Cleaning & Organizing

Digital Organization: Phone

Digital Organization: Phone

Digital Organization: Phone

It is a new year and a fresh start. So, why hold onto things.  We all need a new beginning from time to time.  To me, organizing is freeing.  So, as I purge/donate/organize my life, I will let you know what I’m doing. Maybe it will inspire you. So let’s begin with Digital Organization: Phone.

My phone is NOT my lifeline.

I try not to carry it into places with me, and I don’t obsessively scroll for hours. It has been becoming more and more apparent how addicted we all are to our cell phones. It is sad.

I sit in places and look around. Everyone has their nose in their phones. Scrolling, endlessly.  People are always comparing themselves to others.  They do this because, in the little squares of life, everything seems perfect. Therefore, we fall into the trap of never being enough.

In Christ, you are enough.

Text Messages

The first thing I do is work on my text messages. How many times do you see a text and think you have responded.  Then you realize you didn’t respond to that message.  I am so guilty of that. Every night, I go through them and respond to what I need to. Then, I put in my calendar what needs to go in there.

Next, I delete all my text messages. If it is something important, I will copy/paste it into a “Note” app.  From there, I will transfer it from my phone gallery to my tablet.  I am pretty diligent about deleting my messages daily. The visual clutter drives me completely insane. I get overwhelmed.

Next up, I go through my contacts.

Delete delete delete. I have very few numbers on my phone.  There have been moments where someone has randomly texted me. I ask who they are 🙂 Most of the time, I have a general idea of who it is.

Then, I go through my apps.

I delete the ones I do not use or have never used. It takes up so much space. Organize the apps you have. On my “home” screen, I have my garage door app and a calendar. That is it. For the rest, I take the icons off my home screen. Again, visual clutter irritates me. You can combine apps into folders on your home page. In combining, you can streamline what you see.

Digital Downloads

When I check my email, sometimes I have to download something. Go through your files to find the downloads file. Delete that mess. You don’t need it.  All it does is slow your phone down. 

Digital Phone Pictures/Music

Pictures I transfer to my tablet, then I delete them off of the phone.  I do not store music (except for what a friend sends me).

Thoughts

Put your phone down and talk face to face. Do this while you make eye contact. Engage in society to make a difference. There was a time before cell phones.  One could go to Walmart without everyone knowing.  In the beginning, I spent WAY too much time on my phone. It was a novelty. I remember when Facebook began, and I was enthralled.  Sadly, I also missed out on my children.  My nose was so far up my phone that I couldn’t see the humans standing before me. They are so much more fun.

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Addictive Personality, OCD, or Both

Addictive Personality? OCD? Both?

Addictive Personality, OCD, or Both

Honestly, most people who know me well would say that I do have an addictive personality and OCD.  I’m not super bad with either but it could easily get out of control in a heartbeat.

Sadly, addiction runs in my family.  I am totally aware so I am super mindful to stay far far away from drugs, smoking, and alcohol.  There are other types of addiction that can be just as bad.  Sex, porn, overeating, etc.  Addictions can come in all shapes and sizes.  It does not discriminate in regards to your biological identity, your color, social status, ethnicity…it just comes up and bites you in the butt.

Accountability

It is good to have people in your life that can hold you accountable.  Jerk a knot in your tail, as my mama says.  My sisters, my mom, dad, and especially Big Daddy can help keep me in check.

Today, however, I went unchecked.  My Gmail account has stated, for a while, that I have exceeded my limit.  I went to send an email and it would not send.  So, in true fashion, I started off simple.  I got rid of the spam emails and I emptied the trash.  That didn’t work.

I Saw the Beast Determined to Win

Next, I went through my email folders and got rid of things that were not pertinent.  That didn’t help either.  I hit the “manage” google drive and there it all was.  In all of its glory and magnitude.  So.  Many.  Pictures.

Not just pictures but videos, kindle books, documents, and more.  It has taken me a month of Sundays to try and figure out how to get my stuff from my google drive to my computer.  Then, from my computer to my external hard drive.

Public Service Announcement

PSA:  If you do not have an external hard drive, get one!  I save NOTHING on my computer anymore.  This is a simple solution to what can be really scary if your computer crashes.  It is small, portable, and easily fits into a fire safe box, safety deposit box, or safe.

Anyway, I have been OBSESSED about lowering the amount I had and not buying more storage.  Literally, I have worked on this for weeks, as I have had pockets of time.  Today, I tackled it all.  Bit by bit.  I chipped away.

Too Much

There was so much stuff from 2015…I can’t even.  By the end of the night (almost 10 pm), I have it all transferred over to my computer.  I even have extracted them all, deleted the stuff that I didn’t need, and organized what I do want.

The Transfer to Completion

Now, to transfer it to my external hard drive.  My obsession (addiction to completing things) is finished, for now.  I did cook supper.  Thankfully, it did not burn.  I ignored my kids, but they played games on the same table.  My mom, I spoke to her twice and told her that I was eating a 1/2 block of smoked gouda, wearing my hussy shorts, drinking a coke, taking a Tylenol, and finishing this task.

She wished me Godspeed.

It.  Is.  Finished.

Hallelujah, the color has come back to the world.  I no longer see all things in gray.  It.  Is.  Good.

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Organizational Tip Let’s Talk Pictures

Organizational Tip Let's Talk Pictures
Organizational Tip Let’s Talk Pictures

Organizational Tip Let’s Talk Pictures. In my quest to get my life together, my next thing to tackle is my pictures. Good gravy, I have a billion photographs. My mother-in-law is HUGE into scrapbooking, so she has given me lots of books, pages, stickers in hopes that I would scrap all these pictures. I have not had time.

A Few Books Already Done

In my defense, I do have a baby scrapbook for each of my children. Also, I have one large scrapbook for each of them as they have gotten older. I also have a baby scrapbook of Big Daddy that his mom made for him and one for me that I made. There is also a wedding one and another random one. So I have done scrapbooks in the past. I’m just not in a season to do them regularly.

Attacking the Masses

One day, when I was cleaning out the masses of crap in my bedroom, I came across a drawer. The drawer has not seen the light of day in about ten years. There were MASSIVE amounts of old, loose photos just hanging out…not hurting anyone….just there. My OCD said, let’s pull out some of those scraping gifts from my sweet mother-in-law, and I will make them look fantastic. My other side feels like I have no time for this mess. Then, I shut the door and move on. Neither side won.

Logic Wins

My logical brain sidestepped in and thought: “let’s kill two birds with one stone.” I pulled out those photos. Next, I began to separate them by the child. I put those separated piles into baggies and labeled them. Next, I pulled down my scrapping supplies, set up a card table, hollered for my two big girls, and let them at it. Was it as nice as I could have done? No, not really.

It certainly was not up to par with my pro-mother-in-law, but they stayed occupied. All my pictures are in the scrapbook with added cute things. Also, it all has my girl’s handwriting in it. I will cherish these scrapbooks forever because my girls created them. I smile every time I pull them down. These are some of my prized possessions.

Thankful for the Help

Once I got the masses of pictures done, courtesy of my girls, I had found more. They were on my computer. Over time, I have added new files under my pictures section. The main file is the year, and the subfiles include things like Christmas, Family, a file for each child, pets, misc, etc. Since there are dates on 99% of my pictures, I first sorted them out, via the computer, into the proper year.

I put them in the proper subfile, and from there, I went and deleted the duplicates. I kid you not, in 2015, I had 10000 duplicate pictures. So there was a ton of space taken up by having double of photos. I have not edited them because that is just not high on my “super fun” list of things to do.

Takes So Much Time

This process takes time, but I do it at night when I’m watching a movie or when the kids are outside. I do not put any pressure on myself at all. One thing I invested in was an external hard drive. I have not only saved my pics on a CD but also a flash drive. From the flash drive, I put them all on my external hard drive. Next, I delete them off my computer. Let’s face it, computers crash. My pictures were not going to crash with them. Sorry, Charlie. Not going to happen. Not on my watch.

Big Daddy and the children love to sit down and watch me sort things out and look through these pictures. It is fun. Also, it is a conversation starter for some of my kids. Take your time. Enjoy the views and memories. Remember to save them to multiple devices and always store them in a fire-safe box or safe in case of fires!

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Cleaning & Organizing

Organizational Tip Tackle the Kids Artwork

Organizational Tip Tackle the Kids Artwork
Organizational Tip Tackle the Kids Artwork

Organizational Tip Tackle the Kids Artwork. I have a lot of kids. That fact is no secret. My kids like to color, draw, paint, make sculptors, and Sunday School creations. These creations come home every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday.

Tote Overload

If each of my kids has one tote per year of arts and crafts until they turn 18, there would be 126 totes. Remember, I homeschool and have chosen to keep everything from their school years. I would have 126 totes FULL of stuff that I would have to store in my attic, garage, man cave, or storage unit. That does not include all their baby things and toys. What I’m talking about is just artwork.

When I was going through my nesting phase, I came across about 30 containers with all this stuff. Sentimental things. Things I cherish and want to remember forever. Realistically, it was a bit of a fire hazard. I had Big Daddy breathing down my neck to throw these treasures away, and then I had my kids on the other side crying because when they saw something in the throw away box. They felt I didn’t love their art.

Quite the conundrum.

I had a couple of great ideas. Maybe three. I have a small wood chest my daddy made years ago. I also had a box that my mom got me when I was a child. The first thing I did was I went through the attic (and garage) ALONE. Second, I emptied my two chests and cleaned them all out. Third, I got binders. Two per child and put their names on them. I separated every paper and craft. So, each child had a pile.

Binder Help

The treasures that I would not part with, I used my three-hole puncher. Then I added them to that particular child’s’ binder. With the larger items, I placed them in my two chests. Honestly, that still left me with A TON of treasures. Once I had the binders and chest’s full, there was more. I had seven piles of things for each child. These were precious items, but I did not necessarily want to keep them (fire hazard, remember). I took out my camera, and I took pictures of the pictures. I downloaded those photos on my computer, and I gave each child a file. Those pictures are now on a flash drive, disk, and my external hard drive. I can look at them whenever I want.

This simple act cuts down on so much clutter.

I was able to keep their sweet drawings yet keep my sanity and live the minimalistic life that I love so much. Now I still have boxes of old toys, but I did part with 98% of them. Some things are worth the clutter. I was able to clean out an entire closet from the garage and free up all that space. It all went in the attic space where it is labeled and gone through. I hope this is something that can help others.

Good luck and happy organizing.

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