Organizing

Happy New Year!

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It’s that time of year again! It’s that time when we try to convince ourselves that we just might complete all those things we never seem to get done. Lose weight, get in shape, get organized, eat better, act better, be a better human being.

The last few years my goal has simply been to be organized, be more productive. It just never seems to happen. I wake up every morning and just fly by the seat of my pants. Before I know it the week has already come and gone, the seasons have changed and I have accomplished not one thing.

Someone suggested a book on organization. That’s no good! I don’t need to read a book, I just need a realistic plan.I have tried breaking it down into small chores. Small Chores with rewards. That didn’t work. I think what I really need to do is get a box, shove everything in it that I haven’t used in the last year or 10 years and get rid of it. No sorting and no regrets.

I want to blog more.At times the ideas spill our of my brain and make quite the mess on the passenger seat of my car. For instance, I have a fictional group of animals that live in a lovely meadow on the edge of a large forest, far from people.Their antics would be based on funny or interesting stories. Some stories would be things that happen at the senior adult community where I work. Others just simply things that I’ve heard or stories I’ve been told. Just mainly quirky, silly every day human interaction stories.

I’ve discussed my idea of a community of forest animals with a friend. It was suggested that my character would be the honey badge. I think it was meant as a compliment. Another series of blogs would be Lyrics of Life. It would be about how a song relates or reminds me of someone or maybe a situation. And of course I would also toss in my usual point of view on every day life or current events at times.

Sound great! Doesn’t it? Even though I now have my new handy dandy iPen (I wrote this entire blog with it on my iPad) Don’t hold your breath. My intentions are good, but normally I’m really just too tired.

Don’t forget that I also like to crochet in my “spare” time. I also like to cook, bake, preserve, visit, entertain and run my mouth.If it wasn’t for the 40 hour work week, the 90 minute commute each way I would have plenty of time and energy. But as it is, especially as I sit here at the beginning of another New Year all I know for sure is, I am so very tired.

I’d really love to draw my animals that live in the meadow. Maybe I can do that with this new pencil?

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Finding Time

We all lead busy lives.  Sometimes it’s hard to find the time to do all the things that we want.  I don’t know about you, but I seem to cycle through things.  I read, work, crochet, blog, visit, work, reseach my family tree/history on Ancestry.com, work, try to keep my house clean, cook, etc., etc., etc.

Then there is another list of things I would like or need to do and never seem to find the time.  Declutter my house, spruce up my yard, help Doug do some clearing on the ranch, visit more family members more often, go on some road trips with Doug.

But sometimes it’s just hard to find the time to do all the things we want to do in life.  Take this blog for example.  You would not believe the thoughts that roll around in my head from day to day.  I’ve got a list on my Kindle, a list on cozi.com, and stuff written down all over the place.  So I’ve decided what I need is an actual notebook.  Nothing fancy, just a simple 8 1/2 x 100 spirial notebook.  To keep my thoughts together. 

notebookAnd I’ve decided to rotate my free time.  Not a strick rotation.  But my plan is to spend at least one weekend a month writing blogs.  I know if I put my mind to it, I can probably write 10 blogs in a weekend.  Once the idea or memory is in my head, it really doesn’t take too long to get the idea written.  Sometimes it comes quite easily.  If I could write eight to ten blogs in a weekend that would give me a month’s worth of blogging to post a couple of times a week.

My plan to declutter my house is to start small.  Instead of trying to clean out an entire room in a weekend, I will simply chose one small thing to organize.  Something that maybe only requires an hour of my time.  One hour every weekend would equal a huge difference in a year’s time.

These are the two areas of my life that I feel like I have lost control of.  Blogging and decluttering.  So wish me luck and I’ll see what happens this weekend.  Sometimes Doug just likes for me to do nothing.  He likes to simply sit outside and hold my hand.  That’s not a bad way to spend the weekend either.

I should be ashamed of myself!

I use to be really good about keeping my cupboards and freezer straight.  I use to reorganize everything at least once a year, if not more often.  The OCD side of me always made sure that the oldest stuff was in the front and I would put the newer stuff in the back.  But somehow it has gotten away from me and it was totally out of hand.  Every time I opened the cupboard I saw chaos and craziness.  I have a husband who buys canned tomatoes every chance he gets.  Like he thinks there is going to be some sort of catastrophe  and the answer to that catastrophe will be canned tomatoes.

But it isn’t all his fault.  I use to know pretty much what I had on hand in the cupboards and freezer, but over the last few years I have lost touch with it.  Lately when I’m at the grocery store I think to myself “Do I have mustard, mayo, ketchup, or whatever it is that I’m standing in front of.”  Since I’m not sure I just go ahead and purchase some.  If its on sale, I purchase more than one.  When I bring it home, my cupboard is a mess, so I’m just happy if I can find a place to put it.

So for the last month I’ve been telling myself that I’ve got to do something about my kitchen mess.  So Saturday I decided I would spend the afternoon and get my cupboards, pantry, freezer, and refrigerator organized.  Sadly it was such a mess that I only had the time and energy to do the cupboards and pantry.  But the worse part was the waste.  I hauled out sacks and sacks of ketchup, barbque sauce, mayo, salad dressing, all sorts of marinades, boxes of chicken coatings, rice-a-roni, chili mix, scalloped potatoes, hash browns, canned goods, and potato buds.  Potato Buds?  I didn’t even know I used Potato Buds!  It just as easy and much more healthy to boil a potato and put it through the ricer.  But looking at the piles of unused food stuff I was totally and completely ashamed of myself.

Doug got tired of me bringing stuff out where he was and showing him.  Like two bags of the same kind of chips opened.  He finally said “I get the message.”  Two things open at once really gets on my nerves.  Next weekend I will tackle the freezers.  Lord only knows what I will find out there.  It scares me just a bit.  But in the meantime I know I need peanut butter and I’ve got enough tomatoes to last me until 2014.  At least that’s when the last of them expire anyways.

Clip, Clip, Clip, are we saving money yet????

It was a cold rainy Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago.  Doug was working and I was just lounging around the house wishing I had a Sunday paper.  Living out in the middle of nowhere makes it hard to just jump in your car and run up the road to get whatever you may be wanting or needing.  Sunday morning it was a paper.

I have been watching Extreme Couponing on TLC and that has put a bee in my bonnet.  I think we’ve all cut out coupons from time to time.  My perfect idea of coupon savings use to be to clip enough out of the Sunday paper to pay for my paper.  A savings yes, but after watching that show I think I’m ready to move on to bigger savings.

Now some of those people on that show I think have a real problem.  In later years we may see them show up on “Hoarders”.  There’s a show that scares the living daylights out of me and I rarely watch it because its just a little sad to me.  I would like to save large amounts on my groceries and have people clap when my huge basket up groceries final total is $5.36.  But I don’t think I need 500 bottles of Soft Soap, even if they do end up being 25 cents a bottle  But 24 bottles of soft soap I could use.  I figure that’s enough to last about a year.  I don’t want to turn my house into a warehouse, but I do have that little metal building outside.  That’s where I store my Christmas decorations and outdoor furniture during the off season.  But if I put up some shelves I think it will do.

I may have to plan out my grocery shopping day, but so what.  We don’t usually buy groceries every week anyways.  We have two refrigerators and a nice size upright freezer.  So when we find things on sale, we usually stock up.

After doing some research I found that most serious couponers use those baseball card pages.  Those are the pages they insert the cards in to display them.  They put the pages in binders and use dividers.  You divide up your coupons however it makes sense to use.  If you’ve got 10 coupons for soft soap, they all go in the same slot.

With internet access there are plenty of coupons to be printed.  There are coupon services that cut out coupons for you for a nominal fee.  You can buy groups of coupons for certain items on Ebay.  I think I remember seeing 2 sets of Sunday papers bundled together and sold at a reduced rate on Mondays.  So today I will go in search of baseball card pages, a binder, dividers, and discounted Sunday papers.

Of course I need to save enough money up front to pay for the baseball card pages and the binder.  Does Kroger still double coupons??