Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Habit of the Month Follow-up: February

February's habit of wiping off the bathroom counters each day has been challenging to implement.  Mid-month I almost gave up . . . Enter the mental image of me standing at the mirror yelling, "I quit"; them calm me responding, "No, I don't" and heading back to do my best to establish this habit . . . .

I have a large container of disinfecting wipes left over from a pack of three I bought for my daughter's class last fall.  Actually, I have two left (why I bought a pack of three very large wipe containers when I only needed one, still escapes the logic side of my brain).  Two containers - perfect - one for each of our bathrooms.  I moved the containers under the sinks for easy access and started wiping what of the counter I could see.  In the master bathroom this was the space of about the size of a dessert plate at first.  Yikes!  

I needed to consistently have the counter cleared enough to access it with the wipes.  So, last week I moved the items I use each morning into a portable container and stashed it under the sink.  This freed up some space.  After adding things from my bathroom drawers to my "morning container" I was able to move most of what lived on my counter out of sight.  NICE!  What a difference!  Now I can actually get at the counter consistently enough to wipe it off.  

This habit has mostly affected  just "my" side of the counter in our master bath.  I didn't even try to touch my husband's side of the counter.  The main bathroom has also benefited a bit.  I didn't get it wiped everyday, but even that counter has been cleared a bit more and there appears to be some improvement.  I even caught my five year old wiping the counter the other day.  Her comment, "It needed it, Mommy"  Wow!  Habits really do wear off on those around you.  I am so thankful this one was a good one.  

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Habit of the Month: February

Here it is, the end of February and I have yet to write about the habit I have been working on developing this month.  February's habit is wiping off the bathroom counters everyday.  As I read and work through Regna Leeds book, One Year to An Organized Life, I am working in the bathroom this month.  She advocates wiping the counter each time you are in the room.  I am going for at least once everyday.  

So . . . I guess this means I need to be able to access the counter.  The clutter and "necessary" items that usually live on the counter top will need to be pared down and assigned a new home.  

So I am seeking to have a clear counter able to be wiped off each day.  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Habit of the Month Follow-up: January

Well, it is new month (really, already?).  As I seek to establish a new habit each month, this means on to the next.  Before I do that, how did I do with last month's habit?  As I sought to deal with all the paper we have in our home, not necessarily in piles, just a lot of it in files and notebooks and cabinets, I was trying to deal with it all more efficiently as it enters our home.  This initially translated into dealing with the postal mail as it came into the house.  The idea grew as the month progressed.

So, since all the papers (mail, school worksheets, newsletters and bulletins, fliers from our neighborhood, and things for Mom to deal with) were being piled on my desk, that became monster to attack this month. When I wanted to sit at my desk to do any work or writing or even just check my e-mail, I had to do it around the piles of papers or deal with them first.  Yuck!  My solution: an inbox.  I bought an inexpensive tray and placed it at the corner of my desk.  All things that Mom needs to see or do something with go there, then at the end of the day when I check my e-mail for the last time, I look at and deal with what is in my inbox.  

Overall it has worked well.  I think that I am the one that uses it the most. There are so many times during the day when I need to do something with but am not in a position to stop what I am doing to do it.  In my inbox it goes, and I know that before the day ends I will take the opportunity to review the papers and then do what is needed: file, recycle, or place in my action files.  (I am still working on how the action file idea will look and function for me.)  

My goal going forward is that at the end of each day, I'll have an empty inbox to greet me the next morning when I sit down at my desk.  I have yet to be consistent with that aspect of the habit, but just having it there is making a big difference in corralling the papers and keeping them from taking over my desk.  

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Habit of the Month: January

I drafted this several weeks ago, and I as I was reviewing posts to write my monthly habit follow-up I realized I never posted this article.  Yikes!  So, here is what I wrote about the habit of the month for January.  Tomorrow I'll post my follow-up and then on to the new month's habit.  
As the Holiday Season fades and the New Year is bright with all the possibilities and freshness of a new beginning, I turn again to my organizing book and return to the routine of reading, learning and organizing.  

This month's organizing area is the paper!  It seems to be everywhere and self reproducing.  I don't necessary sense I am drowning in it as some might, so I'd like to say it is reasonably under control.  However, it is everywhere!  In the era of more and more paperless options and so many things available electronically, I am struck by the irony of even electronic paper clutter.  As I weed through all the files in my filing cabinet, the miscellaneous boxes around my home, and on my computer I will be seeking to cull it down to the necessary and important items.  

To assist me in maintaining what I am seeking to set up, my habit for this month is to deal with the paper once when it comes in to our home.  This would be the postal mail, my e-mail, the papers the kids bring home from school, the newsletter and bulletins from different events or groups.  Papers seem to easily overtake my desk, so should assist with controlling that very messy monster.   

Maybe this simple habit, will help manage what some may classify as a necessary evil in the business of life.