Monday, July 8, 2013

Buy Time for Yourself and Delegate for Gods Sake!

Visions of my great grandmother's life on the farm in North Dakota, brought me to one of my first considerations about organization. Back in the day, parents had a boat load of kids because they needed  legal slave labor. Somewhere along the way, parents bestowed a sense of entitlement on our modern-day child freeing them to a life consumed by TV, computers and video games. Time for our robust little glazed-eyed spawn to get a taste of the good 'ole days. Ok, so that vision was a little harsh, but for many Americans, not totally off the mark.

The truth of the matter is that our kiddos get very little "screen time" and do their fair share of imaginative play when they aren't playing in the sand box or pool with their friends. Still, I can't deny that my 4-year-old was getting pretty comfortable with the served life and needed to take on some household responsibilities.

I decided that since Simmy, my 4-year-old, doesn't really have a concept of time, any chores that were given needed to be daily tasks, and for consistency reasons they needed to happen at the same time each day. He also needed an all-or-nothing monetary reward for his efforts.

Here's a shot of the chart that I created for him.

I paid him $1 a week for his chores. As you can imagine, I immediately became Mama Nag to Simmy. He reluctantly completed each chore in order to get his $1 pay out Sunday night. Still, the constant prodding on my part wasn't really saving me any time. A daily 25 cent bonus payout was needed to kick start a habit of doing chores without being told. This adjustment worked famously. Many a morning, while C.C. and I are still nestled in bed, we are woken to the rustling of little Simmy dressing, cleaning his room, making his bed and clunking his large rolling laundry basket down the stairs into the laundry room. I don't plan on correcting the laundry basket issue. This has evoked a new and necessary habit in C.C., Baby Pai and myself of waking up bright and early.

Step 1: A Clean Kitchen

Remember college? It was cool to have a messy bed, clothes strewn about your bedroom floor and mac 'n' cheese for dinner. Veggies and fruit were replaced by beer, and the freshman 15 were to be expected and welcome to stick around for a few years. Ahh, I think I was in my organized prime in college.

Captain Chaos shares my innate tendencies for frat living. Sorry, fraternity. I'm always being corrected. His quarterly home office clean up is a weekend long-task resulting in an overflowing green waste bin filled with boxes and paper. His behavior is ever similar to the mid-term cram.

Anyway, as I said, it was all good back then but, we're well in to our 30s now, and life is getting too busy and is going too fast to be spending 10 minutes every morning hunting down my keys or battery drained cell phone. I require ORGANIZATION!!

So, where to start you ask? I cleaned my kitchen.

I'm going to be self-righteous for a moment and say that the mama is the heart of her family. She keeps a family moving forward with meal planning, cooking, cleaning, laundry, event planning, trip planning and tons of other stuff. For me, C.C. (short for Captain Chaos) is a really steller dad. He covers a lot of these duties, especially when I go rogue. If I were on my A game all the time, I believe, I would be the heart of our family and my kitchen would be the coronary arteries. I'm not a science girl, so I'll kill my big anatomy vocab now.

The kitchen is where food is stored, meals are prepared, served and enjoyed. It's the natural social gathering place for us when it's just the fam hanging out or when we have guests over. I decided that if I start my organizational journey with cleaning the kitchen, I would feel good about organizing other areas of my life too.

I decided that no matter how chaotic every other fasces of my life is, the kitchen always had to remain clean. Gotta start somewhere.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Journey Begins

Today is the day that I start a journey. The goal? To help myself and in doing so, maybe help a whole world of people like me who need help too.

I am unorganized in every facet of my life, and I seek change.

At my core, I'm a free spirit. I love my alone time. I love to be creative, and I love to be zen. My life is none of these things. I'm a working mom with two very small children. My job takes everything I've got. My children are amazing and easy. (lucky for me). My husband.... well, that where things get a little crazy. For anybody who knows my husband, you know where I'm going with this. I married Captain Chaos. In fact, his name is Eric and that may be the last time, I refer to him as that in this blog. He is Captain Chaos and will be referred to as such. 

I must describe him as he is the epicenter of my non-zen world. 

First, I want to share that I absolutely LOVE my husband. He's my drug and to some extent my social opposite. He loves to be busy. He's got a busy job in sales, does commercial real estate, has started a wine app as a small business and coaches my son's T-ball team. Don't even get me started on his resume. He's got a law degree, has been a mayor of a small town, founded a youth soccer league and youth baseball league and has had in excess of 30 jobs in his life. Captain Chaos knows everybody in town. Scratch that. He is legitimate friends with everybody in town. And EVERYBODY wants to socialize all of the time.

So, there in lies the problem. I love captain chaos, but I've also gotta be true to me. I strive for order in my life. I cherish my alone time and yearn to be creative in silence. I also love the social world that I live in. There is always a dinner party to go to, coffee with friends, trips with other familes and parties up the wazoo. Did I forget to mention that I love the social scene just as much as my husband, once I'm there? It's excellent, and it is the life for me.

So here's why I am the poster child for writing an organization blog. I am the equivalent of the homeless drug addict who has decided to resurrect  as the priest or self-made millionaire. I've been at rock bottom, and I have the drive and many of the tools to get to the top of my game, as an organized zen person in a chaotic over worked, over played, over lived world. 

Join me in my journey. May I help us together!