How To Get Organized

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How To Get Organized

 There seem to be only 3 topics everyone thinks about this time of year: how to get out of debt, how to lose weight and how to get organized and clean at home. Just look at all the magazines or TV shows. People are talking about it everywhere. I myself am not immune to thinking about any of these.

How To Get Organized - Easy Ideas And Tips


I was sitting, gazing around my domain and looking at the mess. I had really let things go. As I was looking, I started thinking, “I need to get busy and clean things up but where do I start? How do I begin to get organized?” (not to mention that I felt too exhausted to start getting organized). “I just can’t do it,” I told myself. I’m too tired. I then realized what I was saying. The reality was that I could do it, I was just tired and didn’t want to do it.

With this in mind, I made myself get up and start, beginning by clearing the one pile of things in my kitchen that had been driving me crazy for ages. When I was done it looked so good I was energized and started on another spot. Before I knew it, I had the whole kitchen picked up and it hadn’t even taken me 30 minutes.

That day, it dawned on me how often we aren’t honest with ourselves, even in the excuses we use for not doing things. When I said, “I can’t do it,” that really wasn’t the truth. I could do it, I just didn’t want to do it or feel like doing it so, to ease my conscience, I told myself, “I can’t do it.” There’a a big difference in the meanings.


“I can’t get organized.”

What would happen if each time we say “I can’t do it” we would change it to “I don’t want to do it because it will be a lot of hard work and/or sacrifice”? Saying it that way might give us more pause for thought.


“I don’t know how to get organized.”

Then you need to learn how. In this day and age we have access to so much knowledge there is almost no reason for not finding out how to do something. Years ago, before the Internet, before information was so easy to get, when people didn’t know how to do something they did it by trial and error until they got it right. Today, more often than not, we seem to think when we say we don’t know how to do something it means we don’t have to bother to try or do it. It is easier for someone else to do it for us.

I always think of Thomas Edison and how it took him over a thousand tries to make the light bulb. Am I glad he didn’t say, “I can’t” or “I don’t know how.” Do you see what an impact excuses can make on our life and the lives of others?

You don’t have to learn to be an expert in everything or to do everything as well as someone else. You just need a good general knowledge that allows you to do what needs to be done.

I love it when people use “I don’t know how” as an excuse when it comes to cleaning. Do you really not know how to pick up the trash off of the living room floor or put those dirty clothes in the hamper?

Some say, “I don’t know to stop spending.” Maybe if you only put what you absolutely need in your basket, it would be a good start. Most 6 year olds know if they only have a dollar to spend they can only buy something for a dollar. It’s not a hard thing to learn.


“I don’t know where to begin getting organized.”

In most cases, it really doesn’t matter where you begin. The important thing is just to begin.

If you are trying to get out of debt, begin by stopping your spending. That step alone will make a big difference. If you want to lose weight, stop eating so much. It’s interesting that in both of these areas you begin by stopping something. If you are trying to clean your home, you can pretty much start anywhere. Just get up and move.

The next time you hear yourself saying these things, stop, pause and think “Am I being honest or do I sound just like my 10 year old when he or she is trying to get out of doing the chores or homework.” Hmmm? I wonder where they learned their excuses from? I know I had to pause and stop myself several times this past week.

If these excuses have become like a comfortable old sweater, check out our website and books to help you take off the old sweater and get fitted for a new one. You will find so many ideas to help inspire you to do things when you think you can’t, to help show you how to do it and to show you where to begin.

I will keep sharing tips and ideas to get out of debt, lose weight and clean in the future. Can we do it? Yes we can. (Well, for those of us who can get out of bed today — this is a little side joke for those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia. : )




  1. says

    How to get out of debt tips.
    1. figure out what you spend.
    Then go through the list and be brutal. Get rid of the wants and focus on the needs.

    2. put down what you make.
    then take out what you pay for hydro, water, housing, transportation and food.

    3. pay yourself.
    even if you are a stay at home mom. You work hard so you deserve to save for retirement, a trip or something you want but don’t really need.

    4. give up the credit cards and put away your bank debit cards. Use cash.

    These are things a financial planner tells people to do and I try to do them.
    I started using cash when shopping and the first 2 weeks I did this I had $200. left after 2 weeks.
    I guess it must be a mental thing since when I have cash in my pocket I hold onto it. When I use the cash card I don’t really think about what I am spending because I don’t see it going out of the bank account until I check on line.
    I put the extra onto a visa bill that I want to get rid of.
    saving on food is easy with a little bit of imagination.
    ex: your family loves one restaurants meals. Check out the grocery store and see if that chain has mixes there.
    Swiss Chalet has now put their dipping sauce and gravy into envelopes so you can make them at home. So the meal consists of a rotiserie chicken cut into 2 or 4 pieces french fries gravy and the famous dipping sauce.
    pick up a cooked chicken at the store make up roasted potatoes or frozen fries in the oven. make the gravy and sauce put them into little bowls for each person. you can add coleslaw or a salad a piece of french bread and there is the restaurant meal you would pay a lot more for at the restaurant. You get to eat at home in grubbies and can talk without being overheard and think about what you have saved on food and gas. It is a quick easy meal even on a weeknight.

    Now as for paying yourself why not. You work and deserve to get paid.
    I started out doing this in Oct. I put $100 each pay into a savings account. Then when I noticed that we didn’t miss the money I upped it to $200. It was fun to see that amount each time I was online at the bank. Just before Christmas I had $2000. Well I am back at $500. because my son’s car broke down when he was at school and not being paid while living out of town. So we loaned him money so he could finish the training and also go home for weekends to be with his family.
    So the money is gone temporarily but it was so nice to be able to say “No problem it is in your account in 5 min. I have started the account again. It may never be a great amount but it is there for emergencies and just for things we want to do. Next time it will go into a different account when it reaches $300 a tax free account that we can still access when we need it but makes a lot more interest hopefully to add to our retirement savings plan that is government regulated which is taxed when you access it. Or when it reaches a certain amount that you set you can take part of it and pay off or down a credit card or bill.
    Here you say that it is not paying you but really the sooner the bills are paid off the more you can up your life style without the bills hanging over your head. And think of it as your part of contributing to the family finances.
    Receive and pay your bills on-line. Sure this is not a great saving but every little bit adds up. No gas to get to the post office or store to pay the bills and no postage. Heck you can pay your bills drinking a cup of coffee and sitting in your pj’s when it is convenient for you. No line ups or traffic jams.
    I pay the bills every 2nd Thursday. Pay day and the only draw back I see is that I have not even had 2 cups of coffee or a shower and most of my husbands pay cheque is gone. But that means I can see what is left for expenses for the next 2 weeks. That is when I do my grocery list in detail.
    It is also good that once you have paid the bills you can go out and not be tempted to put the bill aside until next payday. It is paid and you can only spend what is left and not rob peter to pay paul.
    Last year my stove and dishwasher both had to be replaced at different times but fairly close together. They went onto a credit card. We didn’t get them paid off by the end of the no interest promotion so 2 months we paid 26% interest. Well even with Christmas buying I went over to the store on the 30th of Dec. and paid off that bill. I felt like taking the receipt and framing it. I was so proud of us. Instead of going out to celebrate I bought extra thick steaks with all the fixings and cooked my husbands favourite dinner. The entire meal came to $20. would have been about $100 at a restaurant and we only had what we wanted for choices not what the menu would have suggested.
    Paying down or off debt does not mean suffering. Just a bit of planning.
    In 4 weeks visa and the other credit card we have will be paid off and we are debt free. that is about $6000. after Christmas.
    These tips do work with a bit of tweaking for each individual.
    Happy debt free new year.

  2. LIW says

    I am guilty as charged!! You are so right! :) I have found that if I stop complaining and just do it, it’s not that bad.
    I needed this kick in the pants today, because I am sliding into my lazy ways again. I get depressed and find that I don’t want to do anything. Thank you for your wise advice.

  3. Bea says

    I think you, Jill, and Tawra are both ARTISTS. Not only does your womanly wisdom and advice help people help themselves, but you keep people motivated. You are artists in the sense that you can take practically nothing and turn it into something beautiful, with possibilites. Not just material things, but lives. Your creativity gets people thinking. They look at the world through different eyes and see possibilites where they originally thought there were none. That’s a ministry, given by God. I know you keep me motivated and I appreciate it. If it wasn’t for the internet I would never have “met” you both. I’m glad for the invention of the computer. God bless you both.

  4. Kari says

    Thank you so much for this! So true. I don’t probably even realize how much I say that to myself… but I know I had an albatross hanging over my head all day yesterday with an “I can’t”. Today that’s going to change.

  5. says

    I just clicked over to your site from another and I wish I never had! Actually, that is just and excuse because what you said hit me square between the eyes, so to speak, and it is exactly what I needed. So, I am going to get up now and clean! Thank you for writing the truth. I really need it today.

  6. rose says

    jill, your blog and the newsletter couldnt have come at a better time today!…
    i tell ya, it seems those gnomes are at it again at my house… every room looks like who did it and ran (well, not really but a good deep cleaning never hurt any room any day of the week)…
    i was telling my son this and he agreed … we both decided instead of me doing 1 room and he doing the other, we would team up and get the job done even faster…
    and you are right, just the mind-set of doing and getting it over with, and thinking of having accomplished something is the push i know this family needs…
    thanks again for all you do for us… you and your family…

  7. Kris Homan says

    Hi Jill and Tawra,
    Wow where to begin. My husband and I have 2 kids a boy and a girl ages 15 and 13. We just found out we are expecting and after the shock, we are now so excited. But wow I am a bit out of date and we also have no insurance. I am looking for any and all tips on healthcare, free items for babies, baby items, and any posible healthcare cost tips. Thank you all so much for all that you do on this sight. I love it and read it all the time. Thanks again,

  8. soccermamaof3 says

    Thanks! I admit these are my 3 biggies. I finally have control of the debt thanks to Dave Ramsey and Mary Hunt. I now pay cash for everything and if I can’t I don’t buy it. I do keep one credit card for major emergencies.

    My problem with organization is my ADD. I get extremely overwhelmed by the tasks I have to do. I will take one box or one table :) and try to get it emptied but many times I find that I’m moving one pile to another because i just don’t know where to put it or where I need to put it is under another pile of junk. This is going to be a process and I’m bound & determined not to give up!

  9. Carol says

    What Bea said!!!
    Loved the newsletter today. I, too, love organizing, and in January, I find an urgency to de-clutter. It is so satisfying.
    One way I save money, is that living in a smaller, old house with no storage, I don’t buy as much. There is just nowhere for it! Plus we get the character of an old home. Win win.
    Thanks Jill and Tawra for all you do. You’re such a blessing.

  10. says

    I am almost debt free and have been working on it for about a year. I still have my truck payment (ack!) and the house payment but no credit cards. Rice and beans baby (not really but pretty darned close sometimes!). It really comes down to just a couple of things vs an earlier post I read. When you go into a store, take a list. Don’t buy something if it’s not on the list. Use cash only. Ask yourself “if you need the item vs. want.” (needing doesn’t include the newest fashion or the upcoming party). Poor all money into bills and savings until bills are paid off. That’s it!

    As for cleaning and other things? I read something today and it just floored me. The first step is to “just start.” It was really referring to working out but that can be used in any situation. Just start and the rest will follow. You’ll be motivated. So what did I do? Rearranged the homeschooling room and organized it. Oh, and I cleaned the carpet. I didn’t want to do it but when I “just start” (ed) I felt good when it was done! So remember, just start.

  11. Cleta says

    I have found a way to clean house. I go to Flylady says you can do anything for 15 minutes. I set my timer for 15 minutes and work on a spot til it rings. Then I give myself permission to stop and do something I like for 15 minutes. I get reminders from flylady everyday.

    Jill and Tawra I love your blog. You are reminding me of so many things we did when I was growing up. Thank you for being there.


  12. Cheryl says

    This is my first visit to your blog and I have wondered why I haven’t ever seen it before. I have been so discouraged and so disliked the depressed figure I have become for my husband and my children. I am hopeful now as I am sure to find a plethora of great tips to brighten my home and our lives. Thank you for using your creativity in such an amazing way.

  13. rose says

    welcome cheryl! …. so nice of you to be a part of our “family” … yes, you will gets lots tips to save money…

    and cleta, my duaghter uses flylady too… she says its wonderful…

    rose 😀

  14. says

    I can’t – What does I can’t look like? there is a great resource from Mamie McColough at that you can get to overcome this. It is an “I Can” label that you can put on any can and see a physical object of what Eye Can “I Can” looks like. I use it with my kids when the try to say “I can’t” when they do their homework. I have one on my desk at work and at home that keeps me straight as well.

  15. Trish Kingsford says

    Have you ever looked into Candida yeast over run? It can cause so much havoc in your body that you have all kinds of symptoms no one can diagnose. I have been seeing Dr. Dennis Remington for treatment and with reading the book he coauthored “Back to Health: A Comprehensive Medical and Nutritional Yeast Control Program”(You may recognize another book he wrote called “How to Lower Your Fat Thermostat”) I am feeling so much better, my mind is much more alert, my arthritis is on the mend etc. Here is the link to his website I know you aren’t local but the book Back to Health has a section for the medical field and you could take it to the Dr. who is treating you and have them read it and just try the eating and medication plan. My Mother has had a yeast infection for 10 years and in a little over a week her skin adhesion’s have cleared up and she is up and cleaning etc. She was also “Diagnosed” with Fibromyalgia and been to numerous Dr’s for her yeast problem. The only way to find out if it is your problem is to go on the program for a couple of months by cutting out white flour, all sugars, anything with yeast and a few other things. Read the book it is WELL WORTH YOUR HEALTH!

    • says

      Thanks Trish for the tip. We have gone that route before as a matter of fact Tawra and I were talking about it this morning. She has tried it a couple of different times but didn’t cure her CFS or Fibro. When we were on the CDC study they really did a number on us checking us out for everything and decided we had the real thing.
      It is true many people think they have CFS or fibro and their doctors even tell them they do only later to find out they had something else. That is why we say you need to get more then one opinion and make sure they test you for everything.

  16. Tracy says

    Every week i enjoy reading your weekly newsletter
    It full of great comments and tips
    I have used your tips and ideas with my own household
    I have learn to reduce our debt and save on groceries
    kept my home more organized and clean .
    Your web site is very informative and helpfull
    keep up the your site
    keep doing what you do
    Good luck with selling your home
    perhaps going on the internet with selling your home
    might work a 2nd time around
    It is not a sellers market in this country
    but watching those home channel tv shows having every thing clean and neat
    and showing the best things like big yard ,safe neighborhood ,
    close to busline ,or within city limits all add on to the nice home you own
    Best of luck with your sale and hope to keep receiving your newsletters
    take care

    • says

      Thanks! We are thinking our next tactic might be to offer the person who brings us a buyer (realtor or not) a couple of hundred dollars if we close the sale with their lead. Can’t hurt to try! :-)

  17. Mary says

    Denise is so right. When my husband left me in November it just about killed me because we had never really argued and divorce was never mentioned until the day I was served. In order to just survive I got started. I couldn’t stand the sight of his clothes and personal belongings in our room so I started packing things up, that lead to rearranging that room. After that I moved on to the living room, it felt so good to get it all out of the house, I love my husband and would take him back in a heart beat, but when he comes back most of the stuff he now has with him will not be coming back into the house. It was just stuff sitting around taking up space. I have spent the last three weeks going through 25 years of life and some of it has broke my heart to toss out but it needed to go the way of my marriage because if I kept it then it was only like pouring salt on an open wound.I got started and I don’t intend to stop.

  18. Theresa says

    Tawra that website “Bob” referred to wasn’t found by you because of a slight misspelling. I located it, and it is listed below. Hope anyone interested finds it helpful. Now I need to also “check it out” as I have yours, which is so filled with “foundational” help. I still need to “get with it though.” There really should be no excuses, but there are slowing down factors such as AADD, Fibro, BiPolar, etc. Yeah anyone could come up with a list of challenges.. 😉 Theresa
    Mamie McCullough: Motivational and Inspirational Speaker
    Mamie McCullough, the I Can Lady, is a motivational speaker for businesses, schools, colleges, universities, women’s groups, and community groups. – Cached – Similar

  19. Barbaranne says

    I am going to adopt this as my new mantra – Do I really not know how or do I not WANT to?????


  20. Tina says

    Fyi – the hot chocolate / cocoa recipe ingredients call for hot, not boiling water but the instructions call for boiling water.

    • says

      Thanks for letting us know Tina. Even with what seems like a 100 edits we still find something every once in awhile. It is suppose to be hot water in the instructions.

  21. susan says

    hi jill and Tawra

    Love your articles! Just an update on my service dog, got a call today and we are going tommorrow instead of the end of the month! Keep me in your prayers and wish me luck that I am matched to the dog that best suites my needs! I am so happy I can hardley focus on anything else! I quess I sound like a silly school kid but I have waited so long on a waiting list and it is finally gonna happen! God Bless!

    • says

      That is really great Susan. Can’t wait to hear what he or she is like. Be sure and let us know! It’s almost like waiting for news for a new baby :)

  22. rose says

    i cant believe its been almost a full yr to the date when i first posted on this …
    i did manage to de-clutter my house but it can use more .. which i am starting to work on again this week with the help of a few people ..
    the garage i will do in the spring .. bc of the cold weather and bc of the problem with the mice in the neighborhood (its an on-going problem we deal with every winter) i will work on that in april/may .. but everything else should be basically done until its time to move and then it will be a yes or no and not maybe ..
    thanks for re-posting htis jill and tawra .. its a great way to keep all of us motivated ..
    and i do agree with the person who said u r artists .. that is so true .. 😀
    thank you so much for all u do for us ..

  23. says

    Rose about the rodents. If you do not want a cat permanently borrow one for a few days.
    Apparently if you do this their smell remains for quite a while and mice avoid returning if they escape the initial cat.
    Since I have 2 cats now and had 3 until 2 years ago I do not have a mouse problem. The voles make it to the garage and my indoor cats stop them dead.
    My neighbours all have mice and they own dogs but my house is mouse free.

  24. says

    ok, here is my problem.
    I need new clothes. Lost weight big time, changing life style big time. meeting very important political people.
    I was a stay at home housewife for 35 years. I had outfits that I could wear easily but that was then this is now.
    I lost 100 lbs and didn’t bother buying anything for dress up since with RA we didn’t go to dress up places.
    I am quickly weeding out the old stuff. even the thrift shop would not want some of those old clothes. Most of them are 10 years old.
    I kept them because we do a lot of stuff in the bush where nobody sees you and if they do they look the same. So who cares.
    One of the problems is how do you use those pant hangers that hold 6 pairs of pants. Men’s blue jeans don’t hang right or I am doing it wrong. Is there a correct way so they hang neater?
    Just this morning I have gotten rid of 10 pairs of those elastic pull on slacks. Comfortable but as long as I have them in the closet I won’t go out and try to find something different.
    The other problem is finding something that looks good.
    My body shape is apple but an apple with tooth picks for legs and arms.
    I have really skinny legs and arms. That is hard to find things that sort of make my legs look bigger. Especially with skinny pants everyone seems to be wearing.
    Would you go for baggy pants or just go for skirts and dresses.
    I don’t want to buy something then get them home and find that I still look like I have tooth picks holding me up or like I am wearing something that is too big for me.
    Also I am 55 and most of the styles I find are suitable for teenagers or teeny boppers.
    Does anyone else find this? Just knowing I am not alone would sure make me feel better.
    I can’t buy 2 piece outfits because the tops have to be 2 extra large because of my bust but the slacks or skirts are a large or med.
    They don’t let you buy two sizes for one suit.
    I know this sounds convoluted but right now that is how I am thinking with all this getting rid of stuff and trying to replace it.
    Any comments sure would help.
    I hate shopping because dressing rooms give me claustraphobia and stores are about 4 hours away with not much time for looking.
    confused bemused and panicking

    • says

      Ha! You are NOT alone!!! I hate shopping for clothes. It’s a joke with my family now because it’s such a tamatic experience for me. LOL I would try baggier pants and skirts or dresses. If you could go and try on several pairs until you find one that fits right then you will know what style looks good on you and you can just buy that from then on. It might be painful but after you figure it out it’s easy.
      For me I found that I have to have V neck shirts. I keep buying crew shirts and they just looked bad. When I finally figured out that I just needed to be buying V neck instead it made it so much easier because that’s all I look for now.
      Not sure if that helps but you are doing great getting rid of all that stuff!!!

    • says

      Too funny Grandma. You sound more like you are describing an alien from outer space then a human but I have a feeling if we all described ourselves and the we see our own bodies the results would be the same. I am no stylist so except for dittoing what Tawra said I’m afraid I won’t be much help.

      One thing I do is I have a black skirt, black pants and a brown skirt all in classic styles. I keep my black skirts about 20 years wearing them over and over. Most people (my daughter included) think I have a large nice wardrobe but the truth is I have lots of tops. I have dressy tops and casual tops that way I can take my basic bottoms (skirt or pants) and dress them up or down with my tops, jackets and accessories depending on what I need for the occasion.
      That same black skirt has taken me to a job interview, church, wedding or Christmas party. I do have other clothes but these are my staples and I could get by if I only have those. It is easy to figure out what you need if you decide on 3-4 staples and then work real hard at finding just those 3-4 in what looks good on you then after you get those you can slowly add to it. We become overwhelmed if we think in terms of a whole new wardrobe instead of starting with a couple of basics.

      I do have a sleeveless black dress that I do the same with sometimes either adding a sweater or jacket on top so if you can wear a skirt you can do the same with a black dress.

      As far as the pant hanging problem. Well for years I have done ironing and I have my people bring me their own hangers for their things so I have used almost every hanger known to man for them and myself and I have found only 1 type of hanger which work really good for me with pants. The things that hold 6 pairs work horrible so it is not just you having problems.

      What I love is the small wooden hangers which are about 6 inches long and you clamp the bottoms of the pants between the 2 wooden bars and snap it close. I never have a crease one in my pants or jeans plus by them hanging upside down by the cuffs the weight of the top of the pants helps to keep the wrinkles out too.

      I have used the velvet like hangers of Joy Mangano and they do better then most but I still like my small wooden ones the best. I don’t know how much they cost at regular price because I have always bought mine for very little at thrift stores.

    • Stacey says

      Grandma, I am like you, I HATE SHOPPING FOR MYSELF. lol. I would say that with your apple body shape, what Tawra and Jill said is right on. As for tops, totally agree with Tawra on the a little v neck or even a princess type neckline cut that will help to elongate your body and will add a waist where you may not have one. When you add a crew neck to an apple body it makes you look boxy. Also jackets and tops alike, get ones with a taper at the waist and have them fall just at the hip line. I don’t know if you wear heels, but if you do a good 1-2 inch heel is sufficient and will make you look longer overall. Usually a more chunky heel is healhtier for the back and feet. Also if you wear hose, try to stay away from dark colored ones, they will make your legs look skinnier. So shoot for the neutral tones, nudes that sort of thing. I hope this helps love. Oh and Jill hit the nail on the head with the pants hanging. I think she was reading my

    • Liz says

      Grandma, I would go on in your area and post notices of what you’d like. You’d be surprised what people are willing to give away just to get it out of their house. I received two large garbage bags of jeans and shirts for my 11 yr. old son a couple of years ago for school. Many of the jeans hadn’t been worn much and several still had tags on them.

  25. says

    Jill when shopping for clothes I feel a little alien.
    I also have to buy clothes that travel well. Every meeting we go to is about 4 hours and the really special ones are over 14 hours away. So things have to go into suitcases thanks to motels and hotels now have irons provided.
    I bought a velour set in black. I bought a cream coloured t shirt so I can wear a jacket or not at least I can undo the zipper if it gets too hot. So about 4 different outfits with different colour shirts.
    I also have a long black velvet type of skirt so I am not doing too badly except for weekend events with different clothes required.
    I love red and I like wearing v necked shirts. So it is just the trying to make my legs look like they are bit more substantial.
    I got my grandmothers legs. Strong as all get out just tooth picks.
    When baggie pants were in style 30 years ago I was in heaven. Tight shirts and baggie pants. Looked great.
    One good thing maybe when I weed out the weeds from my closet I can get rid of the pant hanger from hades.
    Well onward and upward. bedroom is upstairs.
    thanks for talking to me. So frustrated and we are headed for a meeting on Friday so I can maybe find some slacks that look good feel comfortable.

  26. Tracie says

    If you need help to get organized go to Marla is great!Remember progress not perfection!You can do anything for 15 minutes!

    • says

      I know some people like flylady but honestly she drove me nuts! There was no way i could follow her program. You might try it but don’t feel bad if she doesn’t work for you.

    • says

      The main thing is whether it is flylady, us or anyone else you need to pick and choose what works best for you. If you find yourself getting more frustrated and want to pull your hair out with a plan or advice then you probably need to find something else.

      I remember as an young mom getting so frustrated because I couldn’t do things like all these well known organizers. I thought there was something wrong with me. Years later and hopefully years wiser I see now many of their circumstances was poles apart from mine so I have learned to use what I can and then try something else.

      When I would dig a little I would find people who write these things weren’t organized at all when they had little kids and only became super woman after their kids were older or grown. They maybe had 1 child where you or I would have 2,3, 4…. They maybe live in a new home instead of like me where I had no walls. They maybe go to work all day and come home to just them and a husband where I was at home all day with kids, a husband, employees and customers running through my house all day.

      I guess I’m saying is don’t feel guilty if something doesn’t work for you, try something else if isn’t you. I saw a make over show where the gals felt like something was wrong with their bodies because none of the clothes fit but there is nothing wrong with their bodies it was the clothes that are not right and the wrong fit.

      There is a time to feel guilty though and that is if you don’t bother to try even a little when you are fully capable of doing so.

  27. says

    thank you thank you tawra.
    She was like a fly buzzing around telling me to get moving.
    You are more like me with the health issues and knowing your limits.
    do what you can when you can.
    have a plan of action but be ready to change it when you have to.

  28. Angie M. says

    Oh, I have several posts I want to comment on here…not sure if I will be able to remember everything I want to say. LOL!


    Reading one of your comments I first wanted to say CONGRATS on your weight loss! That is wonderful. Then, I wanted to suggest ‘boot cut’ or ‘flared’ pants or jeans. They may not work for you, but they do for me, so maybe give it a try. Plus, from reading your posts, I think you are an outdoor gal like me. The boot cut jeans look fantastic with my work boots. :-) I also like the boot cut or flared pants for work. They look very dressy with heels or flats and are very flattering to the leg. Good luck. We should chat more…it seems we have lots in common. :-)

    Tawra and Grandma,

    Ditto what you two said about the clothes shopping. It makes me crazy!!! It is very traumatic for me. I hate looking, I hate making decisions. Sometimes I am incapable of making a decision. Drives my hubby nuts. I will pick an item, carry it through the store, then start second guessing and end up putting it back. I drive myself nuts!!! I keep thinking it has to be part of some medical condition I have. I have read that the inability to make decisions like that is part of an anxiety problem. I have had anxiety issues but seem to be doing better with it. My mom has fibro/CFS and has the same issue. She calls it ‘fibro fog’. I don’t have any symptoms of the fibro/CFS though so I don’t know why I am this way. Like Tawra, I have found that I only like V neck tops. Every now and then, I still goof up and buy something crew neck and end up hating it…giving it away eventually. I hate shopping so much that if I find a good bargain on something I like in a store, I will buy one in every color. My family laughs at me. I found V neck sweaters on sale at Kohl’s and bought that sweater in 5 different colors. I wear those sweaters to work every day. I know…I have issues. :-)


    I was reading your comment about being diagnosed with fibro/CFS and was reminded of my mom’s diagnosis that was a loooooong time coming. She started getting sick when I was about 12, I think. My dad took her from doctor, to doctor, to doctor and no one could tell her what was wrong. She had SO many tests done and each and every one turned up nothing. The only concrete result she ever had was testing positive for Epstein Barr Virus when she first got sick. Interestingly enough, they are now linking Epstein Barr Virus to fibro/CFS. Maybe it’s a coincidence, but it seems a high percentage of people with fibro/CFS test positive that they have had Epstein Barr at some point. After years, my mom finally found the right doctor who was able to diagnose her with fibro/CFS. My mom told us that doctor said the ONLY way to diagnose fibro/CFS is to rule out everything else. And boy…did they rule out everything else with my mom. She has had so many tests in her lifetime. Everything anyone mentions on this blog as a possible diagnosis/cure…it seems like I read it and think “Yep, my mom has been tested for it and didn’t have it or tried the cure and was disappointed”. I wish a real cure could be found because I know how debilitating those two illnesses can be…especially when paired. :-(


    I second Grandma’s suggestion about getting or borrowing a cat. My last house was in a pretty much open field and we had mice actually getting in our house. Yuck!!! I tried traps and sealing all the cracks around pipes coming up through floors, etc. Nothing worked. Then I got a house cat. At first, she caught mice and killed them. Then I noticed there weren’t anymore mice coming in at all. I think the mice just stay away because of the smell of the cat. No, I didn’t love the cat hair or the litter box…but much nicer than constantly stressing about cleaning up mice droppings and if dishes I was pulling from cabinets were really clean. I would definitely go the cat route again in a heartbeat!

    Angie M.

  29. Anne says

    I just want to say how much I enjoy reading all the info you have for us. I have slowly but surely begun to organize my home. I do have a struggle with my books. I have so many and I promised my husband I would get rid of them however, I am finding I have seperation anxiety just thinking about it. I have thought about donating them to the library but I’m thinking I may need to refer back to them some day. Then what will I do? Oh well, if this is all I have to worry about them I should consider myself fortunate.
    Still, I do love your site….Thank you. Anne

    • says

      Books- don’t be afraid to get rid of them. What if you need to refer to them? You can find everything you need online or at the library. If the library doesn’t have they can get it from another library. Be honest with yourself. How many pages will you really need from those books? Just copy the pages you need if it’s something you refer to often.

      • says

        I am a book worm and then some. I read so much I often wonder if a person can read too much. It is nothing for me to polish off a book a day and still get other things done believe it or not. To say I love books is an understatement but I have to agree with Tawra.

        I say that to say I understand your feelings about books but at the same time my logical mind says exactly what good do they do me or anyone else stored in a box or high on a book shelf for months or years and never opened. I think it is better to pass them on so others can enjoy them then for me to cling to them. I know I know I love them too but I loved my children also and there came a time when I had to toss them out of my house too for their own good and mine. :) :)

        It freed them up to reproduce and multiply and for me to babysit once in awhile and then send my angels home when I needed a break. Think of books the same way. You free up lots of square ft. space in your house but when you want to read them again hit the internet and library. You can then check them back in or delete them when you are done with them. HA!HA!

  30. says

    Tawra, you are a hateful child. just sometimes though.
    give up books. some days when my children were very young it was tempting sometimes to say child or book and at times the books would have won out.
    actually books are my biggest bane. Husband can’t give them up easily and now the book stores that used to buy them won’t if they smell of smoke. All the non-smokers are up in arms about books that have been near smoke. So I guess we keep them.
    I am getting books on my E reader now so that is making it so less clutter is in the house.
    We haven’t got any new (used books) in a little over a month. So that is a step in the right direction.
    And yes almost anything you need you can find on line. I gave away about 100 recipe books last year and that cleared space for books that had been in boxes in the basement. They were there so long we started re-reading them as new books.
    We think the mines will be here for another 3 years and then the books will be gone. 1000 lbs of paper is awfully hard to say yes they go with us. we do the moving on our own with our own muscles and vehicle.
    We definetly lighten the load.

  31. says

    Jill in my head I totally agree with Tawra but in my heart I say Tawra you are a horrible person.
    The books are going slowly but surely. I put small amounts of them in a bag and once a week if I am able to walk I take them to a store just down the road that takes them and sells them for a dollar and gives the money to the food bank.
    They love to see me come because I take science fiction and fantasy when most of the books are romances.
    Or the 3rd time I have my husband move books from one spot to another in the house he takes them to the thrift store.
    Every time I send a package to my son in China I put in a couple paper backs. He reads as much as we do and hard copies of books in English are very expensive and he likes to curl up with a book instead of sitting at his laptop reading.
    If I ever get the books under control my house will be almost clutter free.
    But it is so hard to part with old friends.
    But you and that hard task master Tawra are rubbing off on me. So they are going. eventually.
    thanks for all the suggestions. Used to donate to the library all the time but now they have turned out to be not people friendly. So I go as little as possible. Why do people think they don’t have to be friendly or helpful. Times sure have changed

    • says

      Believe me I know how hard it is to get rid of them but we moved BOXES AND BOXES of books more than 10 times and I can tell you all feelings for them leave after that long. I figured it I got rid of it and loved it that much then I could always re-buy them. I did re-buy 2 books but of all of them that’s it! BTW, congrats on the new grandbaby!!

  32. barb~ says

    I say save a few of your most treasured books! I have a few from when I was a child, a few from college, and a few more that I have collected over time. My tastes have changed. So just like clothes, I have gotten rid of older books for something else that I like. I also have a couple of beautiful coffee table books-honestly, I think I enjoy the beauty of the covers more than the book themselves, although I would never tell the author that!

  33. says

    Tawra when we moved here 26 years ago we sold a lot of our books to the used book store. We got enough money to pay for gas and meals for the trip in the suburban while hauling a Uhaul trailer.
    So yes when you move it pays to get rid of books.
    This time when we move most of them will go in the garbage since we re-read them so often they fall apart.

  34. Jan C says

    Regarding the getting out of debt part, I just stopped going into ALL stores. I shopped for everything on line, even my groceries. Then I went to Angel Food Ministries, where they just give you a box of food for a set price. This helped me imensely till I got it into my mind that the money belonged to me and not the grocery store. Regarding books, I do have way too many and I have joined paperback swap and bookcrossing to get rid of some of them. It’s very hard to get rid of my favorites.

  35. Carol says

    I am so glad I found you. The last 3 days have been bad. My goal is to get dinner dishes 1st thing in the morning. Thank you to everyone for your insight.

  36. rose says

    grandma .. i just read the post u sent to me on here and i am sorry i didnt get back to you .. i didnt see it .. and to be quite honest, i had forgotten i had even posted on this one ..
    about the rodents, yes we have 2 cats and 2 dogs .. and well .. bc this is a rental house and bc b4 we even thought of living here, the attic has been a nesting place for at least 10 yrs b4 we were even here .. the exterminator that came said what we need to do is take everything out of the attic so they can spray the attic (to get rid of the scent) and then cover the house for about a week to really kill the scent and etc.. that is why the rodents keep coming back .. our neighbors dont have this issue in their attics .. our one neighbor has them come into his garage when its cold out .. but every little hole has been sealed in his house ..
    the house i live in has been sealed up with either cement foam (i kid u not! .. it looks like cancer), duct tape, and thick cardboard .. and yes i even put poison in the garage every winter too ..
    this yr .. they were digging/chewing on the roof and above the screened in back porch .. so i put poison down and i foamed it (and yes the neighbor saw a mouse and we trapped him) .. the last place that they could come in was the chimney and wouldnt u believe it, they chewed in the wire mesh that was attached to this topper thingy that sat on the chimeny opening .. so i told the neighbor to seal it up . i gave him some poison to put in there bc i knew something was crawling around (you could hear it from the outside) and he put up a piece of cardboard held by duct tape and then he foamed it .. it looks very ugly but i dont care .. i dont use the fireplace anyway (thats sealed up too) and well .. the landlord has taken care of all he can do .. and i told him i was doing this and when i move he has several choices, either leave what i did or take everything down and out and let the new tenants deal with all of the holes .. its up to him .. b4 we moved in he had new tenants every 3 to 4 months .. we have been here about 8 yrs ..
    our pets are old and well the dogs and one cat would stop them but the other cat (we raised him, he was abandoned by his mother and didnt learn those skills that other pets teach their young.. in fact, his surrogate mother was a rabbit and when he runs he actually hops.. ehhee :D) …
    and now that is warm out, i still look out and listen but all i hear is the squirrel early in the am .. and every once in a while they come on the roof but they generally stay away too ..
    about the pants, not sure if i was reading correctly .. but my brother would ask for the hangers at walmart or kmart that have those clips on them adn he would hang his pants up upside down (the top part on the bottom and hte legs being “pinned” at the top) .. this would help him keep his creases in his pants .. and those stores normally throw those hangers away (again! what a waste!) .. and they are free .. you just need to ask if u can have them..
    sorry so long ..

  37. Maggie says

    My motto for 2012 is going to be “do it now”. I have always hated housework and with health issues don’t want to do it but I really need to get my house in order. So this year, I plan to clean off the counter, or wash the smudges from the door or dust the baseboards – when I see it. Step by step, my house will get better. My husband says I have been saying this for years but really would like this year to be the year I make it happen. FLYLADY is a wonderful program but it was way too much for me. I made some good changes in my habits, especially with my bedtime routines so I could get out of the house easily the next morning but could never get the rest of the routines down. Tawra and Jill provide so much practical advice and since they also have health issues know how hard some days can be. So, 2012, here I come. Do it when I see it instead of waiting until it is so bad I don’t want to do it. Wish me luck.
    Thanks also to the other posters, some of you I feel like are friends now since I see your names so often, for sharing your advice, too. We are all in this together.

  38. Rose says

    This post. It sounds like me 😛 i was this girl. i didnt know where to begin. then somewhere. out of no where i did work. and after thinking a lot of how. and what was needed to get the job done, I GOT IT DONE! 😀 not all of it. but most. had a lot of sales and give aways and cleared out clutter. I am so happy now that i am able to keep it maintained. (just hope i dont get sick, because there sure would be a mess if i was lol). So Good-bye the word Can’t and welcome the word “CAN!”

  39. rose says

    rose and maggie .. i am sure u have read my other posts .. baby steps .. and i get so much inspiration from this website .. i am truly thankful .. 😀 ..
    ;D and yes! it CAN be done! ..

  40. says

    not sure if this is organizing or not but it sure is helping me with dishes.
    My dish cloths were the bain of my existance well that and tea towels.
    Nothing would absorb spills so I resorted to more paper towels for spills of liquids. Waste of money but nothing else would work.
    Well for Christmas I wanted nothing as I didn’t really feel like christmas this year. No little ones around and my sister not around anymore or ever. But my husband bought me gifts that were practical and for the kitchen since he know the activities in the kitchen cheer me up.
    He also bought for me a pendant watch that nurses use since my wrists hurt wearing a conventional watch and it drives him crazy that I never have one with me when we go out. Now I do when I remember to put it on.
    But back to dish towels and dish cloths.
    The dishcloths have a mesh type side to them. One side normal the other with this mesh. It makes doing dishes so much easier when you have that little bit of stuff that doesn’t need a scouring pad but won’t come off with just the cloth. They take it off so well I don’t leave them soaking. The towels I asked him to get terry cloth if he could find some and he bought a whole bunch and they are not really terry They are made by Fresh Lemon and are polyester and they are great.
    Sure am glad they are since he bought me 10 of them in different colours.
    Couldn’t figure out the mesh part until I did the first of the dishes.
    So if you are in the process of finding kitchen towels and you can find these with the mesh backing give them a try. cut way down on my dish washing time.
    Now if only I could train them to work without my supervision that would be perfect.

    • Leah says

      I found the perfect solution to dish towels and dish clothes that do not absorb: Do NOT use fabric softener when washing them! I’m sure others already knew this, but it’s only been a few years thing for me. My Mother was a Downy all the way person, and growing up in the humid south I could never understand why our dish AND bath towels never absorbed anything, compared to when we went to hotels-those towels always worked great! As an adult, I switched to dryer sheets when I finally figured out I was allergic to Downy, but still my towels would not absorb. It wasn’t until my husand and I stayed in a condo on vacation, and the instructions for cleaning stressed the “no fabric softener” rule. They asked that we not even use dryer sheets. They provided those “dryer balls” and asked that we use them for all bed and bath linens. I came home, bought the dryer balls, and left off the fabric softener. It actually took 3 washings with no fabric softener to clear it all out of my towels, but they now absorb great. and no, my towels are not all weird scratchy. they are surprisingly soft. I have found the dryer balls work great for all my laundry, truly does cut drying time almost in half. I will admit I still use dryer sheets for my other clothes to cut down on the cold weather static now I live in the northwest. I am unable to line dry anything where I live except a few small items, but my kitchen and bath linens even smell much more fresh without the fabric softener!

  41. rose says

    jill .. as u know i am moving .. yes we finally found a place .. so at the moment, i am going thru everything and cleaning too .. well, remember i told u about that one room that i put mostly everything in when i was decluttering all those times? .. i went in there today to assess how big of a job i would have (if i wanted to take any of the stuff) ..
    i can honestly say that 98% will be going to the road .. our new place is half the size of what we live in now .. and i told hubby and son that we can only take 50% of what we have the rest has to go ..
    hubby was fussing at me the other day about the stuff he wanted to keep .. finally i told him 25% is all he is allowed .. its an apt .. we wont need it and there’s no room for it ..
    jill .. i think i found the answer to the decluttering .. pretend ur moving and its 50% or less of living space u will finally be moving too .. if theres no room or need of the items, donate or get rid of it another way ..
    i wouldnt have come to that realization until i started ot really assess what i needed/wanted .. and alot of my inspiration has been bc of this website ..
    and i since i can not afford a storage or one of those pods units, that was out of the scenerio too ..
    thank u jill and tawra and mike, too for all the inspiration and positive reinforcements of helping me and others take control of our lives by getting out from under all this stuff that actually leads to stress and etc ..
    i told hubby i want my new home to be like the feng shui ideas .. not cluttered and “busy” looking ..
    he’s still not sure if he needs or wants alot of his personal stuff .. and well .. in his case, i can do without alot of things bc well .. they served their purpose when i got them and used them but to be frank, alot of these things i am talking about, i had forgotten i even had them .. they were packed away when we moved in this house i am leaving and that was almost 8 or 9 yrs ago..
    so, i just wanted to share with u and everyone else whats been happening with us these days .. we finally got the garage cleaned out .. oh my! is all i am going to say .. too much stuff in there .. and why? .. i have no clue .. it was just another room that held stuff .. stuff that was almost as old as my son (and he will be 22 this april!) ..
    i think i made an impact on my son too .. he isnt taking too much with him . i asked him why not and he said he didnt need it and he’s happy to finally be rid of the things he kept moving around in his room ..
    thank u again for all u do for me and the rest of us .. 😀

    • Grandma says

      Rose you are so right about pretending to move when getting stuff sorted into 3 piles. Junk, give away and keep.
      As I said we were having the downstairs 3 rooms painted so everything in sight had to disappear.
      I figured 3 days tops and I could get the house back into some semblance of normalcy. Wrong.
      Had to go for 2 days for drs. appt. so we told the painter to leave it as it was and he could finish when we got back. Nice and simple right? Wrong.
      Got to the city where we figured 2 days of relaxing appts. and a bit of shopping and wandering.
      Night we got there the clutch went on the expressway. Got to the side of the road and called one person we knew to get a # for a tow truck. They weren’t home so we had to call 911 and they sent a tow truck for us. Dropped it off at the dealership went back to the motel. All is right with the world as they would fix the problem and we would be on our way. Wrong.
      simple fix but the part was 2 days away so 2 extra nights in the motel, meals and no shopping.
      They did give us a car to use at no cost so we hit the used book store so we were set. We have gone to this store for about 25 years and I said that now I had to go to chapters to use the gift card I got for Christmas and I hated doing that since I know I would spend more than the $50 it was worth. He said bring it in and he would take the $50. off our bill since he went to chapters all the time. He also gave us more than the usual 10% off since we were having a lousy few days. Got over $200 for a bit less than $90. Which is one of the reasons we go to this store every trip to the city.
      Anyway we did go shopping for socks and underwear. I could rince out the shirts but the other need soap and the only soap available was herbal essence and neither of us can breathe around it. I also bought cold meat so we could have sandwiches instead of eating out every meal.
      Got the car Friday picked up groceries I needed and came home.
      Also as soon as we heard about the car had to call the painter and tell him where the key was so he could go in and feed the cats and scoop kitty litter and told him if he wanted to finish painting. Easy fix right. Wrong.
      Every can of paint was a different tint of brown. So in order to make them as close to the brown we wanted he had to give the dr and lr 4 coats and he painted the kitchen a slightly lighter brown. It took until yesterday morning and then his family were coming over for a bbq for dinner. Fast moving furniture and none of the boxes of stuff are unpacked yet.
      That is good because I have started sorting through them so stuff I don’t use will not be returned to their former places.
      Hopefully I will get it all done by the end of the week.
      Sorry this is so long but it was an interesting week if not a fun one.
      Keep up with the purging rose it will be so much nicer to start fresh without the clutter.

    • says

      When I read a post like this Rose I always think of the story (which I know I have told before) of the missionary’s wife who was told she had to fit everything she needed for 2 years of kitchen stuff – including dishes- into one small trunk. She would not be close to or be able to buy anything either once she got there for quite awhile. She said she had to really seriously think through each items use that she put in there.

      I know when I moved to Idaho and didn’t have my things for 6 months and just had a handful of kitchen things I was surprised how easy it was to manage without “everything” I normally thought I needed.

  42. Maggie says

    When I had my liver transplant, we had to live in an efficiency apt with a tiny kitchen that had a fridge, stove and sink combination. The building used to be the medical school dorms. I knew we would be there a minimum of 8 weeks, so put spices I knew I would need in little tiny (jam sample jars) and took them with us. We had a few plates and pans that had been left there by other patients but we were able to make do and it was kind of fun. I was recovering from the transplant and my husband did most of the cooking and we had very simple meals, like spag with jarred sauce, preroasted chicken from the grocery or he or the both of us went over to the hospital cafeteria for meals. Very cheap and good. We were supposed to walk every day so the trip was good for me. But using the very basic pots and pans there to reheat our meals showed me that you can make do when you need to.
    As I child, my family was very poor and we made do more times than I can remember yet here I still am, 65+ years later and doing okay. Writing this reminds me I need to clean out my cupboards again.

  43. rose says

    wow grandma . thats alot to deal with .. hopefully all came out ok ..
    jill .. yep .. still cleaning and decluttering .. so far, knocking on wood, we will still be on schedule for what needs to be done daily ..
    i told hubby .. just take 25% .. no more than that .. its a small apt! .. he’s trying .. i feel for him .. ehehee ..
    i am down to 2 rooms now of decluttering and throwing out ..
    saturday is the big move day .. and on sunday i will be making dinner in my new apt .. 😀
    maggie, so glad u recovered from the liver transplant .. that must have been hard .. thankfully u had ur hubby to help u too ..
    thanks for all the encouragement . i greatly appreciate it .. 😀

  44. Leanne says

    Each week after Christmas Day I make my New Years bill book. Sorta reminds me of a coupon binder for those coupon people. I also buy a wall calendar, for the whole fam damily (:)) to see.
    I write what bills are due on what dates. Estimate on high side for those bills that I am not sure what they will be like the electric. I write on what pay day they will be paid BEFORE the due date. Then on that pay day I pay them.

    The other thing I started last year was a day spending sheet. OMG this was such an eye opener!!!
    I took a piece of notebook paper and wrote down each day if the month in a column. I wrote down how much and where I spent it, not the monthly bills, just the day to day mindless spending on crap, something’s we need like soap and some things we don’t just cause we have some money in our pocket. There had to be a receipt for every single thing purchased, yep even gasoline. If I didn’t get a receipt and hubby said it was $21.43. I said ok $30.
    I keep a clear plastic page protector behind my my list for all that months receipts, and for those items that didn’t have a receipt, a slip of paper with the date, amount that I determined to be. ( ie- the $30). Now should I need a receipt for a return I have it in an easy place, or when I itemize my taxes, there ya go.

    The first month I did not change my spending. I just tracked it. At the end of the month I looked at where I spent what and on what. Holy Cow !! You will be amazed at all the frivolous so ending you actually do. I was spending like $700 a month at the Dollar General convincing myself that I was “saving” money! On crap I really didn’t need. Now I still go to the dollar store, but I spend only about $200 which includes my cleaning supplies for the month, the dog food for two 70 pound digs and 5 cats. Yep I am the crazy cat lady… Lol I was spending $40 a month for gum and tic tabs. Really????? That was for the whole family. Stupid stuff like that, you find out.

    What can you do with that savings???? Pay of debt, poke away for a vaca, buy something for your house, Christmas money. I now still do this each month and now I like to see how many days I can go with zero spent. If nothing else it will be an eye opener.

    • says

      Leanne this is what we have been teaching for years. Keep reading our articles and you will find many ideas on this very subject. Here is an article which might interest you and others How to Save on Laundry Detergent. Don’t be fooled by the title because it has very little to do with saving on detergent but does have to do with all you mentioned and then some.

      Why I titled it that was I was finding an interesting thing happening with people which was they weren’t really paying attention to where their money was really going and because of that was trying to fix the wrong thing. For example I had a hair dresser once tell me how much in debt she was and didn’t know how thery were going to make it and well they did go out to eat a lot and all but she really was trying to cut back on that and kept going on and on. Finally she said “So can you tell me how to save on laundry detergent to start saving money and get out of debt?” I looked at the woman gaping. She really thought all of her problems would be solved by saving a few pennies a week on laundry detergent. By focusing on that she had convinced herself she really was trying to save money and didn’t have to feel guilty any more or give up the things she really needed to but didn’t want to like going out to eat, Starbucks coffee, candy bar here and there from the convenience store etc.

      It is so true what you said about telling your self you were saving money at the Dollar store but not realizing how much you really were spending. I hear people all the time say “I got this on sale or used coupons for it.” As if that makes it ok in their mind to buy it and spend money they really don’t have to spend.

  45. Maggie says

    I like your idea of keeping track of spending on the calendar each day. I recently started making my own hot tea every morning at work to have with my breakfast muffin that I bring from home. I am saving $5 per week and putting it into a bank that I keep in a drawer at home. It’s amazing how fast that adds up. For the month of January, my goal is not to spend any money on “those wants”. It’s easy to do with a little cash in the pocket. So, if I see something I might want, I think of what I already have at home and just don’t buy. For example, I really wanted a soda at lunch today. But we don’t have a change machine here and I only had a $10 bill in my purse. So, I just took out my bottle of ice that I keep in the freezer, added my brought from home lemonade mix and some water and have a drink and saved the 75 cents. It’ll be nice to see how long I can keep the ten without breaking it. It sometimes takes little games like that to keep from spending money but if it works, it’s good.

    • says

      I was never very good at keeping track of writing everything down even for a week but I would put $10 or so in my purse when it was gone to bad for me. I had to make it last for a week. It made me pause like you said Maggie before I bought anything and made me more aware of what I was spending it on. Like you it became a game to see how long I could make it last. The thing is you don’t have to do it forever because it just gets you in the habit of watching more where you are spending your money. Now it is just a way of life with me to watch every little thing I spend money on. I don’t really think about it I just do it automatically.

  46. Mary Jane says

    Having grown up in a dysfunctional family with addiction issues, we weren’t taught the most basic of adult survival skills, including housekeeping. I always wanted to have a clean house when I grew up, but had little idea about how to do it, and as a pre-teen, I was actually anxious about the issue. It sounds funny now, but I actually learned the basics of housework organization (at least from a task priority point of view) by watching that old sit-com form the 70’s called “All in the Family”. In one episode, Edith explains to someone else that on Mon. she did washing; on Tues. she did ironing; on Wed she did another household task, and so on, until the end of the week. A light bulb went on for me. Housework isn’t done all at once, all one day. It is done gradually, and at regular intervals—not in a frantic panic when it becomes overwhelming. I have used that basic advice over the years, with a healthy dose of flexibility, and allowance for jobs that are only done a few times a year. The days that certain tasks are done change with my life, but not the basic philosophy. My advice for household organization would follow the same lines. A good deep clean may be needed, but keep on top of it by having a fairly set schedule for when you will need to redo the task.

    • says

      Yes you will see most of our post teach something similar. We are very big on the 5 minute rule too especially for those who are sick, have new babies or just need to be motivated. That is where you make yourself get up and work only during the 5 minute commercial on TV (or something like that) then make yourself sit down and rest until the next commercial. You would be amazed at how much you can get done. There is that old nature’s law which says something in motion stays in motion and this is what happens so that before you know it you will be working longer and not wanting to stop.


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