Thursday, January 15, 2015

Getting Organized at Home

I have a confession to make.  No priest needed.  This is just between us.  I have a problem with piles

Big piles, little piles, piles of books, piles of papers.

I try making the piles go vertical so that they are easier to move around and they look less like a pile.  

But they are still piles.  I get that. 

I move those piles into spaces where I won't see them because I don't like clutter.

My husband detests clutter.  But thankfully he loves me more than he hates my piles.

I am generally a very tidy person - well clean anyway - maybe not tidy.  Our kitchen is wiped down every night and we rarely have dishes in the sink for longer than it takes to run the dishwasher.  But every so often I feel myself getting pushed to the edge with my piles and the disorganization of the STUFF hiding in the corners of my house.

A friend mentioned that she was going to try to get some organization done in the coming months so I took her for her word and offered a way that we could be encouraging and also hold one another accountable. I promised her I wouldn't blog about her stuff.   Each week we are tackling a space.  It can be a room, a closet, the pantry, the craft area - whatever.  We text one another our before and after photos.  It is that simple.  Except when you forget to take the before photos.


Before the kids went of Christmas break I had a friend come help me with the playroom.  This before photos was when it was particularly bad… not normal bad.  It was often usually pretty messy, but I took this photo this summer ago because I wanted documentation for my husband of how bad it got before we cleaned it up.  Or maybe it was a warning text so that he wouldn't be shocked when he came home.

But I digress.  I had a friend come over because it was essential that I had someone there to tell me "throw that crap away!".  Oh and she is a part-time designer and used to work in the consignment field - she was really over qualified.  But if you need help from someone else for a particularly challenging area, ask a friend to come over and help.   Put on a movie for the kids to watch and roll up your sleeves.

We had four piles - trash, keep, donate, consign.  Every drawer or basket was emptied an put into one of those four piles.


The baskets up top were actually empty and have been since moved too - yeah!

We ended up with 3 giant trash bags, a carload for consignment and donation, and a cleaned up playroom that has stayed that way for the month!  The key to it staying organized was not so much having more space - it was having less stuff.  All the "chachkies" - that was a new term for me- had to go.  Those are the McDonalds toys, the fairies who lost their wings, the puzzles with missing pieces etc. Also tossed were mostly-colored-in coloring books, books with torn covers, and lots and lots of broken crayons.   It was amazing how much of that stuff was clogging up their drawers really preventing them from having a separate space for the toys they actually play with.

Each week I am going to post a new space - pre and post to help encourage any of you to get organized and reduce your stress as a parent.  I will probably post most of them on Facebook and Instagram under #tidyspacehappyplace because they won't warrant an entire post.

Bottom line here on the parent part -  If your kids know where their toys belong they are more likely to put them away.  If the space is cleared up they are more likely to want to play. As far as your areas go, if you know where your scissors are you aren't less likely to snap when they ask you to cut off (another) itchy tag from their shirt.   Taking just one space a week as a goal will help us to not be too obsessed with the house rather than the home.

Keeping your home in order is not the same as keeping your house in order.  Anyone can keep house - clean organized etc.  Keeping a home in order is all about the love you share and the respect you show one another.  As you go about cleaning up you don't get crazy with your kids.  It is easy to loose it when kids are just being kids.  Remember they are all brain damaged so no, it isn't obvious to them that dirty clothes should go in the dirty clothes bin!
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