For my bestie’s 40th birthday party she had a “Clean Sweep” party. When the invitation came in the mail, my husband said with some disgust, “who would want to clean and organize on their birthday?” He looked at me (wearing a cheesy smile which he knew meant I was contemplating an outfit to match my yellow dishwashing gloves) and said, “Nevermind.”
I know you’ve heard the adage, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” An oldie but a goodie. If items are where they are expected to be, life flows more smoothly (and you won’t waste anymore time looking for your keys, phone, purse, etc., if these items are stowed in “their” places).
It takes a lot of time to get organized but the result pays dividends. My kids’ toys didn’t make it into labeled bins on their own. I had to do the initial work. But now when M.E. is done playing with her ponies, she finds the bin, puts the toys back in, and puts the bin away where it goes (ok, she still needs a bit of reminding but it takes way less time to say, “remember to put the pony bin away” than it does to clean up a room filled with random toy sets while holding a crying baby and making dinner for guests that are due in about three minutes).
Confession: I have a borderline obsessive relationship with my label maker and my fascination with bins is not quite unhealthy but getting there.
I organize with a bin and label system. For kids the labels are photo-based so the kids can put toys where they belong (and even dad can look at the bin and say, “that bin is for your baby dolls.”). Adult bins are either color coordinated fabric bins (Matt is tan, I am brown) or labeled with words (“Honey, where are the bandaids?” “In the bin labeled “first aid.”). I use small baskets for food (baking spices, cooking spices, baking supplies, cake supplies, etc.). I use mini-drawers to organize cords for IPods, cell phones, and other technology.
This can all be very overwhelming and I can hear you saying, “but I don’t have time!” Start small. Remember you eat an elephant one bite at a time. Start with a closet or a drawer and then move on. Eventually everything will have its own place!
In coming weeks I’ll post photos and tips on organizing but there are a lot of resources out there and I suggest you look into them (google keywords like: organize, de-clutter, clean …).
In the meantime, if you have a problem area and you’d like suggestions on how to organize the area, please e-mail me a photo and I’ll offer suggestions. If you want me to come organize with you, you pay for the travel for both my label maker and me J
P.S. I didn’t make it to Kim’s Clean Sweep party because family was in town (but I did make it for dinner). I was so bummed!