What’s in a Minute?

One-Minute Organizer set of books is written by Donna Smallin.

One-Minute Organizer (Plain & Simple edition)

While waiting for an appointment yesterday, I came upon an interesting book called One-Minute Organizer Plain & Simple by Danna Smallin.  Leafing through it, I found some excellent quick tips for cleaning out clutter and getting my home (and life) in order.  I attempted to capture its wisdom with my tablet, first by taking pictures of the pertinent pages.  When that proved horrendously cumbersome, I tried to jot down notes on my tablet, only slightly less horrendously cumbersome.  I would have used the old tried-and-true pen-to-paper method, but had no paper.

After mentioning the book to my therapist (the appointment), she told me to take it with me.  So I did—with the intention of returning it after I’ve reaped its beneits.

The book is much like Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and other inspirational books, with little tidbits of help on every page.

The first chapter is titled “Getting Started.”  It discusses the importance of goals, consistency, accountability, and rewards.   For me, one tip stands out from all the others:  take care of today’s mess.  Tackle those chores that need to be done regularly, such as the daily mail, dishes, and laundry.  To those, I would add email and paying bills.

That tip was a light-bulb moment.  My to-do lists have always been about “keeping up” and never about “moving forward.”  Just that one sentence has changed my thinking.  Now I can separate those things I need to do every day from those things that will help me reach my goals.

I’ve addressed today’s mess, having cleaned and put away the dishes, folded and put away the laundry, and dealt with the mail.  Tomorrow, the goals!

 

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Welcome, 2014

Happy (almost) New Year!  The new year brings with it the chance to reboot ourselves, however mundane or all-encompassing that might be.  It’s filled with hope, a time to start afresh, to look at our lives and figure out what needs improving.  It’s not just the standard “eat less, exercise more” routine.  It encompasses all aspects of our lives.

I stopped making resolutions years ago, but it hasn’t prevented me from trying to establish or reestablish good habits.  It’s an on-going process which lasts throughout the year.  That doesn’t mean I’m always successful or that I don’t backslide, but it’s a constant attempt to improve my life.  And it avoids that dreadful “all or nothing” thinking.

For a remodeled kitchen, I like stainless steel appliances, light-to-medium wood cabinets, and a dark countertops.

Perhaps the look of my new kitchen. [Photo credit unknown]

This year I’m hoping to remodel my kitchen.  It’s an intimidating task because I have a massive amount of preparation to do.  I started a blog called Ms Pack Brat about five years ago to chronicle my attempts to get my home and life in order, but it was more “miss” than “hit.”  Perhaps it was one blog too many.  Hell, it may have been two blogs too many, what with SciFi Chicks (where I spent most of last year).

This new year presents itself with an opportunity to renew and revitalize The New Stream of Conscience.  I certainly have plenty to write about.  Why not make this daunting kitchen remodel (and its prerequisite cleaning and clearing) a focus?  Why not write about how I adapt FlyLady’s principles to my own life?  And let’s not forget about exploring cookbooks in an effort to eat better.

Hey!  That’s a plan!

Photo credit: Small Kitchen Ideas

I think you have enough crap, Gail.

One Thing Leads to Another

I love that song by The Fixx.  I have the CD… somewhere. You see, sometimes I can’t find what I’m looking for because I have too much stuff.  Among other problems, this creates…

CHAOS. That’s FlyLady‘s “Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome.”   I’m not a hoarder, per se.  In general I don’t have trouble letting go of things.  The problem is it’s physically demanding to get rid of the junk.  I live on the top floor of a walk-up condo; we have trash pick up only 2 days a week; we’re not allowed dumpsters in front of the buildings.  All this makes trash day very taxing, what with numerous trips carrying heavy trash up and down three plus flights of stairs.  Plus, where do I store the trash while waiting for trash day?

It’s reached critical mass because…

I’m refinancing my mortgage.  And unfortunately, I need to have an appraisal.  At last fear of the inevitable has spurred me to…

Tackle my two worst rooms.  The guest room has been used as general storage for far too many years.  It’s become impassable with Christmas decorations, old Mary Kay cosmetics (I was a “personal use consultant” with with thoughts of selling that never panned out), unused area rugs (rolled up), old clothes, a very old bicycle, and plenty of other unknown stuff.  The room I use as my office is chock-a-block (but passable) with papers, photos and photo albums, sewing material, extra furniture, more. old clothes, games, and…  Do you really need me to go on?

I’d like to say I’m devoting 15 minutes a day to each room.  But the truth is, those 15 minutes generate enough trash to fill up my staging area and create at least 5 trash-day trips.  So for now it’s 15 minutes  twice a week.  But it’s progress.

[P.S. The photo is not of my home.  It’s from GoDDess GrOOve, with modifications, of course. 😉 ]

Home Again, Home Again…

…Hippity Hop

NaBloPoMo June 2013 is coming to an end.  Today’s prompt is the last for this month, since Saturday and Sunday fall on a weekend, and are thus saved for “free-writing.”  Of course, I’ve spent most of the month free-writing, so why should it matter?  It doesn’t.

Anyway, heeere’s the prompt:

Are you still living in the town where you were born? Tell us about why you did or didn’t move.

The Dairy Mart in Glidden, IA, is a local landmark

Dairy Mart: hometown landmark and site of my first job. Which I sucked at.

Actually, I never lived in the town where I was born—because the town doesn’t have a hospital.  😉 However, the house in which my family lived when I was born was the same house we lived in when my mother died and my father went into a nursing home some 38 years later.  You’d think it was a magnificent house.  It wasn’t.

Perhaps my preference for staying in one place is inherited.

I’ve thought about returning to my hometown in my golden years, but growing up there really wasn’t a happy experience.  And besides, there’s those damn winters.