Getting Things Done

So a number of years ago (by number I mean at least 4 but less than, say than 13, since we were living on Owl Circle at the time) Tay gave me a book for Christmas one year to help me “get organized”. This book, specifically:

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Am I the only one that sees the irony in giving a chronically disorganized person a book about getting organized? A chronically disorganized person that tends to procrastinate whenever she possibly can? Is it any surprise that, when earlier in the week I picked up this book for the purpose of this blog post, I found the following marking my spot in the first chapter?

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Notice the date on the TIFF passes. Notice too the info sheet on Serophene as well. This isn’t just pre-Clara, this is pre-pregnancy, pre-fertility, this is in the early stages of talking about our options and getting dye inserted into my lower regions to make sure the plumbing worked (and guess who forgot to take the recommended Acetepheatmine acetaminophen an hour before hand and then popped them on my way into the procedure room and yeah, procrastinating doesn’t pay because that particular test HURT). So in September, 2008, at least a year (but probably a lot longer) after receiving this book, I made it half-way through the first chapter on emails and what I read really stuck because I only have something like 6324 emails in my Yahoo Inbox and it’s so daunting that I’m about to switch permanently to a gmail account rather than cleaning up THAT mess.

Sarcasm aside, I’ve been eyeing the book the past few days and thinking about actually reading it (SERIOUSLY reading it) because something’s happening to me. And as much as its freaking me out, it’s exciting me too. Because this is the first time in my life I’ve tried to do this and thinking that it might actually stick.

I’m getting organized.

Better than that, I’m getting things done.

It started a few weeks ago when I did the post about my age and decided I should do a t-shirt post. A couple of days later, I opened my wardrobe and found my t-shirts in a jumbled mess. Seriously. Balled up and crumpled, inside out and hanging over the sides. It was chaos in its purest form. And it didn’t stop there, oh no. My pajama chest (at the foot of the bed) was the same. So were the hanging baskets in our walk-in closet where I keep my underwear and bras. The shelves above where I keep my workout clothes. And other parts of the house too. The hall closet by the front door. The areas under ALL the sinks, both kitchen and bathrooms. Clara’s bedroom. Her area in the basement that we’ve designated her play house. Our bedroom. The guest bedroom. Pretty much the entire house. A complete and utter mess and quite possibly the reason why, when I moved through the days, spending a good chunk of it amidst chaos, I started to feel like I was drowning. And suffocating.

I’ve always been a band-aid cleaner. I clean when I need too (usually to impress guests) but within minutes of the house being clean, I go back to making a mess. It’s ridiculous.

I don’t want to be a messy person. Nor do I want Clara to grow up to be a messy person. I’m training myself (and her) to be a tidy, organized person. It’s one of my many gifts to her, and probably one of the hardest ones I’ll give.

I did the age post on November 4, just over two weeks ago. The next day, I found the jumbled mess of t-shirts in my wardrobe and folded them all. Hung up the rest of my clothes, organized my bras and underwear, threw away anything that was threadbare (except for one thing, a bright coral colored bra from Victoria Secret that I will wear until it literally falls apart and I think that may be sooner than I’m ready for). Told Clara that my underwear and bra drawers were Mommy’s and not for her to touch (she listened, and has stopped slinging multiple bras around her neck and then strutting over to the full length mirror to see how she looks).

Today, I opened up my closet and wardrobe doors and drawers to this:

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*An itemized list of my t-shirts are at the end but I still need to do an in-depth t-shirt post (to do them justice).

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Yes, there are not one, but two pairs of reindeer pajamas pictured here. It’s November, yo. Less than 6 weeks till Christmas.

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If you look closely, you can see the beloved, tattered coral VS, front and center).

My cleaning spree, as mentioned, extended beyond the bedroom.

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My makeup drawer.

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My “medicine cabinet”. I say that loosely since the only drugs in there are a bottle of Benadryl and two jars of prescription cream, one for me, one for Clara.

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More toiletries.

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And under the kitchen sink.

On Friday, I woke up with a cold that had only worsened rather than lessened and I skipped spinning and the back and abs class to focus on my pantry cupboards.

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Added labels to most of my containers to easily identify the contents and
tossed most of my spices and topped the jars up with fresh. I’m guessing this needs to be done at least yearly, if not every six months.

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I’ve started making sure there’s a shelf with snacks that are Clara-approved so if someone other than Taylor or I are watching her, they know what she’s allowed to eat, and they have options.

We’ve spent the past couple of weekends getting Clara’s play area in the basement sorted. I began the process a while back when I was home again from the gym (yet another cold) but it took a while to add the finishing touches.

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There’s a story behind the television, I’ll post it on Clara’s blog one of these days.

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What is it about building Ikea furniture that makes a chick feel so handy? (Peace and love decals added after the fact. Other animal wall decals a 75% off score from Chapters last Boxing Day week).

If that wasn’t enough, I decided to get my personal and the household finances in order. Not only do I get the tedious task of monitoring my own personal budget (we both get $250 a month in “mad” money) but I also monitor our grocery expenditures, household expenses, fuel for the car, Clara’s expenses, our entertainment budget, plus my hair care (cut and colors) and my skincare (I have a $350 yearly skincare budget that is not even close to covering my Aveda purchases). Oh and the Christmas budget too. I use an app on my phone (Spend Free) to track all these different budgets, but I couldn’t resist buying some new toys to make it a bit more fun to stay on top of our spending (which we do too much of).

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I was giddy with excitement buying these things and was reminded of being a kid (and even a teen) and how excited I was at the end of each summer when my sister and I would dump all the new school supplies my mother had bought out on her bed and we’d spend HOURS filling binders with loose leaf (to this day I prefer the loose leaf with the green lines and not the purple), organizing our pencil cases and neatly writing our names on everything before packing our book bags. Geek nerd.

There’s still more to do. More cupboards in the kitchen. My night stand. The book shelf in the living room. My desk drawer in the kitchen.
I’ll get to it; I’m on a mission. If you’ve forgotten, I’m getting things done. And I’m not even being snarky or facetious. This is for real (yo).

(Too much Breaking Bad in the last few weeks**).

How many days to make or break a habit? The common thought is 21 days. Some say 28. Another article that I read online (from an ADHD site, which I don’t have, at least I don’t THINK I do, but the information is still useful says 66 days.

Ack. I’m on day 14 of being a cleaner, neater me. Of being organized. Only 52 days left for it to be the real deal (yo).

I might start subjecting myself to random spot checks on various parts of the house and posting the resulting photos here. In fact, I’m so serious about this becoming-a-neat-person transformation that I’ll subject myself to spot checks from other people that leave a random comment to this post (I’ll get an email notification). Specify what area of the house you want a picture of and I’ll oblige that same day.

Because I’m being dead serious about this. My messy days are behind me.

It’s for real, yo.

* The t-shirts:

Left column, back to front:
2002 Canadian olympic T
The Go-Go’s (Sealed with a Kiss)
Preservation Hall (New Orleans)
Honestly, I Was Never That Hungry Hungry (With a picture of a hippo, get it?)
Vampire Weekend (Concert T)
Girl with a Chainsaw
Joel’s Farm
Yellow Glittery Rock Star T (From Vegas)

Center column, back to front:

Roots “Water” T (on the back it says, You are relaxed and carefree
You are calm under pressure
You handle obstacles w ease
You are free)
Slide to Unlock
This was Supposed to be our Future
2008 TIFF tshirt
Romance T
If Your Pants are on Fire, Becoming a Liar Becomes Less Important

Right column, back to front:

Self-rescuing Princess
HADA (back from the day)
Metal Mulisha (I have no idea what it means, it was Vegas and I liked it***)
Sex in the City (from when it was a good show and then sort of good movie and not a crappy sequel)
The Strip (from when I got married – 7 years ago)
I Heart my Geek (Someone has too)
I’m Blogging This (Since 2003, yo).

** “Yo I been out there all night slangin’ crystal. You think it’s cake movin’ a pound of meth one tenth at a time?”

*** And a quick Google search revealed that it’s a motocross team that makes clothing (http://m.urbandictionary.com/#define?term=metal%20mulisha – how old am I again?)

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