Monday, September 21, 2009

Rule of Ten Challenge, Day 5

Today we are continuing with Rule of Ten Challenge! Can you find ten things in your home that you no longer need, use, want...or simply can't find a "home" for?

Here are my ten for Monday:
1 broken heating lamp (we have tree frogs!)
3 unused "Kandoo" wipes boxes
4 empty, somewhat scrunched Kleenex boxes (I admit that once I find a Kleenex box I like, I tend to keep it and refill from those ugly brown-marble designed ones. Three of mine were Christmas designs...I can always buy more at Christmas!)
2 lovely drinking glasses which are eternally, unchangeably stuck, one in the other. They've been sitting on my counter for weeks and weeks, mocking me. Do I really think that TODAY is the day they will come unstuck?


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Rule of Ten Challenge, Day 4

Today was a bit of an opposite day: Instead of focusing on what was going out, I had to focus on what was coming in! A new piano - well, new to me. It belonged to my Grandmother, given to her by my Grandfather in 1954. It's beautiful and it even smells like Mammy! (She resides in assisted living now, and doesn't play anymore, though she still loves old music.)

My mother also brought me a beautiful mountain dulcimer, larger than the one I already had. Both instruments were built by my Grandfather, and I'm really enjoying learning to play them.
So, following the 1-for-1 rule, at least TWO things needed to leave my home today!

My ten for Today:
- 3 children's books that were duplicates (kept the nicer copies)
- a huge pile of newspapers into the recycling bin
- a very old pair of running shoes, never worn
- a broken plastic pitcher
- 17 old children's toys, no longer played with. My kiddos helped me choose.
- my glass measuring cup - has NO lines on it anymore. I replaced it with one that DOES have lines. Very helpful to be able to see how much you're actually measuring. ;)

What are your Ten for Today?


Friday, September 18, 2009

Rule of Ten Challenge, Day 3

Today I sorted through my sheet music and found ten items which I no longer use. These went into the Goodwill bag in my car, for drop off!

What are your ten for today?


Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Rule of Ten Challenge, Day 2

Blessedly, the genetic disease Rattus Packicus seems to have skipped a generation (or two or three) in my family, and I don't suffer from it. I'm not one to hold on to a bunch of stuff just for kicks. My one exception? Greeting cards. For a while there, I thought I would put them in the scrapbook albums...only now that I've gone digital, it's definitely not happening. I won't throw them all away...the first ever card my hubby gave me, the first "Congratulations on being pregnant" for the first baby, some extra special cards from my children....Call me a sentimental schmuck, but I'm keeping them. And there's nothing wrong with that. They simply must stay organized, and in their own home.
However, lately my "schmuckiness" has gotten out of control. So today, I'm recycling nine greeting cards that have overstayed their welcome and are now collecting dust on the piano.
Item number ten? A canning jar with yellow tempera paint...painted shut, and taking up room in my craft cabinet.

What are your ten items for today?

Get to work!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Rule of Ten Challenge, Day 1

Day 1:
Not hard to find 10 things...found multiple "piles" with more than 10 like and unnecessary items together.
Today? 9 Tupperware containers with have no lids, and 12  lids which have no containers.

Total count: 21 items out of my cabinet, out of my kitchen, out of my home. Freedom!


The Rule of Ten

Is clutter weighing you down? Creating disorder in your home? Then what's keeping you from decluttering the way you should? For so many of us, it feels like a monumental task.
What if, for the next week, you threw away (or recycled) 10 items in your house. Just 10. By the end of one week, 70 things that were in your way - in the way of your work, your goals, your life - are GONE. Forever. As my friend K commented, "Just think! Ten things every day that you won't have to deal with and make decisions about again in the next two, five, 10 or 20 years!!! You're saving so much time in the long run!"

I challenge you to challenge yourself this week: Find 10 things each day that you no longer need and throw them away, give them away, recycle them. Those 10 items MUST leave your home today!
Here's Jessica Gottlieb's original bloglet, for more motivation.
And here are other homemakers who are taking the challenge!

Day one at Paradoxology

Day one at Sodbusters
Day two at Paradoxology
Day three at Paradoxology
Day two and three at Sodbusters

Moreover, I challenge each of YOU to blog about your progress. Leave a comment and I'll post your link. And I'll be posting later about my ten items.  Let's cheer each other on!

Now get to work!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Down for the Count

The Flu: 6; Heidi's House: 1. Today is one of those days that I desperately wish that Walgreen’s sold a H1N1 stick test…pink means swine flu! It would ease the strain that is already on our home, most of us having been down for the count for almost a week now. Do we go to the doctor? Do we ride it out?
Either way, I’ve been unable to work in my home according to my everyday schedule…and that’s okay. Running an orderly home means having a contingency plan in place for sick days, injury days, bad weather days...perhaps an occasional mental health day?

We call this plan FEMA: Family Emergency Management Assessment. Carl-Henric Svanberg, CEO of the telecommunications company Ericsson, once said, “When you have a crisis, the crisis itself becomes one of your biggest assets if that crisis is bad enough. Everyone gets very modest and humble and listens. If you need to do rough things, you do rough things.” Our Family Emergency Management Assessment is the way we “do rough things” in the midst of our temporary trouble.

It’s really quite simple.

First, give thanks. Daily stressors and mini-crises are often the way our Heavenly Father sanctifies us! It is often much too easy to be grateful when everything’s going just so. I believe the Lord gives us difficult times so we will lean on Him and become like Him.

Pick a color. A Green Day means everything is fine and right on schedule. But if one or more of your children are sick, or the van is broken down, or other stressors are present, it may be a Yellow Day. What do you do? I suggest that in addition to the Daily Maintenance Blocks being completed, find the “heart” of each Daily Focus and do that, too. On Laundry Day, do laundry! You may not get to the ironing, the mending, the wiping down of laundry room shelves. No big deal. But get that laundry done (especially if the family sickness is of the gastro-intestinal variety. Eww.) Is it Kitchen Day? You don’t need to deep clean the kitchen, but your family must still eat. Do whatever it takes to get them fed, including planning (and even possibly pre-preparing) meals for the next few days.

To prepare for a Yellow Day, write down 10 essential tasks for that day, in addition to those in that day’s Daily Maintenance Blocks. Then add 10 more “unessentials” that you would love to see completed if time allows. Keep it simple. Fixing a meal for your family is one task. A schedule is a wonderful servant, but if it is guilt-inducing, then you, quite possibly, have become a servant of the schedule.

What about REALLY bad days? We call those Red Days. Those are days when Mom is generally unable to even care well for herself, much less her household. To be prepared for a Red Day, create a list of 10 things - only 10! you need to do each day for your family to function on “autopilot.” Now, create 10 more items beyond the first. This second group of 10 is for those little breaks that may come and allow you to complete more than you anticipated. It may be that you can’t do a single one of them yourself. That’s okay! With the list handy, you can easily delegate those 10 to 20 tasks to your loving husband, children, or outside help from a friend or neighbor.

If you are a family with long-term health issues, and frequently find yourself in “Red Day” status, you might find it very beneficial to have a separate schedule for such days, and maybe even a separate menu (meals that dad or a tween or teenager can prepare easily, for example.)

Remember, each day of the week will have its own Yellow Day and Red Day tasks. Writing down these tasks beforehand will prepare you for unexpected chaos on ANY day of the week.
It will be more work to set up in the beginning, but your family will be blessed by the consistent care and routine, even in times of hardship.

Keeping the FEMA method in mind also gives me a bit of perspective…hey, we moved from Red to Yellow today. Green can’t be far behind!