I'm thrilled to welcome my Ruby Sister Diana Layne to the Killer blog today in honor of her debut release, A Pirate's Proposal, a historical romance which will be out on January 18 from the Wild Rose Press, and her mainstream suspense/thriller, The Good Daughter, a mafia tale that is coming soon on Amazon. And since her guest blog is during our Killer contest, any comments left today will be extra entries for the Kindle or Nook grand prize!
So here's Diana!
I NEED TO GET ORGANIZED…AGAIN!
Hi, everyone, I’m so happy to be here at Killer Fiction! Since we’re all friends, I have a confession for you: Organization does not come easy to me. I have to work at it and work hard…and if I’m not diligent, I find that once again clutter is controlling my life.
Unfortunately, I came out of a book editing fog right before Christmas and noticed that clutter had once again regained control.
I had just started my baking and hadn’t even begun wrapping. The mess of paper on the floor is what I dug out of the closet. I’m sure I put it up much more neatly last year. Didn’t I?
Now, in my defense, there are anywhere from 7 to 10 people living at my house at any one time. Even though I have six children, four of them are grown, and how so many ended up back home is a puzzle to me. Currently we are at 7 ¾ as my new granddaughter will be born in March.
I homeschool my youngest two (ages 7 and 9), I write, I shop and cook for the bunch. Others have pitched in with the cleaning, and I suspect this is where I’ve lost control. No one knows what current organizing system I’m using…mainly because I don’t know what system I’m using. I think coming up with a system needs to be a family affair now, right? Except they’re all in school and working and having babies…oh, when do we have time to get organized?
Still, if I can dig out some minutes in our day, (FlyLady says organizing can be done in fifteen minutes a day, more on her in a minute),there are tons of resources available. A long time ago I started with Confessions of an Organized Housewife. Yes, we were married to the house back then. At the time I only had three children, all under age five, and I ran three home businesses: housecleaning, daycare and teaching piano, and I also played piano for our church. Writing was only a longed-for, far-off dream to escape the hectic pace of life. With the hours in my day rapidly shrinking, this book was a sanity-saver back then; although, I will admit, it took me a while to get everything she proposed implemented. For example, one of her tips was to label each piece of your puzzles (like puzzle one, label all pieces, A, A, A, puzzle two, B, B, B, etc), then cut out the pictures on the lids and store pieces and picture in a plastic zip lock bag. I believe she then hole-punched the bags and stored them in notebooks. Well, we had a LOT of puzzles (this was before Internet) and I ran out of the alphabet. So then I started on numbers.
I also realized I was a piler not a filer so I tossed them all in a big bucket instead of the notebooks. (Are you a piler or filer? Take the quiz: here.)To this day, 25 years later, I still have those puzzles organized, and we made it through the years only losing a few pieces.
Once I got a system going, my life, and my family’s life, worked much better.
It seems like my organizing only lasts for so long though, and soon, I’m looking for inspiration to do it all again. This might be because at these times I’ve entered a new phase of life and need a new system. (Like homeschooling and writing and juggling a big family.)
If you Google, you’ll find plenty of organizing sites. I love organizing sites; I could read about organizing all day….
But seriously, two I absolutely love are FlyLady and Organized Home.
When I became a Flybaby, I diligently polished my sink every night prompting my husband, at one point, to question just exactly why I was doing that. (I believe his exact words were, “Why the hell do you keep cleaning the sink?”)
“I dunno,” I replied. “FlyLady said I had to.” And the FlyLady’s point is if you wake up to a clean, shiny sink, your day starts off better. The only problem with that is with so many people living here—10 at that time—I always woke up with dirty dishes in the sink. At least at my house, I guess dishes multiply like rabbits. I will admit that discouraged me so I abandoned FlyLady—at least until I get rid of every—oops, I mean until everyone moves.
As for the Organized Home site, lots of good articles and ideas and plenty of templates to print out for your home notebook, which is a notebook to help you keep things organized. I love making these notebooks, and there are templates for every kind of notebook you can imagine. After they’re made though, I tend to stare at them and turn the pages and admire their perfection. Use them though? Nah, not really.
Right now, what works best for me is my little day planner where I scribble everything down, even writing ideas. (This apparently is a piler tendency according to that test.) I decided at this time, I’m just going to try to hang on until the grown kids, spouses, and grandkids move back out, and then I’m renting a dump truck from the city and going through the house room by room and starting over. Just another year… :)
What about you? Do you have any great tips for staying organized?
Diana Layne writes in various genres, from historical romance to mainstream suspense. Her historical romance, Pirate’s Proposal will be released on January 18, 2012 from The Wild Rose Press. And her mainstream suspense, The Good Daughter, will be live on Amazon soon.
Four lucky commenters will receive an IOU for either Pirate’s Proposal or The Good Daughter (winners’ choice). For more info on each book please visit www.dianalayne.com
Pirate's Proposal The Good Daughter