The Day’s Own Mess

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Estimated Reading Time: 1 min, 30 sec.

One of the more irritating aspects of day to day living is cleaning up today what is really yesterdays mess.

The dishes that are left in the sink overnight. OR the dishwasher that we put on just as we went to bed. Either way, we are still contending with yesterdays stuff.

Next, add in Tuesdays laundry. It’s clean, but still sitting in a pile on the couch.

AND THE MAIL!

Envelopes that came 3 weeks ago sit in a pile on the dining room table UNOPENED.

Can you relate to any of this?

We are so overscheduled and overwhelmed that we forget what Christ said all those years ago–

Don’t worry, I am here. Clean up the day, before it becomes a heavier burden for you tomorrow.

In other words, when we put off doing stuff, we are making it harder for ourselves. We are starting the day, not with a clean slate, but with the ball and chain known as Yesterday’s Mess.

-I LOVE folding 3 weeks worth of Laundry!- said no one EVER

Instead of “shoulding” on ourselves (as in “I SHOULD do this,” or  “I SHOULD’VE done that”), let’s “will” ourselves (as in “I WILL do this”).

Make a Plan.

The stuff we’ve accumulated didn’t just happen over night, and so we shouldn’t expect that it will be tidied up overnight or over a weekend.

So, let’s make a plan JUST FOR TODAY.

If MAIL is an issue, don’t worry about the pile sitting on the table. MAKE A PLAN that TODAY’S mail will be taken care of TODAY.

Throw away TODAY’S junk mail IMMEDIATELY.

OPEN BILLS. You don’t have to pay them today, but put them near your checkbook or where you normally write out your bills. Of course, you can always opt-in for paperless billing.

If LAUNDRY is your problem, forget about the pile in the corner for now.  For TODAY’S laundry, wash, dry, fold and put away TODAY.

If DISHES are a problem, well, you really can’t forget about yesterdays pile. You really do have to do them. But, hey, throw in today’s dishes and RUN THE DISHWASHER right after dinner. Clear it out just before you go to bed.  If you still have dirty dishes in the sink from evening snacking, fine. Once you clear out the dishwasher for the night, put THOSE dishes in it. WAIT TIL TOMORROW to do it. This way, you can put tomorrow’s breakfast dishes in the dishwasher IMMEDIATELY and you aren’t keeping your sink filled with dirty dishes.

By doing this, you may not be clearing the clutter from times past (just yet), but for now, you are at least not ADDING to the problem.

Start doing this today, and before you know it, you will be bouncing for joy like this guy:

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Need help clearing the clutter? Want to get organized from a faith perspective? Contact me at kim@godorganizing.com

 

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How to Eat an Elephant

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Approximate Read Time: 3 minutes

Q: How do you eat an elephant?

(See answer at the end of the post)

 

“I can do something for 12 hours that would appall me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime.” –Unknown

 

Clutter doesn’t accumulate overnight. It starts out small, maybe a paper or two on the counter. Or with a few pairs of shoes thrown together haphazardly near the door.

In 2010, I was 45 years old and weighed nearly 250 lbs. I was morbidly obese level III.

Me 2010
Forty-five years old. My highest weight. My lowest ebb.

 

The weight did not pile on overnight. It was years of bad decision-making.

Losing 100+ pounds was also not an overnight process. It took just about two years of solid, good-decision making, several times a day, every day.

And so it is with clutter. Just as an accumulation of stuff doesn’t happen overnight, de-cluttering is a process that takes time. Sometimes it’s swift, other times it’s a bit longer.

Very few people enjoy the work of losing weight. The thought of having to stick to a daily discipline every dayt for the rest of my life scared the bejeezus out of me.  But a very good spiritual mentor  said to me, “Try it for your next meal.”  I did that, and it worked. Then she said to me, “Try it for just one day.” Seven + years later, I am still doing it one day at a time.

And so it is with clutter. The thought of clearing a room of our excess stuff is overwhelming. We open our closet door and moan:

Where do I even start?

First, we decide.

Start by making a decision. That’s it.  Deciding to clear the clutter is the first step  in a good, orderly direction.

Is your closet a mess? Our usual inclination is to tackle the whole closet in a day or a weekend. That’s too overwhelming. Start with something small, specific and do-able. For example, last season’s shoes. You recently stopped wearing them, so they are fresh in your mind. You know what you wore most and what you didn’t wear at all. What needs fixing and what does not.

Starting with something small, specific and do-able is your next step in a good, orderly direction.

Next, we take action.

As with most project the first thing to do is gather supplies.

Bins

Before you begin, get 3 bins or containers. Usually a laundry basket sized container will do

A Keep Bin. Put shoes that fit, that you love and that are in good condition in here.

A Trash Bin. Any shoes that have worn out soles/ heels, broken straps, etc. go in here.

A Donate Bin. Shoes that are still in good, wearable condition but you don’t want them anymore go in here. Then donate them right away.

Timer.

Use a timer, either a kitchen timer or one on your phone for starters.   Time, like storage bins, is a container. It has a beginning, middle and end.

Try 15 minutes. Quite a bit of work can be done in that short time. As you work, you might find you need more time to finish the task. That’s okay.  Work 15 minutes, break for 5.

Rinse and repeat. Do this until you are done with the task. You might finish in one day, or several. That’s still okay. In the end, you have only the shoes you love AND you will have blessed others by donating pairs you no longer wear. It’s a win-win.

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Forty-nine years old. In 2013, I met and married the love of my life.

 

Answer: One bite at a time.

 

Supplies I like:

Time Timer: www.timetimer.com

The Drop-front Shoe Box  from the Container Store makes shoe storage and retrieval amazingly easy. AND THEY ARE STACKABLE! No more tumbling down shoe boxes when trying to get just one pair!

Shame No More

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How many times have you waited in line at the supermarket and picked up a magazine because it had beautiful pictures of a neatly organized space? If you are like me, you get sucked in nearly every time.

How often did you BUY a magazine because of the promise to organize your space, once and for ever?

Or maybe you aren’t the magazine type, and instead, you scour social sites like pinterest, facebook, and instagram? You dream that one day your space will have a sense of good, orderly direction.

If you’ve done either (or both!) of these things, you might just fall into one of two types of people–those who are MOTIVATED by these pictures or those who are INTIMIDATED by them. Which one are you?

If you are MOTIVATED…

Beautiful pictures, like the one below, don’t scare you. You believe you can achieve that level of visual perfection. You know EXACTLY what space is bugging you the most, and that’s where you want to start. And so you do.

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The first thing you do is make a Target run to buy a couple of bins. Then, you put stuff (toys? shoes?) in them. The bins are topped out and you STILL HAVE MORE STUFF to put in them. So, you make another Target run, and another, and another.

You’ve spent tons of money, did a lot of work, and your space is still in disorder, looking nothing like the picture.

YOU FEEL LIKE A FAILURE.

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If you are INTIMIDATED…

Negative thoughts immediately kick in: You start by telling yourself that your surroundings are sub-par:Not Good enough

 

These negative thoughts about your environment devolve into negative self-talk in a nanosecond:

“I don’t have the talent for organization.”

“I could never get my home to look like that.”

“I’m too much of a messy person.”

I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

Whoa.

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Insides v. Outsides

For both the motivated and the intimidated, self-esteem winds up in a basket. Both types of people end up believing the lie that they (their insides) are not good enough because their surroundings (their outsides) are not picture perfect. Both believe that organizing is a God-given talent and that God did not bless them with that talent.

Some people are natural organizers, internally driven in their need for order & direction. They are the exception to the norm. The rest of us need external instruction, and that is okay. Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinth. 2:15) addressed this idea when he spoke of some Gentiles who did not need to be instructed in the law of God because they already lived it, instinctively. They, too, were the exception.

It is not an admission of failure to ask for help in learning how to organize. You no longer have to suffer in shame and silence. Let Good Orderly Direction Professional Organizing Services walk side by side with you and teach you the skills needed to become organized now and stay organized for a lifetime.

Call Kim today at 631-482-7070

The Thief of Joy

FROM CHAOS

Sunday 9:30 AM:

Last night’s dishes are still in the sink.

Kids still in pj’s.

Mountains of clean laundry dot the furniture landscape.

Your spouse shouts from the bedroom, “Where are my glasses?”

Church starts at 10. It’s the “last chance” service of the week. If you don’t make this one, important “God time” is missed. Again.

Somehow, you scramble out the door and walk in just as the opening hymn is sung. Whew!

Your body is present, but your mind is still on the stuff at home.

We’re always late!

Why can’t I get the laundry away?

I wish the dishes could clean themselves.

My children can’t make their own beds. Why?

I’m a terrible parent.

Your joy is stolen even before it has time to blossom. Clutter is the thief of joy and negative self-talk is his chosen weapon. Disorganization is the roadblock on our path to God.

For where your treasure (mind) is, there your heart will be also.”–Matthew 6:21

Two thousand years ago in the desert, people were having trouble with stuff and Jesus knew that. Instead of admonishing us about collecting things, He simply tells us the truth about the effect of having too much material goods. The effects can be devastating.

Let me be clear, God does not punish us for our material wealth. God wants us to be happy. He wants us to experience the goods of the earth. Being rich is not inherently evil.

But…

There’s always a but, isn’t there? Our stuff gets in the way of our relationship to God and to each other. This is what Christ is talking about when He tells us that we will focus on what’s important to us. If we are focusing on stuff (obtaining more, cleaning up, holding on to things that are long past their prime), then our belongings become more important than our relationships. We are spiritually attached to things that are here today and gone tomorrow. Our stuff owns us. We are enslaved.

Whoa.

TO CHRIST

If we are imprisoned by our belongings, there is freedom on the horizon. Just after He tells us where our treasure lies, Christ also gives us hope. He IS our hope.

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these”–Matthew 6:28-29

THE WAY: GOOD ORDERLY DIRECTION (G.O.D)

How do we go from the chaos of clutter to the freedom of Christ? We begin with a single step in a good orderly direction.

Pray.

Pray first, pray always. Then, take a more tangible step. Pick something small. Say, a drawer. Throw out what is broken or no longer works. With each broken item you throw away, you create more space for God to enter.

Welcome to freedom.

Kim

Talk to me about your organizing problems

My Back Story

IMG_20150516_172814290_HDR (2)  I didn’t always used to be organized. For years, I suffered under the weight of food addiction. In that time, the only thing that mattered was that I put whatever I wanted ahead of what I needed. What I wanted was food. What I needed was discipline and clarity.

I went for the food.

In 2010, at 45 years old and weighing over 240 lbs, I got sick and tired of being sick and tired. I finally wanted the help I so desperately needed.

In the early days of my recovery from food addiction, I re-discovered my desire for organization. I uncovered the skills that I’d forgotten I’d had due to years of compulsive overeating. The skill of learning to have just enough food for my body led me to look at my surroundings and ask “What does “just enough stuff” look like?”

I can tell you what it DIDN’T look like. It didn’t look like the piles of laundry I kept on the bedroom floor. It didn’t look like the mounds of mail I never opened. It also didn’t look like the amount of clothes I had in my closet, of varying sizes.

I got tired of being overwhelmed by my stuff, so I took action. I applied the same principle to my belongings as I did to my food: get rid of the excess.

Today

God has always been a factor in my life, and in 2016, I felt the calling to reach out and extend my hand in help to others who have let clutter into their lives. Thus, So Simple Professional Organizing was born.

Quite honestly, it is a privilege to be able to pass on to others what I have been so generously given. And it is a blessing to walk with people on their journey to a more rewarding and fulfilling life. Thank you for allowing me into yours.

Kim