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

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Flight Plan – It’s just 15 minutes, or is it?

Yesterday was Day 2 of a migraine.  I’ve had headaches for years.  They used to last 3 full days – not usually the flat-out-on-your-back-in-the-dark kind, but the annoying, nagging, please-talk-quietly-around-me-and-keep-the-lights-low, just-feeling-kinda-yucky kind.  They are now lasting 2 days instead of 3 – yes!, maybe because I know more now of how to keep them more at bay.  First, you catch it right away before it has a chance to get really bad.  After that, for me it’s a combination of ibuprofen and caffeine.  I can’t normally take too much caffeine.  But when I have a migraine, a grab a can of caffeinated pop (usually Dr. Pepper) and treat myself to a bar of dark chocolate.  Almost makes it something to look forward to – almost!

Well, as I said, yesterday was Day 2 of the requisite two day migraine and I was scheduled to drive over 2 hours to pick up my kids from Grandma & Grandpa Camp.  Besides that, I didn’t feel like I’d accomplished all of my goals for my week of decluttering without kids.  Could I get into the basement for one 15-minute session?

Here was my Flight Plan for the day:  I posted pictures and updated previous postings on our local Buy & Sell site with items already cleared from the basement.  Then I headed for the basement with two timers.  I set one timer to count up and one timer to count down from 15 minutes.  When the 15 minute timer went off, I continued on until I finished what I was doing.  The count-up timer let me know how much time I actually worked.  And here’s what I accomplished:

Here is the “before” picture from earlier this summer.

Here’s the part finished today. A couple of those bins contain items that will be sold, donated, or thrown away.

Here’s my donation to my mother!

After clearing out a box of craft materials, I was able to take a bag of x-stitch pattern books, material, and etc. to my mother who will put it to much better use than I have.  Then I got back to the shelves that I had started earlier in the summer and found them and the bins on them to be covered in a film of dust.  Easy to take care of, but what a difference it can make!

32 minutes or two 15s


By the time I decided to stop, three shelves down, I had spent 32 minutes total in the basement – or two 15s.  Not a lot of time or effort, but a significant accomplishment in the decluttering battle!

I had time to pack for overnight, take a short nap and shower, allowing time for last traces of migraine to dissipate before heading out for my 2-hour drive.  Nice accomplishment for  the day!

Flight Plan – FLYing Out with the Old & In with the New

I’m FLYing!

This should have been posted about two days ago, but here it is.  We were expecting a new refrigerator.  I posted pictures of the old one last time.  The store had told DH that delivery would be sometime after 5 p.m. which made DH happy because he would be home from work and could inspect everything, ask his questions about a possible line for the ice maker, etc.  Well, at 3:50 p.m. the delivery guys called to say, “We’re on our way with your refrigerator.”  I paniced and was speechless for a moment!  I actually said, “What does that mean?”  Then my brain kicked in, and I started thinking aloud.  “So what do I have to do then?  I mean, I’ll need to clear a path to the door, right?”  And as my brain fully grasped the situation, I added, “The only real problem would be that I still have to clear the old refrigerator out.”  No, not started!!  I thought I had at least another hour and thought DH would be home to help before I really had to think about it.  The guys asked how much time I needed.  Would 1/2 hour be enough?  I don’t know.  Would it?  I said, “How about if you call in 1/2 hour and find out if I’m ready.”  Fine.

15 minutes a delivery truck backs into my driveway!  Okay, the pressure’s on now.  Or is it?  They are the ones who told us it would be after 5 and suddenly show up an hour early!  Should I feel bad for them waiting outside on a day with temps in the 90s and a high dew point to match?  No, they’re sitting in their air conditioned cab listening to the radio and talking on their cell phones.  Okay…

I kept a steady pace, filled two large bins and a cooler in as organized a way as I could.  What really needs refrigeration and what can last awhile on the 78 degree kitchen floor?  Half an hour later I waved at the guys and we made the exchange.

Oh, then there’s the job of loading the new refrigerator!  A plan for organization right on the spot!  A true test of  my FLYing abilities!  With only a one-time shot at seeing the inside of the new refrigerator before it arrived in my house, I had no plan in place ahead of its arrival.  I set to work eying shelves against the height of objects needing placement and also grouping like items together in a way never before seen in the old refrigerator.  Yes!  I really am FLYing!

Yes, here are the pictures!  Will it stay this way?  Well, I have the pictures now to check against in a week or so after we’ve had 5 of us in and out of there on a daily basis.  Maybe I’ll even post them so you can help me judge how close we’re staying to my original plan of organization.

New French door style refrigerator – much bigger than the last one and more energy efficient

Full view, excluding the freezer drawer in the bottom

A closer view of the middle for organization – a bin for meat that we added ourselves, a bin for cheese using one of the veggie crispers, FridgeSmarts of lettuce and fruits, a drawer full of yogurt, 2 more FridgeSmarts waiting for the next trip for fresh produce

Drinks and condiments organized in groups, same in the other door

I did not take pictures of the coolers and bins I used (I could have.  We had to wait to fill the refrigerator for a couple of hours while it took its time cooling below the 80 degrees it said when set in place) or the disgusting awfulness of the kitchen sink full of the rottenness of those forgotten items from the back of the refrigerator.  Tofu gone bad is pretty wretched!  Just sayin’!  And I couldn’t believe the number of brown bananas collected in the back of the freezer – way beyond banana bread material!  I would say 2 1/2 bunches worth when you put them together!  Not happening in the new freezer.  This time we have the freezer as a drawer on the bottom.  Much easier to see everything, and nothing can get lost in the back.  Maybe in the bottom?  I hope not!

Yesterday’s post would have been on my efforts to completely clean the kitchen for the 3rd day in a row this week!  Putting away the wiped out coolers and bins, disinfecting the stinky sink, and washing one last round of dishes along with a round of zip locks.  Do zip locks accumulate at your house like they at ours?  I’ve decided to wash 7-8 at a time every time I wash dishes until they’re all gone.  The pile is too much to look at if I think I have to do them all at once, and there’s nowhere to put them all to dry anyway.

Baby steps!  A little at a time, but always moving forward!

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 9, 2012 On or off the flight plan?

I’m a Butterfly Baby!

I am happy to report that I have my first few followers.  It’s encouraging to know that someone is following my efforts and that I could have feedback on what I post.  Here is part of one of the comments I have received, along with my response to it.

“Your decluttering efforts are admirable.  Having a decluttered house should make for more peaceful children.  But where does the stuff go that is moved?  I have a big problem with this too.  Where to put it?”   My response:
Much of the clutter in our house is stuff that needs to go anyway.  Kids’ toys that our kids have outgrown, projects kids have brought home from school, etc.  We have a local area Facebook group where people post things to buy and sell, like Craigslist.  I’m planning to take pictures of everything and post them on the site.  If they’re not worth selling, we can put them out on the curb for free.  I put clothes out for the Epilepsy Foundation recently, along with a doll cradle complete with doll & clothes.  Someone stopped by and picked up the doll cradle for themselves.  I call that blessing others with what we no longer need.

There are people like my dad who want to keep everything, including things that no one else will want even for free!  I think the rule is that if you haven’t used it in 5 years, it’s likely you’re not going to.  I’m having to decide that we can throw things away if no one will ever use it.  What I do is put things out for free.  If no one else wants it, I can feel free to throw it.  We got rid of some things last year when we had a roof redone and had an industrial sized garbage bin in our driveway.  I feel bad about what’s going into the landfill.  Then I firm up my resolve not to bring anything into the house that we don’t truly need.

I’m FLYing with the FlyLady – babysteps.

I get daily e-mails from  She is very encouraging and gives daily missions and monthly zones.  You build routine, babystepping your way to a peaceful, organized home.  The other day the FlyLady said that a mother duck does not make her ducklings follow her.  She takes the lead and they get in line and follow.  Once the family sees the changes happening, they are supposed to get in line with it too.  I live in the hope that my children and husband will pick up the routines so we can all make it part of our daily life.

So far, cleared surfaces are staying clear.  My worst “hot spot” is my desk where papers collect, but I’m clearing that more often too.   Every little bit makes a big difference.  It makes the rest easier, just seeing the progress.  Having the accountability of posting my progress makes a difference for me too.  I feel like I have to do at least 15 minutes of something that I can post.  Someone could be seeing it even if they don’t comment.  It would be great though to have someone who is posting their progress also, so we can keep each other accountable.

Asparagus & black beans on rice – something I accomplished today

My flight plan today:  I dropped off my youngest for the bus to summer school, then had some breakfast and took a 20 minute walk.  Walking is a goal I had made that I haven’t done very well at.  By the time I checked e-mail and talked with the insurance company about tween DD’s upcoming surgery (more on that to come), it was time to pick her up from summer school and whisk her over to her baritone lesson.
Following baritone lesson, all 3 kids registered for 4-H projects at our local Extension office, followed by lunch at home.  Tween DD Emily and I visited neighbors down the street with little girls that we wanted to get together – an important goal for Emily who doesn’t have many neighborhood friends.    Then DS off to TaeKwanDo , supper at Godfather’s buffet, off to watch DH’s softball game, then home to get Emily to bed so she can get up for summer school again in the morning.
So did I accomplish my Flight Plan for today?  I needed to make SWAPS for our upcoming CHASA retreat for families of children with hemiplegia, and I wanted to clear the bench by my desk that is becoming a “hot spot”.  Neither of these things happened.  I did accomplish things that needed to happen – yes!  Going to have to work fast  tomorrow to make the real Flight Plan fit into my day!  It will work!  Even though the only change between today’s and tomorrow’s schedules is that teen DD has an oral surgery appointment instead of tween DD having a friend meet and greet.  Oh, no TKD either.  Okay, it will work!

Flight Plan – July 6, 2012 Heat wave breaking…Can I reach the window for fresh air?

My 15 for the day, well, maybe it was half an hour today.  Organizing bins of teaching and office supplies.  My bins have been stacked to overflowing in front of the window.  With our recent heat wave, this hasn’t been an issue.  But the 99 degree temps are supposed to break overnight, and I’ll be happy to welcome the fresh outside air again!  Now I can reach the window!

This is the continuation of sorting out the bins of teaching materials in the corner by my desk. They have been overflowing, and therefore not looking neat and organized. Besides the block easy access to opening the window.

I sorted out materials to post for sale, shifted other materials between bins so that I have 2 bins of teaching materials that will return to classrooms and 1 bin of office supplies for home. Looks much better, and I can open the window now.

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