Category Archives: organizing

My Former Undone List (and how to conquer yours)

rondi birdhouse chair

I used to have an ‘Undone List’, commonly known as the ‘to do’ list, only mine never got done. Well last summer I conquered my list and I am here to share my secrets so you too can say you are the victor in the ‘to do’s of your life. Just follow these easy steps and you too can be crossing off those tasks that have plagued you for so long.

  • Make a list of everything you want to do.  List every project you can think of such as hanging your latest picture of the kids or replacing a few shelves in the closet or even starting or finishing that mosaic you’ve been wanting for the last five years. Make a goal of finishing the list by the end of three months.Set up a loose schedule of when you want each item on the list to be done. Don’t schedule yourself so tightly though that you don’t have time for fun! Give yourself permission for fun or relaxing times.
  • Decide what you will do if you run into trouble. I had to order new brackets and rings for my new curtains which held up my curtain project. I was able to choose my mosaic project on the porch for filling in my time though. Don’t use missing parts as an excuse to chuck it all!
  • The most important part of this information is choosing a ‘coach’. Don’t be afraid to seek out a tough coach who will make you accountable. I chose one who is reliable, who is not afraid to call me to see how I’m coming or to scold me lightly for putting off a not-so-easy to do project. She encourages me to keep working on projects and asks for pictures since she lives several hundred miles away and praises me when I’m done. She’s great!
  • Mark off projects as you complete them and date them so you can see the progress you’ve made. Do this at the end of every day. I not only do this but also email them to my coach so she can also see my progress.
  • Stay on task. I allow time for everyday tasks like favorite programs, or shopping for missing parts or even other materials I think would help with the project.
  • Stick as close to the schedule as you can. Don’t make excuses when things don’t go right, move temporarily to another project until your frustration is over. Then move back to the original work so you can cross off that project from your list. Yea!
  • If you have outdoor projects do those when the weather is favorable and you can enjoy them the most. Work on indoor projects when it’s raining or otherwise unfavorable for outdoor projects.
  • Don’t get frustrated when your ‘coach’ makes you accountable for your projects—remember, this is the ‘coach’s’ job. Decide to work harder or find a way to get motivated.  Is there a date coming soon that might move you to action? A friend coming for a visit? A party for a relative? Use these to motivate when nothing else will.
  • Don’t work on too many projects at once. Remember you are trying to finish things up, not burn yourself out. Have more than one project at hand in case you run into difficulties and need expert advice on how to finish the project. If help is not available, then go to another project until help arrives!
  • Give up starting other things until you see progress on your list. You want to finish things, but while getting those curtains finished you may want to find some new fabric to cover those shabby looking throw pillows. Resist the urge. Stay focused and you will prevail!
  • Celebrate the small victories. When a friend calls to ask what I’m doing, I recite every little thing I’ve done—it sounds more impressive even to me! It seems to keep my spirit motivated.
  • Use up what you have. If you have supplies at home to finish a project then you will ‘kill two birds with one stone’. It always easier to organize less things than more things, this will encourage your organizing goals.
  • Don’t go shopping or ‘drag in’ other things while you are working on your ‘lost projects’. Neatness is motivating. You may think you need something to add to the rooms, but hold off until you are finished with at least half of your list.
  • When you finally have every item on your list crossed off, celebrate with friends…then make a new list. Keep doing this until you have nothing left to do…lol.
  • Lastly (should be the first item!) Pray. Let God show you where to start and let Him make your ‘crooked paths straight’.

I find this method to be very motivating and my coach has become motivated to do things in her life so she will also feel victorious. I now ask her what she’s accomplished on her list today! Good luck on your projects and lists and as always…blessings!fish

10 reasons organizing is a good thing:

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  1. Purging files and items is freeing. Sometimes holding onto things is stressful in ways we don’t understand. Allow yourself to toss items you felt you ‘had to keep’ such as Christmas gifts that are not to your taste or wrong size. Give these things to a charity so you can recycle them. Recycle any plastic plant pots sitting in your garage. I sold a lot of spray paint at my last garage sale for .25/can and sold all of them in my bin.
  2. Because putting like items in cupboards or bins allow things to look neater and feel cleaner. It also makes sweeping floors and dusting easier without clutter. You can stack bins easier than the free items, making for more storage space.
  3. Removing large items you never or rarely use allows for more storage space for the things you do use. If you are storing extra doors or tools you might use in a few years, it might be helpful to sell them or give them to a friend who will let you use them later when the need arises.
  4. Putting up shelves or cupboards in storage areas allow for better storage and access to items. I grabbed some cupboards from a street corner before the trash came by for pick-up. A friend hung them for me in my garage and added a door for a work bench. I can keep some of my gardening supplies in my cupboards and pot my plants on my bench.
  5. It just simplifies life. Let’s face it, most of us complicate our living by holding onto things that we seldom use and don’t need. We dust and clean around things we know we should move out, when we do it always seems to simplify our living spaces.
  6. Allowing someone else to benefit from your excess, can empower you.  There is just something about giving to someone less fortunate that can make you feel more in control of your life and gives your life more purpose. You are not just throwing your items away, you are giving them to someone else to use.
  7. It allows you to see what you don’t really need. I tend to be a hoarder. I collect things that I think I may one day need or use. If I haven’t needed it for a year or two at the maximum, I donate it. I find I really don’t miss it either. Life changes as you grow and sometimes the projects change too. This allows me to purge things from my life that are no longer valid. Don’t feel bad donating things you’ve spent money on, see it as giving to a charity.
  8. Knowing when it’s time to donate, makes organizing easier. Is there a project you’ve never gotten around to? Take stock in what those are and ask yourself if you will do that project in the coming months, if not donate.
  9. Seeing how much you accumulate helps to see what you won’t need. Whether it’s taking inventory or your ‘stash’ or seeing what you never use; when you organize you soon realize how much of anything you need. If you organize for a garage sale, you can use the money from the sale to buy things you need to stay organized. I did this a few years ago and was able to organize all my closets into more useful storage spaces.
  10. Sometimes it just makes sense to re-purchase an item than store it. There are times in our lives when it just makes sense to purge the left over scraps from a project than keep them ‘just-in-case’ you might have another project that could use it. You can take up a lot of space saving all those things.

A few places to donate to:

Goodwill, freecycle.org, Better World Books, Salvation Army.

Blessings in your organizing! fish

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