Monday, October 24, 2011

Organized? Who, Me?

I am one of the millions of people who lost their jobs. Yet I've got a full time job just taking care of my family, the house, the farm and my writing. Add to that some family health issues and you have utter chaos.

I've been struggling to put everything in order and in good repair - in and out of the house. I've succeeded in a few areas: the house, the barn and the grounds. Where I'm having the most trouble is in maintenance.

I'll bet I'm not the only person out there who has this problem!

While I'm not a hoarder, I could become one easily, it runs in the family. So the place is cluttered with lots of stuff. We aren't knee deep in it - yet - but I can see it coming.

While I'm not ready to endorse my sources - after all I might not be able to keep it up - I can talk about the methods.

One thing I've been taught is to break things down into steps. I also wrote S.O.P.s for ISO9000 quality control. Never figured out how to put it into action in my life. I've always muddled through using paper calendars and making notes to Office Calendar.

This time - I've made up some 3"x5" cards with my weekly chores on them. Breaking up the work load into days of the week. Just one or two chores a day instead of trying to do them all on Saturday and Sunday. There is a card for each horse, too.

Meal planning is where I'm the least organized. So I eat a lot of fast food (don't we all?) and carry a lot of extra weight.

I know for a fact that 'dieting' isn't going to work for me. It needs to go deeper than that - a life style change is required but not all at once. Not while I'm carrying a stress load of 10 on a daily basis.

I sat down last night and wrote the things I usually cook on index cards. There are about 15 different meals. That require varying amounts of cooking time. I've got 'fast' food in the freezer for backups - fish sticks and shaved steaks. As time goes on I'll add another card or two, seasonal stuff.

The cards are merely there to jog my memory, not run my life. Rotating chores, rotating meals, so I'm not stuck thinking 'what's next?' or 'when was the last time I did that?'

This experiment has been going on for two weeks. I keep adding to it - this week I divided the house into zones. Instead of trying to clean the entire house in a day, I have a month and every room gets a turn.

In just 14 days the bathroom is cleaner, the kitchen is cleaner. The dishes are done on a regular basis - and most importantly - my kitchen sink is clean and shiny.

This just might work.

Stay tuned.


Jean Davis said...

Sounds like you're on the right track. As to the meal thing, it's so darn easy to fall into fast food or quick stuff from the freezer.

A couple years ago I cut or copied all my favorite recipes from my pile of cook books (and gave them away) and made my own single cookbook-all the stuff I do make and we like. It makes it so much easier to flip a page and find a meal or several when I'm really on top of things and ready to go grocery shopping.

Ms Kitty said...

That's a good idea. ANYTHING is better than doing nothing and feeling totally out of sync.

I'm going to work with the 3x5 cards for a while, see if that helps. Break things down to managable time slots of 30 minutes or less.

My guess is that having a reminder of any kind is a good thing. If I've got XXX on the menue then I'll need YYY to go with it. Maybe in a month or two I can add healthier food to the list.

With all the illness in the family - my old system broke down. I can't remember ANYTHING any more.

Spent an hour holding horses for the Farrier. It felt so wonderful to be with them - and they smell SO good. I put them on my 'to-do' list. LOL

Ms Kitty said...

Made a 'to-do' for each horse - that way each one gets 1 day a week of attention.

Also put each car in a 'zone' to check the tire pressure and the oil.

I wonder if I can keep to this. It would improve my life 100%.

Ms Kitty said...

On the topic of organization:

I blogged about a very well-developed writer's program.