How I Organized My Life

So sometimes, I don't know what I did before I had my team facebook group. Seriously. haha! We are like a little family and talk about everything under the sun, and so a little over a month ago, I was going absolutely crazy and I wrote this message in the group: 

DRAMATIC MUCH KATIE?! hahah! I was just having one of those days where my house was a mess and I was like AH! I've always always been one of those people that loves a clean house or room growing up but like I'll clean it, next day back to normal and it's like I never keep it up... UNTIL THIS MONTH! 

The girls gave a lot of really great advice and I wanted to share that with you guys. There are a few apps that they mentioned so I'll go ahead and throw those out to you but I actually have not used all of the apps. I'm more of a paper writing person no matter how much the rest of the world moves to computers. 

  • Evernote 
  • Wunderlist 
  • Mint (budgeting app) 
  • Grocery IQ 
  • Google Sheets 

Ok, so the first step in all of this is that you have to originally take some time up front to set yourself up for success. Organization is not just going to happen just by deciding that it will is what I've found. You have to have a plan in action. Someone in the group stated something to me that honestly hit home and made me feel guilty. I had made a status like 9 years ago to someone that I wished I could be as disciplined as them and be a runner, and now here I am. The same goes for organization. If you want to be organized...like truly want it..then you'll figure it out. Wow. Conviction and so true. And I did want it last month! 

I sat down and cleaned up my life. I deleted all apps/notes/pictures off of my phone that I don't need. I cleaned out my purse and my bags that I take to the pharmacy/bookbags different places. I cleaned out my desk that I work on with all the papers piled high. I deep cleaned my kitchen and my office and my upstairs bedroom. I did all laundry. I cleaned out my Google drive. I cleaned out my closet (my family had a yard sale coming up so perfect timing). This took like an entire Saturday and IT.FELT.AMAZING. I was like I CAN BREATHE. 

I made lists. Again, I will state that I did all of this up front because you HAVE to get organized before you can continue to be organized. I made lists with priorities highest to lowest. Did I really did to scrub the baseboards of my hardwood floors? NO. That leads me to the delegation list. Time is money. What can I pay someone else to do that would take me hours? Uhhh...my baseboards. It's not that I was even concerned about that in the slightest, but it gets the point across that there was a list made with the things that I could pay someone to do instead of trying to do everything myself. 

I also pruned other stressors. I really had to have a come to Jesus with myself about creating boundaries in my life. Like it had to happen. I was literally having mental breakdowns and I just can't do it all. I have learned my lesson on a lot of things that I can and cannot do and that there is only so much time in the day and I'm so thankful for those awakenings that were really tough to recognize, but have been really good for my mental health.

The one app that I did start using was Google sheets. I created folders for all of my running clients and then I have a calendar that my mom and I both can add stuff to so that if something for the family comes up, she can add to this. The google sheets app is so user friendly and I can go in and update information for my running clients super easy peasy from my phone if needed. I like to do most everything from my computer, but it helps if I'm on the go and one of them texts me/emails me with a question. 

I do also like Grocery IQ. You are able to put the groceries into your phone and it calculates how much the bill is going to be. I categorized all the apps on my phone into folders as well. 

Here's the biggest piece of advice that I got from someone who actually emailed me because she didn't want to sound like she was being rude, but she stated that it's just something that every single moment of every single day, you just have to do it THAT second. If there's a sock on the floor, you pick it up. If there's a counter to be cleaned, you clean it. If there's a load of laundry to be done, you do it. Nothing piles up. You never feel overwhelmed. So, I started following that advice. My car NEVER has trash left in it. I get it out every single time I get out of it. If a bill comes in the mail, I pay it. I know a lot of people do autopay and we do for most stuff, but for some reason we just haven't set it up for others (so that's another thing that I'll add to my list now). Literally, the second that Tanner and I get out of the bed in the morning, we both fold the sheets back now and make it up. 

I also have my North Face bag that I keep all of my workout stuff organized for swimming/biking/GoPro/etc.

I also have my North Face bag that I keep all of my workout stuff organized for swimming/biking/GoPro/etc.

Every single Sunday, I run my car through this $3 car wash in our hometown, and I got a hand held vacuum so that I can run over the stairs/corners because we have hard wood floors and dust bunnies are REAL. I know it sounds like I'm being psychotic, but there are A LOT of things in this life that we have to take care of. It never EVER ends, and unless you stay on top of it, it will drown you. Once you are drowning, it's really hard to get out of and like I said will take you days to really get things in place again. Just like I tell people with macros is that it takes TIME in the beginning but then it's easy. That's how this is. It's also just like a diet program in that you have to be committed. You have to make yourself do everything in that moment. I know that it seems like it would cause so much of a time suck but it actually ends up creating more time and more space. 

Every single Sunday I sit down and write out what meals that I'm going to make for that week. With us being super relaxed about that stuff and not having kids, we kinda have committed to 3-4 dinners per week together me cooking and one of them is always a crockpot meal. I just plan those out before going to Walmart so I have all the stuff when I go to get our normal stuff. At the same time that I do this, I also write out my workouts for the week. That is something that I will not compromise right now with the ironman so I know that I have to have a plan in action and work that around whatever else we have going on. It's all written out with meetings and deadlines for blogging projects, seminars, collaborations, clients, etc. I don't want to miss anything because there is so much swirling in our heads so it has to go on paper. 

Another HUGE piece of advice that I realized myself is that I have to be PRESENT in the moment. I'm constantly like doing crap on my phone, losing my keys, blah blah blah and it always just ends up being more stress added onto my plate. If I have a place for my keys, and a place for everything then things don't get lost. I've not lost my keys once since I started this. This might sound like none of you but I bet if I spent 20 minutes per week searching for keys. That's 20 minutes I can be reading a book now. Maybe that's an exaggeration, but when you get it done...it's done. You can sit down at night with no worries about all the things that you need to clean and do because it's done. 

Typically I run a load of laundry every few days because of how much we work out and especially with the way that the heat is right now. I do dishes every 2 days even if it's not completely full. If we eat something, I immediately put it in dishwasher. No sink dishes-they just don't go there. They go directly into the washer now. I wrote out the days that I would wash our sheets (which I do every month). I went ahead and wrote the day in my planner (wash sheets today) and it takes two seconds. You know I don't have kids, so I'm sure some of this is laughable on the time clock that y'all run but it's the same mindset shift.

We create habits and conditional responses and if you can create the response of that everything has a place and that you are "bothered" by it if it's not in it's place then you can keep it up. I saw something somewhere about fighting food addiction and that person said that in order to put the oreos down, she had to convince herself she was disgusted by oreos (even if that's not really true). I have to be disgusted by the pile of mail. I have to be disgusted with dishes in the sink. Again, this sounds extreme but sometimes it takes extremes to illicit change until it becomes more habitual. 

It creates space in your brain to be more present with family. When meals are planned, I actually sit down with Tanner to have them (that used to never happen sadly enough). It's the little things that add up. When I'm done with an app on my phone, I swipe it off. It helps me save time and it helps me save money. I have lots more planned to get more organized and it feels so good.

What are your favorite organizational tools?

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