Saturday, January 10, 2015

In Search of: a 2-step Organization Plan

How's January going for everybody so far?

I'm feeling a big "meh." I've had a head cold which of course doesn't help. But even if I felt better I still would rather not get out of the flannel sheets in the morning, and in the evening I feel like going on a kitchen strike. (Why do these people want to eat every day?!)

While I'm always relieved when the holidays are over, I seem to be struggling through a case of the winter blahs.

This is the time of year when most bloggers are reviewing the past year and thinking about goals for the twelve months ahead. But I can't seem to think past my next cup of coffee (that would be cream no sugar, please).

What I'm trying to say is that this is a bad time to talk about planning or organizing, and yet I seem determined to muddle through.

Because muddle is the operative word. A household of four kids and a working single mom never runs super-smoothly at the best of times, and there are just days where my life's not only not magazine pretty, it's sort of a ghastly storm system of shoes, dishes, sheet music, and homework papers that hovers over the household the entire week.

I'm not a naturally neat person, I know (my sister got that gene). And most of the time I consider that to be okay. There's always something I'd rather be doing than cleaning house. Who wouldn't?

That said, the clutter builds up to a point that I am tempted to endorse a simple two-step organization plan:

1. Prop open back door

2. Throw annoying shit out of it.

Doesn't that feel good, just thinking about it?

I don't think our family is any more consumerist than the next American family, which I realize isn't saying much. We live in an incredibly wasteful society. I like to think we are less so. But even with all the best efforts, with four children there is a constant downstream flow of outgrown clothing (this, especially), outgrown books, outgrown toys. And with a house that's got ongoing renovation projects, there's also a lot of building/redecorating refuse. I'd like to get a better handle on this, without resorting to my previously described 2-step system.

Gosh. That sounded like a goal, doesn't it? (It's not a resolution, though. I don't possess the backbone for those.)

I've been heading in that direction for awhile already, like this day in early November where I temporarily destroyed the twins' bedroom in a big clothing weed-out:

Or the items, including an end table, glassware, and artwork, I consigned to a shop in October:

I still liked this, but it just didn't "fit" in my current house or decor plan. Time to let someone else love it.

It's a big relief to move things out the door, whether they are going to consignment, charity, or the curb.

And I want more of the kind of relief I felt getting all this crap out of my garage: 

Pitching the clutter makes the remaining items much easier to live with, as I discovered with the hall closet organization that took place earlier last year. 

I'd just like to do more of it, and when I'm not in the throes of a tantrum of irritation like I was with the closet. 

I'm not sure what form "manage clutter better" will take this year, yet, I just know that the results are worth shooting for, whether it's a cleaner closet, fewer possessions, a more smoothly operating household, or all three. 

What have you got on your plate for 2015? 


  1. I signed up for the "January Cure" at Apartment Therapy. That's not going so well because the first assignment was to clean all the floors. Uhhhh....I can barely see a couple of my floors because of the junk I have stacked on them. I abandoned that plan already. I did go through my closet and about half of my chest of drawers (so far) and I have three bags of clothes to be donated.

  2. Finally (mostly) taming clutter has made the biggest difference for me. You're already doing the first thing, which is getting rid of stuff. I keep a place in my garage to temporarily store things I want to donate, which helps me get it out of the household areas I want to declutter.

    As for the organizing, just break it into small bites. Do one closet. One drawer. One cabinet. Doing that always creates issues in other spaces, and give yourself permission to screw those up a bit more temporarily until you can get to them, too. Once I have a space re-organized, it's much easier to keep it organized. For me, anyway. Know that it will never be perfect and that after a while, you'll have to go back to some places and start over(ish). Entropy is the way of the universe, after all. :-)

    As for me, I have an intention (not a resolution) to have more creative fun. To create just for fun. Cause I could use some damn fun.