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Countdown to 2011 – Part 2

Here I am again with more tips on  getting organized in 2011.  Just remember, I am not a pro.  I am only sharing information that has helped me or that might help me in the future.  Organization is an ongoing project.  It only takes a little accumulate of things to feel out of control.   And I like to be in control.  Just ask Sweet William.

Work on the areas that are visible first.  For sure, those closets need your attention, but putting your visible surroundings in order first will give you a respite when you take a break from the closet chaos.  Besides, if someone drops in unexpectedly, you don’t have to make excuses for the whole house being in an uproar.

Keep only one, and I do mean only one, calendar.  This takes some discipline but is well worth it.  Whether you use a Day-Timer binder, a Blackberry or some hand-held computer, or a simple calendar on the refrigerator door, use only one.  Otherwise you will mark an appointment on what is at hand and forget to transfer it to your personal planner. 

Keep an ongoing box for Goodwill or Salvation Army.  Regularly deposit items that need to be re-positioned out of your house into the designated box.   Don’t go back through the box when it’s full and ready to be removed. 

Remember the stuff you keep is really keeping you.  Have you realized this?  The more stuff I have, the more time it takes to dust it, wash it, straighten it, and protect it.  Is that really the way I want to spend my life?

Reward yourself.  After you complete a number of tasks, take a break and do something you enjoy, like paging through that new magazine (stacked neatly with your other reading material) while sipping a great cup of hot coffee (made from the pot that is sitting on a neat kitchen counter).  Set the timer so you can get back at the task at hand.

The wise man Solomon said this in Ecclesiastes 3 – “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven . . . A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away . . . ” (verse 1 and 6).

January is my time to cast away.   More to come tomorrow.

I wish you a happy, safe New Year’s Eve and a blessed New Year 2011

 

Are you making resolutions or goals for next year.  Leave a comment.  I’ll share some of mine with you later. 

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Countdown to 2011

January magazines are on the stands, and often they boast how you can get organized.  Obviously it is a goal at the beginning of a new year.

Several years ago I started a January project of going through every drawer and every closet in the house.  I’ve thrown out, given away, and found a lot of stuff.  After several years of this mentally deranged undertaking, I have, at the least, a much better idea where things are when I need them.

Some of you are probably thinking I’m weird to enjoy this.  Maybe I am.  I  know my organizing-orderly tendencies can drive other people crazy at times.  Blame it on my DNA.

So . . . I thought I would share some organization ideas with you over the next few days as we countdown to year 2011.  

Now before you start thinking I’m very wise (along with being very weird), let me tell you that what I’ve learned has come from others.  I’ve picked up tips from articles and books that endeavor to teach me how to organize my space, my time, my life.  Is that even possible?  It’s a work in progress for sure.  Some of it has sunk in and actually works for me.  Maybe it will work for you.  I will share it, and you can be the judge.

File it – don’t pile it.  One of the best pieces of advice I ever took hold of is to do something with what I have in my hand.  It is so easy to lay it down while planning to put it away later.  Before you know it, there are piles of things to put away later.  Whether it is the daily mail, the clean laundry, or something you picked up from the living room, put it where it belongs instead of laying it down to do later.  

Creat a system for your papers.  Yes, I know we are trying to go paperless in our society.  But I still have a lot of it coming in to the house.  Don’t let it accumulate on the kitchen counter.  Have a bill file, a hold file, a to-do-later file, a read file, or make up your own categories that will work for you and your family.  After you’ve put it in a file, make a note in your planner or calendar to go through your files on a regular basis.  You will feel better knowing your stuff has a rightful place to be.  And your kitchen counter will not become the land of the lost papers. 

Make up your bed.   This is what we tell the kids, right?  It will make the entire bedroom look neater, and you’ll feel better about going in there.  The simpler your coverlet and pillows are to spread and fluff, the quicker this job will be. 

Break big projects into smaller ones.  You’ve heard this one before, I know.  Don’t let giant projects overwhelm you.  Take bite-size pieces.  Instead of planning to organize the entire house (such as weirdos like me do :)), plan to go through your dresser drawers; or organize the kitchen cabinets; or clean out the freezer or the refrigerator.  Accomplishing a smaller project will boost your morale and make it easier to tackle the next project.

Now the tricky part of this post:  How do I take this subject and make a spiritual application to it?

There is a verse in 1 Peter 4:9 that I think applies as I make the effort to maintain order in my home. 

Welcome people into your home and don’t grumble about it.  (Contemporary English Version)

If there is reasonable order in my home, I am free to extend a spur-of-the-moment invitation.  You just never know when someone needs a welcoming place to sit and refresh and be encouraged.  Your home could be that place to a weary traveler.

P.S.  Be sure to click on the five at the top.  It’s just  fun to watch the countdown.

   More to come in the next few days.  I would like to hear your organizational tips.  I’m always ready to try something that works for someone else.  Leave a comment.

Organizing

I love to organize, pull things out of a drawer or closet, toss out the unnecessary and reposition everything back in a neat, orderly fashion.  I know, I’m weird.  I’ve been this way since I can remember.  As a little girl I kept my toys, dolls, and room neat as a pin without my mother telling me to.  She used to say I was like my Aunt Dottie (Doris Marie Rayhill), a kindred spirit when it came to having things in their place.

I believe I have a natural bent toward being organized.  Somewhere in the dark recesses of my mother’s womb as I was being formed in secret, there was a strong gene, part of my DNA, that stood up and shouted, come on now, let’s get organized.  It will be fun! 

Just recently, I was trying to find something in the cabinet under the bathroom sink.  I had to pull out a few things and soon the contents of the cabinet were all out and I was organizing!  When it all gets put back, I get a rush akin to a runner finishing a race.  I start looking for a closet or drawer to go through next.

With that in mind, you might not guess I am also a pack rat.  I know, I’m weird.  I keep things that have a memory attached to it or something I think I just might need in the future (hopefully I can find it then).  The pack rat in me wars with the organizer in me.  What am I to do with all the stuff I keep keeping?  Where can I put it, out of sight, still keep it orderly, and be able to retrieve it later?  That is the dilemma.

I have determined I have too much stuff.  My stuff is taking too much of my time.  Because, of course, I have to keep finding neat, orderly places for it all.  It’s time to let go, to turn loose.  I have the urge to purge.  I’m in the mood to remove.   

Simplify!  That’s it, I need to simplify.  But wait.  I have company coming next week.  No time to pull out, to review the stuff and decide what to keep and what to discard.  I’ll just stuff it back in the closet until a more convenient time (whenever that is).

There are times the Lord speaks to me to discard the stuff that has cluttered my heart and my attention.  He has dealt with me about bitterness and unforgiveness.  I’ve had to write a letter and apologize for something I did years ago, seeking someone else’s forgiveness.  Sometimes, I want to nudge that still small Voice back into the closet of my heart and wait for a more convenient time.  After all, I have things to do and places to go.  But that Voice is insistent, tender but demanding.  I have to pay attention or my relationship with Him suffers.  It is not that He would draw away from me.  Rather, it would be me turning my heart from Him in rebellion and disobedience if I do not heed the convicting whisper of the Holy Spirit.

Organizing my life, my heart is too much work.  I need the help of a Professional.

Lord, create in me a clean heart.  You who organized the entire universe to operate in an orderly and wonderous fashion, I invite you into every room and closet of my inner-most being.  Go into the dark corners and shine Your light.  Make known to me what should be dealt with, what is displeasing to You.  Make a clean sweep so that Your glory can shine brightly to a world needing to see Jesus.