Card File Jumpstart, Or,
Getting Back in The Box
by CEO (Cynthia Ewer, Organized)
Editor, An Organized Home
It's been a super time together, these last 21 days! We've attacked everything from
motivation to the last nooks and crannies on the back porch. How to end it? By giving you
instructions on what to do when you fall out of the box!
If you're a S.H.E., Sidetracked is your first name, not your middle name. All of
us, the CEO no exception, veer off the system from time to time--and being a S.H.E.
guarantees that you lose your "O" just when you need it most! How do you get
back on track when dust is inch-deep on the cardfile?
To jump-start a cold cardfile, start with an uninterrupted hour early in the morning.
That hour, self-indulgent as it seems, is an essential. No kiddies. No Dr. DH. Peace and
quiet and a large table. Sweep the mess on the floor, if you must. Add a cup of good
coffee, and begin!
Start with a clean slate. Forget how many times you've skipped cards, and look away
from the condition of the sticky kitchen floor. The first task is returning your card file
to pre-sidetracked status.
Take out all the cards that are filed before today's date, and rearrange the dividers
so that today's month and day are at the front of the file. Now, refile all your daily and
weekly housekeeping cards as if you'd done them all along. Dailies go behind today's
divider, and weeklies go in your regular heavy- and moderate cleaning days. Underestimate
your time, because you'll be playing catch-up this week--better to schedule that big job
for a week from now, than to risk getting sidetracked by too many cards this week!
Next, look at the monthlies--and look at your house. The kool-aid covered kitchen floor
(ah, it's summertime) must be dealt with, but can the linen closets go one more month
without being tidied? Distribute your monthlies over the next two months. This late in the
game, a little more delay won't hurt.
After your cards are all tucked away, make a quick Immediate Action Card. Start with an
On My Mind list, and transfer your most pressing jobs to a white card. If a job can wait,
write it on a 3x5 slip of paper, and file it in front of next month's divider.
[Find a printable On My Mind Worksheet here.]
Now, you're ready to play catch-up. I start at the front door. Only this once, I'll do
whatever seems most important even without a card. As I work from the front door to the
right, I'll tidy and dust bookcases, gather scattered laundry, wash that smudge off the
wall (the one I've stared at for two weeks), de-clutter, toss old newspapers. I'll
delegate the vacuuming to the LD's.
Count on spending time in the kitchen, laundry, and bathroom--there, neglect can't be
postponed. By day's end, I'll have dug out from under 80% of the mess, and I'll rest
secure that the remaining loose ends are programmed into the cardfile over the next few
Jumpstarting your cardfile can be calming. Just seeing that Immediate Action Card makes
me feel like my ducks are in a row. Get back in that box . . . and get organized!