Sunday, January 18, 2009

We're getting organized

This task is so long overdue it is just not even funny. It drives me crazy and I feel like everything around here is so out of place. The clutter is horrible and I have complained about it long enough. I have tried and tried to get rid of the clutter and nothing has worked. I feel like I am always cleaning and it is never really clean. Granted, I have two little ones running around so there is no shortage of mess going on here. Well I have finally reached my limit and I am more determined than ever that the crap just has to go and we need to get more organized.

That said, I have thought a lot about it over the last several weeks. This task is part of my new years resolutions and this is one I am sticking to no matter what. I did a survey of my house and determined what areas were bugging me the most. Then once those were identified I came up with a solution to each one. Here is what I came up with so far:

The Kids - I am always picking up after my kids. So much so that I was convinced my carpet was meant to have the toy scattered look. I decided that there was no way they could play with ALL these toys at the same time. So, in the morning I let my oldest pick 4 toys she wants to play with. Each time she wants a different toy she knows she has put one away. This allows her to play with all the toys she wants but she puts them away and that keeps the mess to a minimum.

The Clutter - I went at the clutter really in two different ways. I had a lot of papers that were just getting in the way. The key to dealing with these was to create a simple filing system. I sat on the floor one evening and sorted everything and filed it all away. The next part of dealing with the clutter was to find a place for everything. I walked around for several days just looking at stuff saying "everything in its place". That mindset was amazing for me because I realized that all the things that were driving me crazy were the items that did not have a place. Either that or they were not in their place for whatever reason. I fixed all that and now I just make sure I put everything back in its place. My life is well on its way to clutter free.

Organization - A little extra organization never hurt anyone. Above I said that everything has a place and this really goes hand in hand with the clutter. Some things though really need a new place. I had a ton of stuff in my kitchen cabinets and drawers that just did not belong there. These are not really my clutter items because they are not out for people to see. These are more my misplaced items. For instance, I have a packing tape dispenser in there. It takes up almost the entire darn drawer. I am not sure what I was thinking. Well now it has a new home in its own place out in my garage. There were so many things I did not use on a regular basis. So, I got several plastic storage containers and some labels. I grouped things together, added a label and put them in their place. This way I can still easily find things but they are not taking up space that is much needed for other things.

Clean as you go - This is definitely a challenge for me. I do not necessarily have a big house but I have 3 levels and a total of 4 bathrooms. My biggest issue here was I had one set of cleaning supplies. I decided to get the necessary supplies for each area. This way I cannot make the excuse that the supplies are downstairs so I will do it later. Now I clean as I go and this keeps me from having to set aside hours each week to take on many of these tasks. When we use the shower, tub or toilet it gets a quick clean afterwards. If you dirty a dish put it in the dishwasher right away. A big thing for me is cleaning the dishes after dinner and getting it done right away.

This is what has been in the works at my house. For the first time I really feel like I have a plan that will help a lot. Hopefully it is enough to keep me from going completely and totally insane. This is a constant struggle for a lot of us. I hope there is something in here that will help you out.

What are your thoughts? What favorite organizations tips do you have?

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