You know, I am very good at being disorganized. In fact, I just might be down right brilliant at it. What can I say, I am gifted. My husband often tells me so. Though I don’t really think it is a compliment.
Well, the drawback to being disorganized is that at some point out of sheer survival or necessity, you have to get it together. <Tweet this.
So for me, organizing works a little like this:
The Crazy Cycle
You bump along, getting by. Some days go well. Others…not so much.
With busy schedules, things slowy distentegrate into some level of chaos.
Then comes the day of no turning back.
You open the closet door and a ten pound weight falls on you head. You forget that today is early dismissal and end up leaving your child stranded in the carpool line at school. You show up on the wrong day for an appointment. When disorganization rises up its ugly head and bites you, out of desperation you have your come-to-Jesus moment.
You baton down the hatches, straighten up the closet, power clean the house, and go overboard in trying to fix all that is not going well. You have a field day with your neighbor’s label maker. Slowly, life returns to a sane level of chaos. All is right with the world and all the laundry is put away.
You cruise along for a while, basking in your new -found organizational bliss. Life goes smoothly…until things begin to unravel.
Sound familiar anyone?
Just because you may have your moments of frustration with organization, I’d like to share with you a few of my best tips.
I have three children and a husband, who despite my worthy efforts of training, somehow cannot seem to put things away. Shoes by the front door, pajamas on the kitchen chair, braces rubberbands everywhere. And the biggest nightmare of all—the dreaded kitchen counter—the free for all zone for clutter.
The Swat Method
Here’s my best tip for eliminating counter clutter. Don’t let it start. Stand guard over your counter with one of those big plastic spatualas and swat the hand on anyone or anything how tries to put something down on your holy space. Let me tell you. They will learn. Quickly. It only takes a couple of years, well, maybe 15 or so.
The Kid Bedroom Disaster Zone
And how about kids bedrooms? What to do about that disaster zone? I once knew a lady who flipped out because her child had left a lego (just one) under the bed. Just so you are clear on this. That is not me. My house doesn’t look like this all the time, but when it does, I am not above taking a few pictures (the Shame Method…)
So how do you achieve organization in the personal space of a child? What do you do when despite your best efforts, they will not put their stuff away?
For heaven’s sake, the stuffed animals are literally breeding and multiplying before our very eyes. What to do?
The trash can method if you’re the House-Nazi type. If you’re more soft hearted, go for the box method. Anything left out is taking the easy way out. Into the box and on to never-never land. If you’re big into systems and rewards, you can make the little guys earn the toys back….
Is Time Really Manageable?
Now another problem area is the schedule—yes…that dirty word: Time management.
Oh mercy, we can get into some trouble with this one. Remember the kid left at school? Earned mother of the year award with that one. Or how about the time I left my teen stranded…on the morning of her AP English exam senior year? How was I to know her brother took the car that day…? A small scheduling snafu and miss-communication can go a long way to creating stress and chaos, can’t it?
The One-Thing-a-Day Schedule
The never-work fix for this one is this: simply schedule one thing a day. No more. If there’s only one thing, you can’t really get too confused, right? Just forget all about selling those girl scout cookies and the thirty-nine other items on your list.
Too bad if you’re out of cheerios and diapers, it’s not on your one-item-for-the-day list.
You’ll be amazed at what a breeze your schedule becomes when you don’t fill it up with all that extra stuff. Just tell your child that science fair project will simply have to wait until next Thursday. I’m sure the teacher will understand!
So the next time the roof is caving in and you thing you’re going to fall apart, whip out these Never Work Strategies of Home Organization and give it a try.
What’s your best Never-Work tip?