Thursday, January 19, 2017

Making The Most And Best Of Your Life

Life Tweak, Kit It

I find the first of the year is a nice refocus time, the world around us helps set the pace and rather than fighting it, finding it suits me.

This year is a full year of changes. Our Tweaking Corner business is headed a different direction much more in line with my original goals, children and grand children ages and lives have changed, my health while still improving is a chronic force to be managed, and I still work a job I go away to. All of these things while mostly wonderful, are always unpredictable and finding ways to harness the good, ride out the bad in the least negative impacting ways is always my prayer and focus.

Something I learned when our children were in grade school was, Kits. In our fast paced lives we all use them, it's pre-packaged stuff. You know food, craft projects, organization planners, furniture, parties. Kits, prepped so all you have to do is open follow quick directions and just like a boss you have created a fabulous ____________________. 

This is a very natural skill for me. However even I am already seeing  in 2017 it absolutely is a game/life changer. So first lets look at the Tweak, so you can create time in your life for the most important things.

Let's start with the One Million Pillowcase challenge. I actually jumped on this challenge several years ago. However with lack of planning, I created 2 pillowcases and never delivered them anywhere. Had thought I would make several throughout the year and then deliver 5 or so in the end. Guess what, no happy children received any pillowcases from me. My material scraps are growing and it was either donate the material, or use it up. I do not want this to fail a second time. The only answer: kits, which will work in split unpredictable limited times.

5 pillowcase kits

So first I took the pressure off of myself by setting the goal at simply cutting the kits. In the first morning before I headed out the door I discovered I had enough scraps to cut 5 pillowcase kits. Instead of stacking in piles that will get messed up, confused, moved or lost I stacked each set together in gallon freezer bags. 

Wow, how easy was that. Now each kit will take approximately an hour to pin, and sew. So the next time I have literally an hour all I have to do is grab the kit with instructions and go to work. Yep, 2 kits already completed. That feels good.... Let's recap. Day one cut, stack, seal. Day two pin, sew. Day 3 pin, sew. Success, Success, Success! 

2 Tweety Bird Pillowcases completed

Valentine's Day Classroom Gifts
Next project: I spend one afternoon a week crafting with the oldest grandchild. When holidays come up, or special events this time slot is not long enough to complete gifts for say 20 fellow classmates. However if we leave this project out for the week I would have no space to work in the meantime. So we created kits, when we come back to the project they are all still sorted and easy to jump right back in. 

Why have I gone to such lengths to explain how to put your project in baggies you ask?  Well I'll tell you it's mindset. We feel much better when we have successfully completed. 

Creating the kits in itself are your first success, and as the quote goes, success breeds success.

When my grandchild leaves at the end of the day we know exactly how many we need to complete next week. Then I can in clear consciousness set all this aside and wait for our next crafting session. No unmet expectations, it is exactly as and where it should be. aaaaahhhh......

So let's just break this down a little further. Lots of things in life we do not always have the prep, and complete time all in one lump time slot. This happens for millions of reasons, time conflicts, or even health of yourself or another family member. Then frequently disappointment follows for lack of completion as well as a host of other things like loosing pieces, having to move things multiple times, or frustration because everything has to be worked around.

Think about the last time you bought vegetables had full intentions to dice and make that wonderful favorite meal and before you knew it, you were reaching in the veggie drawer and throwing half of them out. There's never time, until you create it.

So breaking it down, Kit It! 

Let's say this weeks menu includes a couple salads, stir fry, and chicken veggie soup.

Prepping/Kitting would look something like this:
Monday, cook enough chicken for three nights. While your chicken is cooking you are chopping.
Chopping tonight's green salad, plus your veggies for soup, stir fry and your fajita salad. I like to use the glass containers with seal-able lids. Use what you have, I've used baggies in a pinch. Here it is Monday and you've literally got the makings (Kits) of most of your meals through Thursday.
Tuesday, drop cubed chicken an veggies in a stock pot with broth let simmer. How easy is that?
Wednesday, since we've already  cooked our chicken we'll simply add a little oil to our pan drop in our veggies when they are close to desired tenderness drop in cubed chicken. Seriously how easy is that?
Thursday, this time we are cooking our chicken with our preferred fajita seasonings as your meat is nearing done add your peppers and onions (already prepped). Serve over a bed of greens. I ask it again, Seriously how easy is this? Lol

Every task can be broken into smaller manageable, successful pieces. I challenge you to look ahead at what you wish to accomplish and think about how can I 'Kit' this?

If it's long term like the One Million Pillowcase challenge jump ahead to the end. How many do I want to complete? and by when? How can I make it smaller steps to successfully accomplish it.

If it's a birthday present, always set the due date a week prior, just in case. Then step it backwards. This project will take me about 15 hours to complete. I have 4 weeks, that's 4 hours per week. How can I make smaller steps to create 4 hours in each week.

When the kids were younger I would 'Kit' things to do in the car or on the bench while waiting for them, or watching them practice. I was frequently surprised how much time I could carve out while waiting in the car for them. I could not have cut 5 sets of pillowcases, but I could assemble half a dozen flowers for grandparents and friends gifts, or take the bill binder and pay bills so at home I could use bill paying time for cutting time.

Tweak Your Life, Create The Life Kit

Tweak your Life, Kit it! Happy Tweaking...

Friday, January 6, 2017

Getting Organized 2017

Game Closet or Cupboard Organization

Super Simple Tweak. The New Year, cold icy weather, and some small home makeovers create the perfect environment for more organization. 

During Christmas I played games with the grandchildren and  realized more than my typical OCDish tendencies I was frustrated with this game cupboard issue. Games we wanted to play were hard to reach because they were all piled on top of each other. As well, when we dug out a game half the pieces were at the bottom of the cupboard  because twisting the box this way and that caused the pieces to fall out.

I wish I could take full credit for this tweak, but the reality is just a quick Pinterest search revealed the ahhh haaa moment. 

First I rounded up all the little pieces that keep falling out of the boxes and I contained them with whatever I could find, small bottles, old jewelry boxes, etc. I rubber banded all the cards together and then...

I rubber banded the outside of the boxes! Aaaah Haaaa! Wrap rubber bands around games and place them on their sides. I sorted all the mid-sized games and small puzzles this way. My cupboard size depicted not placing the larger board games on their sides. Even so this increased space allowing me to add four more games to the cabinet thus freeing another adjoining space. 

I'm hoping to do a little more tweaking in the future on the adjoining cabinet which is home to our card games, marbles, chess, checkers, and other assorted non-symmetrical games. Looking forward to adding the redo. Until then Happy Tweaking.