Thursday, September 15, 2011

52 Weeks of Organizing: The things your mama didn't tell you about organizing

Forgive me, Laura, for it has been six weeks since I last organized anything...

When I get sidetracked, it really does take over. I have lots of things left on my list (to organize) and I keep discovering new areas I never thought about organizing. Like my bathroom drawers or the spice cabinet that still vexes me...

This week I got sick... Really sick. Pounding head, sore throat, stuffy nose, sneezing, coughing, yucky feverish, sick. Why do I tell you this? You see, when I get feverishly sick, I do strange things. I once cut off all my long, dark hair in a fevered frenzy three days before prom... I've been known to make rash decisions as well (like going back to school - quitting my full time job and applying to college without really saying a word to my loving and totally understanding husband)...

This time, I organized. Technically, it started on Tuesday, TroubleMaker's first day of school. With two hours to kill and a sore throat, I decided to try to sort out the mess that is...

My recipe book area... Before

Which led to cleaning the bread box.

And my cooking magazines. Before

And my recipe papers. During

My dresser (again)... After

TroubleMaker's toys (again)... After

My paint kit...
I didn't take a picture of this - mostly because the fan decks were spread throughout the house... Upstairs, downstairs... Now they are happily reunited and sitting happily on their new home so I can find them again.

When I get my mind on something, I can get kind of obsessed... It's about finding a system that works... You would not believe how often that runs through my brain these days. It is obvious my systems don't work. I've been at this Organizing thing for weeks now and it would appear I'm not further ahead than I was back in January... Except now I have more things to obsess about...

But... A System that Works... What does that mean?


That's the breadbox and my 'recipe station' After. I'm proud to point out that there is now room for bread in the breadbox. Additionally, that basket is filled with tomatoes from our garden! I hear they are delicious!

What works for me? Well, I've managed to keep all my recipes in a binder for over a year... Which means I no longer spend 15 minutes routing through a huge stack of print-offs trying to find the recipe for Beef Stroganoff... The problem I did have was that my binder was too small and I have a habit of being a bit of a messy cook and frequently dumped stuff on my papers. So, I thought I'd try page protectors (and a bigger binder).

I now have two three inch binders - one filled with all my cooking magazines (in page protectors, thank you very much) and one with my recipes. Sorted by meal - and further refined by type. There is some room to expand and everything is nice and tidy! This is one system that has worked and will continue to work for me!

I also realized that something a friend said to me a while back was too true. She said her husband was always on her case for her mess... And she couldn't ever figure out how her piles got so big and her office such a disaster. As we talked we both discovered that all too often, our piles weren't created totally by us and more often than not, a good majority of it belongs to our children (and even our darling husbands).

My dresser was a true testament to that. It was piled high and toppling over... But not with my stuff. Story books and toys. My son likes his books and his cars! So I'm going to try and change the way we see his toys and books - since I am naturally lax about putting away my own things, I think it has rubbed off on TroubleMaker. So, since I'm big into role modelling appropriate behaviour, it's time for Mama to get off her duff!

Thanks for stopping by - I'm back on the Organizing Junkie's Train and hoping I can keep it up! Stop back soon, I love having you!


  1. Looks good! I'm also lax about picking up my messes, and yes, it has rubbed off on my little one also! Good luck with the role-modeling :)

  2. I realized that my piles were not just Mama's Piles earlier this summer. Funny how stuff on my desk involved other people 'plunking' it there. As I did a huge declutter this summer, I found that that was true all over the house.

    Glad to hear that your recipe system has worked for you. We seem to have found a system that works in our living room for stuff in there. A cubby/bin shelf for shoes & seasonal items - bike helmets/mittens & scarves. A storage ottoman for our Wii guitars, skateboard & balance board. Those 2 things have been the biggest help in that room & I have been able to keep it organized for almost a year now. And if it gets crazy it takes less than 20 min. to get it back under control (including all the cleanining to the room).

    Good Luck!

  3. Thanks, Sydnii! It's good to know I'm not the only one with a lax attitude about cleaning up after myself! :)

  4. Duckville - that's great! We tried bins by the back door but TroubleMaker's helmets keep toppling out! The Wii stuff almost needs its own room. My sister has one and it's got a ton of pieces! Thanks for stopping in!



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