Thursday, January 1, 2009

January: Understanding Time Management and Working on the Kitchen

Here we go! Today I read the introduction of the book, which advises readers to create a "dream board" full of photos of the kind of lives we idealize. Mine will be full of photos of beautifully designed, spare spaces (probably not very realistic with three kids) and time spent productively doing crafts and making music, furthering myself, and spending time with my family.

Each month has suggested habits to develop (on the theory that repeating an action for 21 consecutive days turns it into a habit). Regina Leeds advises readers to choose one or two of the following actions for this month:
  • Wash dishes rather than leave them languishing in the sink.
  • Put your clean dishes away immediately.
  • If you use a dishwasher, unload it when its cycle is complete.
  • Wipe off the counters after each use.
  • Once a day, take out the garbage.
I am going to focus on washing the dishes (or loading the dishwasher) and wiping off the counters after each meal. I told Mike about these goals, and he freaked a bit. He has expressed his desire to do this project and read the book with me, but the prospect of implementing these habits every day worries him. He said "after every use??" I know it's hard for him to do this, juggling three active kids all day long. We'll see how we do. I would be happy if we at least stayed on top of the dishes throughout the day so that cleaning the kitchen before bed didn't take so long.

January focuses on getting to the heart of why we are disorganized..."Why Am I Like This?" Leeds' introduction begins by saying she knows me..."You engage in a near constant quest for your house keys. Invitations, personal notes, and letters are lost in a sea of paper debris...You never use a calendar because you store your schedule in your head...Your home is not your castle; it's your prison. Guilt is your frequent companion..." and so on. This is all way more dramatic than I feel about my life; however, we have vast room for improvement in terms of getting our lives organized. Furthermore, I would love to organize my work life as well.

The major reasons I want to get my life and house organized follow:
  • I want to know where everything is.
  • I want to avoid buying more of something that we already have (but cannot find).
  • I want to feel more at peace in my home.
  • I want to not be embarassed when visitors show up unannounced.
  • I want to vastly reduce our amount of possessions, and specifically, clutter.
  • I want to teach my children to clean up after themselves on a regular basis (and model that for them as well) and foster more independence.


  1. Hi Marie,

    I am so honored you have chosen my book as the vehicle to carry you home to order and peace.

    You have my warmest wishes for great success.

    And by the way a blog is a modern way to journal...and because you have chosen a public forum, I just bet you will be sweeping others along with you in your great 'zen organizing adventure.'

    Don't hesitate to send me any questions you might have.


    Regina Leeds

  2. Thank you Regina! I was delighted to get your comment on my blog.

    I've gotten my husband engaged...instead of working on my kitchen, I went on a "date" with my 5-year-old son. While I was out, my husband reorganized one of our kitchen cabinets! Fantastic!

    We are on our way to success, already--and on the 3rd day of our journey! Hope we can sustain it.