Back in 1994, when I was working as a Budget Administrator for a very prestigious law firm, I almost quit because I was just too overwhelmed with the amount of work I had to do. The Senior Partner, upon hearing that I was going to give up, called me in to his office and gave me the greatest piece of advice that I am now, in turn, going to share with you. Mind you, this Senior Partner was a multi-millionaire and a celebrity attorney in his own right. He told me to make a list of the things I had to do, prioritize if need be, and then forget it! Get a good night sleep and start fresh in the morning.
I’ve been making lists ever since that day and I have never turned back. I make a list and then I get those things on the list DONE! It’s as plain and as simple as that.
For the past few months, I have watched my husband struggle with the amount of chores he has to do around this house. In other words, he has done nothing. He starts, gets overwhelmed and then stops. I knew what he needed. He needed some guidance and direction. I told him to make a list. Which he did (I wrote it out for him). Got a good nights sleep and started the very next day, bright and early to tackle his list.
The first thing my husband had to tackle was his $50,000!!!!!!! barn. Sorry, but I had to put the price in there. I had the barn erected in 2005 specifically for hubby. It’s a prefab barn but it has taken him years to get it organized. He just put in electric last year. It’s been one complaint of his after another. Hubby just couldn’t get the barn organized for any of his creative hobbies. The barn soon became a catch-all for every Tom, Dick and Harry dumping their crap in there. (translates to my husband and my two daughters dumping nothing but their stuff in the barn until it got to the point you couldn’t see the floor anymore) The problem was compounded by my husband buying a 2000 Jeep Cherokee back in 2006 specifically to rebuild the engine and use the vehicle for his own personal use. Fast forward to today, 2019, a full friggin’ fourteen years later and the vehicle still sits idle, taking up space in that $fifty thousand dollar barn.
Now that I have joined forces with hubby, I have given him an ultimatum: get rid of the Jeep by Memorial Day or I am calling 1-800-Kars-4-Kids and donating the heap. Hubby claims he has a buyer for the car (solely for parts) and that the guy is coming to pick it up. We’ll see. In the interim, hubby and I tackled the barn clutter.
When things seem overwhelming, I also recommend you just spend an hour doing the work. Everyone can survive an hour! You’d be surprised at what you can accomplish in just an hour. Especially when you do it for a few days. So, that’s what we did. I set a timer and we spent an hour together de-cluttering the barn. We started throwing out the garbage and then putting like-things in containers and placing them up on shelves. The goal was to get things off the floor, make some area space, so hubby could start working on our cars. He needs to set up his workspace. And he also needs to get his friggin’ ham radio crap out of my daughters bedroom and set up an area in the barn to communicate with the other ham nuts he speaks to around the world. UGH!
Next on hubby list was to finally buy a blade for his saw and take down a cluster tree that had been a backyard eyesore for the last four years. Turns out, the blade he already had worked just fine. Hubby and I utilized the ‘one hour theory’ and in two hours we got the work completely done. Hubby cut down the branches. I lugged them across the yard to our tree branch pile (a contractor is coming later on to chip all the tree limbs and lug the crap out of here and off the property).
Number 3 on hubby’s list was to move my RV out of storage and start cleaning it up and testing all portals (A/C, heat, waterlines, drainage lines, microwave, fridge & freezer etc.). Note to my readers: that $50,000 barn was built to store my RV (if you will note the huge garage door). Well, that never happened because of all the crap inside the barn. My precious RV spent this past winter shivering outside and exposed to all the brutal weather conditions of the northeast. Lucky for hubby all systems checked out and my RV is AOK. You can be guaranteed that this upcoming winter my little RV will be inside the barn this time.
The last two items on hubby’s list: take care of the wasps in the attic and find a substitute for Roundout Weed Killer (company lost cancer lawsuit so we need to find an alternative) is in the works. We may have to hire a professional to take care of the wasps. Roundout has come out with a new organic weed killer but hubby needs to do a bit more research. We should have it resolved within the week.
And that’s it! Hubby’s list is done!
Here’s my list:
Here’s a collage of all the work I’ve gotten done these past few days:
If you’ve got a bunch of chores you need done and are feeling a bit too overwhelmed by it all, or just don’t know where to start, make a list of what needs to be done. Prioritize it. Ask yourself what is most important? Set a timer and just spend one hour a day tacking the first thing on your list. When the hour is up, stop. Repeat the next time and follow the instructions as up above.
Make your list. Now get a good night’s sleep and start tomorrow to tackle your list. This is the advice from a gentleman (who was very instrumental in my life) who grew up to be a multi-millionaire and lived in one of the most prestigious and wealthy areas in New York. This good man passed away in 2014. I shall never forget him. May he rest in peace.
SIDE NOTE: Every time I threw something in the garbage pail, my husband would pull it out and look at it. Then he would say he ‘needed it‘. I would say: ‘it’s been here for umpteen years and you’ve never used it’. And with that, I’d toss it back in the garbage pail. Thus now, you can understand why things never got done or de-cluttered inn his barn. Hubby is a hoarder. Hoarding must be managed and controlled. Good luck if you have a hoarder in your household. It’s a difficult habit to break.