Posted by: mmstanger | July 6, 2010

Just One Thing Challenge Week One Review

Order in the HomeToday, I continue to be grateful for the encouragement and help of so many folks– near and far, in person and online – as  I continue to seek Order in the Home as well as to train up and enjoy my kids, including our newest blessing – Jack Robert.

To this end, I would like to continue spotlighting the help received online through the Just One Thing Challenge, which I began to do before Baby Jack surprised us by coming three weeks early.  For now that our youngest blessing is nearly a week old, I think I can continue…

My Pre-Challenge work done, albeit my way, it was time to look at Week One assignments.

The first part of the assignment was to go through my list and to group tolerances by such things as tools needed for it, if it could be done in ten minutes or less, if I needed help with it, etc. Of course, since my tolerance list was mental, I did the grouping mentally, too.  For, although, I really like the way that Jenn Schwilling from Mom’s No Chaos Zone suggested marking up a written list with special notations in order to focus on what’s important and/or urgent, as well as by who might help with things, if supplies are needed, etc., time was of the essence for me.  That being said, now that Jack’s early arrival usurped much of my “urgency” factor and has temporarily thrown off whatever sense of routine and rhythm I had managed to maintain during the late, ligament-challenged, husband-not-at-home stages of pregnancy, I am confident that  I will be revisiting Jenn’s ideas soon as a way to re-evaluate and continue on with creating much needed order in the Home.  For, they are definitely helpful strategies and right now, I continue to need any strategy that might work!

But, back to what has been happening instead of what is to come… After grouping tasks, of course, the next part of the assignment was to tackle five or six of them, rewarding myself when I was done with them.  That I did!  I started knocking off “tolerances” and treated myself to Internet time, ice cream, rolling around with the kids and various other pleasures when I completed (or completed 15 minutes of!) each one.   Sometimes even mamas have better motivation when there is a treat forthcoming. : )

Now, it was my intention to list some of the 30 tolerances I knocked off this month with “Just Two (in my case) Things”, but I am more in the mood for looking forward than for looking back.  (And there is still so much to tackle.)  So, for now, I will just say that I was glad for Jenn’s encouragement.  I particularly liked her advice to:

  • Make a habit of tackling tolerances by spending only 15-45 minutes on knocking them off each day, rather than going whole hog, spending hours on it at one time, and, then running out of steam.  A little each day often leads to more consistent (and productive) habits of work then the all-at-once method.  (Granted, I did go whole-hog when I could just because of the urgency I was feeling to try –e en if I did not succeed – to “get it all done” before baby arrived.)
  • Revise your list if you find it is too long (which mine was, or shall we say, is) considering time available, urgency and if things can be delegated, among other things.  (I tried to do the most important things first with this in mind, even if I got side-tracked at times, meaning there were lots of “urgent” things Mike had to come home from the hospital to try to take care of the day after jack was born so we’d be more ready to bring him home.  Praise God for a willing husband!)
  • Recognize the difference between tasks and projects.  Consider getting short tasks out of the way first and tackling no more than two projects at a time. (Oh, if only I had heeded this advice months – okay, years – ago, I would not have so many unfinished projects cluttering up my home and days.  Finishing one thing at a time is something I continue to struggle with.  Multi-tasker me needs to become more single – and therefore success – minded, especially now that I have home, husband and kids to attend to as well as my own stuff.)

To that end, since the task of getting baby clothes ready for Jack Robert fell into the project of organizing (purging unneeded and, yes, even procuring some necessary) hand-me-downs, I recently broke the project of kids’ clothing management down into do-able tasks.  I am thrilled to report it is complete – for now.

If all goes well tomorrow, I intend to post some strategies and checklists I used for this project, including Kids’ Clothing Inventories.  If not, I will do so another day.  So, please check back  if you need inspiration and easy tools for your own kids’ clothing management.  And, please stay tuned for the rest of my Just One Thing Challenge review, which I will post as I can.

gratituesdayOf course, any and all encouragement and advice for creating Order in the Home while attending to little blessings – especially with a new born in the mix – would be most appreciated.  So, feel free to leave a comment.  And, as always, if you want to read related posts in this blog, use the links under Categories in the right column.  The ones below will take you who knows where… Finally, check out Heavenly Homemakers for links to others’ Gratituesday posts.



  1. Wanted to share that a great way to organize hand me downs is to use bins. Keeping a bin IN the closet will let you toss in things as they are outgrown. Then they’re already clean and binned up when it’s time for the new season or new size. Be sure to write the size/season/gender on the outside AND if you have 2 or 3 bins of a size writing “2 of 3” lets you know you’re missing some clothes so you don’t buy more. Also, creating a list as you’re binning them up with tally’s lets you know you have 10 pairs of pj’s but no jeans since your son is REALLY hard on the knees. You can grab this list when it’s time to go shopping so you know what you don’t need and you don’t have to fool with going through it again.

    Hope these tidbits help. They’ve done wonders for our family for over 11 years and I just cleaned them all out & sent them to Goodwill (who LOVED how neat & organized it all was 🙂 ).

    Also, with a newbie…grab a wrap. Keeps your hands free, babe tucked close & content, and allows you to get more done.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: