Organizing My House: Getting Started

by Ann-Marie on January 3, 2011

So if you missed my post on Sunday, I made a big leap in announcing that I am starting to get a little more personal by letting you see my cluttered house (gulp!).

Not every room is cluttered, and when we have friends over I do a darn good job of making the house presentable; but I certainly have my problem areas:  Our home office is the worst (one of the first rooms guests see as they step in the front door), the kitchen (clutter on a small desk and just about every counter), the master bedroom (stacks of outgrown kids clothes on the floor), and the basement (English pub mixed with Fisher Price, you get the picture!).

Those are the 4 rooms I’ll be tackling over the next few months – yes, “months”, because I’m realistic. I would be doing you and myself a disservice to make a claim to get it done any faster. Lordie, you should see what my children can do to a room! Talk about one step forward, two steps back…

I digress.

My goals in this process are as follows:

  • Clean, clear surfaces: I am one of those that would prefer not to have a single appliance out in my kitchen, and for them all to be hidden in cabinets. However I’m also practical and the ones used most often will stay on the counter.
  • Finding a permanent home: My friend from church, Joani, is a professional organizer, and a few years ago I hired her to help with my mess of a home office. One thing she taught me is to find a “permanent home” for everything. If it won’t be in this (room/drawer/box/folder etc.) permanently, then where should it be, and put it there. I already mentioned my home office is a dumping ground, this will be a critical step in organizing this room.
  • Functional, usable space: The two rooms high on this list are the office and basement. Ideally I’d love to replace our current wall-to-wall office furniture with a scaled down set, using the rest of the room for either a reading space or children’s desk. And our basement, as described above, has decor & dark colors of an English pub, accented with a train table, play kitchen and gobs and gobs of toys.
  • Keepin’ it that way: Ah, here it is. The thorn in my side. You’ve heard of “yo-yo dieting”?  Well, I have yo-yo organized my entire adult life. For me to say “I’ll try…” would cause my split personality to snap back a line from Yoda, “Do – or do not. There is no ‘try’.” But this is one reason why I decided to open up my house to you, virtually at least, so that I am holding myself accountable.

This project will be a constant work-in-progress, because even when the counters are cleared, and the piles are filed, it is more a lifestyle change to put everything in its place, similar to a diet becoming a lifestyle change in the way one eats. So thank you for helping me to be accountable, and for going on this journey with me.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Clare Sheddy January 4, 2011 at 8:25 am

Love it, I need the inspiration!

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Heather January 4, 2011 at 8:38 am

As I was reading this, there were several times where I thought, “Yep, that’s me, too!” Our “landing spot” is our kitchen island which is just inside the entry from the garage. I have a small kitchen, so I really need this space. If only there were an easy button to get everything cleared away…So we’ll go on this journey together.

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