Organized

Get Organized

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

I can’t be the only one to notice how many times the words “Get Organized” appear on the cover of a January magazine publication.

magazines copy

They’re onto us.

Or are we following them ?

No matter.

January is representative of a fresh start – which inevitably leads to so many of us in small or large ways to declutter our nests and “get organized”.

I’ve been hard at work getting my own home organized for over a week, and I’m making serious progress.  At last, the junk drawer, the pantry, the kitchen, the bedrooms and bathrooms are returned to order, with the help of a lot of baskets and colorful bins.

Aren’t baskets and bins simply the best tool for corralling just about anything ?  Magazines, blankets, towels, toys (what’s left of them after my decluttering spree) all have their own place to rest.  I think that is the real key to organization – actually having a place for everything.

Just a few more days tackling some problem areas, and I’ll be back to business as usual.  But first I have two zones I have yet to conquer – the mudroom/rear entry and the unsorted piles of paperwork.  I’ve got big plans for both.

bhg mudroom 5To me, nothing represents organization in the home more than a well designed mudroom or entry.

I think if you asked any busy Mom what’s the one room she couldn’t live without, or wish she had, it would be a mudroom.

See Exhibit A to the right, courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens.

Sigh.

How marvelous to have a dedicated dumping ground just beyond the entrance for hats, scarves, coats, boots, backpacks, sports gear, and all of those necessary items that come with having a family.

I collect images of well organized entryways.  They just make me very happy.

Below is our rear entry – the Before. Ooooh, a blank canvas.

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Thoughtful Disposal

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

I was laughing at myself last night because I really boxed myself into a corner on this one.  Day Two of my week long topic on ‘Starting Fresh’ is marked “Donate/Recycle”.

At first, I was amused because I assumed the subject of recycling was elementary.  I thought, what the heck am I going to talk about?   Doesn’t everyone know how to recycle?  Isn’t everyone a participant in responsible disposal ?  Even my kindergartner knows all about recycling, so I thought.

Then I started doing some research online.  I realized I had much more to learn.   Here’s just a few tidbits I picked up having spent some time researching the subjects of recycling and donating unwanted goods. christmas trees

Christmas trees.  If you’ve purchased a live tree like I did this year, you’ve got to get rid of it.   Do you know where your tree goes when you put it out on the curb ?  Do you treecycle ? Many waste companies will recycle, compost or mulch it for you.  The Boys and Girl Scouts have a national program to pick up your tree curbside for a small donation.  For a great article on disposing of your live tree in an eco-friendly way, click on over to Earth911.com for their helpful tips.

Plastics. Ever wonder what those numbers mean on the bottom of your containers?  There’s a uniform coding system for manufacturers, and as it turns out, not all plastics get recycled.  It’s based on the container’s imprinted code that identifies the type of plastic.  If you’re curious how to recycle different types of plastic, click here.

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Kicking Clutter to the Curb

Monday, January 4th, 2010

There is such a thing as The Clutter Monster.  He is real, and he used to live in my house.

The Clutter Monster broke into my house sometime last year, and made himself right at home. At first I didn’t mind.  He’d leave a pair of socks here, or a few papers there – nothing to get too worked up about.  I was so distracted with my projects and this blog and my job and helping my kids with their schoolwork that I didn’t realize how this new roommate, The Clutter Monster, had really impacted my life.

Every night as I lie sleeping, he began to wreak havoc on my home, leaving his piles of unorganized stuff everywhere.  The clothing, the papers, the toys steadily amassed all over the house.  There was that moment when my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I replied “To kick out the Clutter Monster.”

I finally realized over the holiday break that any time I was feeling a sense of anxiety in my life, it was because I was overwhelmed with all of the “stuff” in my home that I was forced to take care of.  There were many days I would literally throw my hands up in frustration.pb with text

Then I had an epiphany.

I thought to myself, what if those piles didn’t exist?  What if “poof”  they magically disappeared?

Was there anything in those piles that was so necessary I’d miss it if it was gone?  Would I really care ?  Were those things really all that important ?

The obvious answer was “No”.

I realized how relaxed I am when there is order, and how much anxiety I feel when there are excessive piles of laundry, paperwork, or toys lying around.   Clothes I didn’t wear, papers I didn’t need, and toys that were broken or never played with.  I decided that the feeling of serenity from having all that “stuff” disappear was far more desirable than the “stuff” itself.

So I decided to kick the Clutter Monster to the curb once and for all.  I decided I wouldn’t start any more projects until every last room was returned to order.  I’ve been dedicated to this task for over a week, and along the way l’ve learned a few things.

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