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To think that I will never be the sort of woman who buys tampons at the end of my period?

(117 Posts)
acebaby Tue 25-Jun-13 19:20:06

I spend my life in a total panic over everything (expired passports, expired photo driving license when I need to hire a car, forgotten MOT etc etc). I have a fairly responsible job as a university lecturer, and I lead a research group. And yet I don't have a diary. Instead, I scan e-mails to see whether I have a meeting. If it's really important, I write a reminder on my hand (which means - obviously - I have to go into important meetings with writing on my hand). As always, this term, I lost the school calendar within about one day, so have been guessing about school trips etc for months. Naturally, I have one from about 3 years ago stuck on the notice board at home, next to my 2008 calendar.

Is there any hope for me? Will I ever buy tampons at the END of my period, rather than at the 24 hour sainsbury's late at night (when my regular cycle again takes me by surprise)? Has anyone got inspiring stories of how they turned themselves around organizationally in middle age (I am 38)? Where do I start?

Frenchvanilla Tue 25-Jun-13 19:45:48

Oh good god woman, get a smart phone and download a calendar app. You'll have your emails on there too.

Honestly, you're just making your life more difficult and stressful.

Nor would I buy tampons when not on period. However, I always have enough leftovers. Doesn't everyone?

loopyluna Tue 25-Jun-13 19:46:54

I have, very slowly, got a lot better over the years. Took me long enough though!

I'm pretty good now -calendar thing on iphone, big family calendar on kitchen wall and fridge covered in notes, invitations etc etc.
I shop online so not tired and scatty, traipsing round, forgetting stuff like I used to! It's still quicker than getting in the car and driving to the supermarket and back, but I do take my time so as to remember everything...

I have a big box of "spare school stuff" which I regularly refill with pens, rulers, setsquares etc and a basket in the bathroom for new shampoo, tampons, toothpaste etc.

I was really flakey before, so it is possible to change. My DD is a total organization freak and I felt shamed into setting her a good example! My DS is even more scatter-brained than me, so I needed to help him get his stuff together!

It's still not natural but something I need to work at!

themaltesecat Tue 25-Jun-13 19:51:27

I am not naturally organised. It has taken me trying to do postgrad study alongside full-time work (and a boisterous toddler never far away) to finally get on top of things. Work has never been a problem for some reason, but my personal life is another story.

What has helped is visualisation. I picture walking along the street bleeding everywhere (so that now a small packet of tampons is a default part of my order). I imagine my daughter crying with hunger (so that I have a shortlist of staples- eggs, spuds, frozen peas, salmon fillets, yoghurt, cheese, apples- which I check every evening and never allow myself to run out of (well, almost never). It's really effective if you have a vivid imagination!

I keep a paper diary and put it under my mobile phone at night- this usually prompts me to glance at it.

ToomuchIsBackOnBootcamp Tue 25-Jun-13 19:52:29

I have a massive calendar on my kitchen door from Organised Mum. <Luddite, prefer paper I can see rather than fiddling with a phone, DH (IT guru) despairs>

At the start of each year, I write on dates stuff like MOT due, insurance due, dentist this month etc. Every time a letter comes in from school, I immediately write on the calendar <then recycle the bit of paper so I don't get swamped with bits of paper> same with social things, if I get a text re something, I keep it on my phone till I get home, check calendar, reply, write on calendar.
Every morning while I am standing in the kitchen having my first cup of water and waiting for the kettle to boil I take a quick look at the day/week ahead. Works for me.

Oh and <Luddite again> I have an address book which has a section at the back for birthdays/anniversaries. Each week I check ahead, then buy an appropriate card/present and put them into the box that has labels, stamps, envelopes, paper etc so they are ready to go.

I have a notebook in each handbag so I can jot down random thoughts/shopping needed/things I hear about when out and about, like if I see a flyer for an event that might be fun etc.

I would forget everything too but by doing these things I have managed to avoid any major disasters. And I like making lists and then crossing things off in a pretty notebook with a good pen, so that helps. grin

raisah Tue 25-Jun-13 19:55:52

Use three calendars:
Paper
phone
email calendar
set up alarm alerts at regular intervals. Read your diary/calendars/emails on your commute into work.
Plan your day on your daily commute to & from work.

Draw a large rectangle on an A4 card & divide it into one/half hour blocks of time. Then write the tasks for the day on post it notes and allocate it a block of time. I find this work for me the best, I need visual prompts in multicolours.

I also write the most important apts/task on a post it note & stick it on my pc so I am reminded all the time.

There are lots of time management websites which go into depth about tips etc.

I buy several multipacks of sanitary towels & toiletries to last me several months as I can't go shopping with my dc all the time.

I bought a slow cooker and cook and freeze meals daily, it saves me a lot of time.

gloucestergirl Tue 25-Jun-13 19:56:37

This is maybe a bit radical - but change job! I worked in universities doing research for years and was an organisational black hole. Most academics are because you can get away with it.

I retrained as a secondary school teacher and had to step up my organisational skills nearly overnight. What a leap!!! I realised I had been totally spoilt for all those years.

Actually, of course you can't change job. But an awareness of how easy it is to slip into bad habits when your day isn't highly structured. Maybe a strict habit of diary/to-do-list planning 5 minutes at the beginning and end of each day.

unobtanium Tue 25-Jun-13 19:57:50

I think I rather like you, OP! Make me feel normal for once.

orangeandemons Tue 25-Jun-13 20:00:38

I'm like this. I think the world is divided into those who write down and those that don. I don't. I have tried and tried, but just never quite get the habit.

However, I am quite organised as I have a memory like an elephant. I'm a teacher, everyone else has a diary which they dutifully write everything in. Mine's empty blush. I never miss a deadline though....

raisah Tue 25-Jun-13 20:03:39

I buy gifts, wrap, cards and several rolls of sellotape in the sales and put them in a box next to my vacuum cleaner so I have standby gifts for last minute parties etc.

Freezer always stocked with frozen veg, fish, chicken & pitta bread in case my fresh produce runs out before I can get to the shops.

The boots always has a spare bag of clothes, nappies and wipes in case I run out.

plieadianpony Tue 25-Jun-13 20:11:33

I love you. Thank you.

I drive my dh to despair. the only reason i have tampons when i need them is because there is an old one lurking at the bottom of my hand bag. My paper work is organised in a system of piles that only i understand.

I do keep a paper diary and a colleague once showed me how she paper clips a to-do list inside her diary and updates it. I do that too. Actually mine has been there since march...

I don't want a smart phone and it takes me years to get used to a new computer, t.v dvd player.

mysteryfairy Tue 25-Jun-13 20:12:31

Use a period tracker on your phone. Might not solve the tampons issue but since I started using one three years ago I have been able to look ahead and see if my period might be going to coincide with holidays, book a smear test without frantic calculations etc and it is great.

If I had had the app ten years ago I wouldn't have been half way through my third pregnancy and just completing on a semi-derelict house we would have to camp in for several months before I realised I was expecting!

PoppyWearer Tue 25-Jun-13 20:14:18

I buy stuff like tampons in mahoosive quantities when they are on offer. So at any one time I might have four boxes of the things. Ditto stuff like laundry powder.

Then every 3-6 months I have a "oh fuck I've run out, how can I have run out?" moment and buy a load more.

At least it spreads out the gaps between the crises.

I also do a big online Ocado shop once a month and once it's booked add stuff as and when I think of it.

acebaby Tue 25-Jun-13 20:16:44

Oooh - lots of responses. I didn't get on with a moon cup as it seemed to irritate my skin. But great idea to ditch the tampons altogether. All tips for reusable sanitary equipment gratefully received.

I have never got my phone to sync with my computer, and it is never charged up. But in principle, this is a good idea. I think I need to get some sort of calendar system going - and use it!! I love the tips on changing myself mentally. Thanks themaltesecat! Is there perhaps a hypnosis cd I could try, or something along those lines?

Dogrosie - not at all harsh. This is why I want to change. As the children get older, it is only a matter of time before I forget something important (they are 8 and 5 now). Having said that, I am actually far more organized with the kids than I am with myself. I always have a set of home clothes, a costume and a cheque book in the back of the car in case of unexpected school trips and dressing up days. My op was light hearted, but there is nothing particularly Bohemian about being 6 months late with the mot.

Scholes34 Tue 25-Jun-13 20:23:58

I've had diaries, write things in them, but then forget to look at them.

Carry on writing everything on your hand, but write on your palm. That way, no-one can see your notes.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 25-Jun-13 20:26:15

Just buy double the next month and put one 'set' aside. Repeat that every month.

acebaby Tue 25-Jun-13 20:27:37

And back to the tampon issue. And sorry for drip feeding (and even more sorry for the pun). But I tend to be very light at the end, so transition to panty liners when I run out of tampons. I always start with a 'whoosh' though.

Gloucester - you are right that I can get away with being disorganized at work. There are so many reminders emailed out, that you really can't miss much. Also, most things (teaching, staff meetings, seminars) are regular, and yet you still get reminders. I would pity my pupils though if I was a teacher! Well done for changing your ways!

ParrotsHilton Tue 25-Jun-13 20:28:46

You can buy washable sanitary towels.

Iwantmybed Tue 25-Jun-13 20:33:58

Ace - I'm pretty disorganised, I tend to wing it but as DH remembers nothing and I have DD1 in reception and a 9 mo old cared for by GPs on random days, I'm back at work and DH works shifts, winging it no longer works here anymore. I'm just recently organised. I use my phone and sync to my Google calendar and a big Flylady paper calendar in the kitchen and a new (and awesome) this organiser from paperchase
which I carry around with me and scribble away all day.

maddy68 Tue 25-Jun-13 20:39:25

Use the calendar on your phone. It's always with you and you can set alarms to remind you about things. That's what I use otherwise I'm useless

fabergeegg Tue 25-Jun-13 20:53:02

I have this problem really, really badly.

I second the large piece of paper tacked to the kitchen door idea. (Although if it's anything like our house, it's illegible in days and the toddler tries to swing on it).

You didn't mention sending cards but that's probably an issue...Marks and Sparks have this fantastic thing where you can choose very pretty personalised cards, complete with personal message inside, and they will mail it on the date that you choose. Magic. But if you do this please note it's really important to remember to take deceased relatives off the list.

SugarPasteGreyhound Tue 25-Jun-13 20:54:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrsjay Tue 25-Jun-13 20:56:30

i took dds passport to the coach when she was going away on sunday it was supposed to be in 2 weeks ago, blush I also print of school calenders for holidays then bin it , I have old school letters on the board in the kitchen yet forget everything, I do set my phone for things but i do some witty daft word so when the phone reminds me half the time I wrack my brains to remember what it talking about, there really is no hope for disorganised people IMO ,

mrsjay Tue 25-Jun-13 20:57:24

oh I bulk buy santiary pads 3 women in the house I have too or id need to find a 24 hr garage or something

Afritutu Tue 25-Jun-13 21:01:10

I just don't 'get' the moon cup. What are you supposed to do in a public toilet/ work toilet? Am horrified at thought if having to wash it out in the sink next to colleagues before heading back into a cubicle to reinsert. Am I missing something!?

mrsjay Tue 25-Jun-13 21:02:35

I wouldnt use a moon cup just because well I dont want to be dealing with all you said Afritutu

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