Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pebbles to Sand: Part 4

Photo copyright by Tiffany Skelton
Today concludes the Turning Pebbles into Sand series with a discussion on CLEANING and ORGANIZING.

CLEANING:  My little sister is the housecleaner extraordinaire.  Her place is always immaculate.  Mine...not so much.  It’s clean, but please don’t look closely at tables (which my kids dust sporadically) or baseboards, or heaven forbid—my blinds.  Cleaning is another pebble that is easy to put off, until it becomes a big, menacing rock screaming for attention (DUST ME!  PLEASE, I’M BEGGING YOU!  AH-CHOO!).

To improve in this area, I made a list to keep me on task.  It’s important to set measurable goals.  So I decided to do 15 minutes of cleaning a day (that doesn’t include meal prep/kitchen cleanup or laundry). 

15 minutes is not very long...and I wondered initially if I might have to increase it.  But WA-LAH!  Magic!  That quarter of an hour was very productive.  I worked like a horse (not a lazy horse, but a mighty Clydesdale) and was amazed at all I accomplished. 

One day I organized my whole closet.  Another time, I got the laundry room looking immaculate and then tidied the kitchen.  After just a week, I had made a lot of progress.  Through small and simple things, great things were brought to pass! 

ORGANIZATION:  I'm the Queen of making big plans and never accomplishing them.  I print off recipes that look good on blogs and then stuff them in my cupboard and never make them.  My pile of recipes is about 3 inches thick, but I never feel like taking the time to copy those recipes onto cards to file away and actually use.  When I do remember a recipe in my pile, it takes me a few minutes to dig through my papers one at a time to find it.  Frustrating. 

I decided to break it into manageable chunks.  My goal each day is to copy ONE recipe onto a card and the ingredients needed on my grocery lists (that I posted about here).  It only takes a couple minutes to copy a recipe.  I can do that. 

Over the last month, I’ve whittled my pile down by over 30 pieces of paper.  Yea!  The good thing about making sand-size goals is that many times doing the small act will lead to more.  One day I copied 5 recipes down; another day I decided to clean out my recipe file and threw away at least 50 old recipes I haven’t made in years (nor do I want to make ever again; I’ve found better meals to replace them).
There are lots of things to organize—photographs/scrapbooks, my writing files, genealogy, old letters and books.  Now I have a plan to conquer them...little by little.  The war is not always won by the mightiest...but the persistent (if that doesn’t make sense...forgive me.  I haven’t gotten around to organizing my thoughts yet—I have all the other stuff to do first).

TIME is our most precious commodity.  Our days are filled with lots of tiny spaces of 'waiting.'  You wait in the car for kids practices to get over, or at the doctor’s, or for school to get out, etc. Make use of these little snippets of TIME.  Fill them with sand.  Keep a book with you to read, or write a letter, make a list of things to do or ideas to write about...or to talk to with your teen when you get a chance.  Often, we waste precious moments complaining or doing nothing.  Make use of these filler moments and you will amaze yourself with all you squeeze into your daily jar.



Heidi said...

That is true that if you make your goals smaller...so your example of 15 minutes of cleaning a day instead of saying I will clean all the bathrooms today...it is easier to follow thru because it isn't as daunting!! Thanks for this!!

tiffunny said...

love it. makes perfect sense. i need to tackle my recipe cupboard. it's a disaster and it seems so daunting, but i need to remember to break things up!

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