15 Minute Friday: Not so easy

You know how some bloggers make everything look so easy?

And it makes you think, “Hey…I could do that.”

I could make pumpkin pie from real pumpkins.

I am going to make my own gift bags from recycled paper.

I can get my kids to cut their screen time without any blood, sweat, or tears.

Well….I’m not one of those bloggers.

This (sorta) Old Life: My hands are full

Easy isn’t quite how we roll around here.

That 15-minute Friday idea I got from Brooke?

That easy-peasy approach to tackling a major project that I hoped would be my own version of something that looks so easy you’d all run out and tackle your own Big Something? How did that go this week?

Kinda like this…

On Saturday I dug into this…

This (sorta) Old Life: Crappy mail system

…because I knew I had bills in there that needed to be paid.

After something like 90 frickin’ minutes, the bills were paid and I had this to show for it:

This (sorta) Old Life: papers to file

Doesn’t look like progress, does it? And let’s not be coy here: That’s what it still looks like today, almost a week later. Because I don’t know where I’m going to put all this stuff.

Which made me so cranky that I blew off Sunday and have nothing to show for that day.

On Monday I had every intention of finding 15 minutes to just start my home organization project. But it was a beautiful, sunny afternoon, and it was just Cane and me at home, and I figured it is one of the last pretty fall days because the leaves are falling so fast now, so we decided to we really needed to take a walk…

This (sorta) Old Life: fall tree in field

This (sorta) Old Life: shoes with fall leaf

This (sorta) Old Life: fall sunset

…and by the time we got home from our walk and made dinner and did chores I just didn’t find 15 minutes.

(See how this post about home organization just got highjacked with all those pretty fall walk pictures? Because they are so much more fun than pictures of drawers and files and cabinets…)

On Tuesday I was enthralled with the election (and everyone posting about it on Twitter and Facebook) and putting the final touches on our latest tutorial post (building a shelf with old drawers). So another day passed with no progress…

Which means that by Wednesday, I was feeling a little anxious about writing a post for Friday.

After fretting for a bit, I took Annie’s advice to start with just one thing, one important thing, and let the rest go.

I decided to start here:

This (sorta) Old Life: messy desk

This is the inside of a desk that sits at the top of our stairs, which means it’s often a landing space for all kinds of junk.

This (sorta) Old Life: messy desktop

Which means that when we need to do a quick clean-up, that junk on the top is often swept inside:

This (sorta) Old Life: messy desk

At one point this summer, it looked like this.

Although I don’t have a grand organizational plan–because I still don’t know all of what we even have, so how can I possibly know where it all needs to go?–I was able to decide that I want the top part of this desk to be the place for mail/bills. And nothing else.

So I used my 15 minutes to clean out everything that wasn’t related to mail/bills, and it looked like this when I was done:

This (sorta) Old Life: tidy desk

Not earth-shattering, I know. But it is progress.

What got to stay?

  • New checks
  • Stamps
  • Some pens
  • Current mail
  • A calculator
  • Thank you cards

Everything else got put somewhere else. That means some of it got shoved into another space I need to organize, but I decided to just




This (sorta) Old Life: messy desk drawer

This is one of the drawers in the same desk. Next week.

Did I get this task done in 15 minutes?

Not really. It was closer to 30.

But I made progress on a weeknight!

And it wasn’t terribly painful.

And it feels really good to have that one space done.

This whole thing is all about baby steps, and making a big task manageable, and keeping at it.

I for sure wasn’t perfect in my project this week,but I’m calling it a success. Which, now that I think of it, means that you just might read this post and think:

Hey, I can do that!

Now it’s your turn…

Do you take on a 15-minute project this week? Please share in the comments, and feel free to add a link if you’re blogging about it.

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