Saturday, May 26, 2012

Re-reading Sidetracked Home Executives

Have any of you ever read "Sidetracked Home Executives...from pigpen to paradise!"?

This book is SOOOOO funny and really helpful! This is the only home management system that's ever worked for me at all. And, I didn't even do it right!

So, I started reading it today to get a revamp and made my first few cards for the system--I started from scratch since it's been several years since I've read it. I tried to start it over a couple of months ago with little luck. I figure another read through won't hurt.

I laughed so hard. Sounds SO much like me. Here's a little piece of the fun from chapter 2:

"With excuse-making behind us forever, the next obstacle was obvious--we had lousy habits. We would never pick up anything: instead we'd pass up the same article over and over until finally we had memorized where everything was. That was the only way we could keep from killing ourselves, going down the hall at night to get a drink. We were an anthropologist's dream, leaving a perfect trail behind us of everything we'd ever done. The evidence of our every activity was there for all to see."
--from Sidetracked Home Executives, by Pam Brace and Peggy Jones

I love it! I laughed straight through most of chapter one and two, so hard my son came in thinking I was crying. It's just so TRUE. When I read books on decluttering or organizing, I can always tell whether that person was a "born organized" type person who is just giving great advice on what already works or a person who really had to DIG themselves out of the mess and LEARN to live a tidy life.

So, because life changes, I decided to scrap my old boring cards and slowly make a few at a time. I am seriously praying that God will guide me through this process since I tend to overdo things a wintzy bit. This morning I only made four cards. I'm starting with these and letting the rest of my life go on as normal until I feel capable of adding on.

Here's what I'm starting with:

I usually don't read my bible, but instead listen to it while I work on breakfast or eat. My schedule seems to always change, so I'm trying to start with things that won't. I always make coffee, I always eat breakfast, and I should always listen to my bible and clean up the kitchen. So, it's really only two new disciplines to get used to: reading (or rather listening to) the bible every day instead of spiratically, and doing a little work in the kitchen early in the day when I still have some energy.

So, what kind of morning routine do y'all have? Do you use a home management binder or what?


  1. Sounds like a book to read! My cleaning routine was changed dramatically by disabling illnesses, which have improved so I can do some picking up and cleaning-a few minutes at a time is better than nothing-but it's ingrained habit to sit with coffee, etc. Perfect timing because we just had a family meeting listing all that needs to be done and who will do it. Thanks. Janet

    1. It really helps me to have cards instead of time slots. I'm really sorry that you have a disabling issue--that truly hinders in ways that many people cannot understand. (See my posts on my wreck at Making Space Mondays, Easter Sunday). I am not disabled in a huge way anymore, but I walk ultra slow because of pain radiating through my back and legs. It starts out horrible in the morning and than loosens through the day, where mid day I feel almost normal again. Funny thing is, because mine is mostly muscular, the more I force myself to get up and move around, the more it loosens, the better I feel.

      Kind-of got to rambling. The Sidetracked system helps in that you can pick and choose cards based on what you or your family are able to do at that very moment. So, if I'm super tired/sore, I may pass the laundry card to Abby for the moment and I might sit and listen to my morning bible. Then, I may start with a lighter duty like fixing coffee or cooking breakfast. I move on to harder things as my muscles give way, etc. When I was in a wheelchair I didn't use the cards, but I based everything on the room I was I wanted to get my water, get the kids some juice, put a few dishes in the dishwasher, and watch Abby fix herself a snack before making my way to the next room.

  2. Our schedule may not look like one but we have a routine or maybe it's more like habits. I'll confess to getting overwhelmed when anyone even mentions a schedule. I'm sure there's something out there for the anti-scheduler but I haven't found it yet ;)

    1. Yep. I'm the exact same way!! About the time I get used to math taking an hour, it suddenly picks up pace and now they're struggling with the next level of reading. Schedule change. Then someone knocks on the door to try and sell me something during the 10 minute tidy and that shifts everything over. I can't stand time schedules. I've tried them, and I end up needing to change them every other week.

  3. Thanks for the book recommendation. I was able to find it at a local thrift store and I can't wait to finish making my cards. For years I have struggled to get and stay organzied. My sister is such a wonderful housekeeper, and I look at others and think...If they can do it, why is it so hard for me. We have a large family (we have 5 kids, ages 5-17) I would love to implement this system into our home, and transform our home into a place were a guest is welcome on any day of the week. Thank you for sharing.

  4. You're so welcome! I'm sorry I'm just now replying...I've been in la la land for several weeks of oh-so-busy-ness! I am also starting fresh. I just finished my daily and weekly cards, but have some big news I'm going to share here on my blog pretty soon, so I won't be starting the monthly and beyond cards just yet. I really hope to focus on SHEs as a perminent part of my blog. I really believe in this system.


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