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Jan 10

Cut Through the Clutter and Catch Your Breath – Day #2: Make Your List and Check it Twice

Now that you’ve gotten started on the task of taming the Clutter Monster in your house, it’s time to move beyond the basics. However, be sure that you take a few minutes again today to be prepared for the journey! Here’s just a quick review of what you worked on yesterday, and hopefully you will be able to whip through those tasks again before you launch into today’s assignment.

Let’s get going on Day #2 of Cut Through the Clutter and Catch Your Breath!

 * Get dressed, brush your teeth, comb your hair and put on your shoes

* Make the bed! (see #1 below first)

* Wash the dishes and sweep the kitchen floor

* Pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea and take a break

NOW you are ready to tackle a BIG task, and you get to choose what that particular task will be. Is it a desk that is piled high with papers, or a closet that has old out-of-date clothing tumbling out onto the bedroom floor, or perhaps it is a bathroom that might be harboring fugitives under the sink. Whatever it is, decide on your target for today, and let’s go!

Make a list:  Start your list with five things that need your attention. It could be that pile of papers on the counter that you keep moving and digging through to find what you need. Perhaps it is the sheets on the beds that need to be changed. Maybe it is a sink full of dirty dishes, a huge pile of laundry, or even a bathroom that needs to be cleaned. Whatever YOU want to tackle first, write it down.

Of course, it is always difficult to start an overwhelming project because it seems impossible to know where to start. It really doesn’t matter WHERE you start . . . . the important thing is to START! So, for Day #2 your list might look like this:

1.  Change sheets on one bed

2.  Wash two loads of laundry

3.  Sort through the clothing in ONE dresser drawer (put stuff you no longer need in a bag to go to the thrift store)

4.  Fold two loads of laundry

5. Take a bag of stuff to the thrift store

Or maybe YOUR list would look more like this:

1. Remove ALL papers from the top of the desk

2. Put them in a basket and MOVE them away from the desk

3. Dust the desk

4. Buy a file box or use a cardboard box for sorting the papers

5. Sort though TEN pieces of paper at a time: keep and file, trash, or put in file to be taken care of TOMORROW. (see Day #3)

Now, that’s not so bad, is it? OK, by now you’ve probably used up a couple of your designated time slots, so take a break and handle whatever else is calling your name right now, such as children fighting, phones ringing, or babies crying.

REMEMBER: If you put too many tasks on your To Do List you will still feel overwhelmed and probably won’t even want to get started! Put just a few, manageable tasks on your list and when you get those 3 – 5 “doable” tasks finished, THEN you can add a couple more.

Prepare to Conquer! As soon as you can fit it into your schedule, set your buzzer for another designated amount of time. If you can manage 30 minutes, great! If not, go for whatever will work for you. Roll up your sleeves and dive in!

(If you need to get the kiddos organized with some coloring books, blocks, a family-friendly movie, school work, or some quiet reading time, it is well worth the energy invested to give yourself even just a small amount of time to work on your own projects.)

Tackle the Task: Set the buzzer and GO! Start with the first item on your list and work on it until the buzzer rings or until you get it finished. Try not to get distracted, no matter what happens. If the phone rings, unless it is an emergency, let it go to voice mail and call back later. If one of the kids is crying, of course take care of them . . . . but if they are just annoyed because you aren’t paying attention to them RIGHT NOW, it won’t hurt them to be a bit cranky for a few minutes. FOCUS!

Continue to set the buzzer for small increments of time, whatever you might be able to fit into your day, as many times as you possibly can on Day #2. Even if you only get one thing accomplished (and maybe not even completely finished), at least you will have made a bit of progress. If possible, finish the first item on your list and then move on to the second and third tasks. If not, start again tomorrow and move through your list, one “bite” at a time.

Tomorrow we will discuss one specific Monster Task that can be broken down into bite-size pieces, and see if we can’t get a few of them tamed and under control! See you tomorrow, Nina

4 comments

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  1. Create With Joy

    Thanks so much, Nina, for joining us at Inspire Me Monday and sharing these great tips with us! The New Year is such a perfect time to get one’s house and life in order. I’m taking these tips to heart and doing my best to clear some of the clutter out of my life!

    Have a wonderful week and hope to see you for Wordless Wednesday and Friendship Friday! 🙂

    Ramona
    http://create-with-joy.com

    1. Nina

      Hi Ramona – I’m on my way over this morning to join Wordless Wednesday. And . . . . . looking forward to making a few new bloggy friends on Friendship Friday! I told the girls that I had heard from you and they wanted you to know how much they appreciate that beautiful book you sent to them. I’m thinking of taking a few pictures of it (we are keeping it safe so that they will have it later in life, instead of cutting up the paper dolls right now. Maybe they will pass it on to one of their daughters? 😉 and writing up a blog post about how God brings friends into our lives across the miles. That is definitely going to be on one of the pages in my art journal this year, The Gift of Treasures Every Day. I guess I should link up over at Creative Every Day again ;o) BIG Hugs from our family to yours, Nina

  2. Ricki Jill Treleaven

    I need to figure out a way to organize pictures!!!

    1. Nina

      I Ricki Jill! I stopped by your blog this morning and I absolutely LOVE your art work!!! How about a series of articles on organizing photos? I’ve been working on figuring that out, trying various ideas and storage boxes, etc. and have come up with a couple of things that work fairly well. The main thing I think is that we store them so that they are protected until we have a chance to put them into scrapbooks (or not, whatever you like to do, but I LOVE to put those photos into beautiful scrapbook pages!) Even my grown-up kids love to sit and look through their scrapbooks of when they were little, so I”m thinking I’ll keep working on scrapbooks for a very long time! Hope you stop back again soon, Nina

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