Monday, October 18, 2010

Sarah The Disorganized

Life is crazy, right?  You know this too, right? 

You know how you can wake up in the morning with a body full of rest and productive hopes, and somewhere mixed up in child-feeding, potty training, and errand-running, every plan for productivity goes down the drain along with whatever energy your day started with.

You know.  Or, I'm hoping you know, because it could be mighty lonely being the only one losing her mind over here from lack of control over the running of a simple little household.  But what I'm wondering is, how do you get past it? 

What helps you travel through your day doing the things you need to do, without getting snagged on all the things you want to do?  (Or is my will to work just surprisingly low?)  I need a new routine for my time, because my old 'do whatever, whenever' isn't cutting it.  (Oh, and how is it that I'm great at enforcing my children's routines, but so lackadaisical about my own?)

How do you -- as a good mom and wife and non-raving-mad human -- make your day work?

What methods or tricks or tips do you have up your sleeve?

What do you do to organize your time? 

Or do you just squeeze your eyes shut and hope the tasks of the day line themselves up in a magically highlighted and easy to navigate list? 

Help me!  I'm becoming more disorganized by the day over here -- whether by laziness or boredom or unwillingness to admit defeat, I don't know -- and I need you to point me in the direction of perfection.

Okay.  Not perfection.  But, please -- point me in the direction of 'better than THIS.'


  1. Okay so I know my life may not be as crazy with 1 child vs. 2, but I still find if I lose my handle on things for a day or 2 it takes at least a week to get a grasp on things again. Lately I've started getting up before Molly does in the morning. To get things done that I want/need to do...check email, pay bills, set up appointments, do last night's dishes. But it also helps that she has been sleeping until 8am :)

  2. Well... I'm in the same boat of disorderliness. When I'm on my A-game, lists are a great help to me. I know they're not everyone's cup of tea, but I am classic for muttering "I need to do this, and this, and this today..." and of course, none of those things get done simply because I said so. Having a visual reminder annotated with order of priority keeps me on my toes.

    I've heard of lots of women who designate certain days of the week to tackle specific tasks: a particular day for cleaning (fill-in-the-blank), another for dropping off (fill-in-the-blank). You get the picture. I think it's next on my list of things to try ;)

  3. This post is so close to how I feel today that it is uncanny! Scary even... or.... as I read comments, par for the course, so to speak, given what we all need to handle in a day. I have closets to organize, basements to purge and piles of laundry to put away, but... care and feeding of little ones, baths, kitchen clean-up, snack duty, school pick-up, etc. will keep me from all that. I DO find, too, that lists work for me as well. I tackle what is on a given list THAT DAY - nothing more / nothing less - Night before, I add tasks to next day that were not accomplished today -AND I try to mix them up a bit - daily stuff with the bigger picture stuff (clean refrigerator because, when I made salad last night, the criper drawer scared me - BUT organize seasonal clothes in 2 year old's room and develop photos from her b-day party .... something like that, for example :-). Good luck - with you in spirit.

  4. I have post-it notes by my computer, and whatever I need to do the next day, even if it is just "empty the dishwasher" or "mail the rent check" goes on one post-it so I don't forget. Because I have mommy brain and forget to do lots of things unless they are written down. When there is a break in the day, I glance at the list and do something.

    If there are a few things I can get done in a 30 minute time slot, I set my kids in front of a 30 minute show and get stuff done. Also, naptime is always my get-done time.

    Good luck, I still am not good at at time management, but I will be reading the comments to get ideas!

  5. This is exactly how I have been feeling, and what I do is.. I give myself permission to do nothing for a couple of days, besides hanging with the kids and play and lay on the couch, read... and yes the house gets worse.. BUT after a couple of days of not HAVING to do things? my motivation goes back up, I'm recharged and it's easier to tackle what needs to be done because I've given myself time to just be, not do.

    And, that's exactly what I spent this weekend doing, boy did I need it. and today? much better!

  6. Somedays the only hope is to accept that half of the list wont get done. And move on. I try to be reasonable with my expectations, but with kids it's impossible sometimes. Yesterday it was reasonable to do two errands. Today, it isn't. They have too much energy.
    I try to have weekly lists, and anything that has to get done on a schedule is marked with that date.
    Mostly, I play it by ear.
    And my couch is covered in clean laundry. And my floor is covered with dust puppies.
    Disorganized here too.

  7. How funny that we both wrote on the same topic today! My only suggestion is, since you're good with maintaining a routine for your girls, maybe you could incorporate what needs to get done in with that somehow? Sure, you could do a better and faster job at, say, sweeping the kitchen, but if that's always Mia's Tuesday task, maybe it might get done? Or maybe not :) I guess I just think of this because Montessori schools are so popular, and when I asked what the kids learn to do, I hear about three year olds learning how to use dustpans and peel carrots. And I figure why pay thousands of dollars to have my child practice that somewhere else when I could (attempt to) have them do it in my own home!

    And of course, feel free to roll your eyes at my naivete and ignore any other words from this idealistic soon-to-be mom :)

  8. I have no answers, because my life is a literal and figurtive mess at the moment. But one thing I have learned is to lower my expectations and to keep lots of lists. That's all of I've got because I'm not doing a good job of it myself. If you discover any secrets, please share!

  9. I'm still working on it, but some things we have recently started doing that seem to work.

    - I only clean one room a day (well dishes, get loaded/unloaded from the dishwasher daily. The gets get a chore in that same room each day too. So today was Monday which is laundry put away day.
    - I have two hours, one in the am, one after lunch. Am- check/respond to email. If time blog. PM- blog, read blogs, etc.
    - I have 4 hrs a week when my daughter is in school at the same time as my son. I have designated that "project time" and use it to work on Mom projects. So this week I am sewing Halloween costumes.

    i used to be not a schedule person (for me) but the more running of kids to and fro I do the more of a schedule, even loose, that I need.

  10. Well, this will by no means solve everything but have you seen the app TeuxDeux? It's a desktop platform and a mobile app and it's a huge listmaker/calendar and it's been really helpful to me.

  11. I know how you feel! I struggle with the same problem of doing "whatever whenever". I find I have the most success when I make sure to get ONE load of laundry done a day, and deep clean ONE room each day. I try to get to general pick-up every day with the "help" of my kids. But my big breakthrough has been the ONE room and ONE load of laundry thing, that's how I keep up.

  12. I hear ya, girl! Since Adeline started school, I've been forced to organize my life a little better. Here's what has helped me (and maybe this has already been said above):
    *I get up and ready before the kids.
    *We don't go downstairs for breakfast until EVERYONE is dressed with brushed teeth and hair.
    *I started planning my meals (with complete grocery lists) for the entire week and do all our grocery shopping on Monday mornings, preventing multiple trips during the week.
    *I designate Wednesdays (Addie's late start day) for trips to the mall or playdates.
    *I claim Fridays for laundry. Which, yes, sometimes spills into Saturdays...

    That's all I've got. Obviously I don't have it all figured out either. I'll have to go and read those other comments!

  13. I could not wait to read the comments for this post. You have been to my house and seen what an unorganized slob I am....I too need help in this department. I am very bad at time management. But I have been trying to tackle daily chores by breaking them up into days for example: change and wash bedsheets and dust one day, floors(vacuuming/mopping/sweeping whatever)another, bathrooms another and the kitchen another. That's it-those are the only chores I give myself and yet I still can't tackle them ha ha. Of course I try to do dishes and laundry as needed daily and Savannah picks up her toys before nap and bedtime. Tues. is my no chore day because we go to my Grandmother's house-I could actually accomplish some in the morning if needed we don't leave until after nap time. I even write these chores on my calendar for all to see ha ha. And usually at the end of the week I look back and realize I haven't done a darn thing oops. I keep thinking about organizing my days-breaking down the hours and making each day a monotonous routine kind of like school-I don't think Savannah is the only one that will benefit from it. Something like breakfast, get dressed (yes this is a step that we skip most days...) play with Savannah, snack, errand time, craft time/scrapbook time, nap time, books. I mean there are definitely predictable parts of our day-lunch time and nap time, but other than that it's a crap shoot and some days are better than's to getting organized I'm ready to take the plunge!

  14. no tips here. I am the queen of messy.
    the fly lady would have a field day with me!

  15. I just spent the entire afternoon today trying to declutter, rid our house of unused items not matter HOW useful they could be and organize our stuff.
    I *think* -- not totally sure -- that it will help to make the day run more smoothly.
    However, I cannot be sure since I'm just now putting it all into play. So I could have wasted a whole afternoon, but I'm hoping, really hoping, that a little organization is going to go a long way.
    Hope you feel unfrazzled soon.


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?