This Resolution Sucks

Posted by on January 22, 2009

One of my numerous New Years Resolutions:
To get more organized—not just with my stuff but in the management of my time (this should probably include not screwing around on the internet so much, yes?) and the running of my household (I know…so lame)

Current Resolution Status:
For three weeks I’ve been rolling this stuff around in my head, trying to make sense of just what it is I want to accomplish and also, more recently, to assess what I’ve accomplished thus far. Well, heh, that second part is gonna be a preeeeety short paragraph because right now, I have more excuses than progress to report. (See? See? Another psychological roadblock to actually getting stuff done…the old “I already know I suck at this, so no need to document” excuse. Gah. I really DO suck at this.)

Ohhh man. This is too hard. Maybe a nap and then we write? Yes? Pleeease?

No? *sigh*

Okay, I’ve been busying myself (because, you know, I have sooo much time to fill and not nearly enough tasks) with reading articles on the internet (THE SOURCE OF ALL KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM) about getting organized, staying organized, and fighting clutter.

The problem? These articles are so…dry. So fact-filled. So utilitarian. So designed-to-actually-help. BLEH! There’s nothing sexy about decluttering in ANY of them. No earth-shatteringly easy secrets to organization that I could employ without even trying, either. And frankly? A distinct lack of of cute acronyms that I could actually remember in the heat of a clutter battle. Who writes this crap?

So yeah, I’ve been on this semi-passive quest for the holy grail of self-help materials; the quest for THE PLAN that will work best for me. That’s lazy person code for…the plan for which I have to merely breathe and be upright in order to execute effectively. As noted, I’m not having much luck—my life is still not organized, my time is still being squandered and frankly, all this domesticity is killing me.

I don’t know how all those Blissfully Domestic folks do it. The more I try to be pro-active and get caught up and be on the ball about stuff and just…DO…all the crap I was probably supposed to be doing anyway, the more made-of-suck I think this whole resolution idea is.

There has GOT to be a better way. But if anyone suggests a cleaning lady or a life coach, I might have to reach across the internet and pistol-whip you. And don’t think I can’t. We’re very high tech around here…

PS: Do men worry about this crap????

PPS: Please share your best get-your-life-and-stuff-under-control advice in the comments. Also feel free to share what DID NOT work for you.


45 Comments

  • Apryl's Antics says:

    I knew there was a reason we are best friends.

    My #1 rationalization is that there’s always something that has to be done first, before I can get to the thing I want to do.

    I also struggle with the fact I am an out-of-sight-out-of-mind, visual learner. If I have to do something it needs to be in my face at all times until it is finished. But, I can’t stand the clutter, so I’ll create a filing system, which in turn makes me forget what I need to do.

    Structure. I hear about it constantly. The Super Nanny says your kids need structure. Hello? I don’t even know what I’m making for dinner 20 minutes before dinner time.

    I’m with you.

  • Apryl's Antics says:

    I knew there was a reason we are best friends.

    My #1 rationalization is that there’s always something that has to be done first, before I can get to the thing I want to do.

    I also struggle with the fact I am an out-of-sight-out-of-mind, visual learner. If I have to do something it needs to be in my face at all times until it is finished. But, I can’t stand the clutter, so I’ll create a filing system, which in turn makes me forget what I need to do.

    Structure. I hear about it constantly. The Super Nanny says your kids need structure. Hello? I don’t even know what I’m making for dinner 20 minutes before dinner time.

    I’m with you.

  • Apryl's Antics says:

    I knew there was a reason we are best friends.

    My #1 rationalization is that there’s always something that has to be done first, before I can get to the thing I want to do.

    I also struggle with the fact I am an out-of-sight-out-of-mind, visual learner. If I have to do something it needs to be in my face at all times until it is finished. But, I can’t stand the clutter, so I’ll create a filing system, which in turn makes me forget what I need to do.

    Structure. I hear about it constantly. The Super Nanny says your kids need structure. Hello? I don’t even know what I’m making for dinner 20 minutes before dinner time.

    I’m with you.

  • Apryl's Antics says:

    I knew there was a reason we are best friends.

    My #1 rationalization is that there’s always something that has to be done first, before I can get to the thing I want to do.

    I also struggle with the fact I am an out-of-sight-out-of-mind, visual learner. If I have to do something it needs to be in my face at all times until it is finished. But, I can’t stand the clutter, so I’ll create a filing system, which in turn makes me forget what I need to do.

    Structure. I hear about it constantly. The Super Nanny says your kids need structure. Hello? I don’t even know what I’m making for dinner 20 minutes before dinner time.

    I’m with you.

  • Erin says:

    I’m actually also struggling with this very same thing! So far the best course of action I have found is to wait until someone leaves a big bag of money on my front porch and then I can hire someone to be domestically blissful FOR me. I just need to find that pesky moneybag…

    Seriously though, I need to get on the ball because there are still Christmas giftbags sitting on my dining room table and I think the time that it is acceptable to call them a “festive centerpiece” is quickly running out!

    Erin’s last blog post..Anxious

  • verybadcat says:

    I used to be all organized and stuff. Not sure what happened, but it is what it is.

    I’ve heard and successfully used the best advice on domestic (or any kind, really) bliss:

    Work on something for 30 minutes. Spend 30 minutes cleaning up whatever you can. Spend 30 minutes every few days on a monster organizing project (closet? desk? basement?). Take 30 minutes out to open mail and pay bills. Decide that you’re going to spend 30 minutes planning your week.

    Also, re: dinner. I always have a couple of no brainers at the ready. Homemade Mac and Cheese- no prep, 30 minutes to prepare, cooks 30 minutes in the oven. Grilled cheese and tomato soup. Anyway, point being that when I haven’t had time to think about dinner, or I forgot to take any meat out of the freezer, it doesn’t matter. I can come home and cook something decent (or make hubby do it) and quick instead of going out to eat- too expensive and it takes too long- or eating cereal (which I love to do, the hubby not so much).

    You’re not alone. ;)

    verybadcat’s last blog post..Cattails: Adventures of a Very Bad Cat

  • Jennifer says:

    “I already know I suck at this, so no need to document.”
    I’m sorry, did you steal that bit of insecurity from my brain?

    Here’s what works (not really) for me. About once a month, invite people over for dinner.
    Then, run around in a panic the (hour) day before they come, gathering up various piles of crap (magazines you won’t read but can’t part with, recipes torn from the paper that you are NEVER going to try because what the hell is garam masala anyway?, catalogs from stores you cannot afford but they might have something on sale!) and hide it all in a decorative basket.
    Where it will stay until the Air Force transfers your husband and you start going though it all, thus wasting a whole afternoon that should have been spent taking pictures off the wall and otherwise preparing for the movers.
    Then when you get to the new house and unpack a WHOLE BOX of this useless crap and throw it directly into the recycle bin (except for this one magazine and a couple of these recipes because they sound good) you vow to never be the stacker of crap again….
    But then the new Real Simple comes and there are so many great organizing ideas and recipes that you just can’t recycle it just yet and you need to keep it out on the table so you remember to get the ingredients for that recipe…I’ll just put it on top of these other couple of things and go through them.
    What were we talking about?
    Oh, yeah, I’m really not that helpful in this area…

  • Rae Ann says:

    Ah, synchronicity. I was just contemplating a post about which is better: happy sloth mama who acomplishes zippo or scary ass bitch mama who plows through amazingly long lists of backlogged housework. Surely there is a happy medium, but I have yet to find it.

    Rae Ann’s last blog post..Blog Addiction

  • Brooke says:

    Ha, ha, ha. Like I am one to be giving advice on anything domestic. But.. I can’t live without the to-do lists in my organizer. Because crossing things off of those lists makes me feel accomplished. I work on these lists about 15 minutes before I go to bed.. then I know exactly what I need/want to do the next day, it’s prioritized… and I won’t put off making a list of things to do when I wake up because I am SO not a morning person and would really, really like to just stay in bed.

    Honestly, not often do I actually make it through these lists – but they help if something comes up that I need to do that I don’t want to because – look at all this other stuff I have to do! I’m too busy today to do that.

    Maybe that just means I’m good at making excuses. Oh well, I tried.

  • Annie says:

    I know exactly what you mean about trying to get organized…when I read Martha Stewart’s magazine or Home and Garden, I get all excited about making the cute little organizing crafts and filling out To Do lists, but then everything all falls apart in a few days. I’m thinking of having a To Do list tattooed to the back of my hand, since i’m always scribbling notes there.

  • Chris says:

    Low expectations are the surest way to a happy life. Don’t set the bar high, set it low. You will spend your life achieving rather than falling short and that’s a big self esteem winner in my book.

    Who took my cheetos?

    Chris’s last blog post..Kung Pao Right In The Kisser

  • Amanda says:

    I’m the least organized person I know. I don’t have my shit together ever. I’m perpetually late and never prepared. The house is piling up with crap. The husband and I look at each other EVERY DAY and say we’ll do it tomorrow. Tomorrow comes and there is an even bigger mess. I cannot for the life of me find balance or organization no matter what I read or do. I just try and fake it when people come around.

  • I’m pretty organized and anal but I put some tasks off forever b/c there is TV to watch and blogs to read.

  • Sarah says:

    You can do it! You can do it! Yes you can!

    A little mantra that works. ;)

    Sarah’s last blog post..The Ladyrather Diary

  • javajune says:

    Ummmm, I think organization was on my resolution list but I have misplaced it beneath the clutter. I have a plan when I get up in the morning but somehow it gets lost amoungst the many blog posts and internet articles. Being organized is highly over-rated anyway. Let’s go with that :)
    jj- http://javajune.wordpress.com/

    javajune’s last blog post..Javajune’s Blog

  • magpie says:

    I am disorganized. But I once read a book that helped some. “Getting Things Done”. I know, I know, there are a lot of people who swear by it.

    But the piece that worked for me? If it’s going to take less than 2 minutes, JUST DO IT.

  • Kelley says:

    I have the same problem. BUT I FOUND THE ANSWER!

    Find a reason why you would desperately need to take a picture of that room for your blog. Then remember all the Sally Homemakers that are able to homeschool 11 kids, hold down a full time job, a blog with a bajillion comments and look like *insert sexy woman here*

    And they will see that room.

    Totally makes me wanna clean it up.

    But alcohol works too. Then you only notice the crap when you trip over it.

    Kelley’s last blog post..I was happy. Then sad. Then happy again when the pizza came to soak up the wine.

  • Kuba says:

    “PS: Do men worry about this shit????”

    ….yeah, we do, but worrying about it and actually doing something about it are 2 different things entirely…… every once in awhile, I’ll have a burst of “organization”, but my ridiculously short attention span soon takes care of that…..

  • I thrive on clutter.

    Or at least that is what I keep telling myself as to avoid cleaning my closet.

    Redneck Mommy’s last blog post..I Have Way Too Much Time On My Hands

  • I’ve been toying with the idea of creating “Wireless Wednesday” where I totally refrain from signing onto any social networks, reading blogs or answering emails for an entire day. Realistically, I’d have to check email in the AM and at night, and I’d have to do any work that I’m paid to do, but that would be IT. The lure of an open laptop is great and I’m trying to figure out how to get back some of the time I spend floating around the internet.

    If only I knew someone who could help me design a button for Wireless Wednesday. . .if you know anyone, let me know, kay? ;)

  • Hannah says:

    Decluttering is a pain and an uphill battle! But if you do it one room at a time, it might be slightly less overwhelming!

    Happy organizing!:)

    Hannah’s last blog post..Brightest Blue

  • Dory says:

    I, for the life of me, CANNOT find that happy balance. Either my blog is updated and looking spiffy and my house threw up, or I haven’t written in a week and… well… my house merely burped. If you find the magic organization pill, bottle it and you’ll be a bizillionairess.

    Dory’s last blog post..Can’t Remember Diddly!

  • Mrs. Flinger says:

    Yes. Yes. Yes. My husband informed me that EVERY SUNDAY I get all motivated to do the week right and by Tuesday I gave up.

    Sigh

    I have been meaning to go through the toddler’s clothes for six months. He’s still wearing size 12-18 months simply because I can’t get in to the closet long enough to pull out the 18-24 or 2T. At this rate, he’ll be three before I get to it.

  • I have one word for you … http://www.FlyLady.net
    I swear she has her shit so together it isn’t even funny. Books and lists and emails to tell you what to do every single day and testimonials from others who have “seen the light” LOL.

    My problem is I spend too much time reading the site and the emails instead of getting up and DOING THEM.

    Screw it. Let’s go grab a beer and leave the organization to the men for a change.

  • Ok, I’m coming over to your place first on Monday…and I’m wearing a blindfold and totally suing the crap out of you if I trip over anything…how’s that for incentive?

    Would I really sue you? Of course not.
    Would I really show up in a blindfold? Errr, would your husband think that odd? Maybe.

    Anissa@hope4peyton’s last blog post..I can’t even begin to lie about it

  • Christian says:

    Deciding on a new year’s resolution usually takes us to a dark place where we find something about us we really want to be different. The most honest thing to change is usually the most difficult. We often choose something elemental of our Jungian “shadow” – the sum of our repressed weaknesses and shortcomings. This is not always the most pragmatic choice. Be careful to not force yourself into conflict with something you’re not. If you vow to reduce clutter, for example, you may find it difficult if you’re someone who’s not bothered by it, or may resent the project-plowing bitch you have to become. Also, deciding to change your behavioural habits simply because it’s a new calendar day is nearly impossible. You may as well vow to be taller this year. My advice? Don’t change the destination, change the journey, piece by piece. If you want less clutter start with the elimination of socks on the floor. When that’s an integral part of your system include the elimination of papers on the desk. The add dishes and toys to the list. You get the point. Systematic integration in small steps.

    Christian’s last blog post..Seasonal Affective Standard Procedure

  • Emily C says:

    Do it now.

    That’s it. That’s my fantastic earth-shattering advice. When I follow that principle, and just suck it up and do what has to be done and I do it when I think about it instead of putting it off so that I have to think about it again and again and again, I’m SO MUCH HAPPIER.

    My mind is less cluttered, too.

  • Mr. Mom says:

    Simplify your life. Pick one or two things that are really important and discard put away or sell the rest. I believe the less keys on my key ring the happier I am. You can then excel at the things you have chosen. I know if this is done by everyone it wont do much to help the economy but forget that, we are talking about personal happiness, getting your life together and so on…

  • Mom101 says:

    Once a week I pick something that needs organizing – the kitchen pantry, the hall closet, my kids’ sock drawer. I find that particularly when there’s no control in other aspects of my life, taking on a single project like that helps me get it back.

    Of course Nate calls them “cleaning frenzies.” I’m like, “It’s not a cleaning frenzy. It’s CLEANING!”

    Sigh.

    Also can I just say….JANET!!

  • Michele says:

    From all my attempts at systems, and organizational self help… Three things have stood out and helped me a lot that I’ve been able to stick with. 1) A notebook. That way I don’t lose my thoughts, and have a place for my to-do lists. 2) 15 minutes never killed anyone. 3) A timer. I literally live my day by my timer. 60 minutes – deal with email. Timer goes off and I don’t look at it again til the next day. 15 minutes, clean out some of my closet. Timer goes off, I stop. etc. The timer makes me stop and refocus, and yet I’ve spent a chunk of time on something that needed to be done. And yes – stuff comes up, but for the most part these are the only real things that help my mind – otherwise, I can take off on so many tangents and then wonder where the hell my day went when I fall into bed.

    Michele’s last blog post..Grace in Small Things – 1

  • Jennifer A says:

    Pick one thing to work on. Start small. This is what I do. I tacle the top of the microwave, the hall closet, my scrapbooking table and that is all I work on at a time.

  • Stella says:

    New reader and loving the blogs esp the name
    *admitting to be a caffeine lover myself*
    Disorganized but still know where everything is. Always get inspired when seeing those organized closets in the Ikea catalogues and tempting to slap money down to get one built. Whereas I do kick myself to get up and clean (try to) once a week, all of being organized makes me disorganized. Can never find anything.

    “PS: Do men worry about this shit????”

    They do worry… that’s all they do and then complain about it. Also the continuous “Honey, where is my —-?” as if I am a gps that will show him exactly where he puts everything.

  • kittenpie says:

    If I knew anything about this, my house would be a different place and my mind wouldn’t always be wishing it were. My only bit of advice is that when there is an actual place for something, it does seem to get back there. It’s the things that don’t really have a hom that kill me and clutter up every surface. Gah!

  • The Caffeinatrix says:

    I think the time that it is acceptable to call them a “festive centerpiece” is quickly running out!

    I just gagged on my own spit while laughing out loud at this statement.

  • The Caffeinatrix says:

    What is this “structure” you speak of? I am not knowing this word.

  • The Caffeinatrix says:

    You have no idea how hard it is for me to believe that about you. Nobody could do as much as you do with your web sites and not be organized!

  • The Caffeinatrix says:

    The motivation, the time…where do you FIND IT????

  • The Caffeinatrix says:

    The magazines get me every single time. Oh and the shopping for organizational “tools”. I love that. But that’s where it ends!

  • The Caffeinatrix says:

    I’m still perpetually late, disorganized and always playing catch up but knowing I’m bunkin’ w/ Mrs. F makes me feel better ;)

  • The Caffeinatrix says:

    Oh man…the threat of others having to trip over my shit is about the ONLY thing that will get my ass in gear. I should invite people over every week!

  • Caffeinatrix says:

    I think as long as you don’t wear the blindfold WHILE you’re driving here, it’s all good!

  • Caffeinatrix says:

    Wireless Wednesday? I can feel the shakes coming on just thinking about it! But I will do a button for you even if I never unplug myself :)

  • @Caffeinatrix, I’m always up for an adventure, you know….Crosstown Expressway + Blindfold + coffee = evening news!

    Anissa@hope4peyton’s last blog post..I can’t even begin to lie about it

  • Caffeinatrix says:

    That’s good advice and it would be so much easier to take it if it was just my crap cluttering up my house and just my life that I had to manage. Unfortunately, there are three other people in the equation and at least two of them could care less about any of this stuff. Of course, they are 3 and 8 yrs old…lol

  • The Caffeinatrix says:

    Screw it. Let’s go grab a beer and leave the organization to the men for a change.

    You might be onto something there!

Leave a Reply