Organize Me - Chronic Disorganization and Procrastination

by Heather

I happened upon this site during a Google search for "Baby Book Procrastination" of all things! I have no idea what this website is, but from what I've read so far, it looks like it applies to me.

I'm a 33 y/o mother of two girls - 3 y/o and 14 months. I have been diagnosed over the years with several anxiety disorders such as OCD, Generalized Anxiety, Social Anxiety, Phobias, Depression, etc...and I suffer from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue.

I used to be so organized that everything inside boxes inside closets (everything!) was perfectly neat and organized. It was way too much. Co-workers would make fun of me with all the papers perfectly aligned, etc...

I liked being organized and imagined that I would always have the ability as I was very detail-oriented. But, after my grandfather passed away almost 10 years ago, I noticed I began to change, letting things go. I began to procrastinate and eventually things started to become too overwhelming that I wouldn't know where to begin to organize them. I kept journals for years and photo albums, but when I began dating my now-husband, I suddenly stopped writing things down and any pictures we have are scattered and I have no idea when they were taken.

When I had my first child, I had big plans of jotting down notes everyday to help with her baby book and putting pictures in scrapbooks. She will soon be 3 1/2 and I have been unable to bring myself to even open her baby book. I've never even written her name in it for fear that I will mess it up somehow!

I had a few First Year Calendars as well that would have made it easy to jot down her firsts and I never did that either. Her notes are scattered and incomplete, but what's worse is that I haven't done hardly any notes at all for her sister who will soon be 14 months!

I am completely overwhelmed and exhausted all of the time. I constantly ruminate about all that I've failed to do and now I can't remember much about either of their baby hoods. I don't have any pictures in photo albums.

I do have a ton more pictures of my 2nd child because the digital camera I had with my first only had 1 media card that would only hold 83 pictures, and by the time she was born they didn't make that card anymore so I'd erase 10 or so pics at a time and go make a pic CD, but I was too afraid to ever completely erase my favorites for fear that something would happen to the CD's and they'd be lost forever. So I have all these CD's with duplicate pictures on them (hardly no actual pictures printed) and I have no CD pics for my 2nd child as I just keep going and buying new SD cards, never erasing them.

Everything is completely disorganized in my life. I can't get a handle on anything, and I constantly feel like I'm failing my girls so I don't enjoy being a mom right now. They are still little, but I feel like I've messed up, and I can't recapture their baby hoods to preserve the memories.

My house is a wreck and I have piles of clutter on every surface. I go from one task to another without being able to complete the first. I am so stressed out and afraid of the future. I can't go on being this way, and I would love to be organized again.

Can you give me any advice on how to get started in pulling myself out of this?

Thank you, Heather

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Apr 13, 2010
Comments for How to Stop Procrasination and Get Organized
by: Samantha

Hi Heather, Goodness, take a breath! Yes, you used to be organized, but you have a family now! You're not disorganized, you're normal!

Getting organized is really a process of developing good systems of organization and changing from bad to the good habits of utilizing these systems. And, I want you to keep the following in mind as you develop your own systems - progress, not perfection.

You seem really worried about creating memories for your kids. Your kids will cherish and be shaped more by the physical memories you create rather than the paper and digital ones.

But, as moms we want the best for our kids, and since we only have twenty-four hours in a day, I make sure to update baby books about once a quarter. To do this, I stash all my kid's well-child doctor visit notes, birthday cards, birthday pics, and notes of things they said and did in one drawer. At the end of the quarter, I pull it all out, sort by kid, and update each book. Since you're behind, gather important stuff like height and weight by age. If you don't have access to this, call your pediatrician's office and quickly jot this down from birth to age three and record in the baby books. Then, record the milestones by age such as first step, word, tooth etc. It doesn't have to be perfect, you can guesstimate for your 14 month old based on memory and your 3 year old's notes. Last write short notes about each birthday from ages one to three and include a pic.

As for your pictures, take those cards and CD's to a photo processing shop and ask them to print out 4x6 pics for albums, and consolidate them into CD's. This may cost more, but it will get done fast. Don't get fancy with the organization here, work in chronological order by year such as 2007 / 2008 / 2009. In the future, use an online photo processing to organize and print out your pics. When placing photos in an album, again, try and work in chronological order. And, don't worry if you're not perfect, we're going for progress, not perfection. Find photo albums that allow you to make notes about pictures too. It's a fun way to document things for future generations.

Worrying about what you're not doing is wasting energy. Think about it, is worrying changing anything, or making it worse? You need to start small, and once you create these simple systems of organization, you'll change from bad habits to good habits of keeping your pictures and baby books organized.

Again, start small and don't get overwhelmed. Make notes at the beginning of each week of what you'd like to accomplish. For instance, next week you can note that you're going to take all those cards and CD's to a photo finishing shop to print and consolidate the digital files. The following week you're going to purchase photo albums and place the pictures in the albums, etc.

Remember too, it doesn't have to be perfect, what's important is the physical memories you're creating with your kids! Good Luck, Samantha

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