Are You Good at Asking for Help?

Posted by Pam Young

Jun 29, 2016 5:30:00 AM



If you are a caregiver, do you find it hard to open your home by asking for help to organize it?



If that's a problem for you, this story may help you to ask for help if you need it.

Incidentally, we all need help in areas in which we aren't competent. We get accountants to help with our bookkeeping, and lawyers to help with legal issues and we're willing to get help with electricity and plumbing problems, but for some reason, when it comes to our homes, we caregivers have a crazy notion we should be able to take care of everything ourselves.

 Just one very simple thought that perhaps you haven't thought before will have you opening up your home for help.

I Hope You'll Want To

God Bless America and God Help the Uninformed Voters

Posted by Pam Young

Jun 27, 2016 5:30:00 AM


Do you get confused by political issues,

or are you a well-informed voter when you head to the polls?


God bless America, but God help the uninformed voters!

In the state of Washington, our Secretary of State sends out a Voter’s Manual before every election. It’s quite thick, probably a hundred pages at least. In it you can read about and better understand the candidates' positions, ballot measures and issues, if you’re a Yale graduate of the law, that is. Take ballot measures for example. Here’s Wikipedia’s definition:


A ballot measure is a piece of proposed legislation to be approved or rejected by eligible voters. Ballot measures are also known as "propositions" or simply "questions."  Ballot measures differ from most legislation passed by representative democracies; ordinarily, an elected legislature develops and passes laws.


I’ve never read an explanation of a ballot measure on a ballot, that I’ve clearly understood. And if you’re the average citizen, it’s my “proposition” you’ll be wasting your time trying to understand what they’re writing about. If they want us to understand, why don’t they make what they write understandable? Do you think it’s because they want us to be confused? Using big words is just another way to show off one’s education, not one's IQ. There’s also power in knowing more words than the masses. You get to use words with each other and make the masses feel stupid.

I Hope You'll Want To

Topics: Articles, family

How the 5 Zones of Housecleaning Work

Posted by Pam Young

Jun 24, 2016 5:30:00 AM


In this video, I explain how the zones work to help you stay on track with housecleaning. Inspired by the Sidetracked Home Executives, the zones help you focus on one room at a time. Flylady's Flight Plan is the SHE Zone plan. We gave Flylady permission to use it to help you be organized in your home and if you get her Flight Plan but are still confused about how it works, this short video will help.  

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Marital Conflict averted by Technology!

Posted by Pam Young

Jun 22, 2016 5:30:00 AM


There are about ten well-known marital fights that disturb our peace and if you’ve been married very long, you’ve probably had most of them.


But with the advent of GPS, there’s one less marital fight to have; “the map fight.” Most husbands expect their wives to be natural navigators. Most wives are not. The map fight most commonly occurs when the husband is driving on an unfamiliar freeway at 70 mph and he tosses the map to the wife and says, “Where are we?” If she’s like most women, she can only read the map when the car and the map are going in the same direction and that’d be north. South is out of the question, because it’s just too hard to read a map upside-down.      


When I got married, I wasn’t prepared for the real world of marriage. My parents had three four fights in their entire marriage of 60+ years. It was always over the same issue. Dad would lose track of time, fishing and as it started getting dark, mom would get worried. The fight looked something like this. He’d come in the door wearing his waders and holding his fly rod in one hand and a couple trout on a string in the other. He’d hang his head with a beseeching, I’m-sorry look and mom would shake her head, tighten her lips and sigh with a mix of disgust and relief that he hadn’t drown. My sister and I would run to our room, sure this would end our happy home because they were going to divorce and we’d be put in foster care.


I Hope You'll Want To

Topics: peace of mind, family

You Want to Get Organized, but do You Really?

Posted by Pam Young

Jun 20, 2016 12:22:33 PM




For whatever reason you ended up reading these words, whether you subscribe to this blog and when you see my name in your inbox you know there’s a good chance my essay will lift your spirits and inspire you to get those dishes in the dishwasher or maybe you remember the Slob Sisters and while flying around the Net, looking for tips and tools for getting organized, you Googled them. 



Perhaps you Googled “overwhelmed, help, or get organized” and you clicked on  and there on the home page you saw a deserted island, with a chaise lounge (with your name on it), a swaying palm tree and a frosty, fruity drink and you took a big deep breath and thought, ‘Yes, I need to escape this chaos!’ Whatever your reason, I'm glad you're here!

If you’re overwhelmed by life’s ups and downs and twists and turns, or a little depressed because you don’t like where you live, or who you’re with or just maybe you’ve gotten down on yourself, all that’s happened is you’ve gotten sidetracked by a wave or two. Big deal, get back up on that board and head for another wave. Not every wave is right for you, but there are never ending waves and unless you're ready to play, you'll miss the fun!

The only reason we ever want anything is because we want to feel better. Will getting more organized make you feel better? Sure it will, but there’s not a whole lot to it. All you really need is a calendar, a watch and a timer. If you’re not organized, it just means you’re not using those tools!  

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Happy Father's Day! Thank you Dad!

Posted by Pam Young

Jun 19, 2016 6:00:00 AM

Happy Father's Day to all you Happy Fathers!



Let's join and give a tribute to all the happy fathers (including my own lovable dad) who deserve to be called Dad. 

What's the first thing you think of when you think of your father? When I think of mine, I think of his smile. He was so in love with Mom, Peggy and me that he seemed to always have a happy face. If you read Sidetracked Home Executives: from pigpen to paradise, you know that we got the disorganized gene from Dad. He threatened to sue us for defamation of character, but of course he was joking and if he really had intended to take us to court, he'd never have gotten around to it.

Dad worked hard delivering gas to farmers who had big tanks to supply their farm equipment. He was so loved by his customers there was hardly a day he didn't come home in his big Standard Oil tank truck without a few treasures. In the summer it'd be produce. We never needed a garden as we were kept stocked in every kind of fruit and vegetable known to Dr. Oz. Sometimes he'd bring home packages of beef, chickens or turkeys and other times jams, jellies, cakes or cookies.

Dad was the Best Dad

He loved to hunt and fish and because part of one of the farms was Bachelor's Island, a duck hunter's heaven in the Columbia River, he was given the privilege of hunting ducks and geese there. Being an excellent shot (Mom said her had the eye of an eagle) our freezer was stocked with wild fish and game. To this day I love the taste of wild goose and Chinook salmon. (The photo is my son Michael, with his son Jackson at the beach. Michael is a fabulous father.)

I Hope You'll Want To

Topics: Happiness, family

Happy Father's Day to Great Fathers

Posted by Pam Young

Jun 17, 2016 6:00:00 AM


I Hope You'll Want To

Topics: family

Are You a Passionate Person?

Posted by Pam Young

Jun 15, 2016 5:00:00 AM

SHEs are passionate!


SHEs (Sidetracked Home Executives) are passionate people. There's nothing more true than this statement. Have you ever met a real SHE that isn’t? Oh, and we like to use exclamation marks too! One of my longtime SHE friends, LouAnn, was one of my guinea pigs for my Weight Loss book, The Mouth Trap: the butt stops here! 

She reported to me:

“Who knows, maybe my “passion” for eating is a package deal with my “passion” for other things in life. Somehow, I need to trust in the wisdom and love of my Creator to know this was the perfect “problem” for me and be thankful for it. I will never quit trying to look my best and take these pounds off, but I’m going to quit pretending I can do so without suffering.

I cannot. So, I’ve decided to turn this suffering into a prayer for others who are facing something worse. My neighbor works at Ronald McDonald House and has no shortage of stories about suffering far worse than a weight problem. I don’t have a child going into surgery today—but somebody does. My transmission is working—but somebody’s just went out—on the freeway.

So for today, I’m going to think about how wonderful it will feel to wear my
“skinny jeans” again and go fill up on steamed cauliflower. I’m starved and lunch is not for another two hours and that’s the pits. But, guess what else I get to do? I get to go hug my two healthy girls in the next room. Zero calories. I’ll take it.”

I Hope You'll Want To

Topics: Featured, Young@Heart Videos, Young@Heart Articles

4 Tips for Quitting Housework at 6:00 PM

Posted by Pam Young

Jun 13, 2016 5:00:00 AM

Have you ever traveled a long way and upon arrival at someone’s home, the host asks, “Would you like to freshen up?” Indeed, freshen up after a long journey sounds fabulous! In a way, each day is a long journey and at the end of it, it's time to enjoy the evening in leisure.
Often, right before my dad came home from work, Mom would say to my sister Peggy and me, “Girls, Dad’ll be home in 15 minutes, I’m going to go freshen up.” She’d be in the bathroom for about ten minutes and when she’d come out, she looked and smelled fresh. What I didn’t realize back then was my BO (Born Organized) mother was setting the stage for her leisurely evening with my dad. 

During your day, find as many ways as you can to get housework done so that you can stop at 6:00 pm. Consider it quitting time. Of course your little Snuggle Bunnies will need your love and attention after six, but I’m talking about the household workload.

If you tend to be frazzled in the evening, you’ll love my 4 tips for quitting at 6:00 and having a leisure evening be a reality. 


I Hope You'll Want To

Topics: Organization, Happiness, Relationships

Flylady learns a Thing or Two from a B.O.!

Posted by Pam Young

Jun 10, 2016 4:10:43 PM


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Has Being Disorganized Saved You Money?

Posted by Pam Young

Jun 8, 2016 6:00:00 AM

As a valuable member of Club Organized, do you have any examples of going to Plan B, either because there was no plan in the first place, or, Plan A failed? My example is that I was always putting off getting a gift for someone until the day of, or within the hour of the party. That’s how I came up with more than 100 funny ways to give money. In the end, my disorganization saved me time shopping, money for driving to the mall and my sanity. I have always known I can come up with something I’ve put off until the last minute. (For more information on one of my invention, click the box at the bottom of this page.)

This email came from by Jill Bowen, one of my charter members.


Swamp Thing

Plan B:  I'd embraced my SHEness by the time I was in my mid-forties, accepting that I had twice the enthusiasm and not one iota of the follow-through as regular folks had. Having a child at the age of 40 because I left my shopping list at home when I went to the drug store played a huge part in my self-acceptance.  (She didn’t say what happened. I assume she forgot to pick up her birth control prescription.)
I Hope You'll Want To

Topics: On Being Organized / Disorganized

There's Hope as Long as There are Good Families

Posted by Pam Young

Jun 6, 2016 3:30:00 AM

When you see a happy family out in public, whether it's at Costco, the zoo, church, in a restaurant at a campground, wherever, does it warm your heart and help you know that all is well and going to continue to be good?

Because our brains are wired to look for what's wrong (they've been that way for millions of years and are slow to change) we can tend to let the dysfunctional families stick out.

If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation.

Children with no boundaries are going to get our attention hanging on the railing around the polar bears, or running through stores and restaurants either unattended or void of parents who discipline such behavior, than the children who happily stay within the family unit and display the good behavior that requires endless guidance. 

I received an email from Brenda Lovell, who told me that my sister's and my books had helped her as a mother of nine girls. A mother of nine girls! When you read a sentence like that, does it blow your mind? Nine (9) girls? How did she do it? Thank goodness she included a photo of her family and allowed me to share it with you!

When I first looked at the picture, the father was the one who caught my eye. He looked so proud and happy and perhaps a little dazed by the amount of estrogen in the air. This man must be very close to saint hood.

Then Brenda caught my eye. She looked lovely, poised, peaceful and way too young to have had nine babies. I wonder if she has a single stretch mark. As you look at each beautiful happy face, you won't find one woman in the bunch, who isn't lovely. You all know it takes work to turn babies into good citizens. It also takes time, courage and faith! And above all it takes love, kindness and wisdom. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Lovell!

When you see families like Brenda's, you know all is well. There was a plaque I saw at a Hallmark store years ago and I wrote about it Sidetracked Home Executives: from pigpen to paradise. It said:

I Hope You'll Want To

Do We Ever Stop Learning Lessons?

Posted by Pam Young

Jun 3, 2016 3:30:00 AM


If We’d Just….

Really the little things we do are what save us time, money and stress. Like if we’d just look at the calendar before we go to bed, we’d catch those easy-to-forget appointments we’ve made for early in the next day. Or maybe we should just make all appointments for afternoon when we know for sure we’ll be wide awake and have really had a chance to seize the day.

If we’d just get dressed first thing in the morning, we’d be free to go at a moment’s notice, instead of missing opportunities where nightgowns aren’t welcomed as the proper dress.

And this one, hit home last weekend. If we’d just put name tags on our suitcases we wouldn’t end up without them if we leave them somewhere. See I didn’t have a tag on my carry-on because, well, it was going to be with me during the flight and I saw no reason to have my name and address flapping around for all to see. If someone asked, “Whose is that, I’d be there to say, “Mine.”

All went well when I took the tagless suitcase on the Alaska flight to Spokane, Washington where I spent four days at a Sweet Adeline regional competition. I roomed with the same three really good friends I shared a room with last year during competition. They are all BOs (Born Organized) and I’d forgotten how amazing these women are when it comes to being prepared! (I’ll get back to the suitcase fiasco in a minute. I’ll just tell you it was on the way home that I had a problem.)


I swear between these three women, (I'm front/right) they were prepared to preform minor surgery, repair mechanical devices, feed us in case the hotel restaurant closed down, dress for every kind of weather situation, and treat most physical ailments from sore throat and constipation to indigestion, headaches, and leg pains. And they can sing!  

I love these women and truly appreciate how organized they are. I used to want to be that organized, but as I’ve matured, I’m so happy to be traveling light so to speak (hence the carry-on). They all had to check big suitcases to carry all their organized stuff.

One of my roomies just happened to be going on the same flight I was taking home and she offered to make shuttle reservations for both of us because “the shuttles fill up fast with so many leaving at the same time,” she explained. She took care of it the day before (of course). That morning (9:30) it turned out the van was only one quarter full, so my SHE (Sidetracked Home Executive) factor wouldn’t have prevented me from going in it at that time.


We shared the van with four other Sweet Adeliners, all going on Alaska Air, and a couple that weren’t part of our group. When the driver asked us what airline, they said, “Southwest Air.” When we got to the airport, Alaska was the first stop and the driver got out our luggage, we tipped him and he was gone. We rolled our suitcases, talking and laughing, into the terminal. I love the new rollers because they allow you to walk beside your suitcase like it’s a child on roller skates (and like a child, you can’t leave it unattended on the slightest incline).  


I Hope You'll Want To

Topics: Organization

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