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Organizing Needs hints and tips on organizing your house? Are you a clutterbug or do you pile things instead of filing things? Help out where you have succeeded or ask for help from this great group of friends!

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Old 08-17-2004, 06:29 AM
justEricka's Avatar
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shocking help i need to get organized....

ok i really need to get organized. i have a palm piloit i use for playingaround..and i dont know what to use to keep myself orgainzed well.

what i do have..a calender with every appt written in it. in my purse.
thats all.

i want to have a whole system..you knw..bill tracking...calender...lists..the works..
i loose bills, forget to do tihngs...cant find lists i make....im making myself crazy

anyone got any ideas??? im sooo lost.

thanks
ericka
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Old 08-17-2004, 06:50 AM
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Have you ever tried Flylady??

I too use to have the problem of losing bills. I now try to follow Flylady, not to a tee. But, as per her request....

I now have a three ring binder with just about everything in it. I have two pencil holders that have the holes to be held in the binder. All my bills get put in the one pencil holder and envelopes, stampe address labels and yes credit cards, go in the other pencil holder.

I also have important phone #'s in there. And of course my cleaning schedule, which has not been being followed since the kids are home. I can't wait for them to go back.

Good luck, let us know what ends up working for you!!

I have an 11th grader, a 10th grader a 4th grader and a preschooler, this is my first year to send them all off, and I am not pregnant!!!
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Old 08-18-2004, 01:13 PM
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I use the Microsoft Works calendar. It came with my computer. You enter holidays, b-days, appointments, etc. You tell it if it is a one-time thing, or monthly or yearly. You can enter bills to be paid and things to do. If you enter which day of the month to pay a certain bill, you have the option to have that pop up on that day every month. It takes a little while to enter everything in, but then it pretty much runs itself, and tells me what to do
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Old 08-18-2004, 03:17 PM
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Joesbaby -

Do you have Adult ADD?? I do, and it seems to thwart nearly every kind of organizational method I have tried ot use.

Flylady is a wonderful suggestion - especially for reducing clutter around you and maintaining a household maintenance schedule. But what you are talking about goes beyond what Flylady offers. She has added a new feature, however, called Controlling the Chaos at Your Desk that may help some.

What I *think* you are describing is a system that you can maintain easily, with little maintenance, and can find when you need it.

Your computer may be your answer, OR you may need some other system. You will have to futz around with several systems before you come up with an answer.

I use my PalmPilot - it is the "other" side of my brain - my **whole life** is in it. I keep it synchronized with it's desktop on my computer, and I fixed it so it comes up first thing when I turn on my computer. I use the ToDo list feature, and the calendar feature to keep me "up" on when things are due. For instance, I have "pay bills" set to come up the first Saturday of each month. I have all my bills listed in a Memo, labeled "Bills" - so that "tickles" me to get "with it" on that particular Saturday each month.

I record **each** appointment, and use the Expense feature to keep track of my business mileage and expenses.

Here are some places on the web that may be helpful to you:

Getting Organized Saves Time

Budget Stretcher

Get Organized Now!

Organized Home

The DebtSmart website has an article titled: 9 Steps to Get Organized for Financial Success

Simplify Your Financial Life is pretty good, too.

But all of these resources assume you **already** have a basic structure. Without the structure, you won't be able make any system work.

It may even take a full Flylady "makeover" of the rest of your life to get your current crisis managed! Remember, "baby steps!" You have to spend about 27 days to develop a new habit. And for those of us who are basically disorganized, we need every bit of those 27 days and about 27 more to develop a habit and start keeping up with it!

I hope this helps a little. Good luck!

Cheerio!
Elizabeth
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Old 08-18-2004, 04:22 PM
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ewriggs,, You know im beginning to think i have Adult ADD i cant not focus on anything and im so unorganized and just cant seem to get there even when i try to just set down and read i just cant focus on the task im doing
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Old 08-18-2004, 05:13 PM
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Talk to your doctor about it. There are some great medications - if you *need* them.

For me, I have become well-compensated over the years without knowing I had it! I've been ADD all my life.

I function best in a *slightly* cluttered environment. If something isn't "in my face" I forget it's around or needs to be done. That's why I keep my calendar and have it pop-up the minute I turn on my computer every morning. that way I know exactly what I need to do. If I put away my current projects, I may not get back to them until they are past due because I won't think of them.

I'm the original "pack rat" - I see "something shiny" in the living room, pick it up and trek toward the kitchen to put it away. On the way, I notice "something shiny" in the dining area, put down the first object and pick up the second object and trek toward the bedroom to put it away. I stop by my office to check e-mail, and put the object down. After checking e-mail and playing a couple of computer games, I get up and go out to the kitchen to make lunch. There I see "something shiny," pick it up and take it with me toward the workshop. On the way, I walk through the family room, and notice one of the GKs left a game out. I put down the current object, start putting away the game, notice the rug needs to be vacuumed, get out the vacuum, notice the floor in the hall needs sweeping, put down the vacuum and get the broom. On the way to the broom I notice the game in the family room and get it picked up - but it doesn't fit on the shelf, so I "jam" it in one way or another, and head to the laundry room - I don't know why, I just go there. I turn around a few times wondering why I went there, and start back through the family room. Notice the vacuum is out, and hook it up, turn it on and start vacuuming. Notice that there are a few marbles and a chess piece on the floor, and turn off the vacuum to pick them up. Can't find the box and board for the chess set, so I drop the chess piece in "a" drawer. Put the marbles in my pocket. It is now noon, we usually eat lunch at 11:15 or 11:30, and the poor ol' curmudgeon plaintively asks me about it. I fix lunch and we eat about 12:30 - not bad, only an hour late - and look around. The living room is not straightened, the family room is a mess, the kitchen is a mess, my office has something in it that belongs in the bedroom, and I've accomplished nada beyond vacuuming a 20 square inch area of the family room and preparing lunch. This is ADD.

My dear ol' curmudgeon is very good about reminding me to do things. The kids think I'm a "space biscuit" (light and flakey). Long ago they told me, "Mom, we'll never know if you develop Alzheimers - you've been spacey all your life!" This is true! I have very little short-term memory and have *never,* not even as a child, been able to remember names (nouns) or descriptors (adjectives, adverbs). Found out, after several botched "memory courses" that this is probably genetic and has to do with whenter you have access to a particular area of your brain - apparently mine has been in hiding all my life!

I am an "organizational hobbiest." As my dear ol' curmudgeon will say, "It's another vain attempt at organization by the Space Biscuit!" The DKs just giggle and nod. They all know. And it *is* amusing. Thank goodness both the ol' curmudgeon, the DKs and the DGKs all have a sense of humor about it! They don't get mad (usually). Just a little exasperated and impatient from time to time, but they quickly get over it, and whatever set them off becomes the latest in a string of "my flake, the Mom" (or "my flake, the Wife") stories to use to regale friends and relatives.

Back to your issues - A lot is dependent upon you. We raised 2 ADHD boys. The oldest still has Adult ADD problems, but holds a good job and supports his family. The youngest has handled it be becoming just short of compulsive in terms of lists and organization. He just woke up one morning and *decided* to get his life together - and did. Graduated 3rd or 4th in his High School, graduated 2nd in his Medic school in the Navy, and graduated in the top 10% from the U of Colorado Denver with a double major (business admin and computer science) and a minor in Asian studies. He's involved with medical logistics for the US govt and has a very responsible position.

So you will have to make decisions and try to stick to them! You will stumble and get side-tracked, but over time, you can get to where you will be able to handle things better and better. Don't ever expect to be perfect! It doesn't happen to anyone! But you can be a success at anything you put your mind and determination to. I've managed to (in order):
get a BSN (nursing)
marry
have 2 kids
get a masters
have a third kid
move three times
go through a divorce
go through bankruptcy
marry again
move several more times
teach in a university
marry off 2 kids
get a PhD
marry off the third kid
manage a complex computer-based Operating Room support system
start and run my own business
Enjoy the 10 grandchildren
enjoy my husband

I still struggle, at well past 60, to deal with my ADD, but I can look back and see that I compensated for it, and I know I will be able to continue compensating for it. It will always be with me, like someone with diabetes will always have that with them, but just as diabetes can be managed, so ADD can be managed. I just have to work a little harder at it than some other people do. But I'm really lucky. I have a husband who adores me - and I adore him right back - I have 3 wonderful children and 10 marvelous grandkids (my reward for not strangling the 3 kids when they were teens!). I'm respected in my career.

So, if you need to, PM me, and I'll be glad to "talk" about ADD issues that are bothering you. Just remember, you CAN do whatever you need to do.

Cheerio!
Elizabeth
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Old 08-18-2004, 05:33 PM
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ADD, either adult or juvenile, is nothing to laugh at, I know, but elizabeth, you've got me cracking up here, lol. So, let me share what I've gleaned from reading my Flylady emails, ok?

Get a timer...either hers, or another one...set it for 15 minutes, and focus on ONE thing for 15 minutes. Do NOT allow yourself to get distracted by the *shiny things.* If you focus on one thing for 15 minutes, at least you most likely have ONE thing DONE...like vacuuming one room. Flylady says you can do anything for 15 minutes, and that odesn't mean you actually have to finish it in 15 minutes. About two months ago, I cleaned my entire kitchen, top to bottom, in 10 minute increments...I can't usually do heavy cleaning for 15 minutes, can't stand up that long comfortably. It took me all day, but, 10 minutes at a time, it got done.

Order the flylady clings...put them everywhere...they'll help remind you to focus. I don't have them, I don't have any of her stuff, but sure would like to.

Erika, get a wall calendar to hang in a very obvious place in your kitchen...again, flylady has a great one, but if you look hard enough, you can find one that will give you the space per day to write down appointments, dates, etc. As soon as someone tells you they have to do such and such on such and such a date, write it on the calendar...right then. Also put it on the calendar you carry in your purse. I even write the bills due, when and how much, on my wall calendar that hangs on the wall next to my kitchen desk. Every night before you go to bed, check the calendar! What do the kids need for the next day? What will you be doing? Lay out the clothes that every one will need...you won't believe how much time that saves.

Ok, the bills. Not knowing how to use computer programs for my bills, I use...and actually prefer...a much, much simpler system. Open the bill the day it arrives. Write the due date and amount on the envelope it came in, and put the bill back in it. Then, write the due day and amount on your wall calendar, too. I have one drawer in my desk that is used for nothing but the bills. I put the bills in the drawer. I keep spare envelopes in the drawer. I keep my stamps in the drawer, and some writing paper, just in case. That's all. Nothing but those few things go in that drawer. Period. Flylady sells an office in a bag...I don't have that, either, but my desk drawer works well. As I pay the bills, I write in a little journal I keep for finances. One page is for my income, one page is for the bills...due date, how much, how much I paid, balance due. Very simple system, and all right there at my fingertips.

Routines. routines. routines. routines. Start small. My morning routine consists of four things: get dressed to the shoes, make the bed, swish the toilet, make sure the kitchen sink is empty and shiny. That's it. Even if nothing else gets done, at least those few things are done, and the house usually doesn't get too bad. Set up routines for the kids...morning, after school, and evening. Check out the flylady site, see if you can't adapt her ways to your life style.

Now I'm going to go check out some of the sites Elizabeth posted. Good luck to ya, Erika!!!
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Old 08-18-2004, 07:32 PM
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you know..i may have add. my 2 dd have adhd. and they are as scatterd as i am. it seems the only things i can concentrate on is a good movie, my horse, or a good book. i may have to check into that.

thanks for all the good ideas. ill try the one about the kitchen wall calender tommrow..maybe that will help some.

have a good day
ericka
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Old 08-21-2004, 11:56 AM
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Ericka, I have a great (FREE) program on my Palm called HandyShopper. You can get it at www.palmgear.com
It is "freeware" and constantly updated. There is an email support list at Yahoo, and the programmer participates in the list.
You can use HandyShopper on your Palm to make grocery lists, to-do lists, packing lists, "Fly Lady" lists....all kinds of things. I have a database in there for the postcard exchange here, where I track the state or country, and have the addresses where I sent a card.

The kitchen calendar I found that helped me the most is called "Mom's Plan-It." It has a line for each person in each day's box, and the boxes are nice and BIG. It also comes with cute stickers which my kids like using.
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Old 08-22-2004, 04:57 AM
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Barnes & Noble is selling the Mom's Plan-It Calendars. They have Mom's Plan-It Pocket Calendar, Mom's Plan-It Engagement Calendar, and Mom's Plan-It Wall Calendar .

The only thing about all these calendars and the Palm Pilot and every other organizing system "out there" is - you hafta DO it! You can list all kinds of things on your calendars, but if you don't follow through, it won't happen.

And for those of us with AADD, that can be a major problem. I, for one, frequently will look at my calendar and say to myself, "Yeah, I'll do that later." Then "later" never comes! It means getting up off my duff and actually DOING it! - whatever "it" is at that moment!

So make a contract with yourself - and renew it every day - or even every hour, if necessary - that when you check your calendar and see something that you need to do that day, you will DOIT right then - not procrastinate.

Cheerio!
Elizabeth
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