20 June 2007

Getting my act together...

I have somehow managed to fool a lot of my friends into believing that I am organized. I am not. I will admit that when I am working on a project at work or with a group, I am can be organized and effective. However, in the dark recesses of my personal life, chaos tends to be queen. It doesn’t help that I have a tiny house with minimal storage. If I had a giant garage, I would just chuck all of the crap out there.

Despite the fact that I tend to be a disaster at home, I really WANT to be neat and organized. The clutter and chaos is overwhelming at times. So, I have been working hard at getting my act together and becoming an organized housekeeper.

I have been reading books, at one time I had about seven organizing books next to my couch. Smart Organizing, How to Organize Just About Everything, Martha’s Good Things for Organizing, The Organized Home, A Place for Everything and a couple of others that weren’t that helpful. I really want to get the Real Simple: The Organized Home, but my local library doesn’t carry it. Now to be fair, I don’t “read” all these books, I skim. Looking for ideas and solutions I can use. Some of them are crazy-over-the-top, Martha-is-a-slacker ideas, like arranging your sock drawer by color. But I have found some great tools, my favorite being the 15 Minute Lists.

Smart Organizing suggested something similar to this and I adapted it for myself. I created a list for each room in the house that included about 5-8 tasks that could all be completed in about 15 minutes. I taped each list in the appropriate room in an out of the way, but accessible spot. For example, in the kitchen, it is taped inside one of the cupboard doors. Then, every other night or so, I make a quick pass through the house and go through as many of the lists that I can. Now that I am keeping up on things, some of my lists only take about 5-10 minutes instead of 15. Here are my lists.

I have also been inspired by some of my favorite blogs and some other spots on the web lately. Over at Two Straight Lines, she went on an organization overhaul and used some beautiful, creative solutions. The Lazy Organizer has some great flickr pics of all of her organizing projects. And of course, my favorite magazine Domino, has a great piece about installing a peg board wall in your kitchen. I don't know if I would ever do this in my kitchen, but if I ever have a walk in pantry, I think it is the perfect idea.

1 comment:

dig this chick said...

I did office organizing last week...straight our of Martha's handbook (my mom bought it for me for christmas and I have to admit I was skepical at first but now love it). Sara also says she does this and I was amazed....she actually pays bills as they arrive. Immediately. Isn't that incredible?

I made two bins and a cute, green folder (she recommends way more--like one for filing, one for taxes blah-- but what Martha says doen't work for everyone).) One bin for Andy's mail, one for mine and a file folder for bills that need to be paid. The theory is that as soon as mail comes into our house, it gets immediately sorted instead of piled on the counter or desk. If it is trash it goes straight into the compost bin. And the rest gets filed accordingly.