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? 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Year, New Changes

I'm not a New Year partier even in the best years, but this year I spent the evening on the couch with a cold. It was sort of a bummer, but I wasn't going to be out on the town in high heels and a swanky dress anyway, so it's not like I missed anything.

It did, however, ratchet up my cranky a couple of notches putting the Christmas tree away. Come January I always want to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.

One thing, however, didn't come back. It was the little orange rocker:

It gets temporarily moved out every year so the Christmas tree can stand in the front window. I decided this year it was not returning.

It was a nostalgia piece from my growing-up years that, despite my affection for it and my love of vintage, wasn't working. It's too small and out of scale in relation to the rest of the living room furniture, for one thing. Secondly it's so small and light that the children tend to scoot it all over the floor, and I'm tired of it meandering everywhere while scratching the hardwood.

And for a third---well, lets just be honest here. My love ain't blind. This chair is ugly. And that's coming from a woman who loves her some crazy 70s stuff.

For now, a bench is acting as a placeholder until something better comes along.

No, it's not perfect either, but it's at least not, you know-- so orange.

It does look a little like I'm running a Shaker church by way of a Target store with the bench plus ottoman like that. But at least the colors work and the space is filled until something else happens. Most likely an arm chair, but I haven't decided exactly what kind/color/style yet.

My living spaces overall have been mostly serviceable, but I'm to the point I'd like to get them a little more finished up-- paint, curtains, things hung on the walls-- and deciding that the little chair had to go was the first step in that.

It is not gone forever. I'm not getting rid of it, and I'm not going to forsake a piece of childhood nostalgia so cruelly. It's going to return elsewhere in a different incarnation of itself; I'll get to that part later.

In the meantime, this was a good way to start off the new year, homewise-- a small step on the way to where I'd like to go.