Know your habits

All of us have bad habits. Some have more than others, but we all have things we would like to change. I will not even go into the whole list of habits I would like to change, but I’ve decided that there are several I want to work on:

Habit #1 – I tend to leave clean laundry in the laundry basket for too long.

I absolutely hate putting laundry away. I have no idea why, but I would seriously rather clean a bathroom than put laundry away. Not even just my bathroom. I would clean almost anyone’s bathroom if I had the choice between that and laundry. Then my clothes inevitably get wrinkled and I end up throwing some things back into the dryer with a wet washcloth to smooth them out again. How incredibly inefficient! So I’ve decided that I am only allowed to do one laundry load at a time. That means that one load must be fully put away before I start another. This should prevent the backlog.

I also discovered that I like putting away clothes better when my kids are around. I guess folding laundry is just boring to me. If I have a little guy nearby who wants to pretend to drive the ‘semi truck laundry basket,’ I”m much more likely to keep going.

Habit #2 – Leaving doors, drawers and cabinets open.

I used to be so good about this! Get a pen, close the drawer. Get a snack, close the pantry. Get a cup, close the cabinet. Simple, right? (Insert giant Family Feud buzzer sound) Not simple anymore. As I write this, I’m staring at an open pantry door. Ridiculous! It takes 1/2 a second to close it. (I just got up and closed the pantry door by the way). After baby #2 came along, I got a little flustered. Oh, and I always have a baby in my arms. So I just open and grab and walk away. Now I usually go back and close everything eventually, but in the meantime it creates a couple of problems:

-It looks messy.

-It can be dangerous. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bumped my head or a knee or elbow. And it’s even more of a safety issue for my little ones!

-Open drawers, etc encourage those curious little 3 year old hands to look inside, even if it’s a place where he knows he isn’t supposed to be lurking….Knife drawer, hot water heater closet, etc.

So this one should be easy to fix. It’s just about being aware of my tendencies and doing something about it.

Habit #3 – Not drinking enough water.

I just don’t really like water…so I don’t drink enough. This, in turn, makes me tired and achy, which makes me crabby, which makes my family crabby, which is a problem that is completely preventable! So I have a couple of options that will hopefully encourage me to hydrate sufficiently!

-We already have some Gatorade and Crystal Light mix. I need to utilize them more often. If I don’t feel like I’m drinking just water, I’ll drink more of it.

-I need to monitor how much water I actually drink. Some days, I’ll realize it’s 3:00 in the afternoon and I”m still on the first glass of water. So I’m devising a little chart that I can magnetize and monitor how many glasses I drink each day (pictures to come!). Now this won’t be fool proof and I won’t use it every day, I’m sure. However, it will make me think about it a little more and when something is in the forefront of your mind, you tend to take action a little more.

Example, many experts suggest taking 10,000 steps per day. I put a pedometer on for just day-to-day and realized I walk between 5,000-7,000 steps in a regular day, even if I don’t do any specific exercising. Now, I don’t always wear the pedometer and I don’t always get to 10,000 steps. But when I wear it, I see how quickly I can get to the goal during the day. And when I don’t wear it, I try to take extra steps just to be sure I’m maximizing my daily routine. Just by thinking about it, I have been able to change a bad habit into a good one.

Lessons Learned:

-Everyone has their own method for completing tasks. Find what way works for you in a particular task and heck with everyone else. Do it the way that YOU will actually get it done.

-Take care of your health so that you have the energy to take of the other things in life. Self devastating habits hurt more than just you. So drink that water, eat a carrot, take the stairs, quit smoking, whatever you need to do to inject healthy habits into your life.

-Habits DO NOT change overnight. Give yourself a break if it’s hard to establish a new routine. When you cut yourself some slack, you are more apt to continue to make changes.

There are several more general habits I would like to work on, such as being an over-zealous multitasker, but I will get into that later. For right now, I’m going to focus on making several small changes that will make my life easier, healthier and safer.

And I know I’ve said it before, but organizing is not just about where you put your stuff. It is how you function, how you live, how you feel. So evaluate your day-to-day situation and see if there are small changes that could make a big difference.

What habits do you want to work on changing?

~Erin

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12 thoughts on “Know your habits

  1. Erin we must be related. I have such issues with laundry! My two biggest habits around the house I’d like to work on are:
    Folding and putting laundry away – I have a huge table in my laundry room where all the clean laundry ends up when it comes out of the dryer. I need to get it folded and put away!
    I also need to work on putting things back in general. I tend to leave things out or set them somewhere on my way to do something else. I think most of my organizational problems are stemmed from this. It all starts with not having a designated place for things, so I’m constantly moving things around or just setting them in temporary places. Then those places get completely out of control – and frustration sets in.
    Great job in identifying what you want to change and having the courage to take those baby steps!

    • Thanks so much! I don’t even want to get into the list of other habits I would like to change. But I had to start somewhere right? I tend to leave stuff laying around. I think it’s because I’m always trying to do too many things at once. I agree though that having a designated place for EVERYTHING is critical to staying organized!

  2. I used to have the laundry issue, but then I started folding clothes one at a time AS I took them out of the dryer. Now everything is folded or hung up and sitting neatly in a pile in a basket in my laundry room!! Any ideas for actually putting clothes away?
    And leaving cabinet doors and drawers open?– must be hereditary πŸ™‚
    As for water goes, I bought a 32 oz Nalgene water bottle and carry it around with me all day– fill it up once in the morning and once when I get home from work– 64 oz total daily intake on most days and I don’t have to keep track. I put a packet of True Lemon in it to make it taste less like water, but no sugar or artificial anything.

    • So my problem is actually putting them away too. Even if I fold them (which I don’t mind in theory), they just sit in the basket. I like the idea of having a big water bottle, but I can’t make it work. Then I just stare at the giant bottle of water I need to drink and feel guilty that it’s still so full! I’m working on it though! I’ll have to try the True Lemon!

  3. Great post, Erin. I am laughing so hard at Roar Sweetly’s comment right now about the Sixth Sense…when we first moved in together my husband would leave the cabinets open all the time and our joke was that it looked like the scene from the Sixth Sense, too! Hilarious. And if you would like to come clean my bathroom, I would be more than happy to fold your laundry!! (I allow myself to watch TV while I fold, so that’s what gets me through it.)

  4. I couldn’t agree more with you about the habit of leaving kitchen cupboard doors and drawers open. My house is often like the scene in The Sixth Sense when the mother leaves the kitchen for 30 seconds and comes back in to find every single cupboard door and drawer open (by ghosts). Consequently my husband walks into the kitchen and simply says “I see dead people”.

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