Monday, September 17, 2012

Organizing Tips from a Not-So-Organized Girl

I am thrilled to introduce to you my dear cousin Jackie! You'll be seeing some posts from her on the blog along with my posts and we have some really fun things planned. She has some really good tips on getting organized. She's an amazing mom and is such a wonderful person. 
Enjoy her post on organizing!

Hello! I’m Jackie, Dresden’s cousin from sunny southern Arizona. I am a wife to a ropin’-lovin’ husband, and mom to two, soon to be three little stinkers (that I love immensely). I enjoy crafting and sewing, but lately I’ve been trying to get organized and on top of things. (Because then I’ll have more time to craft and sew, right???) Is there anybody out there who has this down?? I struggle with this, especially with kids now. I definitely appreciate a clean, organized home, but I’m not OCD about it and sometimes the messes stay for…well, longer than they should. So in my quest to be more organized, I have determined two things:

1—Everything needs a place, and

2—I need a routine.

I enjoy being a mother and I enjoy being able to stay home with my kids, but maintaining a household is not easy or always enjoyable. I’ll admit it, it’s a lot of work, more than I realized. My goal is to not try to fit into the perfect wife/mom/homemaker stereotype, my goal is to just do what I feel good about, what works for me, and what makes my family happy. I realize the tips I share with you today may be something you have already been doing for years, something you would maybe take into consideration, or something that wouldn’t even work for you. And I’m okay with that. But hopefully it gives you some insight or inspiration, if you’re needing it.

So, as I mentioned before, I have determined that a big key to an organized home is having a place for everything. There are so many books and magazines, blogs and Pinterest that have tips to help you declutter and get organized. I don’t really have anything magical, new, or earth-shattering to say about this, but my focus right now is to live more simply. There is a book out there titled “Organized Simplicity”. That is how I want my home to be. It’s not there yet, but that’s my goal. I wish I was Mary Poppins and could just snap my fingers to get the job done, but alas, it just doesn’t work. Work is what you have to go. And what it really comes down to is going through each room and area in the house, getting rid of things you don’t use or need (trash, donate or yard sale) then finding a place for everything that’s left. Easier. Said. Than. Done. Yes, it’s not fun work, but it is rewarding once it’s done.

While I’m still working on that, I have tried to also figure out a routine that works for me, mainly when it comes to cleaning. How many of you have had that unexpected visitor show up at your door, or guests that ask to stay at your house the night before they are to show up, putting you into overdrive trying to get things cleaned and looking nice? Um…not me… Well, to avoid that craziness, I try to keep things clean by having a routine each day. And thanks to Pinterest, I finally found something that has helped me:

This is my version of a cleaning schedule that I saw here

I’ve been trying to do this for a long time, but now that I finally have it on paper I’ve been so much better at it. I think it’s pretty self-explanatory, but I basically have morning and evening chores that I try to do every day, as well as a room or rooms to be cleaned each day. I have a basic three-bedroom house, so this is what works for me. Or, that I’m trying to make work. I live in the desert where it’s always dusty, and the living room is the main area that we do things in, so that’s why I do it twice a week. Usually Friday is a quick wipe down/vacuum though, and on Tuesdays I put a little more work into it. Each area/room gets a deep clean once a month to get the areas that get overlooked—fans and light fixtures, blinds, baseboards, top of fridge, etc. Close friends and relatives that are reading this are probably laughing right now because they’ve seen how disastrous my house can be, but I will admit I’m not perfect at following my routine. Life is crazy and busy and sometimes I just don’t want to do anything! Please, somebody empathize with me here. But I really am trying to make this work, and hopefully I’m not the only one that struggles with this.

This is just a start, and I hope it was helpful to you in some way or another. If there’s anybody out there that’s not perfect at this, it’s me. So please know that while I have an organized system, I’m by no means completely organized. I do believe as my dad always said that “cleanliness is next to Godliness”, but at the same time I don’t beat myself up if I don’t get everything checked off. There really are things that are better than a spotless home, and no reason to stress over a mess, at least in my opinion. I hope to be able to share some more tips about organization in the near future (as soon as I fine-tune them!) and well as more exciting things like holiday crafts! Thanks for letting me stop by!