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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Once upon a time I got...

a label-maker for Mother's Day and our lives almost instantly improved 100 fold.

Really, I'm not exaggerating.

 I don't know if I would describe myself as being an organized person or not - a more accurate description is probably that I am a person who WANTS to be organized.

I'm extremely adept at organizing other people's stuff, but when it comes to my own, I've pretty much failed .

Don't get me entirely wrong - I know where my stuff is - its just in organized chaos. No one else could find it. There are a couple problems with this:

1) My memory isn't what it used to be. Maybe it's having babies, or maybe it is just the fact that now I am responsible for keeping track of the stuff for two (soon to be three) other people and a handfull of animals that has made it virtually impossible to keep up on all of it.

2)Organized chaos looks a-bomb-went-off-in-here kinda bad.

I've reached a breaking point in my life where I've had to accept that I will no longer be able to have a marathon cleaning day once a week and have my house stay in decent, presentable shape. My house gets totally and utterly destroyed every day, and without a good, organized system to restore every night stuff just ends up in piles and then I die when company unexpectedly shows up on my front porch. DIE.

We are busy people. And until this year I've let busy-ness over-ride organization - but NO MORE. I decided in January that 2013 was going to be the year of dejunking/organizing. It's good that this was my only resolution, since it is literally going to take me all year to do it. We have some major life adjustments just around the bend, and I know to manage everything I can see coming that I need strong, intact organization systems that I can rely on that do not involved putting things in a pile to "get to tomorrow," because in my world tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow are already booked tight.

So, my victories thus far?

  • The office - this was a major one. Our files, mail system, and other major documents are incredibly organized. It feels soooo good. HOWEVER, I still need to organize that actual office desk components (paperclips, etc.) Our desk drawers are a nightmare. 
  • The Playroom - I need to take pictures of this, but I'm very happy with it. I split all the toys into little bins that have pictures of their contents and labels on them. It makes it so simple for Ivie to find what she wants to play with - and better yet - put it away when she is done. 
  • Food Storage shelves in the basement - very organized and easy to navigate.
  • Trevor's closet - makes my life sooo much easier, because he knows where to look for his own clothes now (short sleeves together, polos, button-downs, etc) rather than opening the door and yelling, "Have you seen my..."
  • My bathroom cabinets - This was another big one. Trevor has always complained about sharing a bathroom with me because I end up leaving my makeup and hair stuff our when I'm done with it. This was partially due to the fact that I didn't have a very good way to store/put all my crap away. So I spent a week really thinking about and organizing the bathroom storage spaces. We are going on three months now that I've not left anything out on the counter. Yay me! 
I wish I had pre pictures to show you all so you could see the post difference. I've been so happy with my new organizational leaf, which is why I asked Trev for a label maker for Mother's Day. 

It was easy to decide what my first label maker project would be.

Two weeks ago all of Trev's family was in town, and we invited them over for a bbq. As  discussed above, I'm the queen of shoving crap unorganized out of sight to pass my house off as "clean." So I nearly DIED when arrived home to find my extremely tidy brother-in-law eating crackers and peanut butter at my kitchen table.

Commence internal freak-out. I wasn't panicked because he was eating a little pre-dinner snack. I was panicked because I knew it meant he had dug (and I mean this in the most literal sense) through my pantry cupboards to find something to eat.

See - we don't really eat anything out of the pantry. This is because it is so scary in there that I would rather walk down to the basement to pull food our of food storage then mess with the pantry. The pantry wasn't really functional, it was a place to shove stuff out of sight.

True confession time? Check out this picture.

Don't judge me. 
Gross, huh? It's like one step away from being on Hoarders. I was so completely utterly horrified that my BIL had opened those cupboards that it took everything in me not to start yelling in the kitchen, "What are you doing opening other people's cupboards? Don't you know you never open other people's cupboards because that is where they hide their hoarder secrets!?!"

But I didn't. I just smiled, died a small death inside and vowed that the pantry was next on my list to be fixed.

I spent the next week strategizing and thinking about what would work for me. Then I stayed up late for the past three nights until today, when my pantry cupboards look like this.

Aren't they beautiful?
Amazing that all the same food from above fit in these cupboards like this. 

I practically want to have people over on the odd chance that they will rifle through them. When I proudly showed Trev the cupboards after he got home tonight the first thing he said was, "Wow. I should have got you a label maker a long time ago."

And on we commence to the rest of "Get Organized 2013." Just for fun - I'll let you all pick the next organization project. What should I start labeling next? Suggestions please!