or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Organize & Declutter › Trying Hard to Organize My Life!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Trying Hard to Organize My Life! - Page 2

post #21 of 37
Hmmm. I'm developing a bone to pick with the personality test.

I'm getting "INTJ". The description for this one suggests that I only care about the intellect, and I don't care about anybody else. Not altruistic, insensitive to the misfortunes of others, etc.

I can possibly see the questions that lead to that conclusion. For example:

"I value compassion over analytical reasoning." (I disagreed with this one.)
"I tend to trust the mind more than the heart." (Agreed with this one.)
"I tend to value fairness more than feelings." (Agreed.)
"I tend to pay more attention to my thoughts than my feelings." (Agreed.)
"I tend to value competence more than compassion." (Agreed.)
"I rely mostly on my feelings to guide my decision-making." (Disagreed.)
"I am extremely sentimental." (Disagreed.)

But to me, these questions make false choices.

For example, "I value compassion over analytical reasoning." Why should the two be at odds? For example, compassion says that the hungry need to be fed. Analytical reasoning guides us in the most efficient and effective way to feed them.

Compassion may drive me to drop a can of soup in the donation box, a can of soup that I bought with my post-tax dollars and after giving the grocery its profit. Analytical reasoning may drive me to find the most effective organization feeding the hungry, send them a cash donation that I was able to make bigger because I can deduct it, which they can use to buy food at wholesale prices with a minimum of the money being drained away in somebody's profits. More people get fed. So analytical reasoning, to me, supports altruism more than raw compassion.

Or, say you find an abandoned dog. Compassion and sentiment may say, "Awww, poor doggie, let's give him a biscuit." Analytical competence may say, "How do we find a good no-kiill shelter, and how can we most effectively advertise for a home for him?"

I have a similar objection to the other questions. I don't see how the mind and the heart should be opposed. The mind can act as the heart's agent. The same for thoughts and feelings. The same for _not_ allowing my feelings to be in charge of my decision-making. The same for valuing competence. The same for distrusting pure sentiment.

Logic, planning, analysis, thoughts, are all powerful instruments. Why assume that they're selfish instruments? Why assume that logic is all about benefiting myself?

Grumble.

Crayfish
post #22 of 37
...reading with great interest... :
Writing schedules is easy for me. It's the keeping them going that I struggle with.
post #23 of 37
I may be the "neat freak" y'all want to walk around with you. LOL LOL LOL But, I am only basing that on the fact that when I took the long version of the Myers-Briggs test years ago (early 90s), I was an ESFJ. The exact opposite of most of you... LOL (I don't think these types of tests change over time, but *I* sure have changed since I took it.)

Anyway, I can commiserate because having a baby (in 2001) rocked my world and threw me into a tailspin in regards to organization. Even while pregnant, I missed appointments (SO UNLIKE ME) and let routines slide. Once our little darling arrived, I was so wrapped up in her (and my own health issues ) that I failed miserably at housekeeping 101. :

I did climb my way back and there is hope for all of you.

My plan of action:
* I devised a LOOSE weekly schedule with DH's input. It was a GUIDE, not a carved-in-stone-everything-has-a-time-slot type schedule.
Examples: Monday morning Story Time, Tuesday morning Indoor Parent/Child class, Thursday Morning Outdoor Parent/Child class, and I worked with DD on Wed & Fri 9-2 (in a holistic health office). Afternoons were typically stay-at-home and play times. Evenings were family time. Each night after DD was in bed had a different "theme" (for only one hour unless we wanted to do more), such as project night (individual), finance night (paperwork/bills/mail), house night (cleaning bathrooms/trash/vacuum), date night (at home - Fri or Sat), TV night (Thursdays LOL), and so on.

* The lifesaver for me was the "Before Bed Routine", which I came up with before finding FLYlady. I was so frustrated with taking hours to get out the door in the mornings with a breastfeeding infant. Sometimes it was late afternoon before I was ready to walk out the door, even with trying all day. I was soooo disorganized! Somehow (probably from another mom in the parent/child classes) I figured out the problem was I trying to do everything in the morning. Eventually, I learned to do what could be done after the LO was in bed and before I went to bed, such as restocking the diaper bag and getting water and snacks ready. I also figured out that if I planned the outfit the night before, DH would dress his DD. He was afraid of the clothes! LOL I solved that by ultimately hanging complete outfits on one hanger (each), which saved us all time. I tried, but never really got into planning my own clothes the night before. I am much more "emotional" about my clothing choices, but with other stuff out of the way it was pretty easy to just not get hung up on the getting dressed part.

* DH & I were both unemployed unexpectedly when DD was an infant. Talk about scary (a baby AND a mortgage and no income ). However, it was a really great time in our lives! We developed a good routine for our individual personalities with a mix of private time and family time and couple time and Daddy-Daughter time and Mommy-Daughter time and social time. Although the details have changed (jobs came along eventually and DD has grown and all of our individual interests have changed), we have maintained the lessons learned and keep a mix of those essential components. My tip here is to think about big picture categories when thinking of a routine. Just a minor example: Tuesdays has been Finance Day around here for the last six or so years. DH & I take turns paying bills and filing and general paperwork and mail, so we each know what needs to be done and CAN do it no matter what. When we both worked, we'd do it at night together (or at least while we were in the same room). Now that I am not working, I do my part during the day (more of it than DH since I have more time) and DH does his part at night and we chat about any "issues" whenever it makes most sense. We went from a 100% paper system to mostly computer system (only paper bills...paying and recordkeeping online) and are in the process of reducing the incoming paperwork further. I use the term "finances/paperwork" to catch it all and not limit the idea to "balance the checkbook" and "pay bills" and whatever other specific tasks are involved. I just do whatever needs to be done in that general category. BTW, today is Tuesday and DD helped me separate the receipts by dollar amount while I called two companies. We set the timer for 15 minutes. DH & I have another 15 minutes to do tonight. That's it this week. It isn't complicated or that structured...just whatever needs to be done that particular day whenever it fits in to our life...just the focus for Tuesdays for 15-60 minutes...not an all-consuming task all day long. We COULD spend all day, but why would we want to???

* I did eventually learn about FLYlady (circa 2002-2003). I received her emails for awhile and I read her website. I don't have anything negative to say and I actually like quite a bit of her philosophy, but not all. I don't receive the emails anymore and I haven't visited the site in ages. What I learned most from her was to adjust my attitude. Being a perfectionist was thwarting all my efforts and making me grouchy, to say the least. I learned to lighten up about my methods and expectations of myself and others. Most importantly (for our marriage), I decided to appreciate any and all efforts DH made regardless of the outcome. I did not re-do anything (as tempting and hard as that was) and I literally said, "Thank you," with a smile. I eventually meant it every single time and I even noticed he was starting to appreciate all MY efforts and thanking ME. Well, this was a major turning point in my attitude about housework in general. I had always kept a reasonably clean home (except for pregnancy and first year of motherhood), but I had never really ENJOYED doing it. I can honestly say I enjoy creating a comfortable, loving, clean home where my family and friends and neighbors can hang out and have fun and laugh!

* Along these same lines is I learned that something FLYlady says that I never really understood or truly believed is really true! I cannot quote her because I don't remember the exact words, but the gist of it is women are the leaders of our homes. She says, "When mama ain't happy, no one is!" The specifics of what I learned is when *I* make the effort and do things FIRST, then my family usually follows suit. Sometimes it takes a long time for them to follow my lead, but they typically do eventually. An easy example is with the dishes. If I empty the dishwasher right away and put my dishes in after each meal, it is amazing how few dishes accumulate throughout the day. When *I* fail to put my dishes in, even if the dishwasher has dirty dishes in it and can hold more, no one else seems to even look and piles their dishes automatically by the sink. This occurs in many areas, btw, this was just an easy example. It took me awhile to A) realize this was true and B) get over being resentful of the responsibility and C) change my thinking. I now view it as a honor and accept my role as a domestic goddess! (Use your own words, if "domestic goddess" doesn't suit you...the words matter very little, anyway. It is all in how you feel about your role and how you define it. Be proud and own it!)

* My house is usually within 15-30 minutes of "company-ready" and I do not feel like I am a slave to it. I feel pride and joy in maintaining our home. It is not spic-n-span clean, but ready for others to enjoy. Every other year thereabouts, we take on MAJOR home improvement projects. In the "off" years, we work on smaller projects and travel instead. (Balancing where the money goes, I guess, but it just worked out that way.) The house can be a wreck when we are doing major work, of course. I make an effort to always clean the kitchen and living room and at least one bathroom, so there are clean spaces somewhere to rest my eyes and to still allow for family and friends (very limited numbers!).

My advice beyond the above:
~ Start super small! Find ONE thing to learn to do better and stick with it for a month until it becomes "natural". With my personality tending towards perfectionism, I tend to find it best for that "first" to be something of medium importance. Important enough for me to want to make it a habit, yet not SO important that I feel the need to micromanage every single detail before really getting started.

~ Really think about your expectations. Are you expecting yourself to completely change who you are? How realistic are your expectations? There is something to be said for baby steps. Take it slow and realize your home (or whatever) didn't get the way it is overnight and it isn't likely to get the way you want it overnight, either. You have to build on each success. The cumulative effect is far greater than the individual components. Be kind to yourself and be loving towards your family along the way.

~ I highly recommend creating and fine-tuning a "before bed" routine. It is amazing how much it helps your whole (next) day go smoothly! It can be as simple as checking your calendar after dinner and having the kids and yourself get the necessary items ready and waiting by the door. It can get far more complicated, too! LOL Think "KISS"...keep it simple sweetie!

Well, I hope all this rambling helps someone!!! I hadn't intended on writing so much...
post #24 of 37
oh, I'm very "P", very, very "P".
post #25 of 37
Wow - sunny sandiegan! Thanks for the tips. I really need to work on the before bed routine. I have a problem rushing around in the morning. Plus, I'll admit I am always forgetting stuff like picture day at school, permission slips. I feel buried in paper most of the time and now I will have two in school so double the paper! Getting everything ready the night before will work . . . I also like the idea of certain days meaning certain things. Why does the idea of a schedule scare me?? I don't know, but I know that not having one is not working out. Again - thanks for the great post!

elle
post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemoon View Post
Wow - sunny sandiegan! Thanks for the tips. I really need to work on the before bed routine. I have a problem rushing around in the morning. Plus, I'll admit I am always forgetting stuff like picture day at school, permission slips. I feel buried in paper most of the time and now I will have two in school so double the paper! Getting everything ready the night before will work . . . I also like the idea of certain days meaning certain things. Why does the idea of a schedule scare me?? I don't know, but I know that not having one is not working out. Again - thanks for the great post!

elle
You are welcome!

For school paperwork... I have a system that works fairly well (not perfect, but okay).
1. As soon as the stuff comes home, go through it!!! Pitch the trash immediately. Fill out forms immediately and stick it right back into the backpack.
2. For the other "stuff", I use a binder with the following categories:
CHILD
TEACHER
SCHOOL
DISTRICT

You could have two CHILD and TEACHER categories. I divide the paperwork based on who it came from and/or who it most closely relates. District stuff is easy. Letters from the superintendent, district calendar, cafeteria menu, etc. School stuff is also pretty easy. Letters from the principal, school calendar (specific dates/weeks/etc that are "special"), afterschool activities available that are of interest, anything related to the whole school. It is a fine line between CHILD and TEACHER and sometimes I think about dropping them both and just having CLASS. Total judgement call. I divide them based on if it is related to everyone in the class (TEACHER) or my specific child (CHILD).

In Kindergarten, oy! We had soooo much paperwork it was ridiculous. I volunteered to be the "Monday Folder Volunteer" in DD's class, which meant I stuffed the weekly folders for the whole class of 20 kids every Monday afternoon. A lot of us were appalled at the sheer volume of paper going home every week and being photocopied, etc. Since I was a "newbie", I mostly voiced my thoughts to some of the key "veterans" and let them take it from there.

Last year (first grade), the volume was significantly lower. YEAH! We're actively pursuing reducing the paperwork further school-wide, too.

Best wishes!!!
post #27 of 37
I'm not quite a neat freak, but I'm a reformed messie I think that us former messies are the best at helping others get organized, because we've been there and know how overwhelming it can be to get started. I fought organizing, was dragged to it kicking and screaming after I had a few kids, and now that I've got 4 boys I've realized that really, the only way to keep my sanity is to keep my home organized.

I've posted it here before, but it's probably way buried now, LOL! I posted my home management binder on my blog, It's got details on my binder and my "brain files" which is my daily/weekly/seasonal chore list. I've had several friends IRL (and tons online since hte blog post, LOL!) use it and love it
post #28 of 37
Thanks for the paper tips! I will have one in K and one in second grade. I have a binder around here somewhere and I am going to set it up like you suggested. I am also shocked by the paperwork that comes home!

I am going to check out your home binder too - knittin' in the shade - thanks!

peace,
elle
post #29 of 37
Thread Starter 
Ellemoon,

One of my mom friends suggested putting the things needed for school in the car the night before. So say, (my kids are in preschool) it is splash day, we'd put all the towels in the car so I wouldn't forget them.

Or. You know, have extras in the trunk for when someone pees or vomits.
post #30 of 37
Thread Starter 

updated from the op

Also, the schedule is doing pretty well. Granted...it is still the first week but I think we thought it out enough that it makes sense.

We thought out everything that needs to be/I want done during the day, such as: Wake up early, everyone brush teeth, go somewhere in the AM, clean up and such.

Yes, I have to schedule in brushing teeth. And making beds.

Then we organized it in a time and then guessed how long we'd thought I needed to do it. Right now, I'm on AM coffee/computer time. After I figured out the time needed, we added 15 minutes to that

Seems to be working!
post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knittin' in the Shade View Post
I'm not quite a neat freak, but I'm a reformed messie I think that us former messies are the best at helping others get organized, because we've been there and know how overwhelming it can be to get started. I fought organizing, was dragged to it kicking and screaming after I had a few kids, and now that I've got 4 boys I've realized that really, the only way to keep my sanity is to keep my home organized.

I've posted it here before, but it's probably way buried now, LOL! I posted my home management binder on my blog, It's got details on my binder and my "brain files" which is my daily/weekly/seasonal chore list. I've had several friends IRL (and tons online since hte blog post, LOL!) use it and love it
Wow! Thank you!
post #32 of 37
INFP here, too

I love to make lists... that never get checked off.
post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Savoir Faire View Post
We thought out everything that needs to be/I want done during the day, such as: Wake up early, everyone brush teeth, go somewhere in the AM, clean up and such.

Yes, I have to schedule in brushing teeth. And making beds.

Seems to be working!
We have a schedule to brush teeth too... and floss and shower. My kids are old enough to do plenty of chores, so I wrote out a list that has to be done before they can play video games (the only thing they care about doing)- if they don't do their chores then they are grounded from video games for a week. It's kind of funny, b/c now they catch themselves and ground themselves! And I would never have known they didn't do their chore that day.
None of it would get done though, if it was up to me to remind them or to come up with a job for the day and it would be late at night before I remember to ask if they have showered, etc.
It helps me to stay on task as well, things like dishes: #1 is dry dishes 7 am-noon, #2 is noon-5 pm #3 is 5 pm-bedtime. So if I wash dishes during their "time" they are to dry and I don't want one person do have to dry all of them that I wash that day, nor after they have piled up- so I am more prone to actually wash after Breakfast, lunch and dinner. And each one has a day they fold clothes-- which means I need to do 1 load each day so one poor child isn't folding 7 loads.

I knew I needed something that helped them learn to keep up a house b/c their bio-dad's mother did everything for him and he was so sloppy- he would leave clothes, pop cans, dirty dishes etc. all over the house and then complain that it was messy/never clean.
My mom did alot for me too, so I could clean, but was never in a habit to do things when they needed to be done- like the laundry. Sure I could wash it, but then I would leave it on the couch and use what we needed from there, rather than folding it and putting it away right away.
post #34 of 37
Myers Briggs: Crayfish, the real tests are actually much more sophisticated that what you can get for free on the 'net . The questions are set up as either-or, but of course we all know that we all fall some place on a gradient between the poles -- some sitting closer to the extremes than others. Even some of the 'net tests can tell you how strongly expressed some of one's tendencies are.
post #35 of 37
i'm glad i found this thread! (while procrastinating cleaning my house and packing for camping...) i feel like this issue is debilitating to me right now! but it isn't just disorganization.... it feels like almost lethargy or something. i just feel so laaaazy all the time. or at least during the baby's morning nap and at night, which are the times i could actually get something done. i just want to relax all the time. when my grandma was here (any company, really) last week i kept the place so neat for two days but without that incentive it quickly clutters and messes so that i feel overwhelmed and don't even want to start. also when dd (9mos) is awake she has been wanting my full attention and doesn't really want to ride on my back in the ergo while i do dishes. well, maybe sometimes, but not alot. oh and i'm so slooowww. i can easily motivate to cook or go meet someone out somewhere (tho it does take a while to leave the house!) or hang out w/ the kids playing but when it comes to housework.... i'm going to have to check out the resources on this thread. i want to try the 21 day habit thing but i am skeptical that i'll discipline myself or even not procrastinate starting! lol. well, we're leaving for camping tomorrow but maybe monday.... i haven't read the meyer's briggs thing yet but it is a relief to know i'm not totally alone in this (messy) boat!
:
post #36 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ksenia View Post
Myers Briggs: ....The questions are set up as either-or, but of course we all know that we all fall some place on a gradient between the poles....
Problem is, I don't even see how the two choices can be things to choose between.

It's sort of like rating the statement "I value carpentry over hammers". Well...carpentry is an activity and hammers are a tool. Hammers can be used for carpentry. They can also be used for other things. You want me to decide how much I value carpentry minus hammers (that'd be hard) as opposed to how much I value hammers without the existence of carpentry? (That'd be hard, too.) Say what? Those are two pretty strange, very artificial situations, so I don't think that's what the question means, but I can't imagine what the question _does_ mean.

That's pretty much my reaction to "I value compassion over analytical reasoning." Well... compassion is a value and analytical reasoning is a tool. Analytical reasoning can be used to help with compassionate activities. It can also be used for other things. You want me to decide how much I value compassion minus analytical reasoning, as opposed to... (etc., etc.)

The question just seems inherently illogical. Maybe the better tests have fewer inherently illogical questions.

Crayfish

Edited to add: But I do appreciate your responding to my ranting.
post #37 of 37
Crayfish - I think the test is about how you approach situations - not the outcome. The fact that you have analyzed it points that you are very logical. You use your intellect and logic to judge, not your feelings. There is nothing wrong with either approach and you could very well arrive at the same conclusion.

have a great day!
elle
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Organize & Declutter
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Organize & Declutter › Trying Hard to Organize My Life!