Everyone thinks I’m organized.
People say to me, “If I was organized like you…” or “I’m sure the reason you get so much done everyday is because you’re so organized…” And I’m like, “Are you for real? Have you seen my closets?? My desk? The cabinet that holds my Pyrex?!”
I cleaned it once. In 2011.
You guys. I am not great at organizing. My cabinets are a crazy mess. My closet doors won’t close. I don’t know who (if anyone) has a soccer game tomorrow (though we probably have three). When someone asks, “Can you do such-and-such on Tuesday, May 3rd?” I say, “I have no idea. Can you ask me May 2nd?” Thinking beyond today is just about more than my brain can handle.
This hasn’t always been me. Back when I had more time (before I had kids? definitely before I started this blog) I used to write everything down and keep track of my schedule better. Ironically, the busier I have become, the less organized I am.
Shall we all say it together? “Laura, that doesn’t make any sense. Get it together!!!!!”
You get it together.
Whoa. My inner sassy teenager just came out.
Speaking of teenagers – mine are all in charge of keeping track of their own schedules. This is partly why I can check out when it comes to every single thing that needs to be done each day. My sons are the ones who have to tell me when they are reffing soccer, when they have a sports practice, when they have a deadline, and when they have to be somewhere for an activity or obligation. They keep track of their own schedules so that I don’t have to be their brain and mine too. I think we can all be thankful for this.
Still though. Not being more organized has gotten me into trouble more than once, and here’s what I’ve decided most recently:
It would probably help my overloaded spaghetti brain situation if I were to get the to-do lists out of my head and down on paper instead. Maybe?
This is so obvious.
I think part of why I’ve shied away from paper organizational systems for so long is because none of them have worked well for me. They seem too boxy – too one-size-fits-all. Since my life doesn’t fit in a box (read: Laura isn’t normal) I’ve not appreciated specific “here’s how to do it” systems.
Ways I actually am organized:
- I do plan meals pretty well.
- I always have plenty of food on hand.
- I have binders for my work related paperwork and keep very good track of income and expenses for tax purposes.
- I make lists for my kids with their school work requirements. (Once. At the beginning of the school year. Then I adapt it as needed and print it off each week.)
- I keep thorough transcripts for my high schoolers.
So sure. I’m organized in some ways – just not in all the ways. But in regard to all the ways I’m not organized – I can’t keep up any more so I’ve decided it’s time to try something new.
I came to this conclusion after a heart-felt discussion with my husband (read: Laura was overwhelmed and teary-eyed again). You know how I’ve told you that this teenager-filled season in my life is busier than ever and how the responsibilities are more intense and I keep trying to figure out what is wrong with me now that I’m not keeping up as well as I used to? Every few days it seems I have to overflow from the overload. I have the most long-suffering husband. How many times can he hear me say the same things over and over?
It was during our most recent Laura is overwhelmed same song second verse conversation that I concluded, “Why do I keep doing this? I love everything God is doing in our family and beyond. We’re in the middle of a lot and this is just what it is right now, isn’t it? From now until we get all the boys through school – I just need to buck up and go with it, don’t I? This is it. This is life right now.”
In other words, “I will be okay again sometime after the spring of 2023.”
I made myself an Organization Binder
Just after my conversation with Matt I thought, “Well, duh. I just got (and skipped over) an entire section of books and printables on Organization in the Homemaking Bundle. What if I actually looked at it?”
So I opened it, prayed over it (for real), and asked God to show me what might help make life more doable right now.” I went into it with an open and even eager mind. Just because organizational systems haven’t worked for me in the past doesn’t mean they can’t work for me now.
As God helped specific resources from these choices rise to the top for me, I printed out each page that I felt would benefit my organizational efforts. Then I put them all into a binder. I mean, if I’m going to get organized, I’d better start by putting all my stuff together in one place, right? Also – I should make it cute. Okay then.
I colored it myself!
Once my binder was put together, I actually started writing stuff down. I made lists. I worked through worksheets. All-the-while, I prayed. I suppose that’s been one of my hang-ups with organizers. I don’t want to be tied down to a to-do list that I’ve created myself. I want to be Spirit led! But how about I ask the Spirit for guidance while I’m making to-do lists? It’s a win-win.
So yay me! I’m writing words on paper in a binder and it is making a difference. Too simple? Of course. I think the most profound changes begin with the most simple ideas. I’ve just been a little too stubborn to relent and do the obvious.
So here we are. I love my life and all its crazy craziness. But the truth is that between homeschooling, keeping up with teenagers, working full time hours, feeding the family, keeping up (ha!) with housework, and being involved in ministries – if I don’t become at least a little more organized, I’m going to be in a constant state of overwhelm. Nobody needs to live that way (or live with someone like that). Phew.
Tell me your status with being organized. Are you like me – organized in some ways but not others? Where do you shine? Where do you need a little extra guidance?
P.S. Notice how I didn’t show you picture proof of how my closet doors don’t close. Be grateful.