Monday, September 20, 2010

Organized Mom Series: Part 4: Organized Places

First of all, I want to say that I am blown away by the response from this series! Thank you for the encouragement and I'm so glad it is helping so many of you!   I'm running low on ideas, so if you have some topics you'd like me to talk about, let me know. 

Now, for organizing all the stuff!

I like the things that live in my home to have a home.  A place to be when not in use.  I know people that are far more rigid about this than I am and others that are far more lax about it. Which must make me the "happy medium."  :)  We are all different and just like everything else we've talked about in this series, the important thing is finding what works for your family in a way that lines up with the priorities God has for you. For me, its about teaching my kids to be good stewards of what we own; making things easy to find when we need them, while keeping the clutter to a minimum.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that cleaning out closets or drawers, organizing, creating storage solutions, etc is like pure therapy for me. When I'm stressed, I clean stuff out! I purge, I move things around, I reorganize, I straighten ... and then ... I feel all better. Or at least a little better.  {Guess what I've been doing like crazy the past few months? ahem.}

I recognize its my way of coping with things I can't control.

Like life.

But, I digress.

Generally speaking, I like to keep 'like with like' and store it near where it is used/needed. Say, for example, dishes in the kitchen and toilet paper in the bathroom ... that kind of thing. :)   Its not rocket science, but sometimes it does require some thought

I also try to have a purpose in mind for each room.  Obviously, most rooms have an implied purpose, but I try to zoom in on that a bit.  Basically a way for me to evaluate what goes into the room.  For example, in our study, we have a large bookcase that houses most of our books and games as well as my craft supplies and some office supplies.  If it doesn't fit into one of those categories (or isn't pretty to look at it), it has to live somewhere else.   I try to keep my laundry room down to things used for small storage, cleaning, laundry or getting out the door.   Rooms can quickly become dumping grounds if they don't have some "ground rules."

Not only do I like tidy, but I married a man who also prefers it.  He's worse than me.  If he had his rathers, our house would not look like children live in it.  Let's just say he's not a fan of toys-strewn-about.  Or play kitchens in the breakfast room.  Or playdoh on the table.  Or toys out-of-place. 

Fan or not, this is his current reality.  But, in the spirit of happily-ever-after, I try to appease him as much as possible.  We usually do a quick put-everything-away-that-appears-childlike straighten before he comes home in the evening.  And, I've found that as long as the family room is tidy, he endures the rest. 
At the end of the day, I want him to find our home peaceful and relaxing; a haven.  We keep our library books and video games in the family room, but otherwise, child-paraphernalia is housed elsewhere. 

Which I think is sorta funny ... I mean it is called the family room after all!   :) 

And lest he sound like an ogre, Ed is a really fun dad.  He just likes to pretend the kids don't exist after they hit the hay.  :)  Its how he unwinds.  So, even though I may not totally understand his need, I still try to respect it. 
I'm up for sharing room-by-room organization/storage ideas - if anyone is interested.  If there's a particular place you want details on, say the word.  I'm not an expert by any means, but I do enjoy it and I'll happily share what works for me! 

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