Press As You Sew!
by CEO (Cynthia Ewer, Organized)
Editor, Organized Home
We've talked about the "why" of organization. We've covered the very first
step: get up one-half hour before the rest of the family, shower and dress. Now we're
going to talk about the reason it took me about six years to make this system really work,
and it all started in home ec!
Remember home ec? That was the class I took as a seventh-grader to teach me to make
chocolate milk and cinnamon toast--when I was already cooking family dinners twice a week,
baking pies, and making jelly at my grandmother's elbow.
Good ole' home ec had a sewing component, too, and my teacher, Mrs. McClincy (bless her
soul--I've saved a bundle over the years using the skills she taught me!) was a regular
bear about construction pressing. Even decades later, her voice rings through my head when
I bend over that Bernina: "Press as you sew!"
Mrs. McClincy must have been born organized. Born organized people (and those
Sidetrackers who were blessed with a Mrs. McClincy) do press as they sew--and they follow
directions in every other aspect of life, too.
We Sidetrackers? "Why should I iron that seam? It's not going to show!" we
tell ourselves--and then we wonder why our garments never look quite right when we are
finished! Like sewing, like life--if you take short-cuts, you'd better expect to be
This goes single, double, triple in our quest for organization. I know exactly what
newcomers to the S.H.E. system do--because I did it and did it and did it for years!
First, you race through the book. It's such fun! It's so encouraging. Then, you race
down to the stationery store and stock up on a rainbow of 3-by-5 cards, a nice file, and
maybe you even add a pack of colored pens, too. "I'll be super organized, even
color-coded!" you beam as you stagger to the car with your loot. "This is
You may even write out some nifty little cards (why bother to make boring old Activity
lists?) and set up your cardfile. But just like that unpressed garment, your new Home
Executive system is going to droop on you, right away. Why? Because you didn't do the hard
stuff. You didn't press as you sew!
What hard stuff? Changing attitudes. Changing habits. Drafting a Basic Week Plan, and
modifying it and modifying it and modifying it until you have a plan that works. Giving up
excuses. Saying "No!" Doing the cards!
In the days to come, we will begin the nitty-gritty: Activity Lists to 3-by-5 cards to
habits to goals. Decide, this time, that you will succeed. And how will you succeed? You
will not skip the hard stuff, the stuff that doesn't show. This time, you will press as
you sew. . . to get organized!