Wednesday, May 5, 2010

BabyStep 10: The Black Hole

As you may have (but probably not) noticed, I had another FlyLady-free day yesterday, but it was hardly a vacation.  There was running around, voting, and lots of driving involved.  This was after working one of the busiest days we have had at work in quite awhile.  I did my before bed routine when I got home, but after that my energy level was in the red.  Today I picked right back up where I left off and followed through with BabyStep 10:  You can do anything for 15 minutes. 

The assignment was to set my timer for 15 minutes and throw away as much trash as I could find, and when the timer goes off, set it for another 15 and use that time to take a break.  The point being that no job is so bad we can't do it for 15 minutes, and also practice allowing ourselves the timed breaks and not killing ourselves trying to get it all done at once.

One question: How dirty does she think my house is?  Is FlyLady assuming her followers are all candidates for "Buried Alive: Hoarders"?  There is no way I could have walked around the apartment that long just picking up trash-I think the task would take 30 seconds, at most.  Then it hit me- there was a place in the house that had at least 15-minutes worth of garbage tossing: my purse. (Cue ominous music here: dun dun DUN!)

I have a messenger-style bag which is great for what I need.  I am not a girl who changes her bag to match her outfit, so this is my everyday, everywhere purse unless I am going somewhere that requires me dressing up.  The only thing I miss about other purses I have had in the past is there are NO organizational pockets inside.  This leaves me a lot of common empty space for things to get tossed into, and subsequently, forgotten.  And, they add up. Here's an inside shot:

It was hard for me to take shots that really showed how full of junk my bag was, but let me put it this way:  it has about 1/2 the cubic storage capacity of one of those green reusable grocery bags, and it was 3/4 full.  Yikes!  I dumped the whole thing out, set my timer for 15 minutes, and got to work.  I began by sorting out what was trash, what was stuff that just didn't belong in there, and what needed to get put back in.  Here is a shot of all the trash I pulled out:

Holy crapola!  It was mostly old receipts, since I fell out of the habit of putting them in my wallet then balancing my checkbook every day.  Lately they have just been stuffed willy-nilly in the purse and forgotten.  This has had a negative effect on my bag and my finances.  Need to pick that habit up again.  At this point the first 15 minutes was up, so I walked away from the mess on the floor (promising my roommate I wasn't going to leave it there) and did my 15 minute break.

When the break was up I went back and sorted out the rest.  There wasn't much that didn't really belong in there, just a couple pairs of winter gloves.  Here is a shot of everything that needed to go back in (minus the hairspray, that was cut out of the pic):

I set the timer for another 15, and got back to work.  I went as far as to call the numbers on the back of all my old gift cards to find out the correct remaining balances, then wrote the amounts on the cards with a Sharpie.  I reorganized my wallet, then put everything back in.  Here is the final product:

Again, it is hard to get a shot that shows the actual situation going on in there, so I would like to draw your attention to the red arrows.  Recall how I said it was 3/4 full in the before pic?  Those arrows are now pointing to visible patches of the bottom of the purse!  That's how much garbage I threw away!  To think I was lugging all that junk around everyday.

Circling back to the original point of the assignment, I will say that this one of the few FlyLady methods I have absolutely no problem with following.  I love that  I am supposed to only work in 15 minute increments, then have a timed break. Sure, sometimes my breaks may run a tad longer than 15 minutes, but the whole system does facilitate big jobs getting completed without them feeling like big jobs.


Tammy W May 5, 2010 at 10:50 PM  

I love it. I can't really relate to this posting because I carry the teeny tiniest purses I can find because I have six children and they will most assuredly FILL MY PURSE UP! Therefore teeny tiny purses! Wallet, keys, phone, powder and lipstick, and when I am feeling really rich perhaps a pack of gum!! :D ps. loving the aquanet!! I didn't know they still made that! Love your blog and I ADORE your layout! Thanking my friend LaDonna for sending me here!

Chandra May 5, 2010 at 11:48 PM  

Thanks Tammy! I used to be a small purse person too, but I had a unique job and needed something I could carry odds and ends to my site a half mile away from the time clock in. My fam and friends tease me about it, but who do you think they ask to carry stuff for them when walking around for a long time? ;) Thanks to LaDonna to steering you my way too, the more readers and comments I get, the more motivated I will be to keep up the blog.

Tammy W May 13, 2010 at 2:21 PM  

I can't get over how much you look like a friend of mine! (Freaky!!!)

Chandra May 13, 2010 at 10:00 PM  

I have a twin out there? Tell her I am soooo sorry that she looks like me ;) Oh, I forgot to respond about the Aqua Net- yes, they still make it, you can find it at most drug stores and it costs around 2-3 bucks. I use it daily becuase I work at a living history museum and have to wrestle my chin length hair into what appears to be a 19th century style using a hairpiece, Aqua Net, and lots of hairpins.