Sunday, April 10, 2011


I don't know about you, but I notice that everything in life is pretty relative.  I mean, we feel "fat" until we turn on one of those shows about someone with a tremendous amount of weight to lose.  In rereading that sentence, I realize that it is possible that there are those of you who envisioned different amounts as to what constituted "a tremendous amount of weight to lose" in your head.  For me, it was the person who needs a crane to get out of their home.  For you, it could be someone more like mind.

Do you know what I mean, though?  I used to work with a girl that fretted over a five pound weight gain.  After I rolled my eyes at her, she reminded me that at five-foot-nothing...her five pounds was like twenty pounds on someone with a little bit of height.  See? All relative. 

But if that doesn't do it, imagine any random yard sale you have held or shown up to pick through at the crack of dawn.  People have vastly different ideas of what constitutes acceptable home decor.  I remember being envious of friends who had the whole country blue kitchen thing going on complete with the white geese, or wallpaper borders that tied the room together.  Last summer, I helped my friend clean out her "upstairs."  It was tough going...but there were a few minutes of comic seeing some of the seriously outdated items that had once hung proudly on the walls of her home.  My personal favorites were the wide brimmed hats that someone had hot-glued silk flowers to the middle of to do what exactly I'm not entirely sure...other than make me laugh uncontrollably fifteen years later and a wreath with two white geese...a serious throwback from the 80s.

Also relative are color schemes.   Some of us love bold colors...and others of us pretty much into beige...or somewhere in between.  Most of us of a certain age actually remember when burnt orange, brown, harvest gold and avacado green appliances were all the rage or the toilet tissue that coordinated with your blue, pink, yellow or green bathrooms. 

I'm so not kidding.

Sadly, the 1970s color scheme found its way into an afghan that Big Dave's grandmother crocheted.  We treasure it because she made it and because her handiwork was gorgeous. BUT...her use of pale yellow, brown, beige and bright orange on the afghan?  Not so much.
You thought I was totally kidding, yes?

Beautiful handiwork...color scheme brought to you by the 1970s.

People have told me that they view me as organized.  I believe that I give that illusion because I can remember things and I don't get all freaked out about impressions.  Part of this is what I refer to as my "MacGyver ability" to figure out a way to as my grandmother used to say "make do" when the situation calls for it.  The real reason, though, is probably that I am a huge list maker and consider everything I do to be a project.  Projects have an end date.  Projects can get shelved.  Projects can have other people involved to carry some of the load.  Granted, some of my projects end up feeling more like being in labor than all glitter and unicorns, but whatever. 

It's all relative.

There are a few things that we can do, though, that make life easier.  We can keep a calendar and write things down that need to be done...and then keep up with the calendar and the list.  Beyond that, the level of organization is really pretty much unique and difficult to apply to every person or every situation.  There are some basics, though, that I have found help me:

Planning ahead: I refuse to do anything at the last minute except when I have no choice.  If a paper was assigned...I started the paper closer to when it was assigned than when it was due.

Giving things away: For every item that you own, there is a cost of ownership.  Even if it sits somewhere in storage, you are either paying the storage rental or losing the opportunity to have peace of mind about dealing with your stuff.

Asking for help: Most people would prefer to help others than ask for help.  They don't want to be "that friend" who is constantly in need of something...or they have a fear of being turned down and being embarrassed. 

I say...just get it done and free up that mental energy for stuff like figuring out who is going to win this season of "American Idol" or something.

Today at Costco, I found a book called "What's A (Dis)Organized Person To Do?"  It has 317 ideas, tips, projects and lists to unclutter your home and streamline your life.  (Click on the link to Amazon Here).  Some of these look really simple...and others just force you to make decisions about how you are going to live.  So many of us sacrifice a lot of our time and mental energy in the maintenance of "stuff" that is not going to matter five minutes from now...much less five years from now. 

I, for one, am ready for this insanity to stop.

So, according to the front and back covers of the book, I'll be looking at how to reduce junk mail, organize the jumble under the kitchen sink, unclutter the fridge, master using the label maker, conquer desktop clutter, maximize underbed storage, get my computer files in order, know what to hang and what to fold, locate my spare buttons, find a home for my instruction manuals, organize my toolbox, sort digital photos, design a clothes closet, store children's toys, pack a suitcase, organize anything, reduce book overload, keep track of invitations, have a virtual garage sale, create kid-friendly closets, keep the car tidy, and find my keys.

Or not.

I'd be willing to bet that there are more of us than not out there who need a boost in this direction.  Unless you are one of those few gifted individuals who are born with OCD or are some kind of organizational savant...there's probably something in this book that could make your life easier.

I vote yes to "easier."  How about you?


  1. I do not have OCD, I just want everything done correctly and everything in its place. I don't freak out when there is a mess. In fact, I wondered what I would do when I had a baby with all the baby clutter. I decided after 8-1/2 years of marrige, that the new "stuff" was decoration and wonderful decoration it did become. What has helped me in the last twenty years, is that I decided to become a minimalist to try to avoid hanging on to everything ever given to me. It has assisted me well - helping me get much more organized. But as you say, everybody can get organized in every area of their life. I have to remember my setting myself a calendar each week, that prayer and devotional time is worthy of being penned into my calendar so that I don't get overwhelmed with all the other chores and leave the most important out. Thank you for all your thoughts, it really gets mine churning better than in years!!!! I love your blog!

  2. I pray for organizitional abilbities, I just don't have ANY! I have purchased ALL the books that are going to teach me how, so I have the head knowledge and I could tell you want you should do...but somehow it never seems to become easier for me.d I really like the friend coming over and helpping and Have had a couple of them actually do that. It was the best gift!!!!!