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Is there a primal way to organize?

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  • Is there a primal way to organize?

    Most of my daily life involves forcing my right-brain dominant way of doing things to serve in a left-brained work environment. When I get home from work at the end of any given week-day, I am usually too fried to think about organizing/maintaining/repairing anything at home.

    Today, a day off work for various arcane reasons, I am trying to figure out the fastest, simplest way to clear junk out of my house so that I can begin a process of making it a space in which I can actually live and not just exist.

    It would be wonderful if there were a way to apply Primal thinking and doing to this kind of task. One book, Organizing for Your Brain Type by Lanna Nakone, has helped me immensely. But it seems impossible that organizing and maintaining one's living environment could be simple, creative, playful, and healthful.

    Any thoughts welcome.

    Thanks,
    Edith

  • #2
    Originally posted by entwyf View Post

    Today, a day off work for various arcane reasons,


    Pick up something, put it away, repeat.
    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by entwyf View Post
      Most of my daily life involves forcing my right-brain dominant way of doing things to serve in a left-brained work environment. When I get home from work at the end of any given week-day, I am usually too fried to think about organizing/maintaining/repairing anything at home.

      Today, a day off work for various arcane reasons, I am trying to figure out the fastest, simplest way to clear junk out of my house so that I can begin a process of making it a space in which I can actually live and not just exist.

      It would be wonderful if there were a way to apply Primal thinking and doing to this kind of task. One book, Organizing for Your Brain Type by Lanna Nakone, has helped me immensely. But it seems impossible that organizing and maintaining one's living environment could be simple, creative, playful, and healthful.

      Any thoughts welcome.

      Thanks,
      Edith
      Look up the Sidetracked Sisters (Pam Young and Peggy Jones). I think their best book is The Happiness File, but it's out of print. You might be able to find it on Amazon. Best set of books I ever read on organization were by these two awesome reformed-slob ladies.
      Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Grumpy Caveman View Post


        Pick up something, put it away, repeat.
        Wise acre...

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        • #5
          I suppose one primal thing about the way I organize is the KISS principle.

          The most important thing: I am ruthless in getting rid of stuff. I have very few decorative items in my home. If I don't love it, I don't let it take up space in my life. Grok had to carry his life on his back. He didn't have the time or the energy for non-essential stuff. I'm glad I have a house and quite a bit more luxury, but it's easy to become a slave to your stuff.

          If something has a function, then it has a place I'm going to be using it. I organize those spaces around the tasks. Everything has to have a place. The ease of getting to and putting away an item is proportional to how much I use it. If I don't make things easy to put away, I will be less likely to keep things organized. If I can't take things out and put them away with ease, I have too much stuff.

          I found that once I got rid of a lot of clutter, I was less likely to buy things. Serene house. Fat wallet.

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          • #6
            I found that once I got rid of a lot of clutter, I was less likely to buy things. Serene house. Fat wallet.
            +1 Nicely put.

            Do one room at a time. Most folks try to do too much at once and get overwhelmed.
            Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
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            • #7
              SPACE

              Sort - sort through everything and put like items together
              Purge - go through each sorted pile and get rid of stuff you don't need
              Assign - determine a place where you're going to keep each type of item
              Containerize - get shelves, boxes, etc to put them in
              E - I forget what it stands for! but it means, maintain the organization system you've established

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              • #8
                See the Zen Habits site. He also has a blog called mnmlist.com

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                • #9
                  I do this too, but because I'm an exceptionally skilled procrastinator and work avoider, I usually skew the time cycles more toward working time, i.e., 30 minutes of work, 10 minutes of play. This works very well for my daughter, too, who is even more slow to clean her room than I am (hard to believe such a thing is possible).
                  “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t — you’re right.” ~ Henry Ford

                  My primal journal

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                  • #10
                    Ultramega's 20 minute plan is awesome. When I want to tackle a larger project, like cleaning out the garage, my husband and I chunk it up into easy goals. Like we commit to each going through two boxes worth of stuff on the weekend. Sooner or later, it's all done. If you feel like you have to hit it and go after it until its done, its hard to start.

                    Another thing that keeps momentum going is that I throw a dinner party at least once a week. I've got to pick stuff up. I don't have kids so there's only so far my house can go off the rails in a week. Plus it just keeps me in the headspace of putting it away now because there's not much later.

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                    • #11
                      In addition to Zen Habits and I can also recommend Unclutterer, which has many interesting posts and an active discussion forum.
                      Norak's Primal Journal:
                      2010-07-23: ~255lbs, ~40.0"
                      2011-11-03: ~230lbs, ~35.5"
                      2011-12-07: ~220lbs, ~34.0"

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DaisyEater View Post
                        I found that once I got rid of a lot of clutter, I was less likely to buy things. Serene house. Fat wallet.
                        +1
                        Find me at aToadontheRoad.com. Cheers!

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                        • #13
                          I second Griff's recommendation of Pam and Peggy Young's books. The Happiness File can be purchased as an ebook. Some people like the website Flylady, but there are a few too many emails for my taste, but good information on that site.

                          I read once that the Dali Lama, when asked the key to peace, answered "routines." My routines are my lifesaver. I have a set routine for the morning, which is pretty simple, centering around getting up and getting to work. My afternoon and evening routines are more involved, and are really aimed at getting as much prep done as I can for the next day, and includes prepping the next day's dinner, getting clothes out for the next day, packing our lunches, doing a quick 15 minute pick up before bed (I hate to wake up to a messy house), etc. Routines really keep our lives running smoothly around here.

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                          • #14
                            for me, the first thing is minimalism.

                            i purge our stuff on a regular basis. Before i bring something in, I ask if we really need it or what.

                            Today, I got the divan i won off of ebay-come-craigslist. it isn't what i thought it was, and i immediately called the salvation army. pick up is tuesday am. it came in, it goes right back out. I only paid $45 for it total -- which sucks to loose -- but I do not keep anything that i consider *junk* in my house.

                            once i get back to minimum, everything has a place. everything goes in it's place at tidy-away time. that happens multiple times a day, with the kid's stuff, and each evening before bed for everything else. takes 10 minutes.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dmc View Post
                              I read once that the Dali Lama, when asked the key to peace, answered "routines." My routines are my lifesaver. I have a set routine for the morning, which is pretty simple, centering around getting up and getting to work. My afternoon and evening routines are more involved, and are really aimed at getting as much prep done as I can for the next day, and includes prepping the next day's dinner, getting clothes out for the next day, packing our lunches, doing a quick 15 minute pick up before bed (I hate to wake up to a messy house), etc. Routines really keep our lives running smoothly around here.
                              I second routines. I have to have routines, I have ADHD, or I can't do anything. I also don't "see" messes until they're quite formidable. I'm having a hard time right now because we're in a small apartment until the house gets finished and we'll actually have room for stuff. A few things that work for me:

                              Don't have too many of things you use a lot. I'm the only one in the house that drinks coffee and I have one coffee cup. If I want coffee I have to wash my cup. I also can't grab a new cup every time I want a cup. I'm thinking of getting my own water glass. Plates, bowls and silverware are different because they get put into the dishwasher after each use.

                              Buy the best you can afford. If you value the objects you have you're more likely to take better care of them. Our kitchen will have some open shelving for the dishes. I just bought a set I really love so I want them to be seen.

                              Make things easy to clean. We'll only have hard floors in the house and surfaces that are easy to clean. Too many frills and frou-frou and the cleaning becomes unbearable.

                              I'm one who has to clean and organize all at once. If I have to do a little bit each day it drives me nuts. I can live with a bit of clutter throughout the week if I set aside specific times to do something. This works because I don't have kids, obviously, but Sunday afternoon is my usual preferred time.

                              The "space" recommendation was a good one. I like to have a few plastic bins around the house. One for stuff that gets thrown out, one for clothes, one for books, etc . . . It's easier to think "Go around and pick up all the old magazines, newspapers, trash, then all the socks and shoes, then the stuff that needs to be shelved" than it is to do it all at once. And if I'm focused on one task at a time I don't get as distracted.

                              Of course, if you saw the mess the apartment is in right now you wouldn't believe me, but with the lack of storage here and knowing it's temporary and not caring about the space, well, as long as the piles aren't crawling around on their own I'm not too worried about it.
                              Buy house, Demolish house, Build house.

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