Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back in the Box

Back in the 80's and 90's before Flylady, there were the Sidetracked Home Executives, these two wonderful, friendly, down-to-earth sisters who wrote a great book about getting organized one step at a time. They were Flylady's inspiration, actually, and they really inspired me. Instead of email alerts, I used a little box full of index cards, color coded with my jobs for the day, week, month, year, etc. More important that that for me though, was the book. It was like having my own personal cheerleader. I read it till my copy was tattered and falling apart. I used the system faithfully and it was a huge part of helping me establish my habits as a homemaker. Sometimes though, I would get off track and stop using the system for whatever reason-sickness, new baby, stress, whatever. The book had a chapter for that called "Back in the Box." It might sound limiting when considered with how the term "box" is used in the current vernacular, but for someone like me, it is not always productive to "think outside the box" or resist being "boxed in." I'm like an electric current and without a "box" I'm more like a lightening bolt-interesting but uncontrolled. Anyway, this chapter in the book, it was actually all about looking forward instead of backward and jumping back into the system wherever you are. That was huge for me because I often feel like if I get behind, I can't move ahead until I go back and catch up everything that I missed. It really grinds my progress to a halt sometimes. For example, with my goal to empty out 3 boxes a day from the storage unit, my mind would think, "Holy Cow, I've missed 11 days of sorting. Today I have to get through 33 boxes!" Seriously. And then I don't do anything because the thought of 33 is impossible, but doing only 3, my goal in the first place, seems too small because I've lost so much ground. So I'm Totally Stuck. So, today, after vacation and being sick and having two car situations with kids (*am had a fender bender a week before the garage door thing) and lots of other stuff, today I'm getting back in the box. I'm starting where I am instead of trying to catch up. My list is what it would be on a normal day, and if that's all I get done in the house today, then it is enough. I'll catch up eventually.


  1. You know, I LOVE flylady AND SHE's thank you for the reminder, I too look at the 33 boxes and think that 3 will just not cut it. I suffer from the same problem. Thank you for the kick in the butt this morning... I am going to do a few things on my TO Do list so that they can become TA DA's. :-)

  2. Oooh that book sounds just up my alley... I love the idea of an index card system - all those little cards in a box sounds very happy to me! Catching up overwhelms me too - I think starting where you are is much better.:)

  3. I still have that book, but tossed the box and index cards years ago. OOH - let's toss that box! That sounds profound. I should apply that to more than one aspect of my life, too. Doesn't flylady now say something like "start where you are at"? Good girl - you did it.

  4. Yes, one day doing 33 boxes will sound like EXACTLY what you want to do right then. And until then, just relax. You'll get to it.

    (I like to wait until I'm about to scream at everyone to do some sorting. I'm a really good cleaner when I'm angry.)


Thank you for sharing your insights!