My T.C.B. Roundup!

by Katy on February 24, 2016 · 47 comments

A blizzard of paperwork

I had the best of intentions to methodically attack my pile of miscellaneous papers yesterday, heck I even wrote an entire blog post about scheduling a T.C.B. (taking care of bidness) day. But I didn’t take into account that I needed to attend a 2-1/2 hour CPR class and drive across town to pick up a free mattress and boxsprings. That, plus write a blog post, make dinner and daydream into the middle distance.

So . . . there was zero organizing action yesterday. Paper or otherwise. Today? It’s nice and sunny outside, so I’m organizing and decluttering my back porch, tidying the front yard and transplanting a few garden volunteers. (Sunny winter days in Portland, Oregon need to be taken full advantage of!) Of course I’m also planning dinner, (black bean burgers) doing laundry and what’s that other thing? Oh yeah . . . parenting.

I work tomorrow and have social plans on Friday, but surely can sneak in the three hours or so that this task will require before the end of the month.

Why am I writing this blog post? Because many bloggers present a home life that is 100% organized and show ready at a moment’s notice. Their Pinterest-tastic lives make readers feel straight-up crappy. It’s why I’ve stopped following a few blogs. They’re not real and I always felt worse after reading them, not better.

So today I’ve got a trunk full of recyclables to drop off, dirt under my fingernails and a looming stack of papers that can wait a few more days. I already took care of my expired driver’s license, so there’s nothing overdue that I’m aware of.

Real life. You’re welcome.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

A. Marie February 24, 2016 at 1:02 pm

Bravo, Katy!! Enormous thanks for your honesty.

I have been thinking about the TCB Day concept. DH and I are caught up on all the daily stuff and immediate renewals, etc.–but what we could really use is something like Geriatric Finance 101. We do have long-term care insurance, and we have no children, so figuring out how to leave something for the kids is not an issue. But getting DH onto Medicare 2 years ago almost tied us in knots–and figuring out how and how much to start withdrawing from our 401(k) accounts (which DH, at almost 67, will have to start doing in a few years)? Stuff like that? There’s my honesty.


NMPatricia February 25, 2016 at 2:41 pm

I am finding this time of our life to be difficult in terms of our finances. My husband went over our taxes and all my brain could process is that it would be difficult for me to do this on my own. He has been really good about keeping me in the loop.


Tonya February 24, 2016 at 1:14 pm

Thanks for your brutal honesty. It’s refreshing. We all have looming crap that seems to always need doing and it’s great to be reminded that we’re o.k. if we’re not perfectly managing every single aspect of our lives.


Su Mama February 24, 2016 at 3:26 pm

“Looming crap”?

My new favorite expression!


tonya February 25, 2016 at 6:48 am



Elizabeth February 24, 2016 at 1:53 pm

And that’s why I love your blog. It’s straight up honest! 🙂

You did inspire me to handle some paper declutter. While TCB is a PIB (pain in the butt), it sure feels good to getter done, and I thank you! 🙂


Sharon H February 24, 2016 at 2:01 pm

I cannot agree more.

‘Make hay while the sun shines’ is good common sense.


Loretta February 24, 2016 at 2:03 pm

Ha ha, there’s one blog that I visit occasionally just to torture myself with its perfect pictures and depiction of family life. I don’t know why I do it, as I’d much rather see and read real and messy!! I think you do an amazing job Katy, and it is no mean feat to keep a blog (and fantastic FB page) going for years and always be coming up with fresh content.


Jennifer February 24, 2016 at 2:05 pm

Real life here also-
– Probably gonna be another”way too carby, not enough veggie” meal plan for the next few days because that’s what I have on hand.
-Payed way too much for gas today because I was on “E” before I realized it was too late to drive across town for the better price.
– I truly don’t want to organize because I really don’t know where to start. Having a business,being away from home alot, and small kids causes disorganization everywhere it seems. I realized that when I tried to pay for my gas. I had so many old receipts in my purse that I couldn’t find my actual money!
-I was late picking up my daughter from school yesterday because the train caught me. So I left earlier today to be sure I was on time and there was a traffic accident that caused me to be late AGAIN! The teacher was looking at me a little suspiciously after being late 2 days in row.
– I literally have went on Pinterest Strike. Pinterest makes me feel inadequate with all the glorified, picture perfect, recipes and projects, etc.I just can’t relate so I took a break. I need to see imperfection to be relatable because I’m not living in a fairy tale and my name isn’t Cinderalla. However, I feel like it when I’m scrubbing the toilet.

Just keepin’ it real! Your welcome, lol


WilliamB February 24, 2016 at 4:08 pm

Jennifer, I like your Five Real Life Things. It’s nice to share our shortcomings as well as achievements.


Jennifer February 24, 2016 at 6:15 pm

Thanks! I thoroughly enjoyed getting to vent a little.


Elizabeth February 25, 2016 at 1:01 pm

Jennifer, I love your post and can totally relate. I still get clutter, but go with Flylady’s motto that you can’t organize clutter, you can only get rid of it. Which oft times leaves me looking for replacements of previously decluttered items. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.


JD February 24, 2016 at 2:06 pm

Thank heavens! I’ve promised (and I WILL do this somehow) to clean out my filing cabinet and re-organize it, but we have a grandchild due any day now, as in the due date is four days away, and I wondered if I would have to stretch that TCB deadline a bit. Now I won’t feel so bad if I have to push it back, some.
I so like to see that real life intrudes on even the best of us. It makes me feel normal.
Slightly off-topic, but I know a woman who, along with her husband, adopted six siblings ages 2 to 14 from one family, when she and her husband were in their fifties, after being childless their entire married lives of 30+ years. She was already a clergy person full time and a counselor part time, and her husband was full-time IT support, which meant call-ins to work at odd hours on top of his 40 hour week. When she was delicately asked by a parishioner how she was going to manage her busy schedule with six kids, she confidently replied that her schedule wouldn’t change at all. Her view was that children weren’t going to change anything for her schedule or her husband’s. While we greatly admired their courageous and loving gesture in adopting children taken from a neglectful home, we all felt she was very over-confident. And of course, she was. The children definitely changed her schedule and her husband’s! In the real world, things happen. Thanks, Katy, for being honest about your real world.


Ruby February 24, 2016 at 2:08 pm

Love your honesty! And my life also would not make it on Pinterest. 😀

I did get around to checking on the status of my application for life insurance, so that was my TCB.


Sarah G. February 24, 2016 at 2:44 pm

Soooo true about the real life thing. I’d like to find an Instagram account that posts exclusively real life photos of a messy house, selfies of a normal woman with imperfect hair, and kids that didn’t step out of a Hanna Anderson ad. We look good a nice chunk of the time, but goodness, sometimes we’re at home in our sweats, for Petes sake. And my countertops are always more cluttered than I’d like. And there are usually toys all over our floors. We have a three year old a and a one year old, so that’s life.
I have definitely stopped following several blogs, IG accounts, and FB friends because their constant assertions that their life is perfect were really making me feel like I’m failing at life. I don’t need that.


Lesley February 24, 2016 at 3:16 pm

It’s why your blog is my longest-followed ever. I end up letting so many go that are “contentment robbers” as they say. Your posts are inspiring, funny, intelligent, and relevant to real life.

This post is a great reminder for me to let that last blog go … it’s like eye candy and I keep going back to it … and feeling worse about myself after … ridiculous!

tx Katy


Happy Mum February 24, 2016 at 3:40 pm

BRAVA!!! You’re the best, Katy — honest, funny, encouraging — BLOGTASTIC!! Now I’m off to address some non-perfect aspects of my own non-perfect life. Mwah — we love you!


Deanna February 24, 2016 at 3:55 pm

Awesome post Katy! WooHoooo so nice to know I am not alone in having to take care of the paper pile creep up. Eeerrrr I mean- piles. How did that happen anyways?
Duh- real life happens and having a sunny day to enjoy and relax is also TCB for yourself and that is a good thing.
I as well, have greatly downsized the Blogs I follow due to “perfect homes” and then links to where all said “perfectionism”can be bought. Ugh!

Thanks again Katy for keeping it real.



Jean February 24, 2016 at 3:58 pm

I sure needed your post. I love your blog because you reflect real life, humor and perseverance. I just got home from work, ate a salad made with things my husband assembled a couple nights ago (bless his heart) and am trying to summon the will to chop up some veggies, made some oatmeal with apples/apple pie spice for tomrorrow and see what else needs to get eaten. We are having another snowmagedon in Michigan so I just want to hunker down with a book and hot tea. Last night I sorted through all our income tax papers so I could “hit it” this weekend.


Melody February 24, 2016 at 4:09 pm

Thanks for championing imperfect. I’m spending the day on my late FIL’s paperwork – worse than doing my own – including a 45 minute hold with social security. so, yes, I am TCB, but there’s more tomorrow!


WilliamB February 24, 2016 at 4:12 pm

My real life confession:
That one, 1.5″ pile of paper I had to deal with, looked terrible spread out. That’s because it’s the one paper-based task that I not only dislike, but dread. Every time I get caught up I say to myself “Self, it would be less dreadful if you did it more frequently and just a little at a time.” And Self agrees. And has the best intentions. And falls behind, every time.


Chessie February 25, 2016 at 12:31 pm

You and me both, WilliamB, except I left 1.5 inches behind years ago. Otherwise, I’m right there with you, every doggone time.


Maryanne February 24, 2016 at 4:15 pm

Yes! This is why I adore you, Katy! Thanks for being real!


Linda M February 24, 2016 at 4:31 pm

LUV this post! Things like this keeps me coming back…no phoney stuff from you1 I see that I am not the only one that wants things done but wants to enjoy life also. There has to be a balance between being anal and smelling the roses! Katy, keep guiding the way and thanks so much for keeping us grounded!


Katy February 24, 2016 at 4:33 pm

Such lovely comments, thank you!!!


meg February 24, 2016 at 5:28 pm

That is why I love your blog and look for it everyday. You are so honest, funny and real. No one has it altogether all the time.


Katy February 24, 2016 at 7:29 pm

I wish I were less real but reality wouldn’t allow it. 😉


Lindsey February 24, 2016 at 6:55 pm

Maybe sometimes instead of five frugal successes, we should have five failures every so often. I’ll start.

1. Yelled at the dog for doing something that was just normal dog behavior. He spent the next 15 minutes desperately trying to make friends with me, so I felt even worse. What’s next, kicking him??

2. I have not wiped off the stove top for three days. It is not filthy, but it is not clean.

3. I have a pair of pants that are way, way too big (I lost a lot of weight) and instead of taking out the sewing machine and fixing them, I use two giant baby diaper pins, one on each side of the waist band, to keep them up. I used regular safety pins but one came undone and stabbed me, so I switched.

4. I did not feel like hauling my kitchen remains out to the compost, through all the snow, so I just threw them away.

5. I have been really good about not drinking pop, but someone brought over and left a six-pack of Coke. Today I drank two of them. They didn’t even taste that good!


Sarah G. February 24, 2016 at 8:10 pm

I like this idea-
1). Yesterday I was pressed for time and had no desire to make dinner. I stopped for fast food instead. Both expensive and unhealthy. Shameful.

2). My sister’s wedding shower is coming up. Instead of wearing a pretty dress I already have, I bought a new one. It was on sale and didn’t come from an expensive shop, but still.

3). My folded laundry honestly sits in the baskets for a full week sometimes before I get around to putting it away. At least it’s folded, I say.

4). I hang my head in shame to admit that I allow my preschooler to watch more TV than I’m comfortable with. . She’s very clingy and has a hard time entertaining herself, so it’s the only way I can get anything done.

5). I can’t keep our mudroom neat/organized no matter how diligent I am. Hats, shoes, and boxes always seem to be everywhere in there. Definitely not Pinterest worthy!!!!


Elizabeth February 24, 2016 at 8:57 pm

Awesome idea! LMBO @ #3 and totally related to #2. I’m guilt if that one more often than not!

1. The egg shells I’d been saving for planting seedlings: I used the point of a steak knife to punch a drain hole in the bottom of one shell and it cracked down the side. I then twirled the tip like a drill in the next one but used to much pressure making a hole two thumbs could fit through. I then gave up and crushed them all for the compost and bought seedling trays, instead.

2. I ordered used Leslie Sansone walking DVD’s, when I previously had several, but gave them away a while back. Unnecessary spending.

3. I tried dusting the other day, but only did two pieces of furniture and gave it up. I don’t know when I’ll get back to it. If anyone enjoys dusting, I don’t mind washing dishes too much. Maybe we could trade out.

4. I’ve been using extra big gobs of a lotion I’m not particularly fond of so I can one day be rid of it and move on.

5. I few days ago I spent the whole day doing nothing but binging on One Tree Hill episodes on Netflix. A few minutes before my husband came home I heated leftovers and rushed around doing a quick pick up so it looked like I’d been busy.


Elizabeth February 24, 2016 at 8:59 pm

Please forgive the swypos. Used my phone. The Swype program drives me insane.


Katy February 24, 2016 at 10:31 pm

#4 <--- You're taking one for the team.


Elizabeth February 24, 2016 at 10:34 pm

Amen to that 🙂


Chessie February 25, 2016 at 12:37 pm

Lindsey, what a rocking idea! I really enjoyed this N-CA blog and your, SarahG.’s, and Elizabeth’s posts. Thank goodness for the imperfect among us. Oh wait, that’s everybody. Thank goodness for the imperfect people who *admit* it!

My recent failures: too many even to count.


Elizabeth February 25, 2016 at 12:43 pm

ROFL Chessie! I’m right there with you! The funny thing, it was so much easier to think of my failures than my successes. Lol


Another Jennifer February 26, 2016 at 7:21 am

I totally could have written your post! all of this sounds exactly like me, lol!


Amanda February 28, 2016 at 11:38 am

Oh my goodness, you made me laugh and also feel so much better about being normal, Lindsey! Thank you!


Teri February 24, 2016 at 9:28 pm

And this is why I not only read your blog, but also all the comments. Read your post to my husband to which he replied “amen”. He agrees with me that much of social media makes us feel inadequate. Thank you.
ps. Thanks for the comments, I needed a good laugh tonight.


Vickie February 25, 2016 at 8:08 am

Thanks for your honesty, Katy!
I often feel unworthy reading or watching blogs/vlogs. My house is no where near what it should be in the organized category. Life happens.
I try to stay positive by thinking – if I can just get one thing organized or drop off stuff to donate, each week, sometimes that just has to be good enough.
Stay positive!


TJinMD February 26, 2016 at 12:37 pm

Yes! The “One small thing” approach. I’ve been using that recently. For example, Looked up where the Lions Club eye glasses donation sites were located in my area and then made a point of dropping off several old pairs I’ve had around for 8 yrs. and then I mentally calculate all the small things every now and then and realize I’ve accomplished quit a bit.


Christy February 25, 2016 at 10:07 am

Thank you Katy! That is my life as well and why I have been following you for years.


Rejena February 25, 2016 at 10:45 am

I have quit following several blogs due to that reason as well.


IsabelI February 25, 2016 at 7:22 pm

Saw your latest tweets and started reading some further tweets of interest which led on! Then forgetting this blog I did two things Inwanted to! Followed up on paying outright on a Mobile Phone that somehow Inhad chosen a plan for! Also followed up a plumber who was lax at sending a bill … Have rung before and carried around an envelope with stamps and an empty cheque sonIncould pay it as soon as I received it in my Post Box! Maybe I have a problem the opposite of people who overuse credit cards …. I put my cc in credit …. Intend to get a debit card now I know about them! Please ignore extra n’s that creep into my typing … I do ……did a typing course at school …….one would never guess! Hate typing!
You all inspire me tweeters of every age! A great blog!


Carla February 25, 2016 at 7:45 pm

Well, I saw your TCB idea and thought it was great, but the thought of it depressed me. We are moving (again) in a few months, so we have to get cracking on going through everything. And I work full time. And we have 3 kids. And my husband has been sick. Anyway, there I was feeling sorry for myself and got sickly, just enough to stay home but not so much that I was out, so I grabbed the piles of paper onto the bed, sorted them, filed them, called insurance to dispute one mistake they made, prepared a whole bunch of other claims and even got my RRSPs sorted out before the upcoming deadline (Canada here)! It was great to TCB. Thanks for the push!
And hey, my life is much life yours, one plans and then life gets in the way, so make hay while the sun is shinin’! and just adapt and move on.


Barbara Miller February 27, 2016 at 11:14 am

Tomorrow is my day scheduled for cleaning up and organizing the yard. My back aches just thinking about it. I need to quit the yard work because bending over pulls something in my back. I know one day I won’t be able to do it at all so I do it now knowing it will hurt but savoring every last dig in the dirt.


Katy February 27, 2016 at 11:23 am

Maybe just do a half-hour or hour at a time instead of a whole day?


Elizabeth February 27, 2016 at 2:21 pm

I totally empathize with the back problems. Rest when you need to but otherwise do what you can. Just be careful.


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