Organised families – one person at a time

05 Jul

There is a BabyCenter article here that I’m going to read. I sometimes agree and sometimes disagree with articles that I read on the BabyCenter website (and boy oh boy am I sick of all those darn coupons and offers both on the site and in e-mails – hellooooooo! I’m in Australia and can’t use any of them!).

So, back to the article. Best thing, it starts with the Basics. So important that I will give it a capital letter.

1. Commit to change.
Yes, I have, but my commitment sometimes wavers. I get tired, I work in an office, I have to find time to exercise, and so on. So I need to re-commit to change, and to believe in it.

2. Take it slow.
Yes, I’m doing that. I teach DD new things that will help us eventually be more organised re time and activities (e.g. most recently we’ve been working on how she can make sandwiches). The teaching takes up time, but I accept that this is actually an investment of time, both in the initial teaching and in supervising practice. It paid off with potty training.

3. Keep it simple.
Thank you, dear writers, for reminding me. Now and then when I was doing initial decluttering, I was tempted by home TV programs that I need certain container systems, or clothing racks, or bookshelves of a certain size, or cabinets …. OMG! Stop that! It is only now that I’m part way through that I can see the floor and see what sorts of things would work. Sometimes being slow is an advantage.

4. Sort and purge.
Go back to the article. Read this. Can you honestly say that you could purge your wardrobe or kitchen cupboards or bookshelves? This is worth quoting:

A good rule of thumb: If you haven’t used something in a year, chuck it. If you just can’t bring yourself to do that, box it up and stash it in the basement — if another year goes by and you still haven’t used it, get rid of it. And rather than holding on to every item with sentimental value, pick a few representative pieces to save …

5. Store things sensibly.
OK, this is something that is in flux in my household and because I don’t always store things sensibly, it comes back and bites me in the ass. Picture me dashing round trying to find the Telstra bill, or wondering where I put the receipt for the purse that now has a broken zipper, or looking for DD’s library book that is now overdue.*

6. Build organisation into your daily routine.
Yes, very keen on that, and working to regain what organisation in my daily routine may have disappeared after DH’s death and the subsequent chaos of my life. Part of the desire for routine is my OCD, but I also have strong examples from my mother who is very organised. I know what time we need to leave in the morning to ensure that we are at work and childcare on time. I know when we need to leave to get to a swimming lesson or to a ballet lesson. All these things are vital to cut down on anxiety.

7. Help kids get with the program.
Yes, doing that bit by bit. DD is having an “interesting” time at the moment – more grief working itself out in tantrums, rebelliousness, cheekiness and rudeness – but occasionally the beautiful DD comes out and I am so very grateful for those moments. (If I were a better or more Christian mother, I suspect I would be grateful for her rude periods and see it as a time of testing grace or something. But apparently I’m not and I’ll have to get over it. :-))

OK, I’m going to print off that article so I have a copy in the kitchen. One day when I feel very brave, I’ll post photos of the two most frightening rooms in my house so you can see my progress.

*1. I found the bill. 2. No receipt, so I am out $29 for a purse that absolutely is useless for my purposes. 3. The library book ended up at the bottom of DD’s toy box and I had to pay a library fine.

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Posted by on July 5, 2010 in decluttering project


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