06 January 2011

A New Organized Year?

"Cleaning the house while the children are growing is like shoveling snow while it is still snowing."

I thing that's how that saying goes and it captures my feelings pretty well.   I feel like I've been trying to swim upstream for the last few days, and I can't swim. -Really, I  can't.  Dead-man's float is my specialty.  I think we finally got our house back into tolerable order.  It always takes me about a week to completely recover from a long trip.  I feel like I've done nothing but laundry for four days.  Our Christmas was not huge, but it's been challenging to find homes for everything, which has lead me to my goal for this week, month, or year.  I'm not sure how long it will take me. 

I like order.  I want things to be organized because I function so much better that way.  Unfortunately, I am also a pack-rat.  I come by it honestly, just stop by my mom's basement.  I decided, after pulling everything out of that basement due to last spring's flood, that I would de-clutter and organize my things.

Then, we moved, and things were stuffed into boxes and baskets to be gone through later.  These things were stuffed into closets when we moved in to get them out of the way.  Now, we have no storage for the important things and the house feels small and cluttered.   My children are picking up on my ways.  They seem to think that cleaning means to redistribute the mess to different places.  Their room keeps getting smaller due to the cluttered corners growing larger. 

So, I decided that my main goal for 2011 will be to find a home for everything in this house.  That means I have to get tough and go through things and possibly get rid of a lot of things.   Mostly, though,  I just need to actually go through boxes and consolidate things together.  All my craft stuff can have one shelf, while my husbands tools can have another. 

I know this sounds so simple, but trying to do this with my kids at home makes things tough.  I finally started sorting through the piles of papers that have been stashed in various places yesterday.  I had a full head of steam and I was determined to get this one thing done.  Then, with piles of papers spread all over the living room floor, the baby woke up from her nap, so I had to hurry and put things away before she disorganized my newly organized piles.  Maybe today, I'll finish it all the way.  I also organized my notebook and my desk.  Just those things make me breath a bit easier.

Other steps to accomplish this goal include:
Print recipes from computer and organize recipe notebook
Go through pantry and pull out mystery boxes stashed in there
     -empty boxes, get rid of unwanted stuff, find homes for keepers
Go through storage closet and pull out mystery boxes
     -sort, organize things, then organize closet
Find a place to store extra hats and gloves, etc, where we can use them
Go through mystery boxes in my bedroom, sort, organize, etc.
Same for the water softener closet, pull everything out, sort, organize
Help kids find homes for all their things.  Maybe take pictures, so they can remember how things should go?
Sort through baby clothes, get too small put away, get out next size.
Help older kids sort through drawers and get out too small and summer clothes.

Okay that list doesn't look all that long, but it's probably going to take me forever.  I'd better go get started!


  1. I find that finding homes for the stuff we need to keep, the hardest task - there is no place that fits that description. The only thing organized is my closet and there is no room in there!

    Good luck with your endeavor!

  2. I can so totally relate to this. And I have no children at home (well, at least not the 2-legged type) to blame for not being more organized.

    You may have just motivated me to do that. Good luck and may the children take long naps while you are working on getting things decluttered!

  3. Wow-I could have written this post! Mind if I just copy it right into my blog? LOL Our house is too small for us. Sometimes it's not a matter of having too much stuff, rather not having adequate space for it. I really want to get a grain mill, but honestly have nowhere to put it.
    On the idea of taking pictures of what your kids room should look like when clean-I did that. I also took pictures of my son doing the things required to keep it clean and printed them all on index cards (I'm trying to use the Sidetracked Home Executive's system) so he can look at the pictures and clean his own room. It sorta works, but of course not to my standard-just need to let that go!
    I was also just thinking that a file drawer I bought sometime in 2008 is full of papers and I really don't know what's in the files! I want to go thru it and toss what isn't essential. And by toss I mean into the burn pile. Because the drawer is full I too have piles of papers everywhere and I really can't tell ya what most of it is or why I have it.
    A system I read about a few years ago when trying to decide what to keep is to place questionable items in a box and write a date on it that's 30 days from today. Anything left in the box after 30 gets moved (maybe in the same box) to the garage or storage, with a 6 month experation date on it. Anything left in the box after that isn't likely to be needed and should be given away. I did that with some of my husband's stuff shortly after we got married.
    When you print your recipes-put them in some kind of binder right away. This is what I need to do. I print one at a time when I'm making something and then if it's good I keep the recipe. It's gotten to be overwhelming now because they're just on a shelf in no order. I want to 3 hole punch them and but in a binder alphabetically.
    When I post my 2011 goals I'm going to link to your post!

  4. I think organizing skills are like many others. Either you have them or you don't. That's why some folks take book keeping in school, and others stay as far away from it as they can. Book keeper types like a place for everything,and everything in it's place.They'd have to be that way,to be a good book keeper or accountant.I didn't take those courses and I am very disorganized.I keep trying, but to no avail.

  5. Kelly, I've heard of that system before, and I think it's a good idea, but most of these things have been in boxes for six months already. Not important stuff, obviously. And Nancy, the baby took an amazing nap today!

  6. Sawn, so true. My whole family tends more toward the artistic side of the spectrum, but I can only take so much artistic chaos.

  7. Yeah, I have boxes of stuff that have been in storage almost 3 years. We were in there looking for our portable heater the other night and I was amazed at all the stuff I've forgotten. When we finally get a bigger place, I will go thru it and likely sell a lot of it. I'm thinking of using it for stuff already in the house though!