Tag Archives: organizing

Another Monthly Challenge (or What To Do When You Are Crazy Busy)

The beginning of a new month is always exciting for me. But it’s been even more exciting since I started using my Volt Planner last year because it means it’s the beginning for a new monthly challenge! It can be a struggle sometimes to think of a new challenge each month, but once I pick one I really get into it. And knowing that I’ll be doing that again each month is something I look forward to.

Last month, my challenge was to tweet more. Specifically I wanted to tweet more about SAG-AFTRA and union related issues. My role as a SAG-AFTRA delegate is officially just as the convention (which is this week), but I don’t want the end of the convention to be the end of my involvement. And while being on social media isn’t the most active thing, I figure that every little bit helps. And I also got a lot out of doing this because every day I was reviewing tweets that might be ones I wanted to share. So I was learning more every time I reviewed them. I feel so much more educated about union issues (and not just actor union issues) than I ever have.

This month, I struggled a bit with picking something to set as my challenge but it wasn’t for the usual reason. I have a couple of things I want to do, but this month is going to be very crazy for me. I’ve got the SAG-AFTRA convention, lots of doctor appointments, work, podcast stuff, some projects I’m working on, and then trying to have a social life. I know that I will be a bit stressed and I didn’t want to pick something that might add more stress to my life. I’ve picked some challenges that have done that in the past, and it can work when the month isn’t going to be stressful. But I know October will be crazy. I’ve been telling people my life won’t be normal again until after the 16th because that’s when I seem to finally have free time in my calendar.

But there has been one thing that I’ve had on my monthly and weekly planning sheets in my planner that I don’t see to ever get around to. I really need to clean my desk and my closet. I probably need to work on my entire house, but I really see how packed my desk and closet are and I know I don’t need everything I have. I also keep bringing more things in without removing stuff so it gets more and more cluttered. But when I look at it it seems so overwhelming.

So I’ve set my monthly challenge for October to do speed cleaning/organizing every day. I have an alarm set and I want to do maybe 5-10 minutes every day. The idea is that I’d focus on one thing each day. For example, with my clothes I’d look at tops one day and dresses another. I don’t need to look at my closet as a whole since that has been what is looking like too much of a project. With my desk, I might break it down my the drawers or by category but I’m not sure yet. And there are so many other areas in my house that I could organize by breaking it down into chunks like this.

I had read “The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up” a while ago, and while I don’t agree with everything in the book there are some really good points. I only want to have things in my home that make me happy and bring me joy. My definition of those things are a bit different from what the book talks about, but the general idea is the same. There are things in my closet that I look at and get annoyed about because it doesn’t fit anymore (either too big or too small), it doesn’t fit right, or it just is something I never can figure out when I should wear it. I don’t need that taking up space in the tiny closet I have.

But besides decluttering, I just want to have a clean house that makes me happy. It’s never too dirty, but there are times that I have to spend a good amount of time cleaning every room before I have company over. I know that nobody cares if my house is a little messy, but I do. And if I worked on 5-10 minutes of cleaning a day (either by cleaning one room or doing one type of cleaning like vacuuming or dusting), it shouldn’t get too overwhelming before I have company over.

I know that even 5-10 minutes of cleaning might be a bit tough for me to do on the craziest days I have coming up this month, but that’s ok. I understand now that I don’t have to be perfect every single day but instead I want to get into the habit so that it becomes something I don’t even have to think about each day. It would be nice to know that I have a clean house pretty much all the time and not a semi-clean house most of the time and a super clean house occasionally.

Time For Some Refocusing (or I Need To Do Some Follow Through)

My life has been getting a bit crazy lately, but crazy in a good way. I’m back to my normal routine without the worry about medical issues in my head. I’m back in the dating game and while I’ve had some negative experiences I’m having fun. I’m going out with my friends and doing so much stuff that I love. Honestly, this is close to the happiest I’ve been as an adult. I think a lot of it is because I don’t care as much about what other’s think, but I also think I’m just making an effort to make me happy.

Not everything in my life is going great, but it’s pretty awesome right now. I’m taking more time to focus on the positives in my life than the negatives that might come up. But because I’m not focusing on the negatives, I’m slacking off on some things and I know that I need to work on that balance.

Some of the slacking off has been cleaning and organizing. This has been something on my to-do list for a while and I’m just not taking the time out to do the work that I need to do. And looking at my calendar for the coming days, I honestly don’t know when I’ll have the chance to do it. And because I want to do more than just a basic cleaning, I know that this is something I need to set aside the time to do.

My desk has been getting a bit out of control because I’m sitting at it so many hours a day. When I start working on stuff and don’t get to finish, I just set it to the side on my desk thinking I’ll pick it up later. But later doesn’t seem to come and some of these things have been on my desk for too long. One of the things that’s been on my desk forever has been the dry erase board that I used for my Oscars costume. When I got it, I assumed that I would be using it at my desk or somewhere else. But I haven’t done anything with it and I don’t know now if I will be using it. I just need to make a decision and do something with it.

My closet is another trap right now for me. I really need to go through all my clothes and figure out what I want to keep and what I need to toss. There are several things in my closet that are now too big for me and I don’t want to keep them around anymore. But sometimes it’s hard to let those things go because I justify in my head that maybe I could get it tailored smaller or that I might wear it baggy. But I know I won’t and I just have to let it go. There are also things that have gotten torn or just not my style anymore and I need to get rid of it. But again, this is a major cleaning and I know I’ll need to set aside lots of time to do it. I probably will need to try on a lot of stuff from my closet to do this and when I do this cleaning I also am looking at making a list of what I own so I don’t feel like I’m missing something in my closet and go out and buy it (I’ve done that before and have had to make trips to return duplicates).

And as always, I just want to clean up some of the clutter that is in my house. I keep a lot of stuff for sentiment value and I know that I don’t need to do that. I want to work on digitizing more stuff that I keep and finding new and clever ways to organize and store what I want to have. It’s a bit overwhelming to think about how much I want to get done, but I also know in the long run that this will be an awesome thing for me to do and I will probably be really happy when I feel like I have a cleaner, more organized, and happier space.

I know a lot of people who have gone through major cleanings like this have been inspired by the book “The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up”. I actually have this book. I bought it almost 2 years ago and for some reason I haven’t really started to read it. I know that I always get distracted by other books that I have, but now that I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the work I want to get done I think this might be a good time to start reading it. I’m in the middle of one book right now so I probably won’t be able to read it until next week, but I honestly forgot that I owned the book until I started to feel as overwhelmed as I am now.

I’m tired of setting a goal to work on cleaning my space and not following through with it. I need to just get my butt in gear and do it. But it’s not always easy to make a change like this when you’ve been putting it off. But hopefully soon I will find the motivation and time to get this done and I can feel calmer in my space so that my home will make me as happy as my social life is making me.

Spring Cleaning (or Needing To Declutter Again)

I usually keep a pretty clean house. I live in a tiny house (seriously, it’s under 500 square feet) so any mess seems to be significantly worse in my house than in a normal house. I don’t like to have a ton of stuff around, but I’ve seemed to acquire a lot lately and it’s been piling up. Literally piling up. It’s a bit ridiculous for me, but I know that for most people it’s probably still a pretty clean space. The worst space is next to my computer on my desk since I’m spending so much time working right now. When I’ve got something I’m working on and a customer calls, I put whatever I’m working on down and I don’t always remember to pick it back up or put it away.

I have written about decluttering before, and as always it seems like I don’t realize my house is getting a bit out of control until it’s so bad that I can’t help but see it! And this time, I feel like I’ve just been ignoring it because of how crazy my life has been. It always seems like I can’t have everything in my life balanced. I guess that’s how it is, something always has to be off. And before it was my social life and now it’s my house.

When I thought I needed surgery, I was neglecting organizing because I knew my life was going to get super hectic and I wasn’t worried too much about my house. I figured that while I was in the hospital and when I was recovering I would have a bunch of people coming over and helping and trying to keep things clean while that is happening wasn’t going to be a priority. So I didn’t worry too much about keeping it too nice before surgery. Also, I was buying a bunch of stuff I thought I was going to need for surgery so that was adding to my clutter by piling up around the house in different piles depending on if I’d need it in the hospital or while recovering. And once surgery was canceled, I put a lot of time and focus into getting my life back to normal and having a regular life again. And because of that, cleaning and decluttering was put on the back burner once more. I did managed to get rid of all the extra things I bought for surgery (some was returned to where I got it and some was giving to people who do need them), but just because I did that didn’t mean that I was able to really do any decluttering.

I keep setting decluttering as one of my weekly goals and each week goes by and I don’t do it. But it’s gotten to the point where I just need to take time out of my day and work on cleaning. It’s pretty much spring cleaning even though it’s almost summer. And I really want to do a big overhaul in the stuff that I’m keeping in my house. I’ve done a couple of small cleanups lately and have even put together bags of clothes to donate, but then of course those bags are just sitting in my house so they are just adding to the clutter issue.

Some of the decluttering is just stuff that I haven’t filed away if I need to keep it, but a lot of it is just random stuff that I probably need to throw away. I’m not great at throwing things away when I think I might still need them. I’m not a hoarder, but there are cards or paperwork that I debate if I need. I am trying to get better about this by digitally storing a lot of paperwork that I have but there are still some things that I like to keep hard copies of. It’s a process but I’m working on organizing everything.

I think the reason why my clutter is hitting me this time is because I finally have my life back in order (or almost in order) and now I’m noticing that my house isn’t. It’s a weird feeling when coming home isn’t the most settled feeling and I’m not used to that.

I know I’m overdue for a massive project. This isn’t just going to be a normal cleaning and organizing day. I need to actually go through my stuff and see what I actually need to keep. I need to go through my closet and see what I can get rid of. I’ve gotten a few new things recently (trying to get ready for the heat of the summer) and I’m trying to follow the rule of “one thing in one thing out”. If I bought 3 new things, I need to take 3 things I don’t wear anymore out of my closet to donate.

I haven’t figured out when I’m going to have the time to do this big cleaning and decluttering, but hopefully I’ll figure out a good block of time that I can set aside to just focusing on my house. I need to not just do this in between other things in my schedule because I will keep putting it off like I have been doing. And hopefully I’ll find this time in the next week or so to really get my house back to how I want it to be and to make my space a much happier place for me.

Organization Time (or Seeing A Bit Of A Mess)

I take a lot of pride in being a super organized person. I have my calendar color coded, I made lists of tasks or errands to do almost every day, and I track my tax stuff throughout the year so I don’t have to do it all at once. I’m pretty set in my organization skills and I’ve taught a couple of friends to do them as well (I think everyone has appreciated the tips!).

My house is pretty small, so I try to keep things uncluttered. When there is a little bit of a mess, it seems to take everything over. At one of my old apartments, I was a much messier (and less organized person), but I’m pretty neat in my current space. But between all the day jobs I’m working now, time is much more limited and I’ve been noticing that things are getting a bit messy and overwhelming.

I’ve been trying to set small goals each day with things that need to be cleaned/organized but I’ve got 2 main projects that I want to work on and they both probably need a day devoted to them.

First, I want to organize my kitchen. I’m lacking in counter space, so I have to be very careful where I store things. I finally just got rid of all my mismatched disposable food storage containers (I got some nice glass ones and only have 6 pieces instead of 20 or more). I’ve got dozens of cookbooks, but I think I only really use maybe 3 of them. So I need to take a day or a couple of days and go through the cookbooks and scan in the recipes I like. Then I can donate the cookbooks that I don’t need and that is a lot more storage space for me in my kitchen cabinet.

I may have gotten rid of a ton of junk storage containers, but I still have so much stuff to go through. I know I donated about 20 water bottles somewhat recently, but I just counted and I have 15 water bottles in my house. I really only use maybe 3 or 4 of them, so I need to weed through them. I also have a giant fruit bowl on my counter that I do use, but I think I could find something smaller that would do just as great of a job.

I don’t want to spend a ton of money organizing my kitchen, but I know that a couple of things will need to be bought and I need to figure out exactly what I’m in need of or what I could use to make the tiny kitchen space more manageable. My main goal is to make my kitchen a place that makes me happy and motivated to keep cooking in there.

The second place that I’m in serious need of organizing is my desk. Most of my desk is technically organized, but there’s so much stuff piled up everywhere that you can’t see the organized areas! Part of the problem is that while I’m working on a project, things get piled on my printer or on my filing cabinet. I try to toss them out when the project is done, but that doesn’t always happen. Fortunately, this project will be more throwing out things than reorganizing, so it should be easier than the kitchen project I want to do.

I’m really working on making my space the best it can be for me. I need things to be functional and motivating at the same time. I need to have a ton of things within reach, but not cluttered on top of each other. I know that this is probably just normal maintenance or “spring cleaning” type work. But until I took a step back and realized how my disorganized spaces were causing issues for me, I didn’t realize how badly I needed to revamp my system.

Birthday Countdown (or Taking Suggestions On How To Celebrate)

My birthday is less than a month away! I know I want to do something fun again for my birthday, but I’m stuck on what I should plan.

Last year’s outing to Bodega was pretty awesome, but there is a minimum you have to spend there in order to reserve an area (they dropped the minimum for me last year and I don’t know if they’d do it for me again). And I’m usually not the sort of person who organizes gatherings like that.

It can be stressful to plan a party for yourself! I love helping plan parties for other people, but when it comes to be I tend to lay low. I’ve had some instances where I tried to plan a party (like a house-warming party when I moved into my house) and pretty much nobody showed up. Actually, to my house-warming party I believe 2 people showed up eventually.

So I’d rather have a party where the lack of people (if there is one) isn’t too noticeable. Which is why I enjoyed having my party at a bar last year.

I put it out on various social networks that I’m taking suggestions on where to have my party this year. So far, I haven’t gotten a ton of ideas. And I know that planning a month out is pretty far out, but I’d rather have an idea of what I’m going to do early than try to scramble and put something together at the last minute.

While I’ve always been a big birthday person, I haven’t always been much for celebrating my birthday in a big way. Growing up, we always had a party, but I remember that since my birthday was in the summer there was no guarantee that people wouldn’t be out of town. And then for 2 or 3 summers I was at summer camp on my birthday (which was actually pretty fun). In college, it was weird celebrating my birthday because most of my friends would go home for the summer and I was still in LA. I remember my 21st birthday party only had 3 co-workers from the summer camp I worked at then. Not a huge party.

And after my “breakup” with my best friend, I lost a lot of LA area friends. But I’ve been lucky that creating and finding new friendships came easily to me after a while and now I have an amazing group of friends. But those friends, just like me, live crazy busy lives and aren’t always available to come and celebrate whatever there is to celebrate at that time.

Basically what I’m saying is while I do want to have an awesome birthday celebration, I’m always scared that nobody will show up. And I’m not asking for a pity party. I’m sure a bunch of people feel the same way that I do. And I’m sure that there are people who have experienced parties where nobody (or almost nobody) has shown up. I just need to get that fear out of my head, plan something awesome for my birthday, and know that I’ll have fun no matter how many people come to my party.

2 Jobs 1 Day (or What My New Normal Might Look Like)

On Friday, I had my first shift back at my old job (but in a new job position). I also worked my new job in the morning. It was a lesson in how I need to start managing my time a new way (again).

On Friday, I actually had to go into the office for my first job. I was doing some personal organizing work for the business so I spent my 4 hour shift going through files and throwing out paperwork that was outdated or able to be found online. Not the toughest job to do, but it seemed endless (I got one drawer done in 4 hours and there are 2 more to go still). I was able to start earlier than I usually go in so I would have enough time between my jobs. I wanted to give myself more time than I would usually have because I wasn’t too sure how it was going to work out.

I had about 2 hours to get changed and ready to go to job #2. It was a little weird feeling going back as an employee, but everyone who works in the box office was so happy to see me again. I was greeted with a lot of hugs and people saying how much I was missed.

I didn’t get started on the best foot in the box office. First of all, I was dressed incorrectly. When I used to work at shows, the dress code was dressy. So I guessed the box office was the same. I wore nice black pants and a dark blue top. Turns out, black tops are kind of a requirement. So I was told that it was ok since I didn’t know better, but I needed to dress properly for future shifts (after working on Friday, I ordered a couple of dressy black tops on Old Navy so I would have something appropriate to wear).

While working in the box office is similar to what I did in telesales, it’s pretty different. Orders are taken a different way and things that I was used to doing have to be changed because the box office is the final step in order taking. In telesales, we used to turn in our orders to the box office so I didn’t have to do all the steps. There are also side work things that I’ve never had to do before. I’m trying to remember it all, but fortunately everyone understands that the box office is different from what I’m used to so they are all very patient with me.

I ran the will call window at the show, and I was lucky to start on a slow night. It still seemed pretty fast paced to me, but I will get to ease into the craziness that is working a box office during a show.

I also had the chance to talk with the box office manager about what types of hours I need so I don’t have to look for a third job. She’s going to try to accommodate my schedule, but that won’t happen for at least 2 more weeks since the schedules have already been set (unless someone is sick and I will fill in).

My first shift in the box offices was a short one, so it went by very quickly. And I have to say that it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected it to be. It can be a bit more low-key than telesales since I don’t have to think about making phone calls every second of my shift. There’s a little downtime between calls from customers or handling will call so that’s nice.

I’m actually pretty optimistic that I will be able to handle the two job days without too much stress. Hopefully that is how it all works out.

Getting Rid Of Extras (or Cleaning House)

I live in a pretty small house (it’s about 400 square feet). When I moved into the house over 3 years ago, I was coming from a 2 bedroom apartment that I had shared with roommates that was about 3-4 times the size. So I did a lot of downsizing before I even moved in.

But as I think everyone does, as I’ve lived here, I’ve collected a lot of stuff. Some of it is amazing (like artwork and furniture that makes living in a small space feel more homey). But a lot of the stuff I’ve collected is just stuff. So this weekend, I spent some time getting rid of things that I didn’t need anymore.

I started with my shoes, since I have so many. With the exception of specialty shoes such as my hiking shoes, any shoes that I haven’t worn in 1 year are gone now. Most of the shoes that I got rid of were sandals that used to be comfortable and aren’t now or shoes that no longer fit. I managed to get rid of 4 pairs.

Next, I went to purses. I followed the same rule as my shoes. I took out 5 purses and still have a bunch that I’m debating about. I tend to use one purse all the time until it starts to fall apart. I have a couple of special occasion purses and one that my grandma gave to me that I will keep no matter what, but there are a couple of purses that I’ve used within a year but I question if I’ll use them again.

While I was on my cleaning streak, I also decided to clean my email. We all get emails all the time that we just trash immediately. So I went through the trash mailbox on my email, and I unsubscribed to a ton of things. I lost count after 20, but at least now I won’t have as many emails to deal with on a daily basis.

I didn’t get to my kitchen yet, but that is next on my list. I know I have at least 7 or 8 reusable water bottles. I should be able to survive with just 2 or 3. I also have other kitchen gadgets that I don’t use that often and I want to find a place to store them so I don’t have to take up room in my kitchen.

There are several more projects that I want to do with cleaning up my house. My closet is something I’d like to tackle but I know it will be hard. I have a lot of clothes, mainly because when I find something that fits and is cute, I don’t want to get rid of it. It’s not easy shopping for me. But I’d really like to try to get rid of some things (and use GwynnieBee to supplement my wardrobe).

This project will take several more weekends (mainly because of the sentimental value of the other things I’m trying to clean out). But hopefully in the end, my house will seem less cluttered (and easier to clean as well).