Monday, April 11, 2011

A Place For Everything...

…And Everything In Its Place.

I’ve always considered myself to be pretty organized.  I know some people get an adrenaline rush from running, etc.  I get a rush from organizing things.  I jump at any excuse to make a chart in Excel.  And, I have a friend who loves to tell people how I would (as a child) organize her closet for her every time I came to her house.

On the other hand, I can’t stand cleaning.  Dusting is on the list of the things I dislike most in life.  It may in part be due to the fact that I don’t like cleaning around clutter.  I have to pick everything up first and then clean.  By the time I’m done putting everything away, I’m exhausted already – especially now that we have children.  I’m not sure why I didn’t inherit my mother’s cleaning gene.  She absolutely loves to vacuum.  (Hi mom!  I’m sure you’ll be reading this.)

I used to be a “binge” organizer.  When I was teaching elementary school, I would take the first few weeks of summer break and go through all of the cabinets, closets, files, etc. in the house and get everything back in its place.  I would also use Christmas break to work on some small projects in need of help.  Something about having everything organized around me makes me feel more organized on the inside as well.  The opposite can also happen.  When things are unorganized all around me, I feel all frazzled and out of sorts on the inside.

Since having kids, my entire system of keeping the house organized had fallen apart.  So much time was spent on their health issues that cleaning out closets was no where near the top of the list of things I needed to focus on.  However, things have been a bit more settled lately, and I’m trying to use the time to develop a new system.  The days of having two full weeks free to declutter the house are long gone, so I’m developing a plan for working on one closet/drawer/cabinet/etc. per week – more as I have time.

In the midst of this process, I read a book by Marcia Ramsland entitled Simplify Your Life.  It was just the motivation I needed to help me develop a plan for this new season in life.  I have gotten SO many things done the past few months.  It will still take some time to make it through all the nooks and crannies, but I finally feel like I will get to it all – and before the kids leave for college.

Another good resource for getting organized is FlyLady.  While I don’t follow all of her plan, she has a lot of good thoughts and resources.  Some of my favorite FlyLady quotes:

“You can’t organize clutter.  You can only get rid of it.”
“Only keep things that make you SMILE!”

I’ve had a little extra motivation the past couple weeks since the Children’s Ministry at our church is having a yard sale to raise money for this summer’s Kids’ Camp.  I’ve already taken four different loads of things to donate.  I cleaned out the hall closets over the weekend, and I cleared out enough stuff that an entire shelf is empty at the moment.  Oh the joy!  Still trying to decide what will become of the newly found space.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: …  a time to keep, and a time to cast away.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1, 6

Hope you will take time this week to do something you enjoy.



  1. Did you write this post, or did I? LOL Oh, my. I have never heard anyone explain it so well. My husband will laugh when he reads this. :) I can get such a rush from cleaning out a room or closet, but when the kitchen needs cleaned yet again, and the dishes need washed for the second time today? Hmmmm..... And now that we have four kiddos, I have an infinite number of excuses to get behind. But since Keandre was diagnosed with EE/EG last week I am cleaning out closets again -- for my own sanity. :)

  2. For some reason, when I read your latest post the other day, I didn't scroll down and read the rest. (My brain is quite frazzled and short on attention span these last few weeks.)Is the "friend" you're talking about in the first paragraph me? That's hilarious because my comment to your other post was about cleaning out my closets as a kid!! LOL!