Bulletin Board Project

In my bedroom, I have two bulletin boards. I’ve got all sorts of things on them, from quotes to things I need to deal with to library receipts to whatever else. However, it’s on there so willy-nilly that it’s not actually all that helpful. So I decided to something about that. Here are what they looked like before I got started:

Bulletin Board 1
Apologies for the blurry picture.

Bulletin Board 2Quite the mess! I pulled everything off of the boards and sorted it out on my bed. See the big red recall notice? Turns out I had three of them. I don’t need three to remind me to take care of that! I also discovered an expired coupon, my voter registration card, and a few other things that either belonged somewhere else or were just trash.

Sorted pilesOnce I had things sorted into groups, I borrowed some wrapping ribbon for the next step. I cut a few pieces of ribbon and used them to divide my boards into sections, using the push pins to keep the ribbon in place.

Ribbon

Bulletin board divided 1

Bulletin board divided 2Once that was done, I put things back, keeping them in their own section. For example, on my bigger board, I had a section for quotes, things to take care of, and my library receipts telling me when my books are due. I also included the paper for the adult summer reading program in that section so I knew where it was.

Bulletin board completed 1On both boards I even had a section left over! It’s so much easier to see what I have and what’s going on. It was a quick, cheap, and easy fix that makes the boards so much more useful and organized! I love it when I can manage to make this happen. 🙂

Bulletin board completed 2What sort of quick organizing projects have you done lately?

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“Chore List”

So I mentioned I had a chore list  in my post last week on how I’d blown my filing out of proportion. Basically, this idea came about because I wasn’t accomplishing even the basics of keeping my space clean. So I made up this list, stuck it in a sheet protector (so I could mark the list with a whiteboard marker and then wipe it clean), put it on a clipboard, and hung it up on my bedroom wall. As you saw in the post last week, it looks like this:

Chore list

Here’s a close up of the actual list (Click on the link. It was the only way I could make it big enough):

Cleaning List

This is personalized for me. You may notice there are no kitchen cleaning items on here. That’s because I’m currently living with my parents and so the kitchen cleaning is a group effort. These are the things I need to do to take care of the space I’m over. I also included a few computer cleaning chores— cleaning out my downloads and the reading list on Safari. That’s the left hand column. The right hand column is other things I want to accomplish each day or week.

Is it working? Sort of. I’m not accomplishing very much on the list each week. But I notice it and do look at it, even if I don’t get very much done on it. So it’s at least on my brain. I’m hoping that as the summer moves forward, I’ll get into more of a groove and by the time school rolls around, taking care of most of this list each week will be habit. The thing I’m allowing myself is permission to NOT do everything on the weekly or daily list every week or day. Some weeks/days it’s just not possible with everything else I have going on. But if I can at least remember that I intended to do these things and actually try to do as many of them as I can, then I’m counting it as a win. It’s more than I would have done without this.

Blowing things out of proportion

I (re)learned something interesting a few nights ago. I was feeling a bit down because I didn’t feel like I’d accomplished much that day. For example, here is my “chore list” (More on that in a future post):

Chore list

Mind you, this was part way through the week and I hadn’t done a single thing on that list. Oy. So, I decided to tackle the monster that had been mocking me for weeks: my filing.

Filing

The folders are my filing cabinet, as it were. The shoebox is a future project, and the top drawer and the pile in front were what needed to be sorted. I’d been putting it off because I was certain it would take forever and I’m not really fond of filing. (In fact, I took the picture because I planned to write a post about my fight with filing and filing systems. I probably still will at some point.)

But I needed to do something to feel like I’d actually accomplished something. So I set the timer on my phone for 15 minutes, turned up some tunes, and had at it. I promised myself that whatever was done in that 15 minutes, that would be good enough and I would be done for the day.

This was how it looked 13.5 minutes later.

Finished filing

I filed everything and cleaned up in less than that 15 minutes. I’d been putting this off for WEEKS because I thought it was going to take so long and I finished it in less than 15 minutes.

I think everyone, not just people with depression or another mental illness, tend to blow a task out of proportion. We look at something and imagine that it’s going to be so much more difficult than it actually is. But I have noticed that I tend to do this a bit more since my depression really hit. I already know I’m depleted in energy, and so things seem just that much harder. And so they get put off, again and again. But really, they’re a simple job and if I would just sit down and do it, it would be done.

Was it a silly little thing in the grand scheme of things? Yes. Did I still blow it out of proportion and make it more difficult in my head than it was? Yes. Will I do it again? Probably. But maybe the next time I assume something is going to be too hard or take too long and I want to put it off, I’ll remember my 13.5 minute filing job and sit down and get to work. Who knows? Maybe I’ll surprise myself again with how little time and effort something takes.