulb bed. Tues. 4:30 p.m. Lots more to do!
  • Cut more sage and other such from the garden. Kale Fri. 10/13, most of the rest of it 10/15. Need to pull some tarragon and that’s it.
  • Cull books from one “holding pattern” bookcases. Either they’re out or they stay!, in process Thurs. a.m. (I did the 1st shelf.)
  • Put family photos in the album. Can’t be done. Photos located, album missing!
  • Clean off DH’s desk. This is going to be delayed until he and I catch up. I pulled everything from the top drawer on his side of the dresser, we’re still going through all of that.