Anyone who has moved knows how much work it is, how much organizingit takes to get everything that is supposed to be done completed in time to move and how much work it is.
Did I mention how much work needs to be done?
That’s right, I am currently in overwhelm when I begin to think about how much freakin’ work needs to be done so I can move in 2 months.
Think that was a lot of moving? You should know that within each city I have moved countless times as well. I should be an expert by now:)
Well, the organization gurus all say make a list.
I say “where’s that list?” and “I know I made a list for that, now where is it?”
Can’t find it, so I make another list. I distinctly remember using a magnet to attach it to the bulletin board in the kitchen/dining area….but it’s not there anymore.
I also have a list somewhere in the living room.
And one in the upstairs …
I have the master list in a notebook which contains other lists of what I have already in the new place.
The master list is the father of all the baby lists strewn somewhere in this place.
Like all babies you gotta watch them all the time or they disappear!
Note to self…re-create all the baby lists needed and keep them attached to the master list in the notebook on the coffee table shelf…
Hey!!!! Who moved the notebook?
Make it there on time, the right day and the right place…how I’ve “organized” myself over the years. Maybe something here will help you too. Who knows? Worth a shot right?
There are some things I can’t ignore, things I can’t escape no matter how hard I try or don’t try. Mandatory is different from taking on too much, making too many promises I can’t keep and just plain not being able to say no to helping. All those obligations that overwhelm you are mostly your created by a desire to please. That desire to please is kinda missing in my DNA. Thankfully.
Nobody else can actually do this thing for me, like go to the doctor. Mandatory is something that has to be done by me, my responsibility and no one elses. AND, if I don’t get it done the repercussions are not something I want to deal with. That is how I measure mandatory.
So here are a few ways I make sure I get them done, my “organizational” tips so to speak. I truly don’t think this term, organizational, really applies to how I get my mandatory life moments done and I think of these types of methods as “my way”. They are just my way of reaching certain goals.
- I make my doctor appointments as I’m leaving the office, with my trusty little calendar that I keep in my purse in my hand. As soon as I get home, before I even take off my coat, I go to the kitchen calendar and write that appointment down. Then, I go to the living room calendar and write it down there. Always in this order. For some reason, if I write it down on the living room calendar first, or bother to take off my coat first, I forget to write the appointment down or I miss an important step in the process and I never get to the appointment when the time comes. Go figure. Anyway. I put my purse and the appointment calendar on my desk, take off my coat, use the washroom, get coffee, etc. Then I enter the appointment into my Google calendar with some adjustments. I start by figuring out what time I have to catch the bus to get there on time. Then I add 10 minutes to that time. This is the time I put for the appointment reminder. I set the alerts to start 30 minutes before I have to leave to catch the bus and for every 10 minutes.
- My key ring, wallet and pen are big, bright and shiny, never black…not small or regular size, so I can find it quickly and easily without looking or emptying the actual purse to find what I need. My purse is the smallest, lightest weight I can handle for all the stuff I need, is a cross body so I don’t have to use my hand to keep track of it and I use a purse insert so that I can just grab it and put it in a new purse whenever the season changes. When I take anything out of my purse it always goes right back in it when I’m done with it.
- My desk is the smallest size possible to accommodate the iMac, keyboard, mouse, back up, in/out tray, candy dish and my coffee. I have almost no room for papers to accumulate.
- I will never remember the name that goes with someone’s face. Faces I remember, names not so much. Ever. No matter what game I play to trick myself into matching the face to a name, it does not work. So, everyone is forewarned.
- In the winter I wear pants only. And they are all dark in colour. It doesn’t matter which top I grab, they are all bright and warm, so in the morning when I get dressed my mind fog cannot make me look clownish:)
- I started using online banking when it was first offered by my bank, and paperless statements from every company that offered them. Then, I taught my hubby how to use the online banking and made him responsible for paying them on time:)
- I try not to collect anything like I used to. It’s a sickness and one that I embraced and cluttered my space with. Now, all my music is downloaded directly into the computer and iPod, everything gets scanned that has to be kept and I only watch movies through online rentals, play computer games and eventually, my telephone/address book will also be all online if I ever finish that damn project.
- My kitchen is small, and things are all in their rightful place, like-minded objects stored together. Hubby the organizing guru keeps the pantry looking like a grocery store shelf, all in order etc. I’m not allowed to put things away when I try to help him after he gets the groceries, but I can sure find things easy.
- If you do not have an organized person in your life, then hire someone to come into your home and create an easy system that suits your style. Best money you will ever spend.
- In the entrance I have baskets for gloves/mittens, hats/tuques, scarfs and hooks to hang the coats/umbrellas. I have 3 small shelving units to house all the shoes and a spot for the wet boots. I tore out the closet to have this system put up instead.
- The filing system is simple, generalized and colour coordinated. Credit cards, regardless of what company provides them, banking, pets, etc. That way is the simplest and easiest for me to follow without getting muddled up. Filing by topic works best for me rather than alphabetically.
- Prescription refills used to be an issue for me until my pharmacy started to offer the automatic refill service…yipee ei yeah! Plus, I use a place that is open late and only 5 minutes away if I forget to pick up that prescription and only discover that fact in the evening. And when the doctor gives me a new prescription, I immediately put it into my purse and I stop at the pharmacy before I go home so they will have it and I won’t lose it. My son once lost his prescription between leaving the doctor’s office and his car…he drove to the pharmacy, had to go back to the doctor and wait 3 hours then spend a lot of time convincing the doc he actually lost it and wasn’t a drug dealer so he could get another!
- Every box I pack has a list of what is in it taped to the top.
- I bring in the mail and I sort at my desk, using the clear trays attached to the sides to sort it by mail (used for outgoing/incoming addressed to others), to file, to shred, to pay, to call/follow-up, one with just my name on it and one with hubby’s name on it. If it doesn’t fit in one of these spaces, it’s trash.
- I use a lot of post it notes that are stuck on my monitor so I will remember to make those calls I have to make, finish the chores I must finish etc.
- My washing machine and my dryer have buzzers that I use all the time. My stove/oven timer gets a lot of use as well. It’s the only way!
So. That’s my wacky ways to get myself through life with the least amount of repercussions I don’t want. These are things that I have worked out to work the most efficiently for me. Some are old, tried and true and have worked for years and years for me. Others are newer, still open for tweaking if needed since I haven’t been using them all for over a year yet. One year seems to be the magic number for time…if I still haven’t got any issues using it for one whole year, it will stand the test of time for me.
See what I have had to go through over the years to become the most efficient that I can be? Some things seem convoluted and too complex but they are representative of how my ADD mind works. A little messy, a bit messed up but a whole lot better than trying unsuccessfully to be organized like a normal person:)
Bottom line…use whatever means possible that works for you and forget the rest. forgetting is the easy part, right?
- An ADDer starts thinking about the dreaded income tax return filing season as soon as all those T4’s start coming in the mail. I put them all in the tray on my desk…which is located to the left of my iMac.
- I download my favourite income tax preparation software.
- In the filing system that super organized guru Hubby created for us, and taught me how to use and where I eventually put all our tax deductible receipts for the year that have accumulated on my desktop, I grab that pile when it starts to take up too much landscape on my desk and put them in the file labeled “medical”. My husband will gather all of those for me soon, put them in an envelope and write medical receipts 2011 on the envelope, then put that envelope in the tray with the income slips.
- On the day that envelope bugs me by just being there, in my peripheral vision all the time, I get hubby’s giant calculator and start adding them up. Then, I write the total on a post it.
- Then, I add them up again. Different total this time? I separate the receipts by person, in our case 2. THen I add up each pile. Throw away the old post it, take a new post it, record the total and place on top of each pile. Then, I add the 2 piles. Now, at this point, I’m annoyed so I go outside to smoke, the bathroom or just stand up and walk away for 5 minutes. Not more. ‘Cause I’m annoyed. When I come back, I turn the piles upside down and start to add up each pile again. Then I add them together and write the totals on new post it notes. If the totals are the same when I compare the 2 sets of post its, I write the sub totals and the grand total on the envelope, put the receipts back in the envelope and back into the tray. Now I move on to something else far more enjoyable. I forget about the stupid receipts.
- Eventually, in the next few days, having that constant view of the envelope in my side vision bugs me enough to want to start the job, so I do. Doesn’t matter what time of day or night the urge to start strikes me, I go with it. Right then and there.
- Once I start using the software I begin to enjoy the process of entering all the information and answering the questions in the software that determines which deductions we might be eligible for. My hyper focus has kicked in at this point so I am sure I will finish the whole thing on this day. I will NOT file it though. Not on the same day. I do record on another post it who owes what, or who is getting money back, and I stick those post its at the bottom of my iMac.
- It’s a couple of days later and it’s been nagging at me to file the finished returns electronically, so…, now I do. But not before I open those files, and look through them. Just to make sure those results still make sense to me. Although most people look forward to getting a refund I personally prefer to pay a little. Makes me feel good to know that I have NOT given too much of my money to the government and kept it for myself instead:)
- Once I’m reassured I haven’t missed anything I get the access codes I received in the mail IN DECEMBER out of my telephone/address book. This is the only place I’ve had luck not losing them. I also have the log ins for everyone in the same place.
- As soon as those tax returns have been submitted I feel my tensioned filled body start to loosen. I record the confirmation codes for each return I’ve submitted on the post its and stick them back onto the bottom of my iMac.
Now it’s time to celebrate, pat myself on the back for getting through another year meeting my obligation and responsibility as a Canadian taxpayer and savour that feeling of accomplishment. I Do NOT skip this step. It is the only motivation I have to continue to get the tax returns done on time in the future. I must always have something pleasurable to look forward to as well. I crank the tunes, dance around, and do whatever I consider might be fun in the moment. It’s never the same thing. I am mostly all smiles for the next 2 weeks until notification comes from the CRA showing I’ve filed our taxes correctly as far as they can tell for now. Good enough for me.
BTW, are you wondering why a person like ME is responsible for a complex job like filing income tax returns for a family of four? Yeah. Me too LMAO Actually, every time I think of it I crack myself up ‘cause, you see, I work for the tax department:)
Isn’t that the funniest damn thing you’ve ever heard?
When I saw this pic I had to chuckle.
It made me think of all control freaks, obsessive-compulsive people out there:)
Especially after just reading Nicole&Gwendolyn’s blog:)
you can read the entire article by clicking the link below if you’re interested
Forget the wheel, I’ll take the shoes please:)
Rakku HK. Shoe Wheel
Having one of those off days where you really can’t decide which shoes go with your outfit? That’s no problem when you have this handy shoe storage spinning-wheel do your choosing for you — but please see the enclosed disclaimer absolving the manufacturer of responsibility for poorly coordinated ensembles.
When I saw this photo in Better Homes and Gardens organizing newsletter http://www.bhg.com/decorating/storage/organization-basics/free-printable-storage-labels/?sssdmh=dm17.571834&esrc=nwdc010412&email=2871037810#page=12
I felt the laughter bubble up inside of me til the giant smile spread on my face.
I have NEVER EVER had a drawer look like this…
I covet it and at the same time I know if it ever looked this way I would not go near it nor would I open it up because it would never look this way again LMAO
Here it is the 2nd day in the New Year and already my mind turns to storage and organizing! Such an obsession that I never do anything about:)
Oh well, the pictures are pretty.
and I love looking at magazines.
These tips in my own words LOL
1. Look at the mess, make a path out, then follow.
2. Put your crap away:)
3. If there’s not enough room for all your stuff, throw it away, give it away, but get it out of our house!
4. Bring something in, get something out…better take out 2 or 3 things rather than one thing. You know you have too much stuff still anyway:)
I swear my mind is a sieve and the holes are getting bigger by the day. Everything just running through that sieve like a water LOL I would have to read my own freakin’ blog to see what I’ve talked about lately! I wonder if there is a high incidence of Alzeimer’s in ADHD folk? Not that we’d notice anything wrong or unusual going on LMAO
OK, today I wanted to give my opinion of a book I bought. Yes, I was sucked into the promise of success with ADHD and yes I believed that with 365 different tips my chances of successfully getting a grip would be higher! The book is 365 ways to succeed with ADHD (A full year of valuable tips & strategies from the world’ best ADHD coaches and experts). This book was part of The ADHD Awareness Book Project and I bought it with the thought that I would also be contributing to the cause as well.
I’m disappointed. Should have known I would be. Could have expected that based on past experience, I need to read 1000 tips to get a few that will “speak to me”, “ring my bell” and have a slight chance of working. Reading these tips DID tell me something about myself though. LISTS do NOT work for me. I actually like making the lists. It’s kinda fun writing down all the hundreds of things that I would like to do, all the things I avoid doing and that great BRAIN Surfing happens spontaneously while I write lists. But, once I lose interest in writing the lists, I lose interest in the list itself. It usually disappears, gone to that list burial ground, never to be seen again. Whatever, no great loss. There’s always another list just waiting to be made LOL
So far, as I near the end of the book, I have found 2 pages that I truly like, and 3 more that have the potential to be liked if I think about them a little more. I’ll do that some other day. For now, I’d like to start with the first page that appealed to me. It’s called 55 Positive ADHD Characteristics by Marie Enback on page 52. She begins by saying that people with ADHD are amazing. I AGREE!!! She goes on to list the 55 words that describe the personalities/characters and here are a few of my favourites, but not all of them. Then I’d just be copying everything she wrote onto my blog…how silly would that be???
Persistent (damn straight, I won’t stop til I get my own way)
Humorous (I crack me up)
Promotes Change (of course, I’m bored with the same ol’ same ol’)
Outspoken (just can’t help sharing my opinions)
Sharp (yup, the sharp angles of my face match my sharp sometimes cutting wit)
Spontaneous (combustion) LMAO
Strong Personality (you either like me or hate me, there is not usually indifference)
Curious (just for a second, everything intrigues me)
There are lots more that I think apply to me, then again, I may be delusional.
The other day I wrote about Unfinished Projects and included an experience I had, describing what it was like starting one of those projects. Today, I’d like to mention that my To Do list is FAR longer than my Unfinished Project list!!! It’s CRAZY long; long enough for me to be frozen into just adding “one more thing” rather than actually trying to tackle one of those projects. Just for the record though, I have, over the years, actually tackled and completed a few of them. There was no joy or sense of achievement or even any kind of sense of relief because there are just WAY TOO MANY things on the damn list! And, most of those things don’t even look like they could even remotely be considered fun or enjoyable to do! That would be because I have a tendency to list all things that require organizational skills to complete; whereas my Unfinished Projects list has potentially fun stuff on it:), stuff I know nothing about LOL
Well, yesterday I actually did start one of those projects on the To Do list and got it half done (the half done took almost 8 full hours to do!). It was also one of those projects that came about being necessary because I messed up in the first place LOL I deleted files on my computer last year (or maybe the year before, I can’t really remember) and for some reason my photo files were deleted during that mess which prevented me from opening any photos that I had stored on my computer:( My son tried to retrieve them using a bunch of computer ? gobbidee gook but couldn’t isolate just the photo files. Luckily for me I had posted a good 3/4 of them on my Facebook page but that meant I had to load them back onto my computer from FB! Like I said, half done only, in 8 hours. The good news is; my photos are now actually organized into albums on my computer and I must say, they have never actually looked so great or been so easy to find! So, this particular project that was on my To Do list is gone from that list and moved over to the Unfinished Projects list. Will it ever get done? Of course it will! Honest! I’ll start again soon…well, maybe Monday or Tuesday…next week sometime for sure LMAO