What Can't You Get Organized?

i love organization.  for me, having my things and my time sorted out in an orderly fashion has a calming effect.  i don't think i'm the only one.  i guess i do know some people, usually the very creative types, who enjoy mood boards, collages, displays of tchotchkes, and a general 'i know where every thing is!' kind of 'artistic collection' of their belongings.  all i see in that is a giant pile of mess.  and i immediately get a strong urge to throw it out.  because in some (most) ways, i'm an organizing queen:

+ my apartment is very decluttered and my (few) belongings are very organized.  everything has a place and i don't even own tchotchkes.  i have 3 dvds and 1 picture frame.  i'm not a collector of things (besides candles, i hoard those suckers but i have one lit at all times so it's fine.)  i know where everything is, down to the 5 bobby pins tara requested this past weekend, and can locate it for you in under 30 seconds.
+ my closet is impeccable.  it's not overstuffed, i only have 1 shoe rack, everything is color coordinated.  it all fits, i like and wear everything.  even my underwear drawer looks like a victoria's secret display.
+ i only buy my favorite makeup and bath products, so the bathroom also looks like a display.
+ everything on my computer is sorted by date, by topic, is easy to find, is in playlists, etc etc.  i guess my phone is the same.  even my netflix queue has a method.  and the cords and chargers to everything are meticulously labelled with my label maker.
+ my inbox is always under control.  i deal with an e-mail immediately and most things are deleted within 10 minutes.
+ hawkeye.  gets monthly meds on time, never runs out of food or treats, gets groomed every 6 weeks, goes to the vet every 6 months.  (in comparison, i get my hair done once a year...)
+ my blog schedule, of course.  since i love order and routine, i have a 4 week rotating schedule of what to post about each day.  my posts are actually done for the rest of the year (minus photos that i haven't taken yet of course.)
+ my schedule in general.  i am not late to things.  i do not forget appointments or dinners or birthdays.  my planner is well-loved and beautiful.



and yet, even with all that, there are some things i just cannot get organized to save my life:

- menu planning.  why can i not get this?!  i'm great at breakfast, because i eat the same thing every morning that i prep on sundays.  lunch i'm ok at, i was doing good for a couple weeks then i forgot to prep last week and now this week.  what are some healthy and easy lunch ideas i can make on sundays for the whole week?  besides salad, i'm just over salad.  ugh and dinner is just a lost cause i guess.  i don't even think about it until i get home and then i'm hungry and eat whatever crappy thing is the easiest to make or even pick up.  it's called fast food for a reason.  i tried my planner, different printables, different recipes but i just cannot make myself get my meal planning/prep in order.
- finances.  i downloaded an app called learnvest that's been helping but i've only had it for 2 weeks.  not long enough to offset years of being terrible at keeping track of finances.  my motto has always been that if i don't check my online banking, it's like it doesn't exist at all.  that's how that works, right?  i throw out receipts, i don't check monthly statements, my checkbook register isn't even in my apartment, i have no idea what bills get paid when and most of my annual or bi-annual notices get sent to my dad's office since that's where the credit card gets billed to and since i move every year, that's a solid permanent address.  which means i'm almost 29 and my mommy still tells me when i need to pay my health insurance premium.
- exercising.  i don't know if i need to 'organize' this so much as i just need to do it.  but i function better if i have a plan.  i should make a workout schedule.  but when it's something i have no desire to do and have actually actively avoided in the past, it makes it even harder to find a plan to stick with.

those are obviously three huge ones.  any tips for me?!  what do you struggle to get or keep organized?


(on monday, my november sponsors and i will be giving away a 2014 whitney english day designer like my fabulous one up there but in black and white stripe.  keep that in mind if one of your goals is getting more organized.)

40 comments

  1. I WISH my house were half as organized as your place sounds!! As far as the workouts, you have to schedule them into your planner. I have found that if I sign up for a small group class (like TRX or yoga) I always go. But in the winter if I don't have a class scheduled, I tend to get lazy. The same with the food prep...schedule it. Check Pinterest for ideas on meal planning, there are so many good ones!

    -AJ
    FitTravelerAJ.com

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  2. I would LOVE to have a Whitney English Planner! I am in desperate need of getting my blog organized!

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  3. Everything! I'm trying to implement your ways haha. We've been doing alright with the meal planning. What I've been doing with my fruits and veggies for my lunches is in addition to cutting up and prepping I will measure out and pack those parts of my lunches all at once. With dinners Kevin and I will sit down and be like ok what do we have going on aka are there nights we won't be eating dinner. On nights we are eating at home we're like ok what do we have in the freezer or pantry, what do we need to get while we're at the store, what's on sale. We usually decide on protein and a main side then add salad or other veggies.

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  4. I'm not organized in every aspect of my life. It's hard with a husband and two kids who don't follow the same rules I do. I hate clutter. I hate knick knacks. I hate keeping stuff around that never gets used. I am a thrower-awayer. Yep, totally a word. I always clean out my inbox. I don't save emails either. DELETE.

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  5. We may be the same person! I absolutely hate messes and I know where everything in my house is at all times. Everything has it place. I actually get stressed out if my house isn't in order! And I'm also really bad at meal planning, I feel so bad for my husband because I NEVER have a clue as to what we should do for dinner.

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  6. I'm right with you with the finances thing! I've been wanting to start a budget but I just can't (ok, don't want to) sit down and actually do it! I guess part of me figures as long as I'm making more than I'm spending then I'm ok, but I know that once I start having real things to pay for besides rent and brunch... it'll be something I need to be able to do!

    ugh. grown up problems. ;)

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  7. If I send you my laptop will you organize all my pictures for me? I get started one day and do good, and then don't touch them again for 6 months. I want to be more organized. I truly do. And every year it's my resolution. Set up the giveaway so I win. Haha.

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  8. I am a weird mix of you and that creative person you mentioned. I think my main trouble with getting to becoming the more organized person I want to be is that I am working a 40hr a week job and trying to get a small business, that will eventually become full time, off the ground. It means I spend more of my week working than getting things organized. But it will all even out eventually. :)

    Meal planning is my biggest struggle. I think the best period of time was when I forced myself to sit down and plan out all my meals for a month and go shopping for the entire month at the very beginning. Forcing myself to only go back to the store for fresh fruits, milk, and eggs. The other thing I find helpful is making things that freeze well in bulk, and then eating part of it for dinner and freezing the rest in meal sized portions so all I have to do is reheat it later when I need a fast meal. Have you tried that?

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  9. funny thing is that i'm better on organizing things for Chimmy than more for me. DoggyMama issues.

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  10. Oh my god, you are SO organized, it's incredible. I wish I had the time to just spend a weekend sitting down and figuring out all this stuff! As for menu planning...I suck at it too, but am getting better! But I only plan for the weekends because that's when my family/friends are around - cooking and planning for 1 person sucks (and seems pointless!).

    jess | Quaintrelle

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  11. I just wrote this super awesome long comment and then it didn't post. :'( so i'll sum it up...basically we are the same and everything has to be organized. :)

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  12. we are opposites! my closet is a wreck (you'd seriously have a stroke if you saw it) as is some areas of my house (i canNOT get kayla's toy area under control. i swear, these toys have legs and walk around the house!) but my finances, food and workouts? BULLETPROOF.

    i also HATE being late and DESPISE when people are late. the other day, a friend who is a notorious bailer didn't even show up for our run and this isn't the first time either. no text, no nothing. not even after the run was done! HOW RUDE. so guess what? NO MORE RUNS WITH HER and she's off the list. sorry, if you can't make it on time or even have the decency to text and let us know that she can't make it, then you don't deserve to be invited. the end.

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  13. Um yea, I *wish* I was as organized as you! The only one I am great at is meal planning :)

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  15. your apartment sounds amazing. how bout a post w/ some tips for us hoarders? every time I go to give things away I'm like, well, I really might need this holey old shirt I've had since high school.

    For menu planning, something that helps me is having the same thing every week, like spaghetti monday or something, so you know ahead of time what you need. I could eat the same thing every day all day for the rest of my life; might not work so well if you like more variety in your meals.

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  16. Um, if i flew you to Canada, can you make everything that you said above come to life in my house?

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  17. It's so funny, I'm pretty much organized and disorganized in the same ways as you...although I do attempt meal planning. It usually never goes as planned though. And blog planning...definitely not organized with that...I'm pretty amazed you have your posts done for the rest of the year. You inspire me!

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  18. Meal planning & finances are two things that I struggle with too! I'm try to keep more organized in the house though. I find that once I take the time to give everything a place, it's much easier to keep it that way!

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  19. I don't feel very organized anymore. I actually feel like a hot mess. I need to get it together.

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  20. Keep it simple at lunch: make a big pot of soup on Sunday or buy a loaf of bread and keep peanut butter and jelly at work.

    Finances I use my own excel spreadsheet that I'm crazy with.

    I need to thin my clothes out. I own a lot of stuff in general, but I do organize it.

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  21. I know I've said this before, but I'm so incredibly jealous of you and your organization skills and schedules. For the first time possibly ever, I've got my apartment on a semi-scheduled cleaning routine and I actually love knowing what task I'm supposed to do each day, even though I'm known to skip a day now and then. Like this week -- haven't done anything. I should be able to do it all tonight though because they're only 15 minute tasks. We'll see!

    I enjoy having a workout schedule too! I work out in the mornings so I NEED to know exactly what I'm doing each day. I actually posted my routine today, haha. My best tip for getting into a workout routine is fake it till you make it. Until I really started to see results and found something I knew I liked, I was never motivated to do it. But now, my day doesn't feel complete without it!

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  22. I suck a meal planning and actually am the worst with money. It's so, so terrible!!

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  23. see, i'm one of those creative types where i like things to happen as they do and i don't need organization, but aat the same time i'm have a perfectionistic streak so i have to have certain things be organized. when the 2 sides clash i get all stressed out. my room is clean but cluttered and cozy, but stuff like my inbox and binders for classes have to be organized to a t. also, i wish i was as organized as you about blogging. one day maybe

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  24. i live in an organized mess. i hoard junk sometimes (like magazines, coupons, etc) and love tchotchkes haha. but i have all my bills organized and am crazy about my filing system. so definitely opposites there! still learning how to do menu planning ahead of time too!
    -- jackie @ jade and oak

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  25. Can you come over and organize my house!!! I just have so many ideas in my head, and so many hobbies it tends to get cluttered but clean.

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  26. OMG you are so organized. I have total envy right now. The BEST thing I have EVER done for working out is signing up for pure barre. Not only is it an amazing workout, but you have to go online and schedule your classes and you can't cancel less than 2 hours before class w/out getting charged a fee. Prevents those "I'll just skip today" workout blowoffs. It's helped me tremendously. I schedule about 2 or 3 weeks in advance and put it on my calendar. I'm they have it in Chicago if we have it in little old Columbia SC.

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  27. You are amazing. I wish I could nod at each one but honestly, my dogs' meds and walks are organized. And sometimes my inbox.

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  28. I am beyond impressed by your organizational ability. Seriously. I am the absolute worst at everything. Okay, maybe not the worst, per se, but I'm not great, certainly, and no where close to being as organized as I'd like to be. I have a planner right now, but it's not enough for everything that I want/need to use it for, so I end up not using it all that much, and it's just frustrating. I would love to have a few planners that are designed for really busy people with crazy lives (like me), so I can keep my clients organized, my life organized, my blog organized, etc. And I'm sure it probably would help a lot with my meal plan and prep, since if I do any of that right now, it is always in my too-small planner. So here's hoping I'm the big winner!!!

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  29. I hope by reading your blog I will become more organized like you. It will make my husband happy. As far as meal planning goes, it really helps me to get our groceries delivered. I use Pinterest to find or hold on to recipes that I want to make and then I find all the ingredients on Peapod or Safeway.com. Actually sometimes I order groceries online and then pick them up at our local grocery store, Harris Teeter. Typically I'll choose no more than two recipes I want to make for the week. The rest of the days we'll eat leftovers or something easy on the grill, like chicken breasts or steak. Leftovers make great lunches too.

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    1. I would be Matt's hero! Maybe it'll rub off slowly.
      I live across the street from a grocery store. I'd say 20 feet door to door. I really have no excuse but it's also bad when I want to eat crap - too easy to get to!! I need to find easy recipes that I can make quickly and not think about just getting frozen pizza.

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  30. Menu planning will help you budget too! Ah! I just had to get that out. Because I just said that on another blog...lol. But really, if I don't write down what to buy for the week I BUY EVERYTHING. And budgeting is my new middle name, thanks to similar years of personal mismanagement.

    Also, come clean and organize my dresser for me. PRETTY PLEASE.

    Also, you should be a professional organizer. That career exists! I learned it on Hoarders.

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  31. I use Mint.com and Manilla.com for finances. I think you'll like Manilla for keeping track of when things are due. Mint is great fro tracking expenses as far as what's income/expense and gives you charts on where you're spending the most.

    And can we talk about your blogging schedule? What the hell girl!? Now I feel SO inadequate ;) What is this 4 week rotation you do? But seriously, come put me on a blog routine. Because simply MWF is too much for me apparently.

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    1. Oh, and menu planning - emeals.com You have to pay for it but it's really cheap.

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  32. With my menu planning I use my planner as well, with things I need to purchase including grocery list to regular food store and a wholesale place. Finances, HA I can't ever get that organized with my finances, with having planners, apps on my phone etc. Exercising, also goes in my planner AND I have alerts on my phone co-in-siding with my alarms so I can get up and run on time so I don't have to rush to get ready for work.

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  33. I'm such an organization freak. Everything has to have it's place. If it doesn't a place then it is gone! I still need to find a planner that will have everything in it at once.

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  34. i LOVE being organized! i've heard you should schedule your workouts and write it in your planner... i don't do that though. and i can't meal plan to save my life... haha

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  35. Is it too late to enter to win this???

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    1. Nope, not at all, you're good until this Sunday Angelica!

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  37. Can I hire you to come organize my house, and throw away crap! For some reason I have such a hard time throwing away stuff. I have bags of stuff to go to Good Will that I can't bring myself to actually take there, just in case I might want something out of the bag. It is horrible. I like an uncluttered house, and to most people my house probably doesn't look cluttered, but it feels cluttered to me. Oh and the 3 that you can't organize, yeah me either. Not even close. Then it is magnified about 10 fold since I have 2 kids and a husband to keep on track! Ahhh it is starting to stress me out a little just typing this!

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