Notions: Getting Your Life Together

Clear the clutter and get your schedule in order for back to school.

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Today is the first Monday of school, though the girl went back on Thursday. It feels like a new year in a way to me, too, since I was basically not working for almost three weeks while she was out of school.

There are a lot of things I want to change about how I work, what I’m working on, where my time goes and how my house looks now that I have my days to myself again, so I thought I would share some of the things I’ve been reading in that arena in case you’re feeling like some fall cleaning/schedule changing/getting your life together as well. Clear the clutter and get your schedule in order for back to school.

(I’m also reading Dan Harris’ 10 % Happier right now, so it’s possible meditation will go back on my schedule soon. It’s a fun book from a journalism nerd standpoint and as a person who has dabbled in meditation without the philosophy.)

One of my major projects for the year was supposed to be deculttering. My word for the year is simplify, and while I haven’t made nearly as much progress as I’d hoped by now, I have gotten back into it now that the girl is back in school. I’ve been working in her room, the kitchen and my office, first just getting things back to a manageable state, then removing some of the excess, reorganizing, etc.

I really loved this piece on Becoming Minimalist about 10 decluttering principles. It’s written by someone who has decluttered at least one item a day for more than three years. That’s thousands of items gone from their home. I could easily do that, and you probably could, too.

I like the reminder that you don’t have to do it all at once (even though I kind of want to) and that you need to have a plan and a process in place for what’s going to happen to the things you want to get rid of. My donation bags get full and then I procrastinate on taking them because I’m sure there’s more stuff. I just need to take it anyway and get it out of the house.

Another good read on the subject is from SheKnows, and while the tips won’t all instantly reduce clutter as the title says, they are good guiding notions. I’ve heard it before, but I like the idea of not picking something up unless you know what you’re going to do with it. I have a tendency to move things around, pile things up to be dealt with later, and while sometimes that’s necessary (I want all the girl’s art to be in one place before I decide what to keep, for example) it usually isn’t.

Because I work from home, my schedule is my own to keep, which sounds super freeing — and it is — but it’s disheartening when you realize that you’re completely in control and you’re still not getting everything done that you would like. This article on Freelancer’s Union is a great reminder that setting a schedule is the best way to get work-life balance (or something more like it, anyway) and that you probably really do have time to get everything done you would like to do in a day if you just set timelines for yourself.

I’m working on it. Always. But I know my days feel better and more productive when I have a plan and stick to it as best I can.

What have you been reading? Any productivity or decluttering tips for me? I’d love to hear them!

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