iLove

I am in love. I knew I would be. I waited patiently for over a year, spending money on the responsible things like bills, work clothes, and tires for Smurfette. And then I was tired of waiting. I needed to treat myself, just like Donna and Tom on Parks and Rec

So I did it. I finally bought myself an iPad! I don’t consider myself to be materialistic. This is the most excited I have been about buying something in a long time. Concert tickets are probably the next closest thing I have been excited about throwing cash at.

I was practical with my timing, as Target was running a fabulous sale when I purchased. Since I purchased my new toy only four days before Election Day and had lots of tasks on my list that didn’t include the iPad, it has taken me a little bit of time to fully come to realize how much I use this thing.

There’s something about not having to open a contraption or wait for the laptop to turn on that makes this machine so much more approachable. I used to come home at night and justify not doing work because I didn’t want to fire up the HP Mini. We are probably talking about a whole three minutes, yet that is a three minute window when I can lose my ambition.

I knew I would love the iPad. During the past year, I listened and watched while iPad users made the case for it. So many people who know me said I would love it.

Today I discovered Evernote. Wow. My quest to go paperless is easier than I ever thought it would be! To me, less clutter is less distraction. I am always busy with one project or another, and Evernote makes me feel like I really can do it all seamlessly.

Each day I gradually transition from my old way of completing tasks and storing information with the netbook, flash drives, battered up folders, and scraps of paper into a new world of cool apps and the cloud. This is a major technological step, my generation’s telephone.

The organizing fool in me loves it!

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Must Allow for a Little Messiness

‘Tis the season for a lot of things – especially messiness.  For this Type A gal, the messiness drives me a bit crazy.  What to do?  Embrace it!  After all, life itself is a bit messy at times.

Disclaimer: This is not a free pass to let your dishes pile up disgustingly high or bathe only once a week.

I have a tough time resting if even one thing is out of place, but I must let some of it go.  Some tidying up is good, but I tend to take it to a new level of organization.  Guidelines are a must.

Take 15 minutes per day to just pick up.  Put things away, or at the very least, in piles.  Immediately toss trash.  Then, when you have free time after the holidays, tackle one area of the house/apartment at a time.  I typically start with my home office, since lots of clutter gravitates there.

Floors need to be clutter free but during busy times, mopping them regularly can be optional.  When vacuuming, hit the highlights and come back to the nooks and crannies later.  Dusting is unnecessary.  If you must, swiffer the most visible areas or just blow the dust off.  The one non-negotiable area to clean is the bathroom.  Just clean it.  Use Clorox wipes (may be purchased at my favorite store, Target!) and the strong toilet cleaner and call it good.  Clean, but no sweat required.

Next, the on-the-go busyness: We could double the day to 48 hours, and I still wouldn’t have enough time to do everything.  And I don’t even have kids!  Remind yourself that being busy is a good thing.  I’d rather be busy than bored.  Of course, less busy is desirable.  During this time of the year, being less busy is often not optional.  Accept that you are only one person, prioritize, and hang on tight.

Be smart with your time.  Use a checklist.  Knock out a few errands on your way out to shop.  Select your holiday recipes during commercials while watching The Office (yes, watching this show IS a priority).  Ditto with wrapping.  And the recipes and wrapping need not be Martha Stewart quality.  It’s also resourceful to let the stores wrap for you, as well as cook for you.  Have fun, but don’t stress yourself out with being perfect.

It’s OK if you are gone all of the time and the house is a semi-disaster area.  Just block out a little bit of time once a week to clean the main areas.  It’s better to have a messy house and lots of friends than to have a sparkling clean house and no friends.  The two don’t have to be mutually exclusive, but if a choice must be made, choose the fun and socializing over the need to clean.

Finally, enjoy the moment.  Stop thinking so much about tomorrow and the next day and your to do list.  Listen to the people around you, drink a glass of wine, and RELAX.  As Lexi, my former roomie for 3+ years, used to remind me, “What cannot be done today can usually be done tomorrow.”