Thursday, March 19, 2009

FINALLY- I get it!

Everyone who has ever lived with me or visited me has noticed... I am organizationally challenged. Physically.
Schedules... Time-Management- NO Problem.

But physical stuff-- I am always boggled by "assigning items homes". I mean- in my mind something could belong or go anywhere... I'm not picky. I'm not so rigid as to say "dish towels belong by the sink... maybe they go in the linen closet? I don't know..

I was always so mesmerized by roommates and friends who could unpack a house- confident they knew where to put things in their new home. I always had to wait and see how we lived in the new home... how we used the spaces. Storage is so different from house to house... so if I have a linen closet I keep them there.. if I don't then I have to be creative where I store my towels, linen, etc...

Okay- so enough excuses- I'm challenged-lets just leave it at that...

Tuesday I walked to my library and bought a book at their book sale.
This book has changed my life- seriously- I feel like I am on the healing path to becoming organizationally functional.

I know- I know.. it says it is for TEENS... but that is actually what gave me hope...
This is a simple plan to teach teens how to organize their space and life. So it's not rocket science.

I love this book so much. It has so many great features.
1st- It builds you up. What are you currently good at organizing. ( for me- my key & shoes, my time- I'm pretty efficient- If I do say so myself.. my double-tasking and piggy-backing.. I'm able to get lots of thing done.)

2nd - Identifies possible Hang-ups. She lists every reason and excuse why people don't "put things away".. I mean -- every excuse. (some of my favorite excuses are on top of the list..)
I'll never find it again
I'll forget I have it- if I can't see it
Don't know how to assign a logical home
It's not fun and too hard to put things away...
I can never remember what goes where
I leave things out - so I'll remember to do them- but then I forget there are there...

With these road blocks- she lists SOLUTIONS!!! to each excuse (Brilliant!)

She has a few chapters about Organizing: Inside- Out but what really woke me out of my unorganized fog is her Secret Weapon: #1 The kindergarten Model of Organization

Kindergarten classrooms are the perfect model for organizing...
clearly defined activity zones- art, reading, dress up, snacks, etc...
Self-contained spaces
easy -to-access storage
fun- tactile storage

By applying these same principles to my home- I can organize each room in my house! THIS makes total sense to me! ( I do have a degree in Early Childhood Education.) I had never thought of it this way.

So today- I sat in my living room and listed the different ways we use our "great room"
- eating
-watching tv/ reading
-guinea pigs
( she says to limit it to 7 functions.)

So then.. MAP OUT the space into "Centers".... just like in kindergarten!
So around the kitchen table: I placed two book cases so we can easily access- homework supplies, crafting/stamping supplies, we eat there too.

Around my computer desk- I actually pulled my sons smaller desk from up stairs and brought it downstairs so I could have my "work" books, etc... near the computer. Instead of just letting my things PILE up.

Couches are the: Watching TV, reading area

and made a Guinea Pig station... all the supplies to feed and clean the cage.

Cleaning up and Organizing was so easy! Because if it didn't fit in with my "stations" it logically doesn't belong in this room! I knew where to put things... because I am placing the items in the station where we USE them! It was so logical! and FUN.
Really - it didn't feel like work.

If you are not a born organizer- I seriously recommend this book even if you are not a teen.

There is hope!!!
There's hope!
I'll keep you posted on my progress.


Amanda said...

don't you love when the light bulb goes on :) sometimes when I get my answers they seem so simple and I wonder why I've not firgured it out before then, but often my brain needs things presented in JUST the right way for it all to click.

Congrats on your new organizational skills!

Ter said...

yay! :)

You should post some before / after photos!

I have alot of concepts in my head but to actually apply them is harder. The act of GETTING organized is harder than BEING organized. Part of my problem also is that I'm an "all or nothing" kind of gal, and because I don't have everything I want/need to organize a space, it just isn't organized. you know?

Emily said...

So you keep all your books in the bathroom? lol

My biggest problem is TOO MUCH STUFF
Unfortunately all the stuff I'd like to get rid of is Nick's. How many magazines from 1996 do we need to keep? (the answer is 3 big boxes worth, apparently)

Becky said...

Sounds great! I may have to check that book out myself.

T said...

after years of teaching kindergarten you'd think I would have tried this approach...

apparently it's so simple that my brain couldn't think of it?

I need this book - I'm adding it to my looking list ;)

WV says shiop - there IS and I in shop... it's just that the I is usually ME...

Michelle said...

Wow, I have to have this book! I've read your post two or three times, though, and I can't see where you say the name of it. Am I losing my little mind? :)
I have this exact same challenge, and it causes me major stress EVERY SINGLE DAY. I would love to do better!

April said...

YEAH!!!! Light bulb moment!!! I love them!!!

Sarah said...

I need one! I think my bedroom has about five different functions at the moment:
And I haven't seen the floor for a while, so I think I just might benefit from a book like that...

Bella Casa said...

I need that book and the author, too, lol. I need so much help in organizing papers and toys...those are the biggies for me.

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today via the Blog Party :)

Nice to meet you!

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