I find in life that my love of perfection and research lead me to read a lot about topics while actually doing… Well let’s just say the doing leaves much to be desired.
Secure in my knowledge that I was going to actually make a resolution about organization for 2012 I started a week early AND I dove right in. I had some code yellow areas (as described by Rants from Mommyland) that were just begging to be tackled to make room for the ginormous amount of crap necessary for the survival of an American newborn.
I’m used to this cycle of neatness to slob and back around again so it was no surprise when about halfway through toy clean and bookcase purge 2012 my project started to get that out-of-control hoarders look. To keep the momentum going and find a way to keep myself organized this time (I mean it) my evenings have been spent frantically researching every organization blog and library book I could get my hands on. Because I am determined to not go. Through. This. Cycle. Again.
From my personal organization battles and research I found the experts agree there are main areas that must be addressed for organization to occur and be maintained. So I bring you:
Top 5 Organization Ideas
- Organization is about getting rid of or finding a permanent home for your stuff. Not about buying “organization” items.
- Organization requires a family buy in.
- Organization is a daily affair.
- There are thousands of creative uses for the things you already own.
- Organization should go beyond your stuff and consider your entire life like finances, vacations, etc.
Let’s Look In More Detail
1. Not buying more stuff: This is a biggy for me. Not the buying stuff. I’m kind of over buying stuff plus we are broke. No, I’m discussing the belief I hold that says, ” I need all that beautiful organization stuff in order to get organized.” Surprisingly it isn’t true, plus the professionals say it is counterproductive. Unless you have a specific use for those beautiful stainless steel canisters then they are just another item taking up the kitchen counter
Real life bonus: I have continually bitched about needing more bookcases, but I put on my big girl panties and purged, purged, purged. After getting rid of every book I didn’t truly love, use as a reference, or want save for my children (Hello my original copy of “A Wrinkle in Time”) I had cleaned off my bookcases. Then amazingly I had room on every shelf to add a few new books.
Real life bonus #2: Found out McClain loves art books. Sure he points out the boobs in the Klimt paintings, but I’ll take any toddler sophistication I can get.
2. The family buy in: Ugh! This one is hard, but a lot of it just comes from being realistic. If everyone dumps everything by the front door then it won’t matter that you have the prettiest coat rack two rooms away. The shiznit is never, ever going to make it that far. Luckily, I am married to a man who loves to purge and will happily cart anything to Goodwill but we just disagree on where the remaining stuff should go. Why the class containers are on the top shelf in the kitchen while the plastic tupperware is on the bottom I will never know.
3. Organization Everyday: Double UGH! Honestly, it takes picking up every day. Not every Tuesday but every single frigging day, for the rest of my life. This depresses me and makes me want to get a maid. However, I have found picking up for 10 minutes every evening when McClain goes to bed is starting to be easier than cleaning all day Saturday.
4. Seriously, creative uses: I’m going to do a round up of a few I have come up with (uses for those single socks!) and some other great organization ideas on Friday.
5. Going beyond the crap: I’m taking 15 hours of college courses this Spring, working 25 hours a week outside the home, blogging, and will be having our second baby in a few weeks. Patrick just got elected alderman (think town council), works full-time, and volunteers & works part-time for a variety of town and historical projects. Can you say we don’t know who is coming and going? We both got on board with Google calendar and that has been a saving grace for our event organization. Now to take care of the rest of our lives.
Certainly each book and blog offered specific tips on how to achieve these main themes. However, mostly each item revolved around these five central ideas. Well that and all of them said the biggest step was to JUST GET STARTED. So hopefully my research will pay off and we can tame the chaos for good this time around.
If you have any other great ideas please, please, please share!