Follow the Decluttering:
How many times has this happened to you? You’re out somewhere and see a flyer about an event you want to remember so you take a picture. Or, you’re child hands you a flyer for a field trip so you snap a picture with your phone. It makes so much sense because you can retrieve the information when you need it. Unfortunately, those photos get lost among all the others you’ve taken. Weeks or months later you’re scrolling through all your photos trying to find the information from the flyer or the field trip.
We make frequent use of our city library but my wife always had the kids’ library cards in her purse. I finally laid them all out and took a picture but again, after a few months, I could never find them among my photos. Then, the obvious and simple solution occurred to me.
Make a folder
I now have in my phone a folder, or album, called Quick Access where I put these things. On an Android phone it’s easy to create a custom folder for your pictures. Open your phone’s photo gallery and go to the Album view. At the top of the screen, there is an icon of a folder with a plus sign in the middle. Click the plus sign and give it a name like “Quick Access” or if you are creative enough to come up with something cooler, then give it a more interesting name. Depending on your phone and storage options, you may be able to specify where the album lives.
The next time you take a picture of a flyer or the cover of a book you want to look for at the library, move the picture into your quick access folder so you can find it later. Obviously, this method will only work for so long if you don’t do some occasional housekeeping. We’ll tackle digital clutter later though.
I don’t have an Apple but I expect it’s a pretty similar process to create an album and move pictures into it. In fact, it may even be easier. You can go as far as you want with this method and create several albums. You could create a folder for work, one for your kids’ stuff, and one for project ideas or something. You can use this method to organize all your photos, not just field trip flyers and lost dog posters.
Be careful though if you have some sort of automatic backup feature to save the photos on your phone. Make sure that your new folders are being saved to your Google Photos, iCloud, or wherever they are supposed to be going. These services may not automatically see the new folders.
I wanted to write a quick post just to make sure everyone knows I'm still here! Since having our fourth child in February, it's been pretty tough to find time to write anything. My time has been filled with swimming, baseball, softball, maintaining my house, a Baptism and First Communion on the same day, a 2nd Grade field trip to a museum, Cub Scout activities, rock climbing with the kids, the Detroit Whisky Festival, a piano recital, and even my first 5K of the year. Not to mention I have a job to go to every day and I'm still constantly removing things from my house.
A couple weeks ago, our sump pump stopped working right after a weekend of heavy rain. It was by far the most water we've had in our basement in the 14 years we've lived here. Nothing was ruined but we had so much stuff stored downstairs that I took a bunch of it to the garage just so I could move some other things off the wet carpet. It was motivation to purge so I wouldn't have to carry it all back downstairs. I sold a set of three heavy wood bar stools on Facebook and posted a couple other items for free just to get rid of them. Now I have a plumbing job ahead of me to replace the sump pump and install a backup system.
As you can see I've been too busy to do much writing but I have gained a few new email subscribers. Welcome! If you are getting emails but haven't followed me on Facebook, please do. Likewise, if you aren't receiving emails, you can subscribe just by putting your email in the form below. Also, if you ever have a question, comment, suggestion, or just want to say hi, you can email me at Dave@DaveLubke.com or send me a message with Facebook messenger.
Finally, I have one small request. If you happen to be on my website, take a look to the left side of your screen. You should see a small rectangle that says "Reviews" with a green check mark next to it. Please take a second to click on that and then click on the stars to rate me. If you have benefited from my website in any way, I would love it if you left a short review (preferably a good one and 4 or 5 stars). This just lets others know that my website is a safe site that can be trusted and that it's not some sort of scam or phishing website.
Thanks for reading and rest assured I have a few posts already in the works and plan to get back into a regular posting routine very soon.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been reading more about happiness lately and trying to put into practice some of the things I’m learning. I recently finished the book Happier At Home by Gretchen Rubin and I’m looking forward to reading some of her other books on the subject. I liked the approach of Happier At Home where she dedicated each month to a specific aspect of life to focus on improving her happiness.
She began in September which sounds odd except that she has two school age daughters. Like most parents, watching your kids go off to school each fall feels a lot more like a new stage in life than January 1st ever does.
The topics Gretchen chose for this project were:
As she goes through each month, she echoes a lot of the lessons learned in her earlier book, The Happiness Project. I admit I wish I would have read that first but it’s not absolutely necessary. She reviews many of those lessons and what she calls “The Eight Splendid Truths” about happiness whenever they apply. There is also a section at the end of the book listing them all together in more detail.
Two of my favorites were truth number 3 and 6. They are great words to live by.
A few other nuggets I pulled from Happier At Home were ideas she had like celebrating holiday breakfasts with your family. Some holidays like Valentine’s Day are difficult to celebrate as a family but she realized they generally were all together at breakfast. She went all out for fancy breakfasts with decorations for several holidays. That doesn’t work for everyone but it’s a cool idea.
I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily a happier person after reading the book but Gretchen definitely lays out a lot of ideas for you to think about. Remember, I write these posts as much for myself as I do for others. I know darn well I need to keep reminding myself of the two Truths above when I get so frustrated with my kids. It’s a process, maybe you could call it a journey even, but I don’t think happiness is necessarily a destination. It takes work and positive thinking.
There will always be good and bad times, and different aspects of your life to focus on. The monthly topics listed above may not be the same topics you or I would choose to focus on right now, but in a section at the end, she encourages everyone to embark on their own unique happiness project.
Good luck with yours.
My family uses Cozi for our calendar, shopping, and to-do lists. The best part is that it's free.
Copyright Dave Lubke and www.davelubke.com, 2018
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