Sunday, October 2, 2011

Bringing Order to the Chaos

It has been awhile since I made a confession. So here goes.

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I am not an organized person.  By organized, I mean, having a place for everything and putting that thing in its place. I can be very organized on paper, I love a good “To Do” list, or a monthly calendar neatly filled in,  but inside my house it is a different matter. I just can not seem to get a handle on all of the stuff that is brought into the house: mail, papers from school, art projects, bike gear, shoes, coats, backpacks, library books, the list could go on and on.

I have started many a different ‘organizational systems’ and each time I am convinced this will work. I’ve been to Ikea more times then I want to admit to buy just the right file box or bulletin board or basket, that will solve all my organizational issues. I’ve even been to Pottery Barn and bought the lovely white board and file wall hanging system. It is very pretty, but it still does not enable me to become organized. Instead I now have 4 or 5 places where I can put bills, papers to sign and send back, stash kids’ artwork until I decide what to do with it, and put important papers for my husband. This works until Brandon asks me where ‘such and such’ is. Um, did you look in the kitchen? Yes. How about the living room desk/hutch? Yes. The pile of papers on my desk? Yes. And on and on.


This year it seems to be especially out of hand as my oldest has started Kindergarten. Before I only had to look for the papers from preschool and I got pretty good at figuring out what I needed to save and how. Now there are the field trip forms, parent volunteer background checks, lunch menu, directions on how to access the lunch menu, picture forms, walk-a-thon pledge sheets, and then the random student work sample.  And that is from a school that does most of its communication via email.  My inbox is full of important notices and updates that I can’t seem to decide to keep or delete.

Before school started I decided to create a desk for myself. A place where I could centrally store and organize all this stuff, plus a place I could work at. I could envision myself sitting there in the evenings, filing, shredding, organizing, even writing. The soft glow of the lamp, the radio softly playing, maybe even a glass of wine sitting next to me.    This was going to be it, the perfect place for me! I moved the furniture, purged kids’ toys, and created my dream spot.  Then school started and I have not used it, not once. Except to stash all this stuff I don’t know what to do with. The piles of papers have multiplied, and instead of being a calming place to go, I avoid the area of the house like the plague. Unless I need something like a sticky note, a pen, a piece of tape, then I open drawers, throw papers on the ground and in general, make a huge mess until I locate that one item. Then I shove everything back inside, close the desk, and walk away.


Real Simple magazine, keeps sending me free preview offers. Maybe that is what I need, a magazine that will tell me how to be organized. Yes, that would be good, one more thing coming into my house that I will read, decide to save, and add it to the growing pile of papers on my desk. That and a trip to Ikea.


Michelle said...

My kids were just saying, "Isn't it time for our trip to Ikea with Aunt Amy and Aunt Lisa?" I say yes! It took me hours to clear off my desk yesterday to scrapbook, and when I got down to the actual desk surface, it became very clear to me that my organization of paper and etc is in the crapper. I put my pictures away and read a book. It was too much to deal with on a "me time" day!

Karen said...

I kept expecting a picture of your work area at the end of this blog! That would have made it a true confession indeed! I am still in the middle of a major clean sweep and after two weeks of sorting through junk, the piano and kitchen table remain buried under piles of "can't decide".....