Monday, January 14, 2013

Getting Organized (Slowly) Plus A Giveaway!

I've been posting a lot lately about getting my life back together by taking baby steps.  I've told you about easing my way back into couponing, and my plan for staying on top of it.  I've told you about my plan to slowly build our emergency fund back up.  I've also told you about my plan to slowly form good habits this year.

One of those habits I said I wanted to form was to declutter for 15 minutes each day.  I have dabbled with this here and there in the past, having read several places the benefits of using a timer and actually stopping when the timer goes off.

When we returned from our trip and got everything unpacked, I decided it was finally time to tackle our bedroom.   The master bedroom is the room that always seems to get pushed to the back burner, and stuff tends to get dropped off in there and never get put away.   It was BAD, and cleaning it was LONG overdue.  For three days in a row, I set my timer on my phone and got to work, and the transformation in just that 45 minutes spread out over three days was amazing.  My husband was very impressed.

That first week, I also cleaned out my purse, my van, my pantry, my desk.  Then my motivation sort of fizzled out, as tends to always be the case.

This past Tuesday afternoon, after a long night up with my 3 year old watching for signs of head trauma after a nasty fall, and an early morning up sending my 6 year old back to school after the break, I had woken up from my nap a bit before I needed to go back down to the bus stop, and the little one was still asleep next to me.   I didn't want to wake her up getting out of bed since she'd been kept up late, and I really didn't even want to get out of bed, because it was chilly out there!  So, I grabbed my phone from my nightstand and began to see what I could do to amuse myself for a little while.

I opened up my Kindle app, and started browsing through the books I had downloaded on my phone.  I found one I thought I would wouldn't open.  Said the file was corrupt and I would need to remove it and reload it.  =/  I tried the next one in the list.  Same story.   I kept going down the list, and I kept getting the same error.   By this time I was getting used to where the buttons were on the screen so I was sort of blindly hitting them.  But then, surprisingly, one opened!  I had already touched on the screen where the "remove from device" button should have been, but instead of hitting the button I was expecting, I hit a link in the table of contents, and it took me to chapter 5.   I wasn't even sure what book I had opened I was going through the list so fast, but I began reading the page it had turned to...

It just so happened I had opened this book (which you can purchase right now in Kindle format for just $2.99--or keep reading for a chance to win it!):

It was all about getting organized and decluttering in just 15 minutes a day.   "Hey!" I thought, "that's exactly what I've been doing!"  But having jumped to the middle of the book, I happened to begin reading not about how to get organized, but how to form the HABIT of becoming organized SLOWLY.   Sound familiar?

I've read a good number of organizing books in my day.  It's something I've always struggled with.  They have all told me the same things.   I know what I NEED to do to GET organized.   What I need help with is how to MAKE MYSELF KEEP DOING IT!  And that is the chapter of this book that I had jumped to.

It told me about the best places to begin.  It told me how to choose the tasks to do next.  It told me when to schedule my decluttering time in my daily routines so that it would be more likely to become a habit for me, AND it talked about life happening and derailing you.  It talked about me being sick, kids being sick, going out of town, having visitors (you my entire life since Thanksgiving!) and how to not get derailed by these things!

I now feel equipped to actually stick with this plan and motivated as well.  I can honestly say that had I started the book at the beginning (I did actually get to the end and then go back and read the first four chapters as well), I would have perhaps thought it was just another organizing book like the rest and not gotten to the part that truly helped me.  I think there had to have been a little bit of divine intervention causing my phone to malfunction that day.  ;)

So I had some renewed motivation.  I jumped back in after a couple days of rest and I cleaned the laundry cart where I keep all my cleaning supplies, I cleaned out the fridge, and even juiced all the oranges from my dad's trees that we came back with (best juice ever!), and prompted by my children partially destroying my guest room looking for a lost toy, I cleaned out underneath the guest bed and in the process found a lost library book that I was about to have to pay for!  Woo!  (ok, I definitely spent more than 15 minutes on that one, but it's all good!)

My husband was inspired by this as well, and for the past three days has taken his phone, with timer set, out into the garage and worked real hard and then stopped when it beeped.  It's in a mild state of disarray at the moment, but he has been quite impressed by how much he has been able to get done in just 15 minute intervals.  He's on board to continue.

In the book, the author challenges readers to take a 30 day challenge, and make a list of one task to tackle for 15 minutes each day for 30 days (at which point, in theory, it should be a habit that you continue).  I fully intend to do this, and I've gotten a few days under my belt already.  But listing out 30 days worth at a time is a bit overwhelming for me, so I have decided that I am going to make it my habit that on Sundays when I am deciding my menu for the week, I am also going to walk around the house and make a list of the 7 most pressing things that need my attention, and I will tackle those things that week.  I've already got my list made out for this week, and can't wait to get started on it!

Now, being the frugal person that I am, I had downloaded this book one day when it was offered for FREE.  I wanted to tell you all about it so that you could all go download it for free, too.  Sadly, when I went back to Amazon, it no longer is at the moment (but $2.99 isn't bad!)  However, in the book, the author shared her blog address, and for whatever reason (it isn't really in my nature, but that day I just felt like I should), I went over to that web address and found the contact form, and I sent her a nice email telling her this story, and told her I was interested in posting about her book, and asked if she would be willing to allow me to host a giveaway.

She was super nice, and wrote back right away saying that she would be happy to allow me to give 3 copies away.  The book is currently only available in Kindle format, so the winners will have to have an Amazon account and a Kindle/free Kindle app (which are available on just about any smartphone/computer you might have).

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.  Please only enter if you have an Amazon account and a way to read a Kindle book!  Winners will receive the book using the "Give as gift" option from myself, so please make sure that the email address that you enter with is the one your Amazon account is connected to so that I may send you your prize!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Jane Ritz January 19, 2013 at 7:38 PM  

Thanks for the giveaway!

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