Ok folks, time to fess up. How organized is your household? Are you like me? Is some of your stuff organized and yet other stuff, well, not so much? Do you find that you have the best of intentions on getting things stored, labeled, hung, and shelved in an efficient manner only to find the job half-done? I’m vacillating between hoping some of you are nodding in agreement and praying that some of you to have the magic method to make it happen for me.I’m determined that Spring/Summer 2009 will be the year that I find a method to not only get this household in ship shape (who came up with that expression?), but also make it easy to maintain. I’m talking the whole shebang here ... closets, drawers, clothes, kitchen, bath, hall closets, etc. I don’t mean cleaning. My house is relatively clean, it’s just not organized. From the kitchen downstairs to the bedrooms upstairs, there’s so much “stuff” that needs cleared out, sorted up, or purged in some way or another.
And, while purging will be one component to insure success, a big part of my plan needs to include what I call “storage for items to be used again”. For example, keeping an older child’s clothes to be used again by a younger child. So many organizing books and tips call for complete purging, and while that’s fine for some folks, there are those of us out there that do make use of hand-me-downs. There is a 3 ¾ year gap between my girls, and I like to hold onto the older gal’s clothes for re-use to the little one. My littlest gal LOVES hand me downs, even to the point where she likes to help pick out her older sister’s clothes knowing that she’ll get them someday. Works for me. Works for her. And, works for her sister. What doesn’t work, is figuring out how to store this stuff with the limited space we’ve got. Ideas? Please, ideas? Someone please help me! Save me!
Plus, as my kids get older, their clothes take up more space. And I don’t mean that they have more clothes, I mean the clothes themselves are bigger and require more space. For example, my son is 5’10” and weighs around 170 lbs, and wears a size 13 ½ shoe. I’ll let you envision how much space a couple pairs of jeans and shoes takes up.
I went into my girls rooms to snap a couple picks of their closet and drawers, but just couldn’t do it because 1) it didn’t feel right doing that without their consent (my goal would not be to embarrass them ... they are getting older and as such are a little more private about their stuff), and 2) I couldn’t figure out where to begin. We cleaned out their drawers this weekend and sorted clothes to give away and clothes to keep. There’s just still so much “stuff” that needs cleaned out and organized in there. (See Duckie, I like whimsical critters, too!) I did, though, snap a photo of the mural I painted on the walls of their room a few years ago. The girls did warm my heart this past weekend when we were sorting stuff in their room. They were talking about rearrarranging their room, and I asked if they wanted to repaint the walls. They both said an emphatic “NO!” that they like the flowers and bunny and tree I painted. Now I know that they will most likely change their mind sometime soon, but it’s great to know that they like their space. Of course, their big thing is that they want their own rooms. Can’t say as that I blame them, but the old magic wand isn’t working so they’ll have to make do.ANYWAY ... the one thing I did get my homeschooling stuff organized. This is one of two of our bookshelves. Isn’t it lovely? At one point, I homeschooled all three of my offspring; now I just teach my son. We finished up on Monday! Woowho!!! I’ve packed up all the materials and reshelved all the books. I love this shelf. It’s chock full of reference materials and guide books that make homeschooling a snap and makes homework time for my girls much easier. I’m a book fanatic. While I love the internet and it’s wonderful usefulness in doing research, there’s something magical for me in looking things up in an actual book.
Alrighty then. Who wants to join me in getting organized this Spring/Summer? I figure I’ll take it week by week, spread out from now until then end of July. I saw a book yesterday that broke down getting your entire house organized in 20 weeks. It was ridiculously expensive priced at $29 and I did NOT get it. I figured between my determination and your suggestions, I’ll be able to figure this out.
Here’s my first pass list:
Kitchen – organized all cupboards, drawers, counters, fridge. Sort out all pantry stock. Sort out all dishes, cookware, utensils, plates, bowls, cups, etc. Donate unwanted items (or label for garage sale).
Laundry Room – organize all cupboards and supplies. Sort games (we had a game cupboard in our laundry room). Donate unwanted items.
Downstairs Bath – organize all cupboards.
Downstairs Hall Closet – Just cleaned this out. Donate unwanted coats, backpacks, etc.
Family Room: Clean out wall units. Sort through games, crafts, videos, and cd’s. Donate unwanted items or label for garage sale.
Master Bedroom: Sort through dresser drawers, and donate unwanted clothes. Accept that I won’t fit into those clothes anymore and be done with it. *sigh* Get hubby to go through his clothes. Lordy, he has stuff that hasn’t been worn for years (thank God) in there.
Master Bath and Closet: Pray for guidance and advise other family members to send out a search party if I don’t resurface in an hour or so. Note of explanation. The master closet has been used as a storage closet.
Upstairs hall closet. Sort through all towels, sheets, etc. and donate what is not longer used. Salvage old sheets by turning them into dust cloths; old thin towels can be used as yard/vehicle towels.
Son’s room: Sort drawers and closet. Remove all items that don’t belong to son (husband’s old records). See if son will part with any of his junk, I mean stuff. (Actually, son keeps his room pretty tidy. The girls, well, not so much.)
Girls’ room: Take a multivitamin and perhaps ingest something with caffeine. Insist that girls part with things from days gone by. We really don’t need to hold onto EVERY little, itty, bitty, thing from our lives, now, do we? Can you hear their ... “OOOOOhhhh, but I LOVE that. I got it when I was 3. It was a Thursday, at 2:20 pm and we ... blah, blah, blah.”
Upstairs bath: Via con Dios. While all three of the kids use this bathroom as their main lavatory, this is my youngest child’s domain. She actually requests that I don’t clean in there because she prefers to clean it. She does a good job, too. It’s just that it’s time to say goodbye to the bazillion bottles of dried up nail polish, etc. that are lurking in the cabinet drawers. This room needs to be purged.
Garage: This area is actually pretty good. We do a MAJOR clean out every Fall for our big Halloween party, so this just needs a good sweeping. The kids can tackle that.So, what do you think? Care to join me in getting organized week by week? I figure if I break it down, I won’t feel so overwhelmed. Send me your suggestions. What’s your tips and tricks for getting organized? We could pick a day of the week to post our organization/clean out tips and progress. Now that I’ve posted about it, I’ll HAVE to do it! You know, if we do it together, we’ll have a greater chance of sticking to it and gaining success. Does it sound like I’m beggin? I am. Shamelessly. I’m bad that way. Baaaaad. Baaaad girl. So, save me from myself, and join me (and send me your ideas) in The Great 2009 Organizers Unite!
Stay tuned for more food posts, too! I've got some new goodies I'll be sharing with you soon including a delightful chicken salad lettuce cup to enjoy on hot summer days, a lovely cheese strata to savor for outdoor breakfasts, an amazing crab or lobster salad that will make you weak in the knees, and more!