KristinHi, I’m Kristin! I’m married to Josh and have one daughter, Elida. I am a native (and very proud) Iowan, but I now live in a small town in west central Minnesota.

I love order.   I love systems. I love lists. Even more, I love crossing things off of lists.

I despise clutter. I despise chaos. I despise wasted opportunities.

For as long as I can remember, I have been making lists and categorizing and sorting. It’s an innate trait. When I was young, I would put all of my mom’s refrigerator magnets is a straight line across the front, with the bottoms of the differently sized magnets all sitting on the same baseline that, apparently, only I could see or appreciate. I couldn’t understand why my mom didn’t like that and would immediately spread them out in a random fashion. Who wants that?!

This propensity toward organization became more of a blessing than a curse as I got older. I quickly learned that there was a direct correlation between establishing systems of order and getting the most out of whatever I was doing. When I wrote down homework assignments that were due, I didn’t forget to do them. When I made a packing list for an annual beach vacation, the visor that I wished I had the year before was packed in this year’s carry on. When I planned a weekly menu, I didn’t waste 30 minutes of precious evening time with my family standing in front of the pantry trying to decide what to cook (only to resort to frozen pizza – again).

Ideally, I’d like each day to end knowing that I got everything out of it that I could.   I hate regrets. I know that they are a part of life, and it is not possible to live without them, but I still hate them. When I was young and would make a mistake or break a rule, my Grandpa would say, “Well, you can’t go back and un-do it. All you can do is learn from it and, from this point on, try to make it better.” Wise words. Dwelling on past mistakes is a waste. Learning from them is necessary. So, with each regret, of which there are many, that thought crosses my mind. Instead of just wishing things were different, make them different. This lesson has many applications, many of them to bigger lifestyle and character decisions. For the purpose of this blog, the application will be sharing tricks, methods, tips, and, yes, even lists, to alleviate those occurrences and habits that cause us to miss out on the really good stuff in this life.

My two driving forces are efficiency and frugality – both in equal measure. Like every other working mom, time is something of which I never feel that I have enough, so I try to use the time I do have wisely in order to maximize my productivity. I love doing things as cheaply as possible almost as much as I love getting things done. Almost. Spending as little money as possible on things started out as a necessity when I was putting myself through college and has continued through my working life. Now, the importance of saving money is due to both a necessity and my competitive nature. When I find really great deals, or make something myself so that I don’t have to buy it, I feel as though I’ve won this imaginary, on-going game I have with anyone who sells anything. I’d rather come up with my own storage system that does exactly what I need than spend money on a pre-made one to which I have to make my stuff fit.

I love the movie Goodwill Hunting. There’s a scene where Will’s girlfriend, Skylar, is trying to understand Will’s genius. He explains it to her by asking if she plays the piano. He says that the great composers could look at a piano “and just play”. Trying to understand the analogy, Skylar asks if Will plays the piano. He says, “No, not at all. But when I look at organic chemistry, I’ve always….. been able to just play.” I don’t have a musical bone in my body. And I’ve never understood what organic chemistry is – let alone studied it. But when it came to creating order out of chaos, I’ve always been able to just play.

I’ve been told many times in my life that I should become a professional organizer. And, to be honest, if I thought I could make a living out of doing it, I would have started that a long time ago, but the reality is that there are few people who are willing to pay for such a service. So, I resorted to doing what I do and sharing ideas and tips with people whenever they ask. But I’ve always wondered if there is a way to have a more public forum in which to share these ideas. The idea of a blog has been running around in my head for some time now. Another cliché my grandpa always used to say was ‘There’s no time like the present.’ Carpe diem. So here it is; my attempt to share my little insights with anyone else who may be interested. My hope is that life would be made more simple and gratifying through the implementation of these little ideas.

  • Aunt Cheri ~ The Great
    March 1, 2015

    So proud of you ONCE AGAIN and so touched by your references to Grandpa. Love you so much….and look forward to ALL of your blog posts. I may even use some of your tips. 🙂

  • Aunt Cheri ~ The Great
    March 3, 2015

    I want to comment MORE. Like under each thing you’ve talked about. Why can’t I? 🙁

    • kkeeling81
      March 4, 2015

      I’m not sure. I will have the tech department (aka Josh) look into that. 🙂

  • Suzanne
    October 16, 2017

    It was so great meeting you this weekend too Kristin. Your blog is so fun!

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