mindful living, effortless style

Tons of posts on how to organize your life.

So How Exactly Are We Going To Do All This?

After reading all of your responses to Friday’s post, all I could think was, “you get me, you really get me!”.  And I’m so glad because a small part of me wondered if you would.  I needn’t have worried.  You all reacted exactly as I would have in your shoes.

 

There was palpable relief that you wouldn’t, it turned out, have to form a lynch mob and show up, pitchforks in hand, on my doorstep.  By the end your envy had faded and most of you were chuckling (a few mentioned full out belly laughs).  Mixed in with the mirth, though, there was also disappointment that the post wasn’t going to conclude with me taking your hand and leading you to the organizational promise land.  As one commenter put it, “Lady, that was just cruel. I really wanted that 90 day menu with the grocery lists to match. :)”

 

Here’s what’s funny sad true, I still really want it too! Yes, I wrote the post in part to have a little fun and to draw out my audience a bit.  But I also wrote it as a catharsis.  I think what resonated with people the most was how detailed my list was, and the reason it was so detailed is because those are all things I beat myself up over not doing, or not doing well enough, every day.

 

Apparently, so do you.  So much so that your responses to the idea of someone you don’t know, and have never met, doing it better than you were down right visceral.  Several of you described experiencing heart palpitations and breaking out into a cold sweat as you read.

 


So where am I going with this? Let’s not be coy – you know where I’m going. 
I’m thinking something should actually be done to, for lack of a better phrase, help a mother out.  I’m thinking I should do it.  Last but not least, I’m thinking you should help me – all of you.

 

That’s what I want to do.  What I DON’T want to do is set us all up for failure by creating some crazed schedule in which we find 10 new recipes to try every Monday, overhaul 3 spots in our home every Tuesday, comb over our budgets for areas to save every Wednesday and so on and so forth.  It is beyond apparent at this point that we don’t have time for that – what with those pesky kids wanting to be fed and clothed, never mind educated and stimulated every day.

 

So here’s what I’m going to do.  I’ll work my way down the list at my leisure, accomplishing what I can, when I can without feeling guilty that I’m not doing it all.  I’m not going to stress myself (or you) out by imposing restrictive rules like starting at the top and working my way down or checking something off the list every week.  But I will post about it as I go and I’ll likely make some sort of feature button for the sidebar so you can jump around the projects and take them at your leisure as well.

 

I haven’t really worked out all the logistics yet but here’s the gestalt: I’ll identify the problem we’re tackling, drum up some inspirational resources (photos, links, etc.), and then I’ll turn it over to you.  I’m going to want to know what’s working for you (and what isn’t), I will very likely need your contributions (I’m thinking specifically of that 90 day meal plan here), and I may or may not even give group homework.  A little while later I’ll update you on my progress, check in on yours, and recap what we’ve learned so far as a group.

 

Sound good? You in?  Fabulous!  Leave a comment letting me know you think the whole thing’s a good idea and where you want to start (I have my suspicions where that might be but I wouldn’t want to get us off on the wrong foot by presuming).  Hope to hear from you and looking forward to getting the ball rolling!

This post is part of MPMK’s “Project Organize Your ENTIRE Life”.  You can read all about it here, check out all of projects here, and join thousands of POYEL facebook group members here.

 

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{ 151 comments… read them below or add one }

Charlotte: February 12, 2012 at 8:53 am

I loved your post and thought when I got to the end, I’ll go through this, do everything on it and then I can actually feel super smug!

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another donkey design by kate February 12, 2012 at 9:34 am

I loved your previous post and was thinking the whole time – right – how can i make that my life!!! I was envious and must admit a little dissappointed when in turned out not to be true – you did however spark me to tell my husband about it (i don’t normally discuss my blog reading so you must have really struck a cord). Point of my ramble – i want my life to be like that and i would love to work through it with you step by step.
So – GREAT IDEA, and i am in.

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Maria February 12, 2012 at 11:52 am

Since reading your first post, I have beeN thinking the same thing-why don’t I give it a go? So I already started thinking of action steps for this week. While I hope to hive myself grace, I think it will be worthwhile however it turns out…

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Angela February 12, 2012 at 11:55 am

I was thinking about your post last night and chuckling a wee bit, but also thinking Man, would that be so awesome to have all that check off my list. There must be a way. Fist shaking to the air. Your plan sounds good. :)

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Maria February 12, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Since reading your first post, I have beeN thinking the same thing-why don’t I give it a go? So I already started thinking of action steps for this week. While I hope to hive myself grace, I think it will be worthwhile however it turns out…

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Sarah February 12, 2012 at 12:30 pm

I too have thought about that post several times since reading it. Thinking, why not? I’m trying to simplify my life. By doing the hard work now (with some encouragement from others doing the same!) it will pay off ten fold. Let’s go! I’m ready to go through every inch of the house and get rid of the clutter (when nobody else is home to protest). And meal plans….that would be awesome. I can work on these two together right now.

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christine w. February 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm

About 6 months ago in conjunction with a move to a new community, getting settled in a new home, my son starting at a new school, my daughter leaving the baby phase, and just feeling like it was the start of not only a new chapter but a whole new book, I decided to make a “40 before 40 plan” – over the next 2.5 years, I wanted to address a bunch of personal and family goals (august of 2012 is our 10th wedding anniversary, so i was hoping to accomplish a bunch of couple-oriented goals first so they could be celebrated at that milestone). When your original list ran the other morning, I chuckled because lots of those types of things were already on my list!! As well as a few other ones that I had not come up with, but thought “oh, some of these would be perfect for the list!!” And of course I laughted even harder when I realized it was a joke. But I now have 2 years left…and I’ve already knocked out a bunch of things (monthly date night out – committed to and on track. weekly movie nights in – on track) Still lots of items on the list, but with that much time AND just by writing them down to get focused on what it is that’s really important to me, I can make other decisions accordingly. And this focus/intention feels great! Can’t wait to see what you can find in relation to your list, I’m sure the inspiration will be beautiful and helpful.

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Tiffany February 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Power in numbers!! I am a new mom (babe is 4 months of awesome-ness!) and we are currently living at my parents while my husband blitzes our basement reno… and I am working 2 jobs?! BUT, when I read your list, it was like a lifeline… to a deserted island of blissful organization and peace! I am in!! I can’t wait to move back home and start clearing out my closet. It’s like a black-hole that taunts me with memories of the past… and will definitely be my starting place!!

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Jessica Walker-Simon February 12, 2012 at 2:06 pm

I’m in! I crave everything on your list. I want something even remotely similar! I’ve been trying to get there on my own but it’s tough! Let’s do this thing!

I don’t know if I included enough exclamation points in that post :)

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Jill February 12, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Great idea. I’d like to see you start with daily routine and weekly scheduling. Because those are top on my list – and also because it will help carve out time to tackle everything else.

I also wanted to note that with such a big community of readers, it’s possible that some folks have tackled one or two of the things. They could share what worked for them and provide guidance/encouragement. No need to reinvent the wheel!

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K*Puz February 12, 2012 at 2:39 pm

100% in and ready to accomplish great things!!! I think everyone doing it together, taking baby steps, will eliminate the chance for failure! WE CAN DO THIS!!!!!!! P.S. – LOVED your first post…thought it was real! Made myself a list. I love the meal thing, but I think 30 days is good enough for now! HA!

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Lauren February 12, 2012 at 2:45 pm

When I read your organized post, I was literally salivating. Then I laughed. And nearly woke up my 3-month-old. I love me some organizing and planning! I wanted to pass along a PDF link to mysimplerlife.com. My mom and I have started this declutter calendar, and it’s been really fun to cross off the very managable daily tasks as we go:
DeClutter Calendar 2012

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Lauren February 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Broken link – sorry! Here’s a link to the mysimplerlife.com page where you can sign up for the free calendar:
Sign up for Free Declutter Calendar
Or copy and paste the PDF: http://www.mysimplerlife.com/2012/Decluttercalendar2012.pdf

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tricia February 12, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Hi Lauren! I signed up!

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modern.mom-mom February 12, 2012 at 2:47 pm

I was so jealous when I read your first post/list, wishing I could be as productive and organized! I repinned it as a goal for myself. I think it’s a great idea to work your way down the list and I intend to as well! Thank you for writing it all down for me. Knowing you are doing it, too, as well as others out there, will help me to keep going! I know it will feel so good to be able to repin your list again when it’s completed and I can say “I really did do this!” Thank you.

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Leigh February 12, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Start with wht bothers you most and what looks like fun. For me keeping the dinning room buffet clear for two weeks has been a huge victory. Painting the living room was fun.

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Mary Elizabeth February 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Love it!! My biggest vice for organization is laundry… I am currently going through 10 years of sizes and such that have just been packed and moved with us from place to place… we’ve already purged and donated 5 bins in the last 2 months… but when every day laundry is entered into the equation, it’s just overwhelming!! So sorting through the donation piles would be a good start for me!!

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Anonymous February 12, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Ha, I love this!! Only yesterday my younger (but so much more organised) sister came to dinner and asked when I was finally going to put wallpaper on the hallway walls. They’ve only been bare and giving off chalk dust since, oh, July or something… (I’m ashamed, truly I am!) And I said ‘In a week or two, first I need to clean out the bicycle shed’ but later yesterday I thought ‘AND I need to
- get a daily/weekly cleaning routine going
- lose a few pounds so need to start exercising and eating healthily
- clear out my wardrobe
- give the entire house a thorough spring cleaning
- chisel off a full year of grease from my kitchen cabinet tops
- and then some more stuff I’ve already forgotten again :)

And then just now I read these two posts!!! I love how we’re all sort of globally telepathic :D
So count me in!

An let’s start with those daily routines, that’s where things keep falling apart for me when things get busy at work, which is every other week if I let it ;)

DutchJudith

Can´t wait to get started!!

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Savtamama February 12, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Have you heard of the Fly Lady? She is a sweet, motherly soul who gives inspiration and practical help to those who are not Born Organized. I love her!

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Cindy April 11, 2014 at 11:12 pm

Love Fly Lady. She was the first person I thought of after reading this post.

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Korey February 12, 2012 at 5:26 pm

I’m in! SO in! :)

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Lyndsey February 12, 2012 at 5:58 pm

I’m in as well! I also loved your post and was inspired by it. I would really like my life to be that put together! It also made me start thinking about what small parts of that I could put into practice. There is one blog I visit occasionally about organization. This woman is far more organized than me, but she also has really great ideas and even some small tasks even I can do!
http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/

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Emma February 12, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Wow, love this blog, thanks for the recomendation! Loving especially the free printables :)

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Jenny February 12, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Fabulous! Let’s get started!

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Anonymous February 12, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Another great post! Re 90 day meal plan … just type in Meal or menu planning into the Pinterest Search … gazillion Links :)

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Brigitte February 12, 2012 at 6:55 pm

I’ve got the meal plan already going but for the rest of the house I seem to run around knowing what needs to be done but distracted by ‘what else’ needs to be done. It’s a back and forth thing for me and tires me out before the kids get home. HELP ME!!! I’m in for the ride.

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Anonymous February 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm

I was this way until I started putting some of the speed cleaning ideas on Pinterest into effect. Now if I see a spot on the frig door, I wipe it. If I see some dust on a table, I wipe it. I organized all my cleaners in one place and can get to them easily. I don’t clean an area all at once. I just clean a spot or table. I learned that if I see it, then someone walking into my home will see it too. Clean the spots you see. After a while, your home will be clean. The number one thing that was so hard for me was discarding everything in my cabinets and closets that I didn’t need. Just do one shelf at a time as you have time. You’ll be shocked at how quickly it comes together. You can do one shelf in 10 minutes. Empty it, wipe it, only put back what you need organizing as you put back. My home is quickly becoming organized and I’ve only been at it for a week.

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Virginia February 12, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Do it! I’m in! :)

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Chris February 12, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Not only am I IN, but I am not following your blog (after reading the previous post that started this and laughing out loud at the end of it…you know, after wanting to virtually strangle whoever it is that CAN accomplish all of that)!

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townmonkey February 12, 2012 at 8:50 pm

I’m in, the quiet time had me gawp in wonder. So I did the relieved giggle at the end of the post too.

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Mercedes February 12, 2012 at 10:04 pm

I’ll admit I was envious, and feeling guilty because I thought, “wow, this really IS possible?” How am I going to make this happen? So thank you! Thank you for being real, but also for thinking of a realistic solution to everyday life. Looking at your list, it is almost identical to mine…and honestly I have no idea where i would like to start! the menu and schedule sound good to me….

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Shereen February 12, 2012 at 10:30 pm

I’m definitely in. In fact, I was already inspired to get started on a few things! I had never heard of mint.com, but I’ve been wanting to track our budget a little more closely, so I got an account. It’s really helpful! Along with my new year’s resolutions, I created a list I call “Organization 2012,” listing all my organizational/household goals for the year. I already had a few of the things you listed as some of my goals, but I added others. The weekly schedule is one that I’m particularly keen on figuring out, along with the quiet time kits and meal plans!

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Owner February 12, 2012 at 10:54 pm

I’m IN! I printed the post only as a reminder to try to organize something… maybe not complete the project all at once, but just try.

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Emma February 12, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Oh yes, count me in!! I’m a relative newbie to your blog, but am loving it so far – and I feel that this is just what I need to help me tackle the new phase of my life, when I finish work before the arrival of our first little one in April. Being a full time mamma will be a whole new chapter for me, and I want to be the best I possibly can at it! For me the biggies will be getting together a weekly routine, and really looking at where we can save money, as this will be a big factor in whether i can continue to stay home!!

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Anonymous February 12, 2012 at 11:27 pm

You are definately a hoot! While reading the first blog, I was thinking, how can I find her house? I also was thinking you are a big fat liar or I need you desperately! You are so clever! Keep writing! You gave me a great laugh and validation that I am not just one stack away from an episode on hoarders!

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Kate February 12, 2012 at 11:30 pm

I just found you a moment ago via Rookie Moms (well, a “moment” in mom-of-twin-toddlers-time), and I’m totally in.

As much as I want what you listed on your last post, I see it as aspirational, as long as I don’t beat myself up as I work on it.

Looking forward to the fun…yeah, need to remember this is actually kind of fun when I don’t feel like it later!

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Brooke Plotnick February 12, 2012 at 11:34 pm

I’d like to follow along – this is my first visit to your blog and I’m excited!

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grace & stella February 13, 2012 at 1:22 am

My first time visiting was the day you posted part one of this post and i must say not only was i super jealous but totally inspired! i think that even having a list of things you want to do is progress. i borrowed many of the items from your list and i am setting a goal of tackling on thing each month. we’ll see how that goes. i would love to follow along this process as well!

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Erin A February 13, 2012 at 1:23 am

I think that’s a terrific idea, I’d LOVE to follow along!

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Stacy of KSW February 13, 2012 at 2:08 am

Great idea. I’ve struggled for so long to obtain just one of the tasks on your list. I like the idea of all of us collaborating to reach a greater goal. I think the easiest task to do that is the 90 day dinner menu. Readers post their go to family favorites, perhaps on a collaborative pinterest board? Or send you the links at least and you pin them at your discretion.

As far as items in my house I need to get rid of … this is my 3rd year in a row of getting rid of as many things as the number of the year. First 2,010, then 2,011, this year 2,012. The first year helped me clean a lot out, last year helped me learn a lot about the process and this year I’m hoping to tackle this beast for good … it’s going to take a lot more than 2,012 items though!

Stay at home routines would be a life saver and i think something that we may all be lacking in one or two areas, but when compared against others we’d find the missing pieces — and then some!

Wishing you all the best with this one, cant wait to see how it all turns out

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Anonymous February 13, 2012 at 2:32 am

Okay- I just must say- you are a fabulous writer and I along with others was feeling the guilt as I went down your list- by the time I got to the daily activity baggies- I was thinking- is this woman nuts?… yet hungry to hear a little more…I loved your post. It’s the mommy-dream. It’s the thing we all IMAGINE someone else is doing and no one else IS. I would be happy being clutter-free, coupled with a lot more patience… but perhaps the real truth is – that I wouldn’t… ’cause like Cheryle Crowe said, “it’s not having what you want; it’s wanting what you’ve got”… let’s soak up the sun, make our “improvements” but have a little more time enjoying the journey. MQ

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Sandra February 13, 2012 at 3:02 am

Happy to jump in too – and you DID have me going with that other post. Especially since this is my first visit here!

Wasn’t the Alt class good? Lots of great ideas…

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Christina Aaron - BSc. February 13, 2012 at 3:18 am

This comment has been removed by the author.

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Theresa February 13, 2012 at 3:24 am

So glad to see so many others who were excited/motivated by your post! I actually made my own list, it contains many of yours but in a different order and I added a few unique to me and am type A enough to have already given myself a timeline (a very generous timeline…but a timeline!)

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SocialStudiesSoubrette February 13, 2012 at 3:33 am

Sounds good and I’m in :D

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Nicole Manier February 13, 2012 at 3:41 am

I am so excited and definitely on board. I need all the help I can get as I can’t stand to cook but am determined to make sure the kids eat healthy every night and I am totally unorganized. I headed right here when I came across this site on Pinterest. I only quickly glanced at it but it just as to be a start on the road to weekly planned meals. Hope it helps…http://eatathomecooks.com/weekly-menus

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Nicole Manier February 13, 2012 at 4:21 am

I looked further into the recipes on the above link and I am in shock. The website has YEARS of weekly recipes with grocery lists. I have been nonstop printing and I don’t know where to start! I almost want to run to the grocery store now and it’s 11pm!!!!

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Erica @ Acire Adventures February 13, 2012 at 4:01 am

Amazing! Your previous post was ridiculous. I first read it while on the phone with my mom and I didn’t quite get that it was a joke. I was like HOLY CRAP, someone actually does this? Now I really have a reason to kick myself in the butt about not doing it all. Thank goodness I went back and reread it after when I wasn’t trying to half listen to a story about how to write instructions for managing a small business’ books…

Anyways, I think it is brilliant to team up. Women can do amazing things together. You could either pick a specific starting point, or we could all start in different places and share lesson for others when they get there. I think that could be a good or a bad approach… ha. Sounds like fun. :)

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Anonymous February 13, 2012 at 4:08 am

I’m in…weekly schedule sounds like a good place to start! I have 4 kiddos 7 and under and twins on the way so I am in desperate need of some stucture and organization in my life.

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 14, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Wow! I got overwhelmed just reading that!

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heather February 13, 2012 at 4:23 am

I’m so in!

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glimmersnaps February 13, 2012 at 4:45 am

Sounds good… I have been meaning to get around to organizing my digital photos and videos for for-EVER! Anyone have recommendations for (free) ways to do it? I find iPhoto and Picassa a bit cumbersome. Thanks!

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Delane in OK February 13, 2012 at 5:18 am

First time at your blog due to a Pinterest post and now I’m hooked!! I look forward to seeing your progress and maybe sharing some of mine. I’m determined to take this organizational journey in my time and crossing tasks off as I go.

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Reina February 13, 2012 at 9:14 am

I am in :) Where should we start? Anywhere you want, it is a mess everywhere ;)

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Pacas February 13, 2012 at 10:00 am

I’m in too! I really need to start somewhere, just give me directions :)

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2flowerslearn.com February 13, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Sounds good to me! Schedule pls.. and the rest. Any help would be great!

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madilla February 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I started last week a similar topic on my blog (its about easy organizing in style).
How to get rid of those little and not so little annoying things in your home. A step by step guide.
As for meal planning it works like magic for me. Before I go to the grocery store once a week I just sit down, take piece of paper. Write down the week days and under them the name of a recipe I got out of my head (like home made pizza, or spaghetti carbonara /takes 20 min to prepare/)or out of the 3 (yes only 3) recipe books I have.
I still can not believe how much easier it made my life and reduced the daily stress.
By the way did you now that its proven that being organized makes you HAPPIER?

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Melissa February 13, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Thank you for being real. It was refreshing! :) I also long to have a completely organized home and a schedule/routine that fits our life like a glove. I’m up to the challenge… Where to start?? dealing with clutter or meal planning, I’m game for either. ;)

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Jessica Yalung February 13, 2012 at 7:19 pm

A little frustrated with your blog. I used to love your ideas and thought, “I should follow you on pinterest.” Little did I know the only things you pin are your own blog posts….Not going to follow your blog or your pinterest anymore. Pinterest was not intended for self promotion! Get over yourself.

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 13, 2012 at 8:02 pm

First of all – zing! – sounds like you’re more than “a little frustrated”, eh?

It’s true, some of my pinterest boards largely contain MPMK material. They’re there primarily to give my readers an easy way to visually scan what I’m posting in each of my categories here on the blog – which is why those boards have the same labels as the categories listed at the top of the site here (design with kids in mind, playtime, tutorials, etc.).

Once I starting picking up a significant number of pinterest followers, I decided to start devoting more time to it and am now offering up a large number of non-MPMK boards with stuff from all over. I’m also adding non-MPMK stuff to the original boards.

Hope that clears up my intentions. If you’re still unhappy with my choices you, of course, have the right to stop following me – there’s likely something out there that will make you happier, that’s the beauty of the internet!

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okidokiphotography February 17, 2012 at 11:28 pm

@Jessica.. Of course she wants self promotion! She writes a blog and wants people to read it. It is no different than having a facebook page. I think you should get over yourself… If you don’t like it, don’t read it, and move on. A nasty comment is unnecessary.

FYI-I have never posted a comment on her blog and I do follow it regularly (thanks to pintrest). Yours was so bitchy I had to stick up for the blog owner!!!

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Carla February 13, 2012 at 9:21 pm

I am in! I would be happy if I could accomplish 10% of what was on your previous post!!!
I think having a weekly schedule sounds like a good place to start. Plus I have tons of old bills, letters and papers piled up that I need to sort out and organize…

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Jen | Our Happy Family February 13, 2012 at 11:51 pm

I think it’s a great idea! I am seriously working my way through a list that looks about like your last post… in the process of de-cluttering and organizing photos right now. I think the biggest hurdle will be making and sticking to a daily/weekly schedule, but we need to do it!

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 14, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Oh good – gonna need LOTS of good info. for the photo organization. Take notes for us as you go!

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Anonymous February 14, 2012 at 1:18 am

Need! Need! No time! (i’m in)

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Meg February 14, 2012 at 2:04 am

Bring it on! I need to get the meal planning going again and get out of this food rut, eating the same things too often.

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 14, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Me too! (Which leads to eating out TOO much to avoid the monotony)

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Jeannie February 14, 2012 at 3:15 am

Great gobbilie gook… I can’t wait to set going. I’m a super freak list maker and I’m habitual organizer/re-orgaizer. I love to purge closets and drawers. Can’t understand why it never ends though.

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CrownofJules February 14, 2012 at 8:15 pm

The days just aren’t long enough. I love purging drawers and closets, too *grin*

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Francis February 14, 2012 at 3:53 am

New to your blog and after reading both posts I’m totally in!! Specially the meal planning !

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Alicia February 14, 2012 at 7:53 am

My first thought on reading your post was “yea! Look at all of that she got done. I CAN eventually get it done too!” By the way, how did you get my list? (plus about 20 unfinished crafts that I want to finish before I start a new one) Oh, & I am remodeling a house! I love your idea & would like to join in! sounds like fun.

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Amanda February 14, 2012 at 3:57 pm

I’m game! I need to get as organized as I can in the next 3 months before my second son gets here in May.

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 14, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Oh my – we better get on it!

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Nicole S February 14, 2012 at 4:00 pm

I read your first post with such envy and heartfelt longing for it to be true! At least I know that by all the comments I see here, I am not alone! Thanks so much…looking forward to good things ahead. PROGRESS!

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Candice February 14, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Great idea, I’m in! I would be so excited to have my wheels stop spinning and feel like I am actually getting a few things done every day! LOVE your blog, I look forward to reading your post with my coffee every morning!!

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Anonymous February 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm

YES!

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CrownofJules February 14, 2012 at 8:13 pm

You know, I’d been working on a meal plan for one week. Just one. I included the elements to each modest meal that I use every time, how much of each supply I consume (like 1/4 cup of a 2 cup bag) and divided the average cost per increment. I found that if I used that exact menu for four weeks, I blew our monthly grocery budget by 30%. Where’s organization now? *pout*

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 14, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Grrr – I’m having the same frustration! I thought for sure doing better about meal planning would cut down on my food budget – so far, no such luck. But don’t despair, we’ll get everyone else to help us figure it out together :).

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Amy Austin February 14, 2012 at 9:02 pm

I swear this isn’t spam – please check out the posts I’ve written about how I use Google Calendar to solve a lot of these problems – including meal planning! http://prettybabies.blogspot.com/2007/10/blog-post.html and http://prettybabies.blogspot.com/2007/09/wfmw-using-google-calendar-for-family.html

I’m going to be writing very soon about the meal co-ops I’ve joined – where I make six batches of two recipes, then freeze them flat, then I show up at the swap with 5/6 and go home with 10 new meals, frozen and ready to rock. It’s AMAZING and it has really improved my life.

It’s not your whole list, but it’s a start.

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 14, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Thanks for the links Amy, looking forward to checking them out!

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Anonymous February 14, 2012 at 9:16 pm

I too was inspired by your post and thought “I can do this”. I have a craft room that is always a complete mess. I assessed that the reason I don’t do a better job of keeping it neat and clean is because it just isn’t very cute “so why bother”. So, I went home and got right to work, cleared out all the shelves, got that cute little chair out I wanted to paint and recover and started sanding, dumped out all the mixed beads to sort through them so I could put them in cute jars “I just love that look”. So needless to say my life right now is this huge mess and my husband is just laughing at me. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 14, 2012 at 10:54 pm

That’s exactly how I tackle project… and then I seem to run out of steam right about the time I need to start putting it all back away. Hope you fair better :). Looking forward to seeing your progress!

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Melissa K February 15, 2012 at 12:08 am

I made a list in January and have been slowly picking away
-recipe book culled and sorted
-drawer of recipes and cookbooks sorted and cleaned
-junk drawer cleaned and organized
-fridge cleaned and wiped down inside
-extra spice packs all put box
-everything is organized in the baby’s room
Just checking these few things off has made me feel like “wow I’m getting something done” even if there is dust on the furniture, and my floors need a wash. Thanks for sharing your journey!!! :D

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allysgrandma February 15, 2012 at 1:19 am

We just had our kitchen cabinets painted. In doing so, we had to pull everything out of the cupboards. OMGosh….we looked like hoarders. We are going through everything and putting about 75% of it back. It is really helping.

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liz February 15, 2012 at 1:38 am

I am interested in working through your plan. But not sure where to start. Going back to work after a lot of years at home…I am finding not a lot of time to “cull/clean/purge” – but want to start.

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Colleen Sabot February 15, 2012 at 1:39 am

Like others, I was totally jealous while reading the post and a bit relieved (nervous laughter) by the ending! Seems I can get some things in order, but then they slide as other tasks need to be addressed. Looked over the fantasy list and the whole thing, every item, is something I’d like to tackle again. After reading other comments, I think it’ll help me to keep a journal of sorts to track progress and to serve as further motivation. Count me in! I’m starting with meals, because if I can get that streamlined it frees up time on a daily basis.

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Elizabeth February 15, 2012 at 1:40 am

I started doing this exact thing at the beginning of the year. Bit by Bit. I still have a long way to go but I have thoughts on menu planning and the purging has begun at this house. I am definitely in!

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L'il Crikets February 15, 2012 at 2:27 am

I just finished a 60 day meal plan! Looking forward to your series…

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 3:30 am

Is it in email-able form? I’m at modernparentsmessykids@gmail.com – don’t hold out on us :)

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Kelli February 15, 2012 at 2:36 am

I have a year-long meal plan (thanks to pinterest motivation), but no grocery lists. Not all the recipes are tried and true, but man it’s nice to not spend an hour + each week trying to figure out what to eat, if it’s healthy enough and whether or not I have time to actually cook it. I have a cleaning routine, though it takes 2 weeks to get through the whole house (had to let go of the house cleaned every week and on the same day ideal) with some activities scheduled for monthly and quarterly. I would be glad to share. But, just because I have these things doesn’t mean they get done, it just gives me a starting line to go back to if I lose my way.

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 3:29 am

Kelli – would love it if you’d share! You can email me at modernparentsmessykids@gmail.com.

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Debbie O February 15, 2012 at 4:22 am

I couldn’t scroll to the bottom fast enough!!!!! In, In In!!!!! I am turning 37 tomorrow, I have 5 children, and I need some kind of boost! I am throwing the jumper cables on, and connecting them here, the first blog I can relate to!!!! So excited!

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 4:35 am

Happy early birthday! Loved the jumper cables imagery – I can tell we’re gonna be friends already.

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Tammy February 15, 2012 at 4:40 am

Happy Birthday Debbie! I’m in too…..oh, wouldn’t life be so much easier….

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TheFiveDays February 15, 2012 at 5:49 am

I was definitely one of the people with heart palpitations reading your post. I was SOOOOO proud of you! Love your idea. I have been trying for so very long to get it together, it has got to be because of methods that don’t work rather than lack of effort. I have three small children, two with autism, and our house has people (therapists, mostly) coming and going all day long. It is so tough to accomplish what is on my schedule because I am also trying to be available to others so they can accomplish THEIRS. And what they need me to do is pretty important. I just can’t figure out how to make it all work. Sigh.

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TheFiveDays February 15, 2012 at 5:50 am

Oh, and right now I am focusing on decluttering. Family of 5, 1200 sq ft house, lots of people coming and going…we’re busting out of the seams.

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stacey February 15, 2012 at 3:25 pm

i’m all in – i have complete faith that this is going to be a fun journey! it may not end with a perfectly organized life, but something’s better than nothing. :)

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Kim R February 15, 2012 at 5:05 pm

I am SO in!!! Sounds like a great idea. And to have input from all these moms along the way…PERFECT!

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The dB family February 15, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Love it!! I’m always looking for new ways to “get it all together!” It will be fun to have others doing it too.

Thank you for doing this!

Deborah

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Linley Family February 15, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Stumbled upon your blog and LOVE love it! I too read the previous post, but with inspiration! I was thinking, “I can TOTALLY do that, It might take me 2 years to get there – but I will get there!” so when I got to the end, I thought, “oh man! we have to do this together!” Imagine my excitement to read this post, and start on project #1! We so got this girl!

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Linley Family February 15, 2012 at 7:42 pm

so yah, I’m in!!

~Val

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Stephanie February 15, 2012 at 7:57 pm

I want to do all that you do! I’m in!

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kristen February 15, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Im in…. I am a blog skimmer… guilty as charged. In my free seconds I skim blogs, look at the pictures, read the captions, steel Ideas and move on with my day… I rarely read an entire post and I rarely comment. I read this one… and the first one… I need this!!

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Megan February 15, 2012 at 9:38 pm

I am so in! Like Kristen (above) I’ve a skimmer and I skimp on the comments. But you’ve got my attention and I’m gonna go with it (and probably blog about it too)!

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Linley Family February 15, 2012 at 10:36 pm

::raises hand:: I’m guilty too girls, but this girls got me hooked! we can do it!

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Daphne Hope February 16, 2012 at 2:14 am

I love the idea! I also was a little sad when I read your last post and found out it wasn’t an actual get organized tutorial! Ha ha!

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Amy Sells Madison Handbags February 16, 2012 at 3:41 am

This comment has been removed by the author.

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Susan February 16, 2012 at 5:10 am

I’m in!

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Michelle February 16, 2012 at 6:00 am

I’m in for sure.

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Gina February 16, 2012 at 6:11 am

You had me! But I’m the kind of person who looks up when someone says, “Gullible is written on the ceiling.” Or maybe I just beat myself up so much that I believe people THAT organized really do exist. The 2000 digital photos especially hit home. I made a ‘no pressure to do list, for when i’m in the mood and have the time.’ Sometimes I still feel pressure, though.

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Juliana B Ramos February 16, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Hi! Love to read your blog, I was sad at the first time waiting for more. So excited about this wonderful post! I will keep reading and learn. Actually I always teach my son ( 8 years old) ” Remember we learn everyday”
Thanks for sharing. I am follow you on Pinterest! KEEP CALM AND GET IT DONE!!!
I am in!!!

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Sarah Payne February 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Ok, not only does my home need this, but so does my family and business. We strive every day in this house to overcome the obsticle of my “bouncy bally sydrome”. Just making a commitment to stick with following your blog-my FIRST ever!-is a big step for me. Thank you for your leadership and to all who will be working right alongside me as we aim for an organized life. Yes….I’m in!

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Anonymous February 16, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Found you on Pinterest. Loved the first blog – just a fantastic tongue-in-cheek commentary on the expectations that women (and society) place on themselves.

Then I got to this post. and I am so, so disappointed. Instead of further commenting on the ridiculous expectations and idealistic standards that we hold women – especially mothers – up to, you have decided to join the bandwagon. I had hoped for some commiserating at first with your readers, and then a leader – someone to start the charge. Someone to holler from the interwebz – I’M MAD AS HELL AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!!

Instead – I got another blog post listing out how to blend in with the masses. how the list in the previous blog was not ridiculous. Not unrealistic. But rather do-able and in these five easy steps.

Keep Calm and continue to occupy our minds with senseless, needless busy work.

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 17, 2012 at 3:25 am

So what you’re saying is you think I bait and switched you… I get it, I do. But here’s the thing, as much as I wish I could make the it all go away with a little wry humor – the laundry keeps piling up.

What I’m offering is this… well, first, what I’m NOT going to be offering up are any “five easy steps” because I don’t have them – if I did I’d stop dinking around in the blogosphere and write a best-selling book already. What I do have is a community here and what I can provide is a place for people to put their ideas out there and share what’s working and what’s not.

I hope you’ll stick around for the next installment, so you can see for yourself that I’m planning something very different than the standard one size fits all, look at how well I did it and just copy me approach.

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Anonymous February 16, 2012 at 6:24 pm

I’m in. I have been trying…but no luck.

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Amanda February 17, 2012 at 6:53 pm

I truly love this whole concept. Your original list is exactly the dream I’ve hoped to attain someday in regard to home organization. I have been tempted myself to try to do it alone, as long as it took, and then share when I’m finished. But really, how would it ever be finished as long as the kids are growing?? It’s a constant effort and process. And I love that you’re doing this as a community effort.

Personally, I’ve got a firm deadline with baby #4 due in July, and the tail end of a kitchen remodel dragging on after 8 months! So, I’m quite motivated to do whatever it takes. The routine is certainly critical, but I tend to want to do things room by room, and I’ve been stuck on the rest of the house while my kitchen’s been in chaos. So… routine, menu planning (that flew out the window with the kitchen walls, too), decluttering, budgeting… and baby’s room. My organizational priorites in order. Thanks for asking. It was good to write that down for myself. :)

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Brittany February 18, 2012 at 12:51 am

I read your first blog post for organizing your life and loved it, read this one and I’m hooked. Many of the points you wrote about parallel with what I want to organize, so I’m super excited to see where this journey leads! My good starting point is my pictures which I semi-started, but I can’t wait to see other people’s suggestions.

There isn’t an “easy” button for life, but your idea to figure out a plan to get organized and use the resources of your blog and your followers sure seems like it could help. Now I’m off to read about your first project!

-Brittany

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Always Evolving Mama February 19, 2012 at 3:49 am

I have a 7 year old daughter, a 19 yr old son , hubby, a dog and i am about to become a grandma! I don’t function well with disorganization and since I started working full time outside the house in May, i have fought an uphill battle everyday. As part of my plan to gain control of my life, i have let go of any volunteering that I do not love and that takes previous time away from my family. I just let go of the last one of those at the end of January. I’m still working on reprioritizing things but i feel like i made a huge step in the right direction

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Jaclyn @ Cool Home Creations February 21, 2012 at 2:45 pm

That would be wonderful!

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suzysomething February 24, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Darn, I knew that list was too good to be true! However, I do think that you are going to be a great resource for ideas as you go through the items on that list. I’ll be tuned in and am anxious to provide tips that might help others. Let’s go!

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mama mia February 25, 2012 at 10:22 pm

I am new to pinterest but your pin REALLY grabbed my attention that I didn’t pin or like it and lost it, for days trying to get it back! Finally I did and finished reading to the end. What a crack up, first disappointment, then relief, that I am not the only person in search for this mehtodical life that does exist only in someone else’s world, Not mine!As soon as I think I am getting it together, I’m not even close. So I am totally in! lets get there together. My biggest stump is the photo system>

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kayla aimee March 1, 2012 at 3:35 am

laundry. i need a laundry system stat!

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jojo1955 March 1, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Is this realistic??? I could handle some of this but I don’t need to feel perfect or anal or kid myself. I am organizing my life and trying to do with less, way less stuff. I will work one room at a time and if I can get my laundry, groceries, yoga, spin class, babysitting, visiting, cleaning, shopping, errands, dinner, TV (what little I watch) etc. etc. and a night with hubby…..that will make me a satisfied woman.

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com March 1, 2012 at 8:51 pm

No! All of this is absolutely NOT realistic – which is why I said “I’ll work my way down the list at my leisure, accomplishing what I can, when I can without feeling guilty that I’m not doing it all.”

The idea is to work through the list over a long period of time so that it can serve as a resource for people to keep coming back too. If meal planning has just gotten totally out of control, see that segment. If you were doing well with de-cluttering but things are starting to slip, check out that part, etc.

It’s always going to be an on-going process for us all!

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jojo1955 March 2, 2012 at 3:47 am

I’m not dissing this, I love it. I laughed when I got to the end of the article, like I was happy it wasn’t true. I slao told my husband because it was all so unreal. I purchased some containers today at the dollar store just because of your article :)

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Anonymous March 8, 2012 at 1:26 pm

I’m in!

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Anonymous March 10, 2012 at 12:24 am

All I could think while I read this post was “I love you, I love you, I really really love you.” I’m in!

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terri March 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm

I’m in! We just moved from Baltimore to Las Vegas. Since everything is still in boxes, now is the perfect time to organize all this crap, oops, I mean, STUFF, as I pull it out of the boxes. Thanks. Your post came at just the right time :)

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Shannon April 4, 2012 at 8:26 pm

So far I think the most important thing is not to stress if you can’t stick 100% to the schedule you create. Just get back in there and keep trying. I have a seven-month-old and work full-time, so it’s hard. But today my to-do cleaning list said “Clean all toilets.” I managed to clean one of the four we have, and that’s okay. It’s something!

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Anonymous May 8, 2012 at 3:44 am

Hello, I came across your blog on pinterest. As a typicality working mother, I find my self VERY unorganized… This doesn’t bother me to much, but it drives my husband CRAZY!!! I Have always been known as a “busy body”. I have a styling room where I run a hair salon in my home. I run around the house all day doing all house work I can, in any minute I may have during the day. I have a self check list in my mind… lets say it’s a scan of the room….. Is that dusty, is that laundry basket full… is that toilet dirty. But when my husband gets home (whom by the way is in and out all day), the tables are OPPOSITE! For him, it’s ok… what time is it?.. What needs to be done for the REST of the day to go smooth. I guess this is what you call the must do’s? or must haves? Anywho… this is the part where I DON’T understand the stress… So lets say he comes home at 2pm, and has to leave at 3 (but will be home by 5)…. in one hour he will GO NUTS! Prepping dinner, do recycling, folding laundry… lets just say that anything I thought I could do “later” he does. Then it’s just a STRESSSSSSSSfull time! So I guess I’m not sure if I need to better organize myself or him… probably both to make it harmonious. But please HELP! With both of use Self employed I don’t know how to mesh our personalities, or better yet, mesh our schedules????? Thank you! Kriss

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Shannon May 12, 2012 at 3:20 am

I’m in. Every step. Just keep me posted…

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quiltedhappiness May 18, 2012 at 11:31 am

This is so fab! As a mother with 3 young kids, who unfortunately for them is utterly addicted to sewing, everything else gets left and then stuffed into the odd 10 minutes. So yes, I want to start with the 90 day dinner plan. I do feel so sorry for my kids. If I had different passions then they would probably have wonderful detailed home cooked meals – every day! – Suzy

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anantp June 6, 2012 at 4:30 am

When decluttering, free cycle.org is your best friend. The hardest prt abt decluttering (apart from actually doing it) is getting rid of the stuff without feeling guilty for tossing perfectly usable stuff. Free cycles great – ou post a one line description of what you have, and folks email you to express interest. Often they will pick up stuff off my front porch within 24 hours – saves time androids bags of stuff sitting around your house (only to slowly make its way back from where it came!)

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Anonymous June 17, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I have gotten more interested in de-cluttering, organizing, and simplifying my life over the last couple years, and have made a LOT of progress and learned a lot on the way. The more you do it the easier it gets, you find out what works for you and what doesn’t, and you develop better habits and hopefully don’t go back to the old (messy, indecisive) ones. It’s encouraging to see how much easier things are when you are organized and not crowded with a lot of “stuff” you don’t even need, want, or use. You can just get to what you like and what makes your heart sing! But, be gentle with yourself. This is all an ongoing process, and I don’t think you ever “finish” with it! Celebrate the little victories and remember that life isn’t about our stuff or being organized, but the people in it! :)

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stacy September 27, 2012 at 12:06 pm

I am deep cleaning 1 room (maybe 2 if i am ambitious) at a time to be finished the 1st weekend of November. SO that i can relax over the holidays. My idea of deep cleaning is also touching up paint etc in the said room so it is never marked DONE until that is also finished.

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Ani in Oz October 15, 2012 at 5:46 am

I stumbled across your blog after googling in desperation ‘how to organise my life’ one evening after yet another chaotic day of juggling kids, housework, errands etc… Feeling more optimistic than I have in a long time. Even though you havent done everything that you have on the list, it was as though you had read my mind and I feel as though I have finally got a frame-work to work on now! I had a thought: what if a person (me, you, any of us) spent just 15 mins a day working on the list, how much would we accomplish in a year??? Probably more than we would ever imagine, I bet!
Thanks for the inspiration !

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Christine P. October 29, 2012 at 1:45 pm

I want this sooooooo bad :-)

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shinny October 30, 2012 at 5:53 pm

I am sat in my bed looking at chaos, and i came up here to get away from downstairs chaos- you have no idea how much i need this i am sooo in! HELP ME I BEG OF YOU!

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Michele November 1, 2012 at 11:44 pm

I felt truly motivated to “clean house” after reading your article. I loved it! I want to join you (or follow) during this unique time to try the impossible. (I have over 1000 pictures on my computer – I would love to organize them!).

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Sandra November 2, 2012 at 11:46 am

I am so in! I was like the other comments I read – hating you but at the same time wondering if you were going to tell me how I can do the same things! Now I love you since you are in the same boat I am! Let’s get organized!!!

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Corinne November 14, 2012 at 1:12 pm

I was totally amazed that you had accomplished that whole list! I wanted your secret, found out you did too! Well, I’m in and since I find myself unemployed recently I have time. My sister-in-law has been coming over weekly to help my 12-year-old daughter and I redo our home. My daughter’s room is now finished! Her favorite shade of green with white & black accents. Now, it’s the rest of the house! My Dad & I removed that ‘thing’ hanging over the counter(divider?) and hung two blood orange pendents lights! Beautious! So, count me in too, please! :-) ~ Corinne

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blynn56 November 24, 2012 at 12:53 pm

LOVE this idea – I’m IN!

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Shelley January 18, 2013 at 11:27 am

This is one of my favorite sites! I actually did make a 90day menu minus the grocery lists. I do those weekly. Now on to organizing photos! If only my other labtop wasn’t in the shop! Thanks to sites like yours my house is a lot cleaner and better organized!

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Kriste April 11, 2013 at 5:30 am

I’m in!
just signed up at the gym, start monday.
I have never been organised and am always trying to juggle it all (usually, with out success)

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Jamie June 14, 2013 at 10:11 am

I hope you are still adding people to the FB group, because I want in! :) Found you on Pinterest.

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Steph (MPMK Founder) June 14, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Hi Jamie,

Our group administrator will be happy to let you in once you request an invite :).

Best,
Steph

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Tati September 13, 2013 at 3:14 am

Lmao….you really had me going. I was ready to follow you where every you took me just
Lead the way. You are good!

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mary September 14, 2013 at 8:29 am

I’m unorganised. I wing things in life. Skin of my teeth…. But I’ve got 3 kids, a marriage & a mortgage and little cash flow. (OMG, I feel like I’m at AA..). So I want to get better organised and not freak out about what I’ve forgotten… again. Thanks for your honesty and funny reel in; so on that note, count me in.

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Eliece December 30, 2013 at 9:56 am

I’m starting by getting my budget in order. Thank you for your inspiration!

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Caitlin March 30, 2014 at 2:22 pm

I’m in!
I loved your first post, you really had me going! I was reading it out loud to my boyfriend and screamed, “DREAM!” after every bullet point. The only one that I have already been concentrating on is my budget. I got really excited to read that you had conquered your budget with the cash envelope system and mint.com, because those are the tools I use. I am 22, I live on my own, working full time (server), to pay for part-time college. So you can see why my budget is number one priority. I need pointers.
With a budget comes buying food, which should be organized by meal plans. I’ve attempted, but I always fall off when it comes to buying the 2nd round of groceries. I fall right back into the endless drive-thru routine, and damn convenience is expensive!
My third priority is decluttering! How do we ferociously get rid of everything we don’t use? Seriously, I only want one bookshelf for memorabilia (knick knacks and scrapbooks). it seems so reachable!
I want to conquer the whole list with the help of your blog!

HELP

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Danel July 22, 2014 at 6:16 am

I’m in!!
I am on the same mission. So excited to have found this site!

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