Secrets And Lies Of An Organized Life | Giftie Etcetera: Secrets And Lies Of An Organized Life

Friday, November 15, 2013

Secrets And Lies Of An Organized Life

I watch people around me, especially fellow bloggers, with such beautiful pictures and videos of perfectly organized and decorated houses. I like to pretend that their posts are all LIES! They must be big, fat lying liars, because surely no one actually lives like that! Even their planners are pretty. Lies, I tell you.

(Please, dear bloggers, don't stop lying. I LOVE looking at your pretty stuff. It's the only pretty in my life sometimes!)

(I would never lie. Oh, I want to. It's just that I have this honesty problem. The truth just flies out of my mouth, even when I KNOW that I should lie. Never ask me how that dress looks on you. Never. Just trust me.)

I might not have any lies for you, but I am filled with secrets. So, for your reading pleasure, some of the secrets that I use to stay organized. Enjoy!

*Fold paper backwards. That is, if you keep paper in your planner, fold it with the writing to the outside. It will be much easier to find and process.

*Make a perfect fold. Match the corners perfectly when folding paper. THEN press along the crease. It gives you a perfect fold.

*Give yourself hints about what is on the paper. Either add a sticky note with details or put a file mark in the top right corner.

Look how nice the papers look now.

*Cut the paper with your tongue. No, not a paper cut! If you need to cut the paper and don't have scissors with you, wet or lick the fold (depending on your OCD tolerance levels) on the front and back of the fold, then tear along the damp line, preferably against the edge of a table. (I never actually use the table edge, but I hear it helps.) Cut the paper especially if you only need to keep part of it, to keep your planner skinnier.

*Use water bottles at home. Do you have a million water cups around your house? Your drink, your toddler's drink, your kids' drinks? Do like my children's elementary school does and assign each person a different color water bottle. Buy two of each, so you can clean them with the dishes each day. Seriously, this secret will change your life! (My family keeps their water bottles next to their beds or on their place mat at the dinner table.) Bonus - no more spills to clean up.

*Put your cream and sugar in your coffee or tea first. I never use a spoon in my coffee. Instead, I pour the cream and sugar (lowfat milk and Splenda...see, I COMPULSIVELY must tell the truth...sigh) in the cup first, then pour the hot coffee over it to mix it in and dissolve it. No more dirty spoons. And it's quicker.

*Put your medicines with your toothpaste. (Do this only to the extent that you don't need to worry about little kids or druggie family members trying to take them.) That way, you cannot forget to take your meds. I use a weekly pill sorter so that I never have to wonder whether I took my pills today or not. A weekly entry on my planner reminds me to sort my pills every seven days.

Another truth? I actually put mine in front of my coffee pot. I mean, let's just face reality. I will eventually brush my teeth every morning, but I'll be having my coffee long before that, without fail.

*Anything destined for your vehicle when you leave the house should block the doorway. My kids put their backpacks there in the morning. I put my reusable grocery bags. Going to a party? A gift goes in the doorway. Possibly, I put a sticky note at eye level reminding me to get the veggie tray from the fridge.

*Hide your Christmas presents in a trash bag. That way, if the kids (or husband) open the closet, they cannot immediately see what you bought. And if the seven year old does find the gifts, you can explain that Santa delivered them in a sack! Also, write your hiding place in your planner.

Go ahead, write it. I'll wait.

*Have your children and spouse manage their own stuff. Have the kids put away artwork from school in dish tubs. Have them put away their own folded clean clothes. (I put it on their seats at the kitchen table, so they have to put it away to eat.) Have them put their dishes in the sink. Scared they can't handle it? They do at school all the time. Just call their teachers and ask them!

*Put a sticky note on the main planner page to remind you of the really important stuff. You will have to do the task before you can see the rest of your task list.

*Send your significant other or teenager an email. Yes, you told them or asked them about the meeting. Yes, they said they will go with you. No, they do not remember. (Mostly. A few of them are lying liars.) You whip out the e-mail and, ta da!, argument over. You win. (This also works for co-workers. Use with care with bosses, though.)

*Make watching you write it in your planner the house rule. Yes, they told you or asked you about the meeting. Yes, you said you would go with them. No, you do not remember. (This secret assumes that you are not a lying liar.) See a pattern here?

So write it down and teach them to watch you write it down. When I taught school, this was my classroom rule. I rarely forgot anything.

Please feel free to share your secrets in the comments. Bonus points if you share your lying liar lies!



Hope Rebecca said...

My pill sorter also lives in front of the coffee (in my case tea) machine!! said...

Had to laugh at the one about writing it down and having them watch you write it down.

My son asked me to do something a while back and I didn't write it down. Of course, I forgot. He scolded me for it and I reminded him that he didn't watch me write it down. If he wants a guarantee that I'll remember, he needs to see me write it down.

I like the idea about putting the important things on a post-it and you have to do them before you can move the post-it. I've actually thought about doing something like that for my high priorities.

Oh, and all the stuff I post about on my blog is the absolute truth. I was taking a photo of my living room and there were some odds & ends in there that I thought about moving. But in the end, I left them. I always want to be real. I don't lie well either.

yezenia said...

I've been doing two of those for years, cream before coffee and barricading the door with my must-not-forgets.
But I will be adopting your box around the note title on my new planner. I may have to use rubber stamps though, I am a crafter after all. ; )
And as for writing it down as a guarantee, I think I'll adopt that as well. I've often told my mom if I don't put it in my phone it won't get done. But she thinks I'm on the Internet every time I'm on my phone (the nerve) so if she sees me wrote it in my planner, she will know I am committing to it. Yes, I think that'll work for her.

Anna said...

I have the same problem with honesty! Especially if you are in a meeting, it seems that silence means that you agree. So sometimes I just can't keep my mouth shut. :) But my friends who know this, appreciate it because I will speak up when they wish they were brave enough & I will be honest (but kind) about their hair/clothes. I have to use a spoon with my coffee, though. Stirring while the steam rises is part of what relaxes me in the morning. And with the presents, my husband would never go looking, and my kids are under the threat that any present they try to find will be tossed or given to someone outside the family. So far that has worked. :)

Anonymous said...

A place for everything... Yep! My paner has a tab for "Medical" and current stuff stays in there. I have a form that I use when a new medication is prescribed that will need to be refilled. I add the details and enter the refill date minus one week. I enter the call to the pharmacy to my "To Do" for that day by writing it in red on the monthly calendar. Yes, I use a lot of color coding.

We do use the "House Rule" of writing it down, but I also add things to the organizer program on the laptop. If the note is made on someone else's behalf, then I have them watch me do those two things. Doing so makes both of us accountable, right?