A Disorganized Persons Tips on Organization

10:30 am Crafts
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By Recycled Craft Contributor, Anitra from the blog “Coffee Pot People”.

Here’s a poorly-kept secret: I am not the most organized person on the face of the planet. I’d like to be, but being ADD makes it more difficult than it might be otherwise, or so they tell me. The fact is, naturally organized people puzzle me: How do they do that?!

However, tell me I’m cooking dinner for twenty-five, and need to have the house company-ready, while also keeping up with my blog, and doing my crafts, and I’m all over it. My efficiency knows no bounds.

So how does a disorganized person get organized? As the holiday season approaches, with Thanksgiving dinner, St Nicholas Day, seasonal parties, and all the other festivities, a certain modicum of organization becomes imperative.

This is what I do, I start with lists.

There are lists for:

  • The Guests
  • The Menu
  • Shopping
  • Household chores
  • Miscellaneous things that need doing

Being ADD, or maybe just needing extra bits of feel-goodness, I make the lists as detailed as possible, and I make a point of crossing off each item as it’s completed. Everything I cross off makes me feel like I’m “getting there”. Seriously, I don’t just put down “Clean the living room.” For a distractable person, that’s just too widely stated. Here’s what my list might look like:

Living Room:

  • Pick up clutter
  • Dust
  • Sweep hard flooring
  • Vacuum carpet

(I feel a little stupid, letting that bit of information out of the bag, but if it helps me, maybe it will help someone else, so there it is.)

After the lists comes the scheduling. I have a menu, and a shopping list, for instance, but what do I need to cook when? If, for instance, I’m making Cranberried Game Hens, they need an overnight thawing, and then a day of marinating, and then four hours in the Crockpot. If the dinner is Friday evening, then my shopping must be done by Wednesday at the latest.

I take the calendar, and work backwards, grouping errands and tasks in ways that make sense to me.

The last item in my organizational toolbox is a map, especially if dinner will be served buffet-style. I draw a picture of the dining room’s usable surfaces, along with any other room that might come into play. It might look something like this:

This is a good way to plan how you’ll lay out materials for crafting with friends, too!

Using my lists, calendar, and room map, I can stay on-task, and be ready and relaxed when guests arrived.

Now, I’ve use a dinner party as an example, but this model works equally well for other types of do’s–an evening of scrapbooking with friends, a cookie exchange, a card-making party, any get-together you might want to create.

Hope my Tools for the Disorganized help you to get out and entertain!

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Anitra Cameron had the good fortune to be born into a family where creativity ran rampant. Her father has authored several books and worked as a photographer and her mother hand-painted portraits. Anitra’s favorite crafts to make are: Jewelry (especially using buttons), collaged book marks, miniature cake stands, all from recycled materials. Anitra’s moto: “Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do, or do without.” Live with that long enough and you’ll never want to throw anything away, so best to turn it into art! Anitra lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, where their combined family’s total seven children, and (so far) seventeen grandchildren. Recently Anitra became a great-grandmother of a darling little boy! You can find more of Anitra’s work at “Coffee Pot People”.

Latest posts by Anitra (see all)

3 Responses
  1. Ruthie :

    Date: November 24, 2009 @ 8:08 AM

    That’s exactly what I do! And I can be very ADD too…

  2. tilt :

    Date: November 25, 2009 @ 3:09 PM

    Nice to see I am not the only one who needs to get so detailed on their list :) Now finishing the lists…that’s another story …

  3. grace beaster :

    Date: November 28, 2009 @ 2:12 AM

    This post makes me realise just how much you have influenced me over the years my dear heart. I run library events just the way you describe… and library planning in general. But we don’t usually have cranberried game hens. In fact, I don’t think I ever have. But I did once go to a library party where the boss had made bacon wrapped chicken drumsticks in a brandy sauce.

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