15 Minute Friday: Setting a Goal

In response to last week’s 15-minute Friday, some readers mentioned Fly Lady.

I am a HUGE fan of Fly Lady. She absolutely changed my ways of keeping house, which I wrote a bit about in a (very early) post about keeping our housekeeping problems small. I am not perfect in my practice of Fly Lady methods, but one of hers is to set a timer for 15 minutes and tackle just one thing. Awesome advice.

However, that’s not quite what I’m hoping this 15-minute experiment of mine will be about. I think that Brooke (of Slow Your Home) was writing about a different kind of thing in the post that inspired me. While I’m always interested in better ways of maintaining our home, I want to think about something bigger than that.

Something important that I’ve been putting off starting because it just feels too big to fit into any time I might give it.

So I spent some of my week thinking about what my big thing might be:

  • Taking our blog to a different level.
  • Writing a book.
  • Knitting something.

But yesterday I discovered that a big deposit to my savings account had gone awry. (Insurance check for the car that got totaled in September.) Long story short, I spent (wasted) a bunch of time on the phone dealing with a problem that would not have been a problem if this weren’t my current system for dealing with mail:

This (sorta) Old Life: Crappy mail system

And I realized that as much as I’d rather use this project to tackle something as fun as really learning how to knit, I need to get a handle on organization in our home–so that I might have real time to learn how to knit.

This (sorta) Old Life: wearing a sweater knit by Grandma

I’ll never be able to knit like my Grandma (who made this sweater), but I’d love to learn how to really knit something.

Here’s the problem:

We moved into this house in August, 2011. At that time, the size of the chaos was so immense that it was a huge victory just to get all the boxes unpacked and find some place (any place!) for the things we decided to keep.

This (sorta) Old Life: Messy garage

This was how our garage looked after we’d been living here for a month. A month!

It really wasn’t until last spring that we considered ourselves all unpacked, when I finally organized the craft supplies in our garage.

garage craft area before pic

This is what it looked like before.

But, even though things look pretty good on the outside, all you have to do is open some drawers and slide some cupboard doors to see that all is not well on the inside:

This (sorta) Old Life: Organization chaos

I hate this.

I can’t find things I need, I keep screwing up the payment of bills, and I’m constantly wasting time because of both things. The car accident–and all the paperwork that followed it–has forced me to confront the real problem that this is.

Why haven’t I tackled this sooner?

Because it seems like a big frickin’ big job. Because it is a big frickin’ job. (See collage above. That’s a lot of mess to sort.)

And it’s not just that there’s a lot. It’s that all the parts are inter-connected. When I start to clean out one drawer, there will invariably be things in it that need to go someplace else.

This (sorta) Old Life: chaos on bedroom dresser top

Last weekend we cleaned up part of the garage (a never-ending task, it seems) and I started putting homeless things on the top of the dresser in the bedroom. This is what it looked like when I was done. (OK, fine:  It’s how it still looks today.)

I feel I need a master organizational plan.

I do need a master organizational plan.

But you know what? I bet I can get started on one in 15 minutes.

So that’s what I’m going to do. Today.

Right after I go to the eye doctor, hit parent conferences, and indulge in a little left-over Halloween candy…

This (sorta) Old Life: Halloween debris

Some of the Wednesday-night spoils…

What are you going to start today?

What seems to big to tackle–but maybe could be? I would love to have company on this journey. If you you’d like to travel side-by-side, please let me know in the comments.


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