How To Write a To-Do List When You’re ADD with OCD

How To Write a To-Do List When You’re ADD with OCD

things on my list

I’m organized, but in kind of a chaotic way. My mind would be a psychologist’s dream. If they could get their hands on me, I’m sure I could provide them a very early retirement.

I very rarely am completely relaxed. It’s not like I’m this raving maniac (at least not all the time), but I’m a huge multi-tasker. While I’m working at one thing, my mind is thinking ahead to the next…or next ten things that need to be done. That, in itself, wouldn’t be a big problem except that I’m also pretty OCD. Picky, picky, picky. I try, believe me, to loosen up, but I just get all weird when things aren’t done thoroughly, aren’t finished, don’t look nice or are sloppily done. I make my husband crazy. Hell, I make myself crazy! So when I’m going to travel or I’m planning an event, there’s a lot of prep work involved. I’ve learned to lasso my warp-speed brain by making lists. I’m a BIG list maker!

If you see any of my tendencies in yourself, maybe my process will help you. For example, we’re leaving to go camping for three days. We have a travel trailer and although we leave a lot of personal items in the trailer, there’s still food, sports and entertainment stuff that needs to be brought along on each trip. Since it’s Africa-hot here in the Pacific Northwest, I need to arrange to have my plants watered while we’re gone, tidy my house (and clean out the refer) and empty all the trash so we don’t come home to dead plants and a rancid-smelling house. When I get to where we’re going, I want to do nothing, so I like to do as much prep work before we go as I can. Here’s how I go about it.

Step One – Grab a Notepad and Mind Puke

A few days before you’re leaving, just start writing. What keeps popping in your head that you’re afraid you’re going to forget? Write it down. Don’t try to put anything in any particular order, just add things as they come to you. There’s always something last-minute to buy, chores to do before you leave, and things you don’t want to forget to take. Keep it out where you can walk by and add things as you remember them. This process helps me get all the stuff out of my head that is banging around making me think I have more to do than I have time for.

Mind puke list | organizedCHAOSonline

Step Two – File and Sort

Now that you’ve got everything written down, establish some type of secret code to start organizing your list, i.e. On my list above, I put a box around the meals we’re having and randomly listed the items I needed for the meals. Last night when my list was finished, I went back and circled the items that I needed to buy.This is the sorting and organizing process. Don’t judge me! It may sound like a lot of work, but it really doesn’t take any time at all, and I rarely forget anything…as opposed to my hubby who throws a bunch of stuff in a Wal-Mart bag and calls it good.

Step Three – Divide and Conquer

Now all that chaos suddenly becomes organized. Start a new page and start with the first heading ‘To Buy’. List all the circled items from your mind puke list. Your grocery list is done. Next write the heading ‘Errands’. Scan your MP list for all the things that you have to leave home to do. Write them under your ‘Errands’ section. The third heading is ‘To Do’. Scan you MP list for any chores you need to get done before you go. Write them under your ‘To Do’ section.

Purged list | organizedCHAOSonline

Step Four – Packing List

The only things remaining on your MP list that haven’t been cleaned up is ‘To Bring’. Make a heading on a new page and transfer those items from your MP. Now you’ve got yourself a legible packing list.

Packing list | organizedCHAOSonline

Step Five – Schedule

I’ve found my biggest problem is that I try to do too many things into a short amount of time and start feeling frazzled because I run out of time. I’ve learned that if I tell myself I have an hour to finish a group of things, I can focus and accomplish them. I schedule things in groups of like items. My schedule below keeps me in certain areas and I’m not as likely to get distracted.

Schedule | organizedCHAOSonline

Before you deem me completely certifiable, it’s interesting that my brother, my sister, and my daughter (Tawsha, the other half of Organized CHAOS Online), have similar organizing processes and we find it completely normal. Not all minds work alike, but if you struggle with disorganization, ADD or OCD, hopefully some of what I’ve shared will be helpful to you. Do you make lists?

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Let’s Go Glamping!

Let’s Go Glamping!


Glamping. What is it?

Glam + Camping = Glamping

Bottom line, glamping is for people like me. The ones who don’t want to “rough it” camping, who don’t want to eat hot dogs night after night, who wants to sleep in something similar to a bed with sheets, blankets and pillows and who wants their site to be clean and cute.

If you’re a real-life camper, you hate me right now.

Glamping sounds pretty perfect. You basically bring a kitschy look to a campsite. Decorate, bring DIY projects, cook great food, allow for luxuries and have a great time with friends. Seriously, how fun would a glamping trip be for all of us? Wanna go?

Let’s break it down on how to plan such a trip and look like you know what you’re doing (FYI, it’s all personal preference).

Guide to glamping - wiley valentine - organizedCHAOSonline

Adorable Guide from Wiley Valentine
(click for more)


Here’s a checklist from

So, where do you go? First things first: Choose a location.

best camping spots organizedCHAOSonline

(You can even choose a Glamping-specific location. No, I’m not joking.)

Once you get to your location, you set up your glampsite. Make it cute. There are actually resources for glamping-specific decor and supplies. Like Glamping Holiday in the UK.


glamping supplies on organizedCHAOSonline

Source: Glamping Holiday


Glampsite: Sunset

Set up an average tent (taller if you want to hang stuff from the “ceiling”) and add a double-decker type inflatable bed, sheets, pillows, blankets and some bedroom comforts from home.


chandelier with cheap lightsOutside, you’ll want to add your touch of flair. Bring a chandelier and replace the bulbs with outdoor lights. Hang the chandelier from a tree and even add colored fabric to drape from the branches.

As far as the table-area goes, this is where you’ll be spending some time so make it simple to clean yet cute. Buying a pack of mason jars may work out great. Place silverware in a mason jar and then a silverware holder.

silverware holder

Retro dishes can be added to your picnic table. You can get all fancy retro or buy mismatched dishes from a second hand store. Get creative. Also, add a table runner (or wrapping paper) down the center of the table and litter with candles. Citronella candles are probably best.

glamping dishes

Not just ANY citronella candle, though. Try the below DIY candle in a mason jar.

Source: Put It In A Jar Mason jar citronella candle (click for instructions)

Source: Put It In A Jar
Mason jar citronella candle
(click for instructions)

Source: Sunset

Source: Sunset


Now that you’ve got your site all set up, it’s time to rev up that outdoor kitchen.

Pack your spices in a pill organizer.

spices in pill box

Start making your meals over the fire.

Oh wait, starting the fire. Have you ever tried this simple campfire starter?

Source: Sew Many Ways (click for instructions)

Source: Sew Many Ways
(click for instructions)


There’s a quick guide to no mess campfire cooking HERE.

How about a walking taco?

Source: Unsophisticook (click for recipe)

Source: Unsophisticook
(click for recipe)

Six Sisters Stuff also posted 25 recipes here (that includes the below banana instructions – I MEAN SERIOUSLY!!!)

Source: Six Sisters Stuff (click for recipes)

Source: Six Sisters Stuff
(click for recipes)


Duh! You can go alcoholic or non alcoholic. The rule is to make it a bit fancy. Add sparkling water or champagne and you’re set.

Source: Merry Brides (click for recipe)

Source: Merry Brides
(click for recipe)


Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade Source: Erin's Food Files (click for recipe)

Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade
Source: Erin’s Food Files
(click for recipe)

Source: intimate weddings

Source: intimate weddings

The glass? Also fancy (and DIY)

Source: The Blissfully Content Life (click for instructions)

Source: The Blissfully Content Life
(click for instructions)

Or not fancy.

redneck champagne flute(I’d totally fill this with a pre-made margarita or beer. I know, I’m super classy like that.


It’s not a camping (er…glamping) trip without s’mores.

S'mores Bar Source: Martie Knows (Click for how-to)

S’mores Bar
Source: Martie Knows
(Click for how-to)

Maybe individual packs for the girls? Add in a skewer and you’ve got yourself a complete s’mores-to-go pack.

Source: My Life at Playtime

Source: My Life at Playtime

Cheers to you and your glamping trip!

How CUTE would you look in this shirt, some worn jean shorts and Toms?

Source: Campbrand

Source: Campbrand

Have you ever gone glamping? We’re starting a Pinboard dedicated to it. You can pin to it, too. Just comment with your name on Pinterest and we’ll add you. Together, we’ll make the most epic-looking pinterest Glamping board EVER!

tawsha connell

Camping Rule #1: Shut the Hell Up!

Camping Rule #1: Shut the Hell Up!

Camping Rule #1: Shut The Hell Up! {Organized Chaos Online}

It’s summer, which means camping! Have you ever been looking so forward to getting away for the weekend and ended up having a really crappy time because you ended up next to or across from some idiot campers? Most of us go camping to get away from the TV, video games, stress, noise and daily grind. We’re looking for peace, serenity, quiet. A chance to drink in nature and listen to the sounds, get some reading done, have uninterrupted conversations, be romantic.

Granted, we all go camping for different reasons, but it never ceases to amaze me the odd things people do when they camp and how different we all are…

Teenagers and college kids who go camping to get together with 20-30 of their closest friends. They want to party…drink, play their music, play drinking games, have loud sex, pass out, and then pack up and leave forgetting to clean up their empty beer bottles and garbage they’ve left scattered across their campsite for the camp hosts to clean up.

Camping Rule #1 Shut The Hell Up! {Organized CHAOS Online}

Older couples who choose the most beautiful weekend of the year to leave their quiet, childless, squeaky clean homes to drive their gigantic 9,000 foot motor home into the woods with their two yippy sit-in-their-lap dogs in tow, to spend the weekend inside playing cards, not once venturing outside to enjoy their surroundings.

Camping Rule #1 Shut The Hell Up! {Organized CHAOS Online}

Men who go camping with their other men friends, hauling their boats, ATVs, Keystone beer and hunting dogs. They go camping to bond…do guy things…get away from the fam…drink. The more they drink, the louder they get. Although they are standing right next to each other, the alcohol has apparently made them all deaf, and they yell their stories back and forth. They have also become too drunk-deaf to her their dogs barking.

Camping Rule #1 Shut The Hell Up! {Organized CHAOS Online}

It amazes me how a group of people can move into a quiet campground, spend time setting up camp (in the quiet campground), have a couple hours to assess their surroundings (a quiet campground), then throw open the doors to their truck and blast their tunes. WTF? Did you not notice the people across from you taking a leisurely nap outside? The people on the right of you sitting at their picnic table quietly talking while they play gin? Your neighbors on the left kicked back in their loungers reading? Did you somehow think they were all waiting for you to arrive to show them how to have a great time?

One of the things I was taught growing up very early was to “read the room”. When you’re somewhere other than your own home, you respect other people’s spaces. If you enter an area that’s quiet…duh, you also need to be quiet.

Camping Rule #1 Shut The Hell Up! {Organized CHAOS Online}

All campgrounds have rules. Camp hosts (if the campground has one on site) will remind you of those rules if you’ve forgotten them, or another camper complains. If the camp hosts can’t get you to behave, the ranger will be notified and they WILL (first hand experience) come visit your campsite and warn you, and then eventually remove you if you are causing a disturbance. Most campgrounds have a “quiet time” from 10 pm until 8 am. It would be so great if people paid attention to that. More often than not, when we are camping there is some type of obnoxiousness (screaming kids, people using your campsite as a shortcut to theirs, drunk women, loud men, barking dogs, loud music, etc. etc. etc.) long past the 10 pm rule.

Campground Etiquette: Let’s Go Exploring lists some simple camping etiquette, and suggests these tips regarding noise…

Noise happens, but when noise becomes a continual annoyance for neighbors, it becomes pollution. Noise pollution can include loud kids, generators, radios, electronics and even a family preparing/eating/cleaning up dinner at a late hour. Observe campground quiet hours; these times in most campgrounds is between 10 pm – 8 am the following morning. Radios can be a big irritation for neighbors. Most people are nice and never say anything, but the reality is people go camping for the experience of being outside, to get away from the daily grind, and sharing that time with family – they do not want to enjoy another person’s radio.

Well, no shit Sherlock. Is this not common sense? So, short of throwing rocks at your noisy neighbors, what do you do if you’ve chosen your campsite next to a group of clueless, disrespectful, self-absorbed loudmouths?

Camping Rule #1 Shut The Hell Up! {Organized CHAOS Online}

Yahoo Voices suggests:

1. Check the rules

Before you can complain about any noise that your fellow campers are making, you will need to check the rules that are posted at the campground. Most campgrounds have strict rules on what time of night you must stop all noise, and what time of morning you can start making noise.

2. Talk to them politely

This is the first thing that many people often try to avoid doing. Of course you never know how your camping neighbors will react to you asking them to keep it down. Campers however are usually pretty nice, and may just not realize how loud they are being.

3. Let the rangers know

Most campgrounds have park rangers, and there job is to make sure that all of the rules of the campground are followed. If you are having a problem with your fellow campers, and just don’t feel comfortable approaching them yourself, find a ranger and let them know.

4. Switch campsites

In a worse case scenario you can ask for another campsite. You may not want to move all of your gear, but if you are staying for an extended time, this may be best.

Glacier National Park Camping - Camping Rule #1 Shut The Hell Up! {Organized CHAOS Online}

So why do we continue to go camping? Because sometimes, just sometimes, you hit it just right and the planets align. You find a great site and set up. Kids are playing, other campers are busy doing “camping” things…horseshoes, Frisbee, talking, laughing, bike riding, gone to the lake. Then you start to smell charcoal burning, hamburgers, hot dogs, and steaks cooking, campfire smoke. People are talking quietly, tired from their day’s activities. Then the campground starts to wind down and you notice you’re not hearing kids voices, trailer lights are being turned off, lamps are being put out, and you can make out silhouettes of a few people sitting around the embers of a dying fire. Then you hear…nothing.The stars are out, you hear crickets and frogs, a slight breeze ruffles the tree branches, you smell pine and fresh air, and lingering campfire smoke. There’s only some far away laughter, muffled voices, an outhouse door closing, and a couple dwindling campfires. Peace. Serenity. Quiet.

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Travel Toiletry Pocket Carrier


toothbrush holderTIP OF THE DAY: Fold the bottom of a hand towel 1/3 of the way up.

Sew straight lines from the bottom crease to the edge of the towel.

You should have four sections.

Don’t forget to sew the outside edges.

Add a ribbon to one end for wrapping after you roll it and viola, a travel toothbrush carrier that WON’T stay wet.

Quick, No-Mess Summer Cooking: Foil Packet Meals

Quick, No-Mess Summer Cooking: Foil Packet Meals


It’s summer, yesssssss!! One of my favorite things to do is eat, but cook…not so much. When the days get longer and the weather warmer, planning and prepping meals just isn’t on my list of summer activities. I’ve put some thought into analyzing this, and I’ve determined that I resent the time it takes me away from doing the things I really love to do. So, not only in the summer but all year I lean toward quick and easy meals with minimal clean up. Fitting those requirements perfectly are foil packet meals, or “hobo packets”.

To make these little packages from the gods, you basically just rip off a piece of heavy duty foil, dump your ingredients in the middle of it and package it up. You can cook them in the oven or throw them on a grill. With little prep, minimal tending, and zero clean up, everybody’s got a customized meal that can be dumped on a paper plate and eaten with plastic silverware (is that an oxymoron?).

Here are a couple of printable recipes to get your started with your new summer meal planning.





We’re thinking that since we’re such a fan of these, we’ll continue posting our favorites. There are even gourmet foil packet recipes. What types of recipes would you like us to find?

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