I would love to tell you that I’m organized. I would love to tell you that the clothes in my closet are color coded and all of my “Tupperware” is categorized by size and color. I would love to tell you that my computer files are neatly put into folders and I don’t have a million tabs open in my browser bar. But I can’t. And we’ll save the discussion of my email and photo hoarding tendencies for another day called “never”.
Generally speaking, I know where everything is and, honestly, my house is fairly tidy and the toilets are usually clean. I may not be super organized but I cannot tolerate clutter or grime. Not for long anyway.
I love planners. I love calendars. I adore notebooks and journals. I love the way it makes me feel to peruse the rows of gorgeous notebooks and journals at the bookstore. They’re like a breath of life-giving air which promises the fulfillment of beautiful dreams for my days ahead. I love seeing the white space and imagining the thought of me neatly filling in those spaces with my “to do” lists and appointments and checking the boxes as they are done; with my colorful pens, of course. But guess what? I don’t use them. I start out using them I quickly get behind and throw in the towel. They sit beautifully on my desk portraying the façade of organization and structure.
As I thought about joining up in the #FridayFive link up with the theme of “organization”, I knew I wanted to but wasn’t sure how I would contribute given the fact that I’m really not all that organized. I mean, I am organized in my head but this sort of scares me since I’m almost “half a hunert” (as our friend Dan likes to say) and I know the brain will fail me probably sooner than later.
With the hope of encouraging someone else out there who is like me, I’m listing five things that help me as I attempt to organize my life. These are organizational tools that I keep in my toolbox that I actually use every day.
Without coffee, my day has no hope. Okay, that’s a bit melodramatic. But seriously, some days I am only motivated to get out of bed because I know coffee awaits. I almost always feel productive and somewhat orderly when coffee is nearby.
I moan when it’s time for an update. I break into a cold sweat wondering if my notes will all disappear. I use my notes every day, multiple time per day. If you see me at dinner or in church with my phone out I might be texting or checking Facebook but I also might be making a list or taking notes about the sermon, so don’t judge.
We started a family calendar years ago, October 2007 to be exact, when our son kept saying, “Nobody ever tells me anything!” haha! We put everything on this calendar and can check it or add to it from anywhere in the world. I have it synced to my iPhone calendar so I can add to it when I’m out. I never book anything or commit to anything until I can check this calendar. I could not function without our google calendar. I’m not exaggerating.
In one of our homes we had TWO drawers in our kitchen. Who builds a kitchen with only two drawers??? If we ever build a house I want a wall of drawers. When we move anywhere, the first drawer claimed is the junk drawer. It’s not organized, because junk doesn’t have to be organized, but it’s where I can find most anything I need. A pen, a rubber band, a receipt I kept for some reason or another, a pair of scissors, a sharpie, a coupon, you name it. If I don’t know where to put something it goes in the junk drawer. Messy on the inside but neatly closed up and looking all tidy from the outside. Hmmm… I bet those who know me are thinking that sounds a bit like me. After the junk drawer is officially dedicated, I quickly assign a logical purpose to all drawers in our house. I think I could tell you what’s in every drawer and t’s placement. My family can’t, obviously, because they constantly ask me where things are. I don’t think that’s my issue, though.
The Holy Spirit
This… Him… the Holy Spirit. I count on Him to remind me of things that are important. Things that I may not have on my lists or things that I would not have even thought to add to my list. He’ll prompt me to send a card to someone or remind me of an important birthday that I almost forgot. He might prompt me to spend time with someone who needs encouragement over accomplishing everything on my “to do” list. He ever-faithfully reminds me that people are more important than productivity. The Holy Spirit is by far the most important tool in my toolbox and I lean on Him daily.
I’ve spent years trying to convince myself that I was organized and it’s proven to be wishful thinking. I want to be. I try to be. People may even think that I am. And maybe sometimes I actually am but from necessity and not by nature. My self-diagnosed ADD shines brighter. Whether you truly are organized or whether being organized is wishful thinking for you too, what are your mainstay tools for organizing your life? I’d love to know!
Please share in the comments here or on the EPFH Facebook page if that’s easier for you.
My friend, Kelly Smith, at Mrs. Disciple, hosts a Friday link up and the theme for this go ’round is “Let’s Get Organized!”. I’m linking this post up with hers and a variety of other great posts along the same theme. I hope you’ll jump over there and find something that enlightens and encourages you.
I always LOVE your story of life. When I am down I just go here and read your stories and I puts a smile on my face. Thank you for that. Keep up the amazing job you doing putting smiles on people faces. Love you hope to vistit you one day.
Thank you, Lori. Your words are kind and I’m thankful you find smiles here. That makes me happy. I do hope you’ll be able to come visit!
I had a friend many years ago who told me that her home may not always be squeaky clean but it was always tidy. She was a working Mum and felt that if her house was tidy it just sort of felt clean and organised too, even though there were dust mites hiding here and there and drawers in disarray.
I’ve been tidy every since…. haaaaa!
I bought a lovely diary over a year ago in Muji, Japan. I think I used it for about 3 months and went back to the calendar on my iPhone. I too hate the ‘updates’, in fear I might lose my precious notes.
We also had a junk drawer when I was a kid and you went to it for just about everything. It was often tangled up with bits of wool and elastic bands. A total mess but we loved it.
The Holy Spirit????? Totally agree. If you count on Him and take a moment to listen to Him, you absolutely can’t go wrong.
Thanks for the post, Andrea. Love it x
Squeaky clean is SO overrated. 🙂 I learned long ago, in the school of hard knocks, that life is too precious and time is too short for squeaky clean. Not that I don’t like it, it’s just not how is best for me to spend my resources. Give me tidy with a sweet babe in my arms and I’m a happy camper.
I cracked up when I read “Coffee”!
I saw the prompt for Organized and told myself I had nothing to write about! LOL You have been quite creative here, and now I see that I could have written a post after all if I had had a good idea like this one.
For me, I think the Holy Spirit is my organization also. I totally get this! 🙂 Dwelling in Him means moving where He moves us and when He moves us.
You should still write one and link up! The link up is open for a couple of weeks.
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I couldn’t write one, Andrea; yours almost fits me to a T. You already did a wonderful job. I could never improve on it! 🙂
Andrea, I love your funny, vulnerable stories. I too have a stash of wonderful organizing tools that sit unused…how ironic! Best quote: He ever-faithfully reminds me that people are more important than productivity. Glad to be your neighbor this week at #fridayfive!
The feature image is actually what sits on my desk at this very moment. 🙂 God spoke “people over productivity” to me several years ago when, in a busy time during our first overseas move, He tenderly offered me a vision of how being so caught up in all of our tasks was causing me to neglect my children and those I love. I won’t have them forever. The other stuff can wait. Thanks for stopping by! I always enjoy being your neighbor.
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I absolutely agree with the question- who builds a kitchen with 2 drawers!!! Mine only has two too! LOL! 😂 I enjoyed your post! I just started using google calendar and love it!
What??!! Inconceivable! I love that you can have additional calendars on google as well and only show what you want. I have a personal one, too, so that I don’t clutter up our family one with little reminders to myself. I also LOVE the reminder feature. Google calendar is really a lifeline for me. Thanks for stopping by! It’s always nice to have new friends over.
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Love, love, love this!!! I can so relate to the kitchen with two drawers!! We had a kitchen like that! We had to refurbish an old dresser to store our kitchen things in! LOL!!!
I cannot believe there are more kitchens out there with only 2 drawers!I bet your old dresser was a nice addition, though. Thanks for stopping by! Come back anytime.
is a HS juke kinda like a Jesus juke? 😛
our home was meant to be a rental cabin, so there is little to no storage space. we’ve added it as best we could. but its difficult!! i couldn’t cope with only 2 drawers.
“Junk doesn’t have to be organized.” So much freedom in that statement! But I think my favorite is this: “people are more important than productivity.” I can get hyper-focused on getting organized and neglect relationships. People trump paper every time! Thanks for linking up! This #FridayFive wouldn’t be complete without your voice.
I love your #FridayFive link ups, Kelly! They’re the most consistent posts on my site. 🙂 Thanks for always being such a gracious and generous host.