being thrifty, fEAsible, getting things done, managEAble, taking stock, to do list, trEAsury

Regaining ORDER – my achievements for March

The Task List

Another productive month for my task list but it is now becoming noticeable that there are certain sections where I have accomplished all the tasks and others where the same tasks have been rolled on from month to month.  I am sure you all know what I mean those tasks that we do not like doing or seem too complicated or large to even begin.

I don’t seem to have a problem completing my most Urgent Tasks and current major project (this month was my sister’s wedding) as the urgency keeps the pressure on me to get them done.  I can even do most of the Finance and Paperwork tasks and manage to deal with all the birthdays and writing one or two letters but the sections that have not been dealt with very well are Household and Maintenance Tasks and Health and Self.

One reason for this I think is that the urgent tasks are made up of very simple quick to do tasks such as

  • Pick up new Tool for Dyson cleaner from Comet
  • Email Lisa

and similar for Finance and Paperwork tasks –

  • Close Ing Direct Account
  • Make a mortgage overpayment online.

However when it comes to the Household and Maintenance section although I quickly managed the first task

  • Wash and store Dyson filter

my list changes into bigger projects or tasks that I need to delegate to my man such as

  • Complete the electric wiring to TV in the Dining Room (probably a days work that involves taking up floorboards in the room above!)
  • Run Computer back-up (I have no idea how to do this one)

and I still need to break down projects into simple tasks or mini targets so that instead of my task being

  • Devise a Healthy eating plan

I should rearrange this into easier simple steps

  • Choose one new healthy recipe to cook this week
  • Buy salad items on Saturday to take to work for lunches Mon-Thur
  • Take a Vitamin D capsule each morning with breakfast

etc etc…

On the plus side I have routinely been taking my supplements and made an appointment with a podiatrist but the Yoga exercises are still waiting to happen and will be delayed at present until I get back into some kind of routine and can leave work at my usual time of 4pm instead of working over.

The Big Clean

This has stopped dead.  With my return to work then a wedding and a two-week break Spring cleaning has ground to a halt.  What is left of April will be used more for clearing than cleaning I expect.

I did get the bags to the charity shop which has created some space and of course I found exactly the right size boxes to store my extra wine glasses in but I have still to wash and polish my car.  At least sat inside the car I don’t have to look at the dirt on the outside!

Taking Stock

I am still using up stocks of items in my cupboards.  I have found a use for all that hand cream – I am now using it on my feet and surprisingly it works very well –  I can recommend it.

The fruit in the freezer is going down but I could do better if I could remember to get it out the night before to defrost ready to put on my yoghurt at breakfast.

Counting the Pennies

I am disappointed with my management of our finances this month.  I have not kept a grip on my spending and having a two-week holiday and a weekend away in a hotel for the wedding certainly ate into the bank balance.  I can see I need a good talking to again!  I have avoided the magazines and only bought two extra whilst on holiday which is very good for me.  Well actually I did buy two craft magazines as well  – one came with an assortment of pre-printed bits and pieces to assemble your own Easter cards – but I really don’t think I am the right person for this type of card crafting – as hard as I tried putting the pieces together in different ways I really didn’t like any of the cards I made and will probably pass this magazine and all the bits on to my friends mum who makes a better job.  The other magazine had a free cute bunny stamp and although this made quite a simple card I much preferred it.

Display of Lindt chocolate bunnies

On Easter Sunday my man gave me a cute gold foil covered chocolate Lindt bunny which had a red ribbon with a tiny jingle bell around its neck.  Of course being vegetarian there is no way I can eat even a chocolate bunny – so I will keep it until it has gone way passed the eat by date and then I might just have to bury it in the garden as one might with a pet bunny that has died!!

You will all be pleased to know that finally I closed down the Ing Direct account by telephone and it was not too difficult although the promised final statement has yet to drop through my door before I can archive this file and put the matter to rest.  So where is it Ing Direct…I am still waiting?

My stumbling blocks

Still my stumbling block is the fact that we have so many busy weekends –  a mixture of both planned and unexpected events that afterwards we are thrown into chaos once more.  Before we set off for our Easter break I had the washing and ironing up to date, my work clothes washed and ready for our return and I had hoovered the carpets, emptied the bins  and cleaned the basin and toilets  but as soon as we arrived back we have a mountain of washing and ironing another pile of paperwork and still some bags to unpack.  Hopefully this weekend I will sort the mess out again.

So that was March I may not feel any further forward in my quest for Order – but I have learnt that I cannot function without my Task Lists and that if I work on making my difficult tasks / projects simpler by breaking them down into smaller tasks I might even get some of the roll over ones completed and off list.  I have also learnt that focusing on a small routine habit becomes automatic and has big results.

budgeting, cleaning, fEAsible, getting things done, managEAble, nEAtening, taking stock, trEAsury

Regaining ORDER – my achievements for February

The Task List

This month I did extremely well at my tasks list – I even surprised myself.  I cleared all my urgent tasks and the finance and paperwork tasks from my Master Tasks List.  I did not get to complete many of my Health and Self tasks so this will be my main focus for March.  I need to find a good podiatrist for my painful foot problems and have my hair done which is booked in for next week.  In addition I should get back to practising Yoga and start preparing myself some healthier meals and remember to take my supplements.

The Big Clean

This continues – so far I have done the Shower Room and our Main Bedroom and wardrobe.  I have been decluttering the Office / Craft room and Kitchen as I go along and soon this will be ready for a good clean.  The bags ready for the charity shop are waiting to be taken this week and hopefully with my almost no spend policy the house will benefit from the extra space for a while.

Included in the Big Clean plan are the cars – so far I have done the inside of mine and both the inside and outside of my husbands last weekend.  It feels so much better to drive around in a super clean car.  Once my car has been into the garage yet again for a new Lambda Sensor (not even sure what this is!) fitting I will give it a good wash and polish.

Taking Stock

I have managed to use up plenty of the hand soap, washing up liquid, washing powders, face creams and tissues without having to buy them at the shops, but I haven’t been quite as good with the stocks in my food cupboards and although I intended to run these stocks down by finding new recipes to use up the items in my cupboards I fell back into my old routine of making easy and favourite meals which hasn’t really addressed my problem.  I did use a jar of Bonne Maman Apricot fruit by making a crumble with coconut added to the topping and this was well received – so much so that I will have to go and buy another jar now to make another!  This month I have a huge amount of frozen fruit to use up so I want to make smoothies and healthy puddings (if there is such a thing).

Counting the Pennies

Our finances are going well and in February I managed to balance all our bank accounts, pay any outstanding bills and set a new budget.  The car is fully taxed and insured and has had its yearly maintenance service and MOT done and I have a renewed my parking permit. It is definitely not cheap running a car and maybe I should seriously consider the bus but I have reservations about this because it is quite a walk to the bus stop here – fine in summer but not so good in winter – and  I do like the comfort and freedom that having a car gives me and it also allows me to do the weekly shop one night in the week after work and this gives us the benefit of more time at the weekend.

We have re-invested our ISA’s in a 3 year fixed account and I applied for my new passport – which arrived last week.  My one outstanding task is to close down an ING savings account which has a very poor interest rate and only a balance of £4.00.  I am not sure how you close down an internet account but that is on my list for March.

My stumbling blocks

I am looking to overcome my problem of getting back to chaos and address each of the reasons that makes this happen.  I will challenge myself this month to put things away after use and allowing myself time for the clear up after doing a task.  The things that don’t get put away are often the things that either don’t have a proper home or they are not stored in the right place and I will be monitoring this during March to see if I can come up with the most common reason for not putting something away with a view to be able to solve this.

In one of my favourite books ‘Why am I so disorganised’ sort out your stuff – Dr Marylin Paul writes about picking one habit you want to change and practise this recording your progress in a journal.  She also talks about ‘getting back to ready’ and this is something I am trying to keep up with.  Every time I cook a meal I aim to wash and dry the dishes and clear the kitchen up completely so that it is ready for preparing the next.  Every time I do a load of washing I intend to dry it, iron it and after it is aired put the clothes / linen away so that I do not end up with a six-foot high ironing pile gathering dust and all our clothes are clean and pressed and ready to wear.

So that was February and all in all not such a bad month but still a long way to go to get everything in my life back to ORDER