Friday, October 7, 2011

Clutter and Debt 1: Stop Using Credit Report

[If you stopped by here because you have real debt issues, 
you may want to visit http://www.DaveRamsey.com for real debt help. 
This post is about decluttering by applying Dave Ramsey's debt help method]

It is Friday again. Time for me to report my progress. Last post, I listed the following action items:
  1. Get a load a laundry done when there enough dirty clothes for one
  2. Get the dishes done after each meal
  3. Putting away grocery immediately unless little girl need to potty
  4. Do not check mailbox unless I have the time to look it over
  5. Check the boys' school paperwork when I signed their binder
  6. Go to bed before mid-night...
Let's go through the list one by one:



Laundry:

There was enough clothes for a load on Tuesday, but Tuesday was a crazy day - check up for me in the morning; then check up for my boys after school. Meanwhile, I had to wake up my toddler from nap so that we would not be late for that last appointment. I keep wondering what age does never-wake-up-a-baby end...

So, all those words to mean, I did not do a load on Tuesday. But, with the motivation from writing this post, I did one load each on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I could have done 2 loads on Thursday but with the rain outside, I just could not fit one more load to hang inside. I am happy to have that last load done today and my laundry basket is close to empty before the weekend.

I think I am making fine progress in keeping laundry under control.


Dishes:

Dishes seem to have become my new enemy. I still struggle a lot to get it done first thing.

Of course, there is always something that has to be done first.

I need to drive the kids to school first otherwise they would be late. I need to put my toddler to nap first otherwise she won't have enough time to nap before I pick up her brothers. I need to start their nighttime routine first otherwise they would not get enough sleep.

But one thing I would admit, there seems to be some energy associated with getting the dishes done first thing. The few times I was able to achieve it, the job seems easier. Once the dishes sit, it feel like a much more difficult and time consuming task. So, I needed to plan ahead so that I could fit dishes to be done before those needs.

There is usually not much if I do it right away...

Grocery:

Grocery shopping was not as demanding as the other on the list, at least for this week, since I did not buy much this week. On Wednesday, I went to supermarket and Costco and those things got put right away like before I close that garage door. But, there is always a but, I still let those boxes of newly purchased pasta sit on my kitchen floor for the most part of Thursday.

And I am blaming the dishes for this.

Maybe not really. But they are definitely part of the problem. You see, once there are more tasks waiting, I tend to withdraw myself. It cluttered my mind from properly decide what should be done first. So, I sat in front of the computer instead.

Right there, another reason for me to attack these debt forming behavior.

An empty floor with nothing on it was nice


Mail:

I do not know why I am so attached to the mail box. I enjoy getting things from it, as if there will be real personal letters. One time, as I were walking away from the mail box with the junk mail in my hand, I thought to myself, maybe I should write a post on "My Love Affair with the Mailbox". What reasons, other than love, could a person be so faithful?

So, I did not do well in restraining myself from seeing the mailbox and getting the "mail" from it instead of waiting until I have time to do something about it. But I am doing better with handling them on the same day. I still have a little bit of I-don't-know-what-to-do-with-it kind of paperwork that I need to get a handle with eventually.

School Paper:

This is a part that I think I am close to completely fail. I still check their school paperwork or returned assignments, etc. But I failed at doing them timely and it just got brought to me haphazardly and I deal with them as I remember to...

I guess, I should not have set the signing time as the time to check their school paper. There is a lot of time between they come home from school and signing the binder (usually, before dinner). Right after school should be the most reasonable choice according to my last post. But they do get very hungry after school. So, I need to figure out a better way to do this.

This would be where school paper and mailbox paper usually land.
A few more paper clutter since last week's Desk Report
A sign that I building some debt in this area...
Sleep:

I went to bed on time on 3 of those days. I still need more discipline and planning to achieve this. And it is true: less sleep -> less efficient day -> more cranky mom -> less harmony at home!

Next Step

Honestly, I do not expect myself to be able to achieve the entire list the first week. Even if I did achieve them all, it may not happen the next week. I believe good habits take more than a week to set. It is not to say that I will not work on something else but I will change my next step a bit. Instead of Emergency Funds, I should work on Budget first. It will help me keep this week's task on track.

Did you try to change a habit and not borrow time? Can you share your experience in the comments?

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