Order in the court!

3:48 PM

New year, new me. 

Or at least I say that every year in hopes that this time, it just might come true.

   As I've shared before, my word for 2014 is "surrender" and some of the things to which that applies are generic things like "my goals and ambitions".  Some of the areas that it refers to are too vulnerable/personal to share, but one specific area in which it MAJORLY applies is organization.  I wrestle valiantly with this giant, and I always feel like I'm losing!  I need to surrender my tendency to blame my failures on my temperament, as I so often do.  I need to surrender the temptation to just give up, and throw in the towel completely.  I need to surrender my "ideals" which are so often just comparison and jealousy cloaked in "inspiration".  There's so much to surrender.  Not sure if I'll get it all done in a year!

   Ironically, not even the periods of my life spent pregnant forced me into order.  Not even the "a baby is coming and is going to turn my life upside down!" motivations were quite strong enough to finally convert me to a life of organization.  It hasn't been until this year, when I am knee-deep in motherhood and with some other opportunities/projects on the horizon, that I am beginning to feel a deep urge (or is it just panic?) to ORGANIZE my life.

   This is our office, where I've been spending some time lately, TRYING to add some order to my life by working on my "home management binder".  Side note, you will notice the plastic is still on the computer screen, as I am a complete nerd when it comes to things like that and like to leave it on as long as possible to keep it feeling new.:)

 I have never been organized.

  That is not an overstatement or exaggeration.  I have literally lived my entire life thus far in a state of disarray, disorder, clutter, chaos and near pandemonium.  My tupperware drawers are filled with the things nightmares are made of, my closet looks like the bargain rack on a Black Friday at about 8:00 am, and the inside of my car…..well, we'll just spare you all the details.

   It's not like I enjoy being this way.  It's really not that much fun.  I vacillate between a state of trying to come to terms with it in order to survive, and succumbing to these rash, overpowering urges to blaze through my entire home/car/life and do a major purge.  But this year, I'm actually taking some baby steps towards organization.  Which for me, are really much more than just baby steps, and something to be celebrated.

   First off, I own this book, so that has to count for SOMETHING.  And it's all wonderfully fabulous and I highly recommend it.  But as for implementing it into my life….that may take some more concentrated effort.

   And I've also discovered the magic that is a PLANNER.  Well, a form of one, anyway.  I've had my eyes on Emily Ley's Simplified Planner for a long time now.  This is the one that is sweeping the internet realm and becoming a trend all on its own.  I'm not sure why, but it just seems like a planner this expensive would HAVE to contain some magical powers to cause even the worst offenders of organization like myself to swing a little more to the other side. 

   But I'm cheap, and the price tag of $56 (eek) deterred me from buying one, but since we're a month into the year, it is now on sale for $48, so if someone wanted to get that for me, that would be fine and dandy, because I'm still too cheap to buy it. O.k. great, now that that's out of the way….

   Free printables!  If you're cheap like me, and you can only dream of a Simplified Planner, why not print your own version?  It does seem to require a lot of paper and ink costs money too, but yadda yadda, it's still cheaper in the end.  I am LOVING these free planner printables I found on Pinterest.  

   Oh and speaking of Pinterest, if you're running on fumes for ideas to add organization to your home/life like me, Pinterest is a vast resource and collection of knowledge and if you're not using it yet, you are most certainly missing out!!  I am following this pinner (and this one too!) because of all of their pins on organization, but here's a whole list of pinners that excel in organization to get you started!

Some are from here, and some are from here.

   It would cost less to print them in black and white, but as I heard someone else say on their blog (and it is COMPLETELY true of myself) I am a visual learner and when I see black and white type, I see nothing.  I guess the exception to this rule would be reading books, but even then, a pretty cover helps (ridiculous but true!) and people's writing style is SO important.  Writing can be so colorful or so dry, and that can determine whether or not I ever even finish the book. I digress.

I am a creative.
Walking a straight line and playing by the rules don't come easily for me.
Routine and schedule don't fall naturally and neatly into my life.  
My home doesn't yet have a place for everything.
I forget birthdays and important events like clockwork, which is ironic, because I'm always late.  
I get distracted easily, which makes it extremely difficult to finish things that I start.
I would much rather dream up new ideas than see old ones to reality.
Sometimes I have to think really, really hard to remember the last time I washed my hair. 
I have become extremely adept at "winging it" because it is what I do to survive.
I usually decide what I'm going to make for dinner at about 4 pm.  The day OF. 

   I have been known to launch into a completely new project, like wallpapering something 30 minutes before my kids are arriving home from Grandma day and I need to be cooking dinner.  This all stems from a very "live in the moment" mentality as my husband likes to graciously call it.:) No consideration of time ratios, or the amount of time things will take to accomplish.  This results in "I'm sure I have time to run to town and be back before such-and-such" when really, I was behind before I began.  My short term memory in general, is pathetic.  If someone asks me what I did last week, I just about cannot answer them at all. 

   These are the things that make up my temperament, and as tempted as I am to bemoan it ALL and shake my head and groan, "WHY ME?!"  I need to remember (I MUST remember)  that some of the reason I am able to be blessed with the giftings and talents and skills that I DO have, are because of the other tendencies that come right along with my temperament.  For example, I threw a birthday party for my mother-in-law a number of years ago that turned into a bigger endeavor than I originally thought, and when I look back on that I wonder, how in the WORLD did I have the energy/time/motivation for that!  I can't believe I actually followed through and did something that required planning and effort and coordination, and with a 3 month old baby, no less!! 

But that's the whole point.

  I DIDN'T have what it took, and I knew that.  One thing I will say about myself is that I know my limits.  I asked help from lots and lots of people and my sis-in-law was in on it too from the beginning.  I mainly "winged it" and it all ended up coming together, and she was even surprised!  So it is not impossible to do those kinds of things if you are not an organized person.  And sometimes, being unorganized almost works in your favor.  Does any of this make sense?

   Another thing I've noticed it actually works in my favor is my blog.  On one hand, being organized and scheduling posts and having some continuity in my blog content would be wonderful.  On the other hand, if I was a perfectionist that had to have it all figured out I probably never would have started one in the first place.  It all can seem so overwhelming after a while!  But I usually just take it a day at a time and literally, make it up as I go along, and then it doesn't seem so scary after all.  So. If you are a recovering perfectionist, or the opposite (a recovering hot mess) like myself, there is hope!  Both tendencies can work FOR you or AGAINST you, you just have to not let them rule you.  I could tell you story after story after story of how my tendencies brought pain into my life and I could tell you stories how they brought beauty.  Just embrace who you are, however you are, and figure out a way to make even your weaknesses, strengths.

   What are some of the things that help you get/stay organized??  I need tips/advice!!  Please, please share.  Especially things like menu planning which I feel COMPLETELY hopeless in.  I'm sure to most of you, a home management binder, planner, calendar, command center, or all of the above are just old hat.  You're probably thinking, "Shelley seriously, have you been living under a rock all of this time?"  But that's just it, as elementary as all of this is, it is still revolutionary to ME.  

Must run, girls are up. Blessings friend, as you go about your day!  However chaotic that day may be.  

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  1. You're fabulous. :) And please, feel free to come organize my life as well!!

  2. This was a fun post. :-) Yoy should check out "organizing life with littles" she is one of the most organized people I've met, and she's written a bunch of stuff on how to make a simple home management binder. Anyway... Thanks for writing! :-)

  3. You sound a bit like me with your tendency to start something new! Although I tend to think everything will take longer than it does and so maybe I just won't start right now....have you looked into e-mealz online? I hate meal planning and don't even follow THAT any more. I don't know how I feed my family!

  4. One thing that has really helped my husband and I is emeals. Each week they send a meal plan with a grocery list. Makes it so easy! And it helps me learn new recipes and not just cook the same thing each week :)

  5. Wow Shelley, Your post sounds so much like me. I always wanted to get organized, or at least read about it, but found out in a new way 2013 You CAN'T ORGANIZE CLUTTER you gotta get rid of it!!! I hauled 8 van loads to the free store and its the best feeling to know that there are folks that need the stuff that was sitting organized on my shelves and in my drawers. I did this with the help of my dear friend Lisa who has her own clutterwise business . it was worth every penny I spent hiring her. It not only made me happy, Darrel appreciated it too!!

  6. One thing that I use that helps me feel more organized with shopping lists and meal plans and to do lists is the Paperless app for my iPhone. It's basically a place to make lists under different headings and then whenever you add an item to the list, there's a check box to click when it's completed/purchased/etc. I love it because it feels like everything "listy" is in one spot, and I don't have to worry about forgetting a notebook with my grocery list in because my phone is always with me!

    And I totally agree with the above commenter...get rid of clutter. Easier said than done sometimes, but I feel a TON more organized when I stick with the basics, whether that's closet, kitchen, computer room, wherever.

    Good luck!

  7. You sound like a fun person! I struggle with organization.I would've never guessed that you do too! :)

    Hope it all goes well for you!!

  8. Ahhh Shells, I would love to just sit at your kitchen table and chat about our lives...the boring mundane things like meal planning and cleaning out the office/clutter room. I have been on a meal planing kick lately that once implemented always makes me wonder why I don't do it all the time! Basically it takes me a half hour to scan pinterest or old meal plans and write down a two week dinner plan with all the needed ingredients (that's not even half of nap time, unless your like me and can't stop with just looking for food to make on pinterest) I have a meal planing pinteerst board that everything on it has been made and loved by us! so feel free to check it out :) also helps to do some repeats like Pizza every Friday night!

  9. You inspired me to write a post on this subject. :) http://movinginfaith.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/lets-talk-organizing/

  10. I have tried so hard to be organized all of my life and let me tell you it's an up hill climb. I can so identify with this post.--LaDonna


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