The Thief

Time is a thief and I have allowed myself to be its favorite victim.  Has anyone discovered how to successfully tame time?

To-Do List Failure

I have found that making “to-do” lists have been helpful but I have experienced failure in completing the to-do list because more times that not time claims the victory as time runs out before I am able to get to the bottom of the list (even when I add a buffer of time to complete the list).  Time is able to chew up the estimated time to complete a task and the buffer of time built in “just in case” the estimated time is too short. That is failure at a whole new level.

Time Blocking

I am going to try a new weapon that I am going to add to my time-slashing arsenal.  It may not be a new concept but it is new to me.  It is called “time-blocking” and it is the reverse of a to-do list.  Instead of making a list and estimating the time it takes to complete a task, the time blocking method blocks a certain amount of time to get the task completed and organizes my day in a series of time slots.

Productive Times

With the time-blocking method, I identify parts of my day when I am very productive and times of the day that just aren’t productive for me.  I am a morning person so I start out strong and can get a lot done in the morning but as the day goes on my giddy-up gets-gone.  So hopefully the time-blocking method will allow me to slot some time in the morning for tasks and maybe I can get more time at the end of the day for me.


The concept of time-blocking promotes focus on the task and completing a task within the slotted time instead of just completing a task so that I move on to the next task.

So this looks good in theory; who thinks it will be successful?

Sugar and Spice Alphabetized is Nice

Today a slayed a monster.  I completed the dreaded task of organizing the spice cabinet. I have two full shelves of spices and I am certain that is more spices than the average home.

This task was enlightening because I realized that being unorganized was part of the problem that caused the cabinet to be more crowded.  I found four bottles of cloves and because the bottles are so small I couldn’t find them in my overcrowded  unorganized cabinet so I would buy more cloves.

I wrote a little poem to describe my adventure in slaying the monster.  I hope you like it.

The spice cabinet below is crowded and scattered
It needed to be organized just because it mattered

The spices were pulled from the cabinet in droves
Why in the world are there four bottles of cloves?

The scent of cinnamon sweetly filled the air
As each jar and bottle was sorted with care

A B C D the alphabetizing had begun
starting with Allspice; ending with Tarragon

Some spices were old and thrown into the trash
Others were brand new and will save me some cash

With the task complete it feels so divine
I deserve to open that bottle of wine


Kitchen Kick

My inspiration for the kitchen, like everything else, is taken from somewhere else.  This time I am using my sister’s kitchen with its neat uncluttered drawers and its spacious cabinets.

I don’t have spacious cabinets in my kitchen but I can make the inside of my cabinets look spacious by limiting the items in them.

Let’s take it from the top — the top cabinets were my first target.  They are also the least overcrowded except for one cabinet where the cans that have been in the cabinet so long they are leaving rust rings on the shelf.

Closing my eyes and mentally putting on my “get it done” self, I began to pull out anything I no longer needed or would use until the contents in the cabinet were no longer touching.  I organized the remaining “deemed worthy to stay” items into like categories and it is good.

I will be decluttering the countertops and drawers together but that will have to wait for another day because my hour is up.

Does anyone have a trick to keeping the cabinets looking this nice and not going back into its clutter stage again?

The Closet

Nothing exciting to report on the bedroom closet organization.  I have done it before and it requires few decisions and can be completed by answering questions:

  1. What is this article of clothing?
  2. Have I worn it in the past year?  If no, skip to final question 5 below.
  3. If yes, then will I wear it again?  If no, skip to final question 5 below.
  4. If yes, put it back on the rod and skip question 5; your done with that piece.
  5. If no, is the condition good enough for someone else to wear or should it be thrown away? Place item in the appropriate chosen pile (donate or throw away); your done with that piece.

Mentally putting on my “Get It Done” self, I did the five steps above for each article hanging in the closet.  I kept a vision in my head on how I wanted the closet to look when the job was done.

My vision was taken from a magazine picture where the clothes in the picture were hanging freely and not crammed in between other clothes and sticking out in every direction.  The magazine pictures had the clothes categorized by type (shirts, slacks, suit coats, etc.) and organized by color (dark to light).

Mission accomplished and I did not even use the full hour I allotted for the job.  I was pleased with the results and boxed up the items for donation and stuffed the ragged clothes into a garbage bag and out they went.

The box of donated clothes were placed in the trunk of my car and will remain there until I know for certain that my “Get It Done” self was not overly zealous and decided to donate clothes that were still loved more than anticipated.

I will drive around with the donation box in the trunk of my car for one month and then it goes to the donation center.

Moving on to the dresser and night stand with my vision for how each will look when I am done.

Once the bedroom is finished, do I dare move on to the kitchen?!  That would mean . . . gulp! . . . I will have to organize/alphabetize the spices!


So I am moving on to my next adventure which is to Minimize My Mess (that will be referred to from now on as MMM).  I am aware that having clutter has cost me time which is something that I don’t have enough of.  In order to gain time I will have to give up some time to get rid of the clutter.

This is going to be a monumental task so I am going to follow that old expression — “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”  So here is the plan:

  • The house will be broken down by rooms
    • Each room will be broken down by zones (drawers, shelves, closets, upper areas/lower areas, cabinets, dressers, etc.).
    • The smaller the zone the better because time needs to be limited to one hour from start to finish at the most.
  • Before starting to MMM I need to have a vision on how I want it to look when I am done. How much space to I want have left and how minimum do I want the space to look.
  • When I begin to MMM I need to have the right mind set so I have to find my “get it done” personality.  The part of me that is “no nonsense” with strong decision skills.
  • At the end of my MMM I will have excess clutter that I will need to dispose of so the excess will be divided into sell, donate and toss categories and I will post the sell items on a website and if it does not sell in one month it gets transferred to the donate or toss category.

I like the plan.  It is short and I think it has the tools I need to be successful.  My tools include a target (zones); a timing goal (one hour per zone); vision; mindset; and an end game.

I will start small with a zone that will not overwhelm me from the beginning and I know I will gain speed/strength as I get energy from seeing how nice it is to be without clutter.

The first zone is my bedroom closet because I have done this area before and know that I will only have donate and toss decisions on this one.

Here I go!