Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Organization for the modern type AB

“Organization“, “How to get organized“, “How to organize your life and keep it that way“… These statements and other similar statements usually divide women into two different categories: those with hearts that start to flutter at the thought of a new organization technique they can implement as soon as possible and those with hearts that start to flutter at the mess lurking under the surface of their junk drawer that turned into a junk closet and is on the verge of becoming a junk room .

Well, I will tell you that I am one of the not so talked about, in between girls.

I adore the word organization and all that it implies. One day when I am wealthy beyond all imagination I even plan on having several full time professional organizers on staff. However, until that fateful day arrives, I am stuck organizing my life myself.

Which brings me to the other side of the love affair .

So, I adore organization and read every article on it that I can get my hands on with the best intentions, but yet, not many of the suggestions actually get put into action.

I have clean, well decorated counter tops but two junk drawers are tucked underneath them full of, you guessed it, junk.

I have a professionally installed closet with my shirts being color coordinated from white to black but my shoes are strewn about the floor.

I have car caddies for instant automobile organization, but they are lined up in the back of the truck in a neat row while the DVDs, crayons and travel games are on the floor board of the truck.

So, you can see that there is obvious desire to be one of those professional moms and wives that are so put together that they run their errands in an efficient manner, have their families meals and outfits planned for the week, and always get their Christmas cards out the day after Thanksgiving, but alas, I am not one and probably never will be.

But here is what I do have:

“Some organization, some of the time.”

For example,

One week my closet will be spotless while my truck needs a has mad level cleaning, the next week, the truck will be speck and span while the refrigerator sits empty, the next week we will have a fully stocked refrigerator and the pizza dude will be wondering what happened to his regulars while my closet is in shambles again. You get the idea.

So, maybe it is not always all done and perfect, but some times, some of it is! And, that is ok with me.

Even if it is only parts of my life that are organized and it only last for a week and it is three weeks before they get implemented again. At least I have a week of living that type A life style in that particular area!

And, oh let me tell you, I hold on to that week. When things get out of place again, I close my eyes and know that one day soon (because it will be put on my to-do list) it will be organized all over again, and for now that will just have to do.

So, don’t beat your self up if you don’t live the lifestyle all the magazines tell us about.

You are already succeeding by reading the organizational article. That was the first step! Because one day, you will get around to doing those cupboards and closets and you will remember some of those tips, and you will use them, and your cupboard will stay tidy for a week or so and when it gets messy again you can close your eyes, remember the vision of them when they were blissfully tidy and know that they will one day get that way again. Because you will put it on your to do list, and you will once again conquer the clutter!

So, with all that said, let me share with you some of my FAVORITE tips and you can put them to use as soon as you get home, or store them away in the back of your mind until the day comes.

Either way, here are some organizational suggestions from me a non-committal organization junkie:

Make a list

I make a list for absolutely everything. What to do around the house, grocery list, errands that need to be run, things that need to happen at work, etc… and once I put something on the list, it can NOT come off until it gets done. It might get done the day it goes on the list or it might get transferred over to the new list several times, but no matter what, it does not get forgotten and it eventually gets done.

Have a place for everything in your home

What I mean by this is, every item in your home should have, well, a home. Pens with other pens, coats in a coat closet, magazines in a basket, etc… Am I saying that those things should not come out of there spots? No, I am saying if you have a designated area for those things, when you get around to picking up, you will put them where they go and next time you need them, they will be there. Your family will be so impressed that you found something in the first place you looked! (this is exceptionally impressive when you are running out the door and you can still find something with in seconds)

Tidy up every evening or morning.

I have found for me, if I pick up every night before I go to bed (I am a night owl) the mornings run smoother and it is easier to maintain then waiting to do it once a week. To be clear I am not talking about cleaning here, I am talking about picking up and tidying things up.

I am not at all saying that there is not a time I go to bed with out a mess. You better believe it happens, but if I make an effort to do it every night, then chances are, it will at least happen three or four nights of the week. I consider that success.

Start in a corner

Ok, here is a little off the wall trick I use: I start in a corner of my kitchen. You may think this sounds silly, but I start in a specific corner of my kitchen every time I go to tidy up and I work my way out. It is so physiologically pleasing to see the progress you are making with a tidy corner that leads to tidy counter tops that lead to a completely tidy room! It makes me smile with pride and feel good about what I have accomplished in such little time. It is true that as soon as I turn around there is the family room to tackle, but I do it the same way, and soon it is done and then I have two rooms done, and so on… For some reason when I walk back into one of the rooms I am finished with, it just makes me feel such a sense of accomplishment that it motivates me to keep going. And again, just to keep it real, sometimes only the kitchen, family and bathrooms get done, but at least they are completely done and not just bits and pieces. And if company comes over, I can just keep them in the “holding area” that is neat and tidy.

So, I know that that might not seem like the longest list or the most complex set of organizational techniques. And any type A’s or professional organizers reading this might be sighing in disappointment, but they are reality -based, real person, techniques that might actually be used.

Which is, after all, the point.

Just keep telling yourself my mantra:

“Some organization, some of the time, is better than no organization, any of the time!”

Maybe I should get that tattooed on me somewhere! Just kidding type A’s!


Ido said...

Wow Liz, great tips, my pantry and bedroom closet are in huge need or organizing!

managed exchange said...

nice tips