Getting Organized Realistically Part 2 or The longest I’ve ever kept a New Year’s Resolution


Well, it’s a week into the organizing project and I’m pleased to report more progress than I ever expected.  However, I can also report a few lessons learned! 

Firstly, when it comes to organization, things tend to get messier before they get clean. My poor counter in the kitchen gets totally cluttered with stuff by the end of each closet or set of drawers. There’s a pile for the basement, a pile for the rummage sale, and a pile for the garbage.  Fortunately, the garbage pile is the biggest- this is a good thing to me! I make sure that each pile is sorted into its allotted place at the end of the day so I start each day anew.  It’s nice to wake up to a clean kitchen.

My second discovery is that it is so much easier to organize things in groups.  For instance, I did three hall closets at once so I could sort things between them. This made the hallway impassable for a few minutes, but it was worth it. That meant I was done with three in the time it took to do one.

I am also learning to get rid of bulky, half full things. For example, I’ve had a recipe card box for years, but I have only filled out maybe 20 cards in it. Nowadays everyone emails recipes to me or I print them off the internet, (I only keep the ones that taste good) and they go into splatter proof page protectors in a binder. So now, deciding I didn’t need two such holders, I tossed the recipe box in the rummage sale box and spent $3.00 on some recipe card sheets for the binder.

My favorite breakthrough was how handy the list I made is though. It has every drawer, cabinet, and closet in the house on it. Each time I finish something I cross it off. It definitely lends to the sense of accomplishment but it is also a catalyst. It sits on my counter and if I’m not sure what to do for the day or just plain feeling ambivalent, I see it, pick something off it, and get started. Inevitably I end up doing two or three other cabinets as well. From the list I can see I have almost completed the main floor of the house, and the huge basement storage. I was so proud it even inspired a Facebook status change!

The main thing about all of this though was to prove I could do it and get it done in a month and with only minimal time each day.  Actually less than a month; because of my bed rest I was bound to the couch until January 7th. So I am 6 days into the project and over half done.  What’s more, I’m still on orders to take it easy, so I don’t get much more time to work on it than the average working mom who had a change to throw supper in the crockpot.  (In other words- take hope Moms!) 

The other thing I wanted to prove was that getting organized doesn’t need to break the bank. So far I’ve invested about $15.00 in the project. Included in that is several, assorted sizes of baskets, a tote and the recipe card holders mentioned above. My dream is to bring the whole house into shape for under $20.

I’ve been doing a lot of recycling to accomplish this. A small wooden crate that my son’s toy veggies came in at Christmas is going to be stained and used as a countertop catchall for keys, cell phones and wallets. A canister with a broken lid now hosts my knives that don’t fit into the block, freeing lots of space in the drawers.  An odd glass from the bar set was perfect to hold all my hubby’s Crystal Light individual packets, taking up half as much space as the three boxes they were in.

Taking all of this into account, I don’t see it being hard to meet all my goals so life can move on to planning my son’s 2nd birthday party and getting a nursery set up.  I will post any other little things I learn at the end of the month and I will hopefully report in that I am done and that if I can do it, anyone can. (Without hiring a professional or going broke!)

P.S. In the midst of all of this, I’m trying to instill a little organization into my son. We’ve been making sure trains and blocks stay separate and his little magnetic letters go in a special cup. Those two things have been a bigger challenge than everything else!

And no, I have no suggestions on how to best organize your snow during removal.