52 Weeks of C.H.a.O.S. {An Introduction}

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C.H.a.O.S. = Complete Home Overhaul System

For the born disorganized

This is a year-long weekly series that runs every Sunday. If you’d like an email reminder of the next installment in the series, please click the button above. If you’re new to this series, click on the C.H.a.O.S. tab to start at the beginning.

Man. Does my home need an overhaul. A makeover. Maybe even a do-over. We moved to Reno three years ago with what we could fit in our minivan. It took two whole years for us to get the things we’d stored in our old town and truck it home. As you can imagine, I’d already replaced just about everything necessary to run a house. So now our garage is filled to the roof with all of that stored stuff. Our house is packed, too. I struggle with time management, which isn’t great when you have THREE work-at-home jobs that all require organization, creative energy, and time.

Chaos is right. The only thing that keeps things running even half-way smoothly around here is that my husband has a low tolerance for chaos and really enjoys cleaning. (I mean it. He does. So weird.) That leads to interior chaos for me though, because the man works two jobs and it isn’t fair for him to do the lion’s share of the housework, too, just because he will. Not even just because he’s better at it than me.

I tell you that story to let you know that I am, most definitely, NOT one of those people who was born with an organization gene. I can barely organize myself to drive to the grocery store without having to make three U-turns. I personally happen to have a high tolerance for chaos of the non-acronym variety. I have eight younger sisters and brothers. I was raised with a pretty high baseline of chaos. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does make it easy for me to accept less than ideal conditions at home and in my work space.

Here’s something else, though. Having that kind of tolerance and exposure to chaos, plus having a career that’s all about the wait and raising a kid with autism has given me decades of practice with:

I know the temptation of the short game. Everyone wants to do everything in thirty days! There’s a whole national phenomenon surrounding writing an entire novel in 30 days. Every time the seasons change, I see ‘get organized in 30 days’ (for the New Year, for spring cleaning, for the summer, before school starts . . . ) posts popping up all over the place. I fall victim sometimes, and sometimes it has decent results. I wrote the first draft of my first novel during Nanowrimo in 2004. I once followed Fly Lady’s program to a tee for an entire month and had the place immaculate. For a few minutes, anyway.

But here’s the thing. I spent two full years revising that first novel and eight years learning how to write a book that didn’t need two years of revision.

I have this theory. It’s fine to do something quickly, but real habits, real change, real growth don’t happen overnight. So you might get your house organized in 30 days, but what is it going to look like in 60 days? Or even the very next day.

This series will consist of 52 weekly posts, starting next Sunday,  designed to help you (and me, I’m doing this with you!) get organized, make good habits that stick, maybe break a few bad habits. We aren’t getting rid of chaos altogether, we’re just learning how to keep it under control. We’re going to show it who’s boss!

Some of the topics we’re going to cover over the course of the year are:

Building a binder organizing system that actually works and is intuitive and easy to use

Decluttering and organizing our homes, room by room

Tackling storage areas, like garages, storage units, sheds, etc.

Organizing our work spaces

Organizing our kids, and helping them build habits that will serve them well as they grow up

Getting our financial lives in order (See the Going Home series for more on this one, though)

Organizing our time

Getting a handle on meal planning

Making holidays completely hassle-free

Building time into our lives for self-care

Can you see why we need a whole year? Wow.

Each week, you’ll get a post that describes what we’re going to tackle in the upcoming week. My goal is to make this an organic, flowing process, where each week’s work slides neatly into the next. We’ll start with building up that binder I talked about. You’ll get lots of printables and instructions on setting the thing up and how to use it. And a weekly action plan so you know exactly what to do during the upcoming week.

I’m pretty excited! See you next week for a post about seven simple habits that are going to change your life. Don’t forget, if you’d like an email reminder of the next C.H.a.O.S. post, click here.

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Come on over and download it.

The Home Planner is a completely different kind of planner--an accountability partner, a personal assistant, and a goal keeper all in one.