Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Home Habits

"  Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time. " ~Mark Twain


I'm in need of new habits. But, everytime I think about changing things- things end up changing me. I realize more and more that I have no control over certain aspects of my life. 
But I do have choices. 
I may not be able to stop the rain, but I can carry an umbrella.
I may not be able to get rid of my muffin gut, but I can try hiding it under a sweatshirt.

But like I've always said -I may not be able to organize my home, but I can stuff it in a closet and keep the door shut.


"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers."
M. Scott Peck

I've learned from experience that bad organization can bleed into your finances- and that, in fact, they do go hand in hand. Messy finances lead to forgotten bills, overdue projects, lost receipts and unbalanced checkbooks. There is nothing more frustrating than searching hours for a bill that you misplaced, only to discover it is already days overdue and has cost you a ridiculous late fee.
In the past I have purchased accounting books, special software, rolling file boxes and giant journals. All seemed hauntingly intimidating from the start. Many were too difficult to understand, utterly complicated or more than my simple household budget required.
I'm trying my best to get more organized.I just bought new files, a notebook, a calculator, and a pencil sharpener. 
And I sat them on my  desk where I have stared at them for five days. 
They are really colorful and cute, but I'm not sure where to start.

I'm an ostrich. A procrastinator. A putter-offer.
But I vow today that I will remedy this weakness within me.


"Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task."  ~William James

Someone once said that an organized home should start by making the bed each morning. I believe it. How else are you going to find those socks you tore off your sweaty feet at midnight? Or those pitiful Fruit of the Loom boxer shorts with the torn elastic waistband?
Starting from the bottom sheet, rip everything off your bed, and replace it as though you're decorating a cake.
Layer of sheet, blanket, comforter- and top it off with a luscious pillow!
Now that your bed looks great, it makes you want to straighten the rest of the room. Put away shoes, pick up towels, hang coats. Dust dresser, straighten blinds, pull curtains. Great habit to get into!
But the real reason to make your bed first thing every morning, is so that you will not be tempted to crawl back into it. Because if you do, nothing else will get done and this organization thing will be failed from the start.
Make your bed. See how liberated you feel by clearing that one simple obstacle.
"My second favorite household chore is ironing.  My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint."  ~Erma Bombeck

Simple tasks like sweeping the walk, straightening the magazines, keeping  the sink free from dirty dishes are things that take little time, but make a big difference. I find that a clean house is a peaceful house.
But I don't iron. I don't wash windows very often and I'm not sure where I put the good scissors.
So, I realize that there is room for improvement everywhere I look. My goal is to get more detailed about organizing my home.

"I'm not going to vacuum until Sears makes one you can ride on."  ~Roseanne Barr

Luckily, I have a great husband that can do repairs when the house needs a fix. He's roofed and plumbed and electrified. He's surround-sounded, tiled, carpeted and concreted.
He's even taught me how to change the weed eater string and how to open up the drain and remove nasty hair clogs. 
Fun stuff.
But it's maintenance that keeps it from all falling apart later.
All part of a organized home...

"One only needs two tools in life:  WD-40 to make things go, and duct tape to make them stop. " ~G.M. Weilacher

The success of any change is adopting new habits. I realize that I have some bad habits. Like stuffing my bills into a WalMart sack, putting dead batteries back into the drawer,
buying and opening a new jar of pickles before the old one is gone. 
Stuff like that.
So, here's to a "made" bed.
Sparkling windows and freshly ironed clothes.
A clean walk and a flowing drain.
Organized finances and a neat closet.

I'm ready now.
Bring it on!

"He is the happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home."  ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe