Are you drawn to posts about organizing and cleaning tips like moths to a flame? I am. And, never fail, I come away from reading them thinking, “Well if I could do that, I wouldn’t need to read posts about organizing!” I never find mind-blowing innovation. The basic premise behind every post is to put stuff away right after you use it. Here is the problem: the women who write those posts are organized people who naturally put stuff away. I am not. They are under the impression that ideas about how to organize elude the unorganized. And while I am sure those people are out there, I am certainly not one of them. I know how to organize, but I do not put stuff back in its neat, new organized way. I have already thought of and failed to implement pretty much every organizational strategy I get baited into reading about. We have empty hooks, empty plastic tubs, and empty baskets galore! And if they are not empty, they are filled with granola bar wrappers, Burger King toys, five shoes that do not create even one matching pair, a sock, a baseball, a Nerf dart, a crumpled art project, and a half-finished overdue math assignment. We have the ‘a place for everything’ portion taken care of, but we struggle with the ‘everything in its place’ part.
I admit it has taken me considerably too long to realize that creating new ways to organize is not going to solve the epic mess cycle in our home. It has been a long process that continues to evolve, but I am starting to figure out how to stop trying to do things the 'organized people' way and do them MY way. A great example of my new insight happened the other day when my husband showed me a cool boot rack made of horseshoes and suggested we purchase it because he is tired of tripping over the kids' boots every night when he gets home. I sarcastically replied, “Sure! I bet it would look real nice with a pile of boots in front of it!” He didn't think it was as funny as I did.
Another thing that helped me realize I am not cut out for taking advice happened last year when a number of my friends were raving about www.flylady.net. I figured I would give it a try, even though I was pretty sure most of them were naturally more organized than myself. I will admit that I started out with a less-than-positive attitude about the likelihood of success. I was pretty much acting like a whiny, excuse-making brat because I don’t like getting dressed and wearing shoes in my house while I clean. However, I honestly do believe having seven kids and a larger-than-average house are legitimate obstacles to the fly lady’s plan. Despite all that, I started the first step, which consists of just shining the sink every day. I did it for a few days and then forgot for a couple and then did it for a few more days. Then about two weeks later, I suddenly thought to myself, “Oh yeah, I was doing that sink shining thing! Oh well, I guess I am just not fly lady material.” I did the same thing when I started planking to get my tummy back in shape after seven pregnancies. So until my kids are all old enough to not starve when left to their own devices, I will stick with feeding them as my only every single day chore.
My plans for organizing can be amazing plans, but the execution rarely works. Even though this is a hallmark of my rare personality type, I am certain I am not the only one struggling with this. Why do you think there are a bazillion ‘how to’ posts about organizing out there? Over the next couple weeks, I am going to post my organizing philosophies. I realize I am doing what I just got done complaining about, but I promise it will not be like anything you have seen before. I think making beds is a stupid waste of time and cleaning is done best while looking like a slob. If you agree, check back (or sign up for my monthly newsletter via the pop-up) if you are also frustrated with the same old organizing advice.
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I am the mother of seven children ranging from teens to a baby, living out in the middle of nowhere, USA. I aim to hone the craft of giving advice without pretending to have this whole mom thing figured out. I am Christian, but not the really nice kind that is good at it. I am also conservative, but I promise not to be in your face with political agendas very often. I like to infuse humor into my writing, so don't freak out if you are offended or appalled by what you read here. There is a very fine line between serious advice and sarcastic hyperbole.