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Anne-Marie Gallagher
Chicago
Interests: writing, cats, interior design, cooking and baking, frank sinatra, organizing, creative nonfiction, watercolor painting
Recent Activity
Thanks Jess! That made my whole week! :-) I'm glad you're finding the site helpful. Yeah, manual drafting was a bear, but very satisfying and strangely kind of fun, too. Good luck and take advantage of the beginning of the semester to get your systems established before you get bombarded with homework!
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Hi Mimi-- I'm glad it's working for you--that's the important thing. I agree that with any system, the key is to individualize it so it fits with your life and how you do things. Good job of doing that, and on your progress! Good to hear. :-)
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There’s only one thing you need to know to avoid being late: In order to be “on time” you have to get there early. I know: it’s not fair. And it’s not much of a “trick” either, even if it’s... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2012 at Organization Quest
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Today I saw an article on Slate that referred to Russian hackers stealing 6 million passwords from LinkedIn, and I thought: oh, that’s weird. Alpay said he wasn’t worried about it because LinkedIn was forcing those whose passwords were compromised... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2012 at Organization Quest
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After writing that the two times I was recently complimented for being organized were for two totally different things, I realized I was wrong: they both involved organizing information. While not as pressing as day-to-day routines that keep a household... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2012 at Organization Quest
Hi Flybaby-- With four kids and a full-time job, no wonder why you're wondering how to keep things under control on the home front. I have a cousin who has 10 kids, and I know that one of the things that worked for her is to clean as a family. She organized Saturday "work parties" in which everyone worked at the level they were able to. I don't know how old your kids are; obviously this wouldn't work if you have four kids under five years-old, but my observation of other people's kids is that even five year-olds can help fold laundry or pick things up or dust. By the time they are seven or eight they can do many other things, and a ten year-old can do pretty much do most of the chores an adult can do. Done as a family, to music, with everyone pitching in, cuts the resentment of individuals who might feel they are being singled out or over-burdened. Additionally, any kid over the age of 7 or 8 can be taught how to do the laundry and given the responsibility of his or her own. Each family member over he age of four should be responsible for bringing his or her dishes to the table. Setting the table and doing dishes could be revolving chores for those old enough to do so (I'd say 7 or 8.) Or you could choose to use disposable plates/forks/cups for everyday occasions. I know that's not "eco-wise" but with the weight of your responsibilities I don't think it's fair for anyone to judge. Basically finding any way to simplify, streamline, make things easier, and use the inherent strengths of any given family situation is what will help the most. One of the inherent strengths of your family is the fact that you DO have four kids. Which is to say: you don't need to do this alone. Good luck and check back in! I'd love to continue to hear how you're doing.
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Twice in the last week, on occasions that couldn’t be more different, people expressed admiration for me being “so organized.” This doesn’t happen often, so I thought it might be useful to try to figure out what I’d gotten right.... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2012 at Organization Quest
Dear JC: It's two cats. And yes, they require accessories. And toys! They're CATS! Thanks for coming to the Quest, JC. I miss ya!
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In the last year, I’ve been somewhat/sort of-kind of/mostly/mostly not/not-quite-but-maybe-getting there/organized. Yep. That pretty much sums it up. What happened? In the middle of last year’s Really, Truly, This Time I’m Gonna Do It! spring cleaning pledge, my resolve flamed... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2012 at Organization Quest
Thanks, Gadgettown! Am actually gearing up for re-committing to the Quest, so your kind comment is certainly a boost. Be well--
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It's true! Comet, along with baking soda, are the dynamic duo of common cleaning supplies. ;-)
Toggle Commented Nov 2, 2011 on Heretical Bathroom Cleaning at Organization Quest
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I thought it might be fun to have a space where we can post pictures, swap recipes, and track our progress as we Go For The Gold in achieving our very best health. Feel free to write a post--which will show up here on the "main" page, or on your... Continue reading
Hi Maaike! I really didn't mean to diss the FlyLady--I know she has helped thousands (if not millions!) of people get a handle on their homes and their lives, and that's a mission I support 100%! I'm also glad to see that she cured you of your perfectionism; I think perfectionism really is the culprit in dragging one down and making everything harder than it needs to be. I think for me, FlyLady's system seemed to trigger my own ineffective, inefficient perfectionistic bent, in that I was so worried about working the system and doing things right (i.e.: I have 19 things to throw out, but need another 8! And spending undue time trying to scare up the other 8) that it just wasn't right for me. The key is finding the system that works for you. Glad you found what works, and congrats on your progress and success!
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When we adopted our Boys, it was straight from the Kitten Room at Treehouse, a cageless, no-kill animal shelter on Chicago's northside. By way of furniture, the Kitten Room has a couple cat trees and a few chairs for human... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2011 at Organization Quest
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After years of happily making-do with the freebie sunglasses I once got--one from a Gift-With-Purchase and another from an optometrist--I got my first pair of Big Girl sunglasses a few years ago. It was a splurge that made me feel... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2011 at Organization Quest
Glad you're enjoying the blog, Nike Running Shoes!
Toggle Commented Apr 13, 2011 on Sensational Shoe Storage at Organization Quest
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If giving pets a bath constitutes the spring cleaning version of pet care, other pet grooming chores, like combing and brushing, clipping nails, and brushing teeth, are more like doing dishes or the laundry--something that needs to be done fairly... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2011 at Organization Quest
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Yesterday we kicked the weekend off by giving The Boys a bath, which seemed like a good idea until Snapdragon got wet. Things pretty much went down hill after that. Epiphany #1 When giving a cat a bath, shut the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2011 at Organization Quest
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Few experiences in adult life offer the potential for the kind of mortification and angst so common in middle school, which is why social media was invented, so we could all channel our inner teenager. A few (which is to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2011 at Organization Quest
Hi Lisa! Congrats on your decision to go back to school! That's fantastic. I think committing to something that feeds your soul brings all kinds of good things into motion. When you are pleasurably challenged, I do think things become easier, in that you find pockets of time that you didn't know you had, and you tend to use time more efficiently in order to make time for what you need and want to do. I'll be honest: during midterms and finals the whole place goes to hell in a handbasket. I'm very good at focusing my attention, but a superior multi-tasker I'm not. What I do try to do is in the break between quarters is to "supercharge cleaning" and do as much as possible then and in the few early weeks of the quarter, and predicate afterwards the things that really need to be done--i.e. cleaning over picking up. My study/art studio looks like a tornado hit it by the end of the quarter. It's also important to file and archive away any paperwork from the quarter as the quarter progresses or as soon as possible after the quarter ends. I end up using notebooks and materials from almost every class in other classes, because there is so much overlap. If you see "School" in the category section, you'll see all the posts I've written about studying, including archiving (and taking!) notes. Right now, I'm taking a break from school and so am able to re-devote myself to the blog, organizing, and my art and writing. Don't know if I'll go back (I already have an advance degree, so the degree itself wasn't the goal the last time around) but I did enjoy learning and the subject, and it added a whole new dimension to my life. Wishing you the best and that you find pleasure and challenge and accomplishment in your new endeavor!
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There was a woman I worked with at my last job I'll call Pat who had the mystifying habit of answering anything one might say with, "Yeah, I know! Right?" It didn't matter if you said, "The report is due... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2011 at Organization Quest
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My Very Worst Moment At Work happened not in the office but at a Japanese restaurant where our senior manager took us for a departmental lunch. I was all set for the sushi. What I wasn't prepared for was the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2011 at Organization Quest
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When I was a student, I always loved the beginning of the term, perhaps because nothing much is due in the first week or two, which makes it easy to imagine unbridled, effortless success. Somewhere around the 4th or 5th... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2011 at Organization Quest
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Oslo, Norway, April 1, 2011 The Nobel Organization (TNO) hereby announces the addition of a new prize, recognizing superlative effort and ongoing improvement in an endeavor previously thought to be hopeless, to be called, The Who Wouldda... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2011 at Organization Quest
As a Freshman in college, I thought I knew what it meant to “study.” What I didn’t understand was when professors would lament on occasion that I was “unprepared,” (or once: “woefully unprepared”) when we didn’t even have a test... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2011 at Organization Quest