Monday, January 5, 2009

the organization wars - phase two

It's been a long process, but I think I'm finally getting ahead in the organization game. Not that you'd notice looking around my house (or my life), but I feel like I'm getting there - slowly but surely. I always find it interesting how the smallest changes can make it seem like you're more on top of things.

I've finally gotten around to doing a master shopping list on the computer that I can just print out and take to the store. If I happened to be really efficient I'd make one for each of the stores I go to, but there's a fine line between organized and compulsive and I'm trying not to fall in the chasm.

The wheels are in motion to make all of my bills payable on-line through my bank. For free. Enter the info once, pick a date and they automatically pay them for you. No stamps, no time spent, no late payments. Nada. I already pay a lot of stuff on-line, but to do it I have to go to several sites and put in a whole slew of passwords. This is the bill paying version of one-stop shopping.

Then there's always the food and eating situation. It's a mess. One carnivore, two won't eat red meat, one won't eat meat at all. I love to cook when I want to cook, but I've finally gotten to the point where it's a chore more than anything else. I sit down each week to plan menus and feel defeated before I start. The idea bank is closed. So this is what I've hit on - each week I'll try one new recipe. If we like it, it'll go in the rotation. In my household notebook, I'll start keeping all of our weekly menus so I can recycle stuff we like. If anything major gets cooked (casseroles, soup, marinated chicken), I'll automatically double the recipe and freeze half of it for a work day meal. We'll see how this goes, but it has promise. I sleep better knowing I have meals stashed in the freezer.

One of my very favorite magazines is Real Simple. You have to look past anything having to do with clothes (anyone else not in the market for a $400 casual cashmere hoodie?), but everything else is fabulous. It's practical, it's creative, it's soothing. The issue on the newstands now is an entire magazine full of lists of all sorts, and mine is already dogeared and tattered. It's a keeper if for no other reason than the recipe for super speedy lasagne made with frozen cheese ravioli. (This may not excite you, but it's been a manna from heaven for me - cheese ravioli and lasagne being two of the very few things that everyone in my family likes).

Some people use being organized as a control tool, I'm well aware. That's not my purpose. It's a time thing. I'd like to be as efficient as I can in as little time as possible. I'd like to start using my time off for things I want to do instead of things I have to do.

It's worth a shot.


Rudee said...

I agree that in concept, organizing things helps. I'm weak with the follow through. It's all that knitting I get dragged into doing-but at least that's organized. I'm blessed that they all eat what I cook around here without much fuss. If I had to please too many different palates, I'd never cook.

Altaglow said...

I love lists. But then the lists turn into other lists that tend to reproduce themselves. Still I find that nothing ever really gets done without the list but then real organization is that overriding goal that never seems to see fruition no matter how hard I try--or how many lists I make.

Maggie May said...

You are very well organized. well done.
I also found cooking a nightmare because of fads & dieta.
My daughter had to have gluten free and she was also a vegetarian. For years I struggled with it for years. then one day she came back from Crete eating meat and I was quite put out, after all those years struggling with her food and of course by then, she had left home.
I now have to cater for her two, very picky eating sons! Does mu head in!

ciara said...

least you HAVE organization skills, i got nada. i'm frustrated everyday of the week, 52 weeks a yr. yep. when you are as disorganized as me, lists won't help a damned thing.

btw did i mention my new URL same URL minus the blogspot.

WT said...

There are any number of free grocery list programs, most will produce pick lists in the order you walk around the store, and will also produce store specific lists.

Frances said...

I need a list of where I put the lists

Good luck with that. I hope it works out and inspires me to try harder.
I no longer go out to work on a regular basis, but I live in more chaos more mess and less organisation than when I worked full time. I guess I have more time to make a mess! LOL

softinthehead said...

Well done - I love a list myself and am also trying to be organised by planning menus. Its the grocery shopping part I hate - i like to go to different stores to mix it up a bit but that can get expensive. Keep us posted.

Kaycie said...

I adore "Real Simple". I've subscribed since I picked up the very first issue from a newsstand. The first article I remember using was about how to organize your coat closet. I still use that method today, two houses and who knows how many years later. It's the best magazine ever!

Akelamalu said...

Organised is my middle name! Leaves me more time to do what I really enjoy. Hope it works for you. :)

Faye said...

Me too! Love Real Simple from the little pullout calendar to the recipes. And, I ordered the "To Do" pad with a perforated shopping/errand list that you can just tear off. Wanted this "Do One Thing" sticky pad, but resisted. My friend Beth didn't. Maybe we'll make a swap.

movin' down the road said...

Ooooh I love Real Simple. I had a little blurb published in there a few years ago. I looooove it. I have this list of organization things I have to do here and my goal is to do them in 6 weeks. Along with art projects and writing projects. it feels good to keep a list and knock those things off. (organizing taxes tonight, crazy, I know)