an organizational post by an over-organizer

8 Jan

ha!  i am back to my crazy long titles.  this is part one in a two part series.  i likely could condense it to one post but since i am overly wordy i don’t want to bore you.

i like things organized, clean, and i like to have systems for everything.  i have tried in the past to not be “that” person.  you know…the anal one?  but i never seem to succeed at this.  i remember in college, my roommate and i were both very neat and organized, and grew up in homes where that was expected of us.  so we went to dorm life and one day we tried to be messy.  amy and i literally threw our clothes all over the dorm.  we left things out.  we had messy desks.  i don’t know how long we survived this way…but i don’t think it was a week.  but we tried.

i have friends that are very neat and tidy and organized and have systems to do everything.  heather is a fabo organizer and able to be a minimalist  when necessary.  i have another friend, adene (who seriously needs a blog) that makes being a mom of three look easy with all her systems and her superior organizational skills.  i also have my sister and good friend sherry who keep their house clean enough on a daily basis that if for some reason you had to eat off the floor…in the bathroom…it still might be cleaner than some people’s plates!  and not sure if you know millie…the MiUS founder…well she is organized and her house is always clean as well…talk about empty counters!

i have had moments since having my third kiddo (that’s when things seemed to get rough) where i felt organized and felt like i kept up with the house.  then i would get hooked on a “project”…finding a “mud area” that works for us (we don’t have a mud room), or re-organizing and purging the kitchen, re-organizing the pantry, making an office space, a craft area, a play area (get my drift?).  and when those projects came up…i began to feel like this:

or, more appropriately, this:

(that cracks me up!  it doesn’t exactly look like me but i love it!)

then i started reading blogs (shocking) and found a few that gave me some great ideas.

i drooled over sunny side up’s pantry:

anything this mama does i want to follow.  i want to be her.  seriously, i think she is amazing and i love her blog and her sense of minimalism and cleanliness and organization.  clover lane is my favorite blog.

then…a few ideas have been stolen and used in my home from a bowl full of lemons.  i just might of read every cleaning and organizing post she has written….

so after going through all the blogs and pinterest (i am a bit of a pinterest newbie),  i had to make some plans for myself.  what i realized through months and months of trying to get organized and have schedules is i was trying to do what worked for everyone else…instead of figuring out what worked for me.  no matter how hard i tried, my kitchen seemed to look like this at the end of the day:

okay…that’s a bit of an exaggeration…i mean, that’s not even my kitchen, but you get my drift.  so my clean crazy friend, sherry, came over and we purged and cleaned everything.  then as i talked about my “systems” she made me realize i was kind of over-systemizing (yea webster, i just created a word i think).

here was the plan:

step one – purge as much as you can  from every area of the house.  once you think you have purged all you can, purge again.  there is more there.  trust me.

step two- research and see how other people organize or clean areas you want to work on.  while doing said research realize that you need to tweak things to work for you…not everyone else.  what works for them, likely will not work for you.

step three- write it out! this sounds uber-nerdy…but i am a nerd.  i also will tell you this is what finally worked for me.  i took a notebook and wrote a few different lists.  list one was what i needed to complete every day in order to feel caught up and feel that my house was up to my standards of cleaning.  list two was a breakdown of my time.  i felt like i was home with two out of three of my kids all day and wasn’t playing much.  instead i always seemed to be cleaning and doing laundry and organizing something.  i still had to fit in the blog and my other admin stuff for MiUS an i also do some admin projects for a realtor.  i was always out of time but seemed to have lots of time (yes.  it sounds like that sentence doesn’t make sense, but it is how i felt!).  so i wrote down hour by hour to see where i could fit things in and when i could do things so that i freed up most of my day for my kids.  finding kid time was important to me, but i also know myself and know that if “things” aren’t a certain way…that makes me unhappy…and you know the old saying…if mama isn’t happy no one is happy.

are your eyes tired?  sorry…its long…i am wordy.  if you have had these feelings too at your house, stay tuned this week for part two where i share my lists and share pics of how most of my house has stayed in the month or so since implementing MY techniques around my house.

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2 Responses to “an organizational post by an over-organizer”

  1. Amy January 8, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    oh how I do remember that Carrie….lol!! I agree, I think we lasted maybe a few days!!!! Thankfully, 15+ years later, Ive learned to embrace the mess more….(not a lot, but a little more!!!!!) ~Amy

  2. Erin January 9, 2013 at 12:50 am #

    Oh you are so sweet to mention me and my pantry! I’m thrilled it gave you some ideas to help with yours! I love “meeting” other organizers. Sounds like the two of us would be fast friends. 🙂
    Erin @ Sunny Side Up

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