Posting of Daily Goals for Decluttering/Organization – my Flight Plan

Posts tagged ‘Fly Lady’

Flight Plan – Delayed… but not grounded

I am without kids this week.  The two youngest are having their annual week of Grandma & Grandpa Camp, and my oldest is doing a job shadow to prepare for her future career.  It’s my week for major decluttering!!  Right?!

Yesterday’s decluttering time was sucked up by insurance issues!  I’ve mentioned that my youngest is scheduled for surgery in August.  This is actually two surgeries designed to correct physical effects caused by a brain tumor removed when she was 5.  E  is going on 11 now.  Well, last January our doctor referred us to surgeons for consultation, and they, in turn, sent us for a complete analysis of how E’s muscles communicate with her brain as she moves.  Long story short, we are (I am) now working to get insurance to pay for all this, even though we were told that none of it needed prior authorization or pre-approval.

Motion analysis lab

Left side of desk – bins of 3-ring binders on floor under window, bins of teaching materials stacked by desk but blocking access to file cabinet, overflow on and under bench by desk

Left side of desk after moving the bench and clearing overflow and miscellaneous items that were hiding underneath the bench.

I turned the bench the other direction, since it was butting up against the bins that were, in turn, blocking the file cabinet. Kids’ books that were sliding off the top of their bins were collected and placed in another bin on one end of the bench. All bins will be moved to my room at school in the next couple of weeks.

So, I made phone calls, wrote letters, faxed those letters, and wished….. that I was getting paid for my time, especially when this is supposed to be my week to get my big decluttering/organization project done.  My plans were majorly delayed….. but not grounded!  Here’s what I did at the end of the day.

I’m following the Olympics this week.  So, for my 15 minute increment I chose the beach volleyball segment to work on the area around the left side of my desk.  (You may recall that the right side of my desk came earlier this summer when I wanted to reach the window for some fresh air.  Well, there’s a window on the other side too!  There’s also a filing cabinet we need to access.  Can you see it in the first picture, or do you need the second?)  

Yes, so proud of this!

You know, I started this blog thinking that I would post my goals and use the blog as my accountability for accomplishing what I set out to do.  Lately that has dissolved into here’s what it used to look like and here’s what it looks like now.  It works!  I am accomplishing things left and right and keeping my positive energy flowing with this blog as my motivation.  Thank you to anyone who lets me know that they’re following along on the journey.  But, a bigger, riskier step is to post my goal ahead of time… to set that bigger goal and a time frame for accomplishment.

That big goal is the basement family room.  At least that’s what we call it.  Our family doesn’t go there.  The kids used to when they were much younger, but it’s not such a people friendly place to be anymore.  It’s been the place to store boxes and bins of stuff to the point where there’s no room to DO anything.  It’s also filled with toys the kids have outgrown: a toddler slide; a kids’ basketball hoop; a sit-n-spin; a disorganized art cart and desk strewn with scraps of paper, broken crayons, dried up markers.

It also smells kinda funky.  It’s the place where the cats live where we’re away from home.  Where they leave their fur and fur balls.  It’s also where the excessive rains in the spring and/or fall leave the carpet under the egress windows damp and musty smelling.  The bugs and spiders love it and take up residence there.  After all, no one will disturb them!

You may recall that I started the summer and this blog in the basement.  We need to use this space!  It’s a whole level of our house that we are not using well.  Have I mentioned that DH and I are not getting time to ourselves with teenagers in the house?  They never go to bed!!  But without the basement, they have nowhere else to go, and neither do we.  We are temporarily sharing our bedroom with our youngest until the oldest leaves for college.

“One more year, one more year!!!”

“Now that we’re trying to push you out, Sweetie!”

My newest thought is to make the basement so inviting that if teen DD doesn’t want it, I will!!  Of course there’s a few glitches to figure out in that plan, such as lack of closets in the basement and needing to travel to the 2nd floor of the house to shower.  Not to mention the part about making it a place for the kids and their friends to go – play Wii, air hockey, watch movies… but to also be someone’s bedroom…  just for a year!  It would make a great teen apartment, especially for our vegetarian DD who cooks separately for herself already.

That’s my goal!  Where’s Nate Berkus when I need him?!  15 minutes at a time, the basement will be an inviting place to be!!!

Flight Plan – What’s under the sink?

I’m a blue ButterFLY Baby. I’m FLYing, baby!

I’m trying to remember what FlyLady says about not being hard on ourselves when we don’t get done what we wanted to do.  Stay positive, look at what we’ve accomplished, and not at what didn’t get done, and move forward!  I’ve had the goal all week to do 15-minute increments of decluttering in the corner on the right side of my desk.  I did the left side of the desk the last weekend in June and haven’t made it to the other side yet.

Here’s the good news!  I cleared a stack of paper on my desk and found a couple of forms I had needed  Yes!

6 egg cartons, 5 bottles of cleaner, 4 shampoos & conditioners, 3 cutting boards, 2 boxes of scrubbies, and 1 pile of collected dirt and crumbs

Then I got frustrated by our empty kitchen garbage can.  I mean really empty!  On garbage pick-up day, I start collecting little piles of trash, because the box of trash bags is on a shelf in the garage and I have to find a pair of shoes and go out to get a bag from that box.  Too much trouble.  Today I finally decided to clear a space for the box in the cupboard under the kitchen sink, right next to the trash can!! This meant clearing out a few other things….  1 box of SOS pads and 1 box of sponges with scrubbies on the other side.  I have since learned about the high bacteria count in kitchen sponges and no longer use them.  I have purchased antibacterial sponges that can actually be washed in the washing machine and not thrown away.  Green, yes!  Also, 6 empty egg cartons!  Yes, 6!  Why?  Only because they had fallen toward the back of the cupboard where they couldn’t be seen.  I am now donating them to the “egg lady,” a local woman who raises her own chickens and sells the eggs.

Everything in its place, including the box of kitchen trash can liners, and a freshly lined trash can

My afternoon was spent with two of my kids at the local swimming pool.  A day well spent!

Flight Plan – July 10, 2012 Preparing to FLY on vacation

I’m FLYing (or at least babystepping) with my routines.

I’m carrying on with the regular mid-summer routine of summer school, instrument lessons, TaeKwonDo along with the, hopefully organized, chaos of preparing to leave on vacation.  As my title states, I am attempting to continue to FLY (Finally Loving Yourself) through this week and this whole process.

One of my favorite organizational tools – lists, lists, color coded lists ColorNote on my Droid and my Kindle Fire helps tremendously.  I have my lists made and color coded from previous years so I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel this time.  I’m prepared to grocery with the kids tomorrow, or at least 2/3 of them.  They can each pick their own healthy snack to take along as well as help decide on other food items.

We’ll stay overnight 2 nights on our way to our final destination, the annual CHASA (Children’s Hemiplegia & Stroke Association) retreat for families in Arlington, Texas.  We’re counting on continental breakfast in hotels, packed lunch, and eating out for supper.  We’ll have a large cooler, a bin with food and food-related items, another bin or box of other needed items such as flippers and floaties, and a suitcase and tote bag apiece for 5 people.  I fully intend to continue to post organizational progress while traveling.

The bench by my desk before clearing

Meanwhile, my desk area gets encroached on so easily.  Time for some bench clearing so I can move in my space.  Also, keeping up with dishes and laundry makes for continuing good habits and allowing us to easily invite our pet sitter into the house.

Here’s the newly cleared bench by my desk.

About 15 minutes later…

Flight Plan – June 30 – Timeframe and Goals

Let’s start fresh with June 30 as a beginning date, even though I was fluttering on my Flight Plan over this past week and I know full well that will happen from time to time.  This year, June 30, 2012 – June 30, 2013 brings important changes in our family that I want to be ready for as they come.  Our youngest will have two important and simultaneous surgeries in August – one on her left leg and one on her right hand, both to correct effects of hemiplegia caused by a brain tumor discovered and removed when she was 5.  Our oldest is entering her senior year of high school and preparing for graduation and college.  How many of her animals will she take to her 5 semester vet tech training program with her, and how many will be left for Mom and Dad to keep for her?  Let’s see… 5 rabbits, a cat, a chinchilla, and a chicken at present count.

And Mom (that’s me) wants to add a dog – my dog!  Yes, I know it will be a family dog with the same responsibility as adding a child.  I grew up with a dog.  I’ve wanted my own my whole life!  And I turned 50 this year!  It’s about time!  Do you hear me? (stamps foot)

Oh, also, I’m going into a second year in the same job (teaching students who speak English as a Second Language) which hasn’t happened for about 4 years since I left a 20+ career teaching students who are deaf or hard of hearing.  Maybe now I can settle into the two school buildings I’m assigned to instead of storing teaching materials at home.  Maybe I can finish out my career there and not have to wonder if and when I will use materials.  I can begin to keep, throw, and bless others.

So… timeframes and goals….. so we’re ready for those important events…

-teaching materials stored at present in a corner of the basement and around my desk which is in the middle of our house – need to go through them to keep, throw, & bless others

-basement family room cluttered and therefore uninviting – keep, throw, bless (Post pictures online of items for sale)

-declutter baskets in master bedroom of items stored when we moved our youngest in (gave teen sister a break from rooming with kid sister)

-declutter and prepare teen daughter for moving out and freeing up bedroom for younger sister, thereby freeing Mom & Dad from sharing room space with child, prepare to move my new dog in!!!  Did you hear the growl?  That wasn’t the dog.  That was the husband.  Not a dog fan.

-mail kept in cardboard box has become “project” for DH – need routine established for dealing with incoming mail daily

**Husband and kids left for weekend.  How many 15s (15 minute periods) can I do today and tomorrow so I can accomplish one goal or parts of more than one goal and also take some “me” time that is so important also?

Here’s my first short-term goal accomplished so I can move on to the bigger ones listed above.



Got the dishes done with a little help from Dr. Phil


A clean stove with a clean hand towel or dish towel makes a difference for the whole kitchen. Ready to move to the next project!

Flight Plan June 30 – Catch Up Time – Garden

I’m looking back now to see the date I started this.  I wanted to build in a specific timeframe for completing the goal of being at maintenance level in our home organization.  The FlyLady took 9 months to build her routines and get to the point where she could be 15 minutes from company at all times and beat CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome).  Using her already established routines, it should take me less time, right?  But I want a goal that I can make too!  How would it work to say, “Oh, sorry, let me revise that date.”  How much better to be able to say, “Woo hoo!  I made my goal in less time than I set for myself!”

Well, I started the Flight Plan blog on June 22.  I do want to post every day within reason.  If I can figure out how to quickly post words and/or pictures from my phone, I will certainly do so very regularly.  What I want to avoid is spending more time posting progress than I spend actually decluttering!!!  And that’s what happens when I spend my time figuring out how to post pictures, connect with Facebook and other media, and wonder how to get the feedback that is so essential to being accountable.

OKAY…. Catch Up Time

This week DH was in Canada, leaving our somewhat large garden to its own devices.  I commandeered the kids, and we cleared a significant portion of weeds to make life easier for Dad on his return and to do what I called “plant rescue”.  We literally could not find some of the smaller plants.  I did find that 15 minutes does not work so well for the kids.  Their 15 minutes produced minimal results and involved a lot of clock watching.  Instead, I got out colorful markers (oh, wish I’d taken a pic of those) and marked out the weed clearing territory for each of them.  It took more work to get them there than it did to actually weed, but once we were all working together, we did manage to make it enjoyable and completed the task in about 20 minutes.  What a valuable lesson in working together; doing a job you don’t really like for the end results of seeing your accomplishment; being part of growing the food we eat; helping someone else, etc, etc, etc.

The garden before starting. This section is corn. We also rescued some stray beans, left over by the rabbits and deer.

What a difference! There’s the corn AND the beans! Thanks for your help, kids! Couldn’t have done it without you.  (Ages 17, 13, 10, for those of you wondering how effective my kid helpers could be expected to be)

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