Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Organization 101

I had a hard time finding things.  Things were known to fall out of here.  The boys thought it was o.k. to rummage through to find a little snack. I am embarrassed to show this picture. . .it was time for a much needed change!

much more efficient, user friendly, and organized!

Today I'd like to share a few tips about organization.  I do not claim to be an organizational expert nor am I Martha Stewart, however, in the short three and a half months that I've been a mother of three very active little boys, my organization skills have gone to a whole new level.  I am by no means perfect, but I have learned that if I don't stay on top of things our home, our family, and our lives will be a mess!  I'd like to share a few tips that might help you or encourage you to keep up the great work {if you're already and organizational guru}.

Philipians 3:14 says. . .
"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus," and trust me organization is a DAILY "press" for my family!  Earlier this summer I adopted a simple motto. . ."If not me. . .who?  If not now. . .when?"  With that motto in mind, there were MANY times time I wanted to just leave something undone or wait until later to complete a task, but I ended up going ahead and taking time to just get the job done [99% of the time]!  I'm not saying that everything in my house is always put away, cleaned, organized, and neat ALL of the time. . .however if I have learned that if I take just a few minutes each day to re-organize and clean things are much more manageable throughout the week.  

Here are 3 simple things that you can do each day to help your home run more efficiently and be a little more organized:

1.  Everything has a "specific space or place".  In my house, we are still working on this, but everything does have a place.  I have even noticed that Mr. Perry has been holding me accountable for my items when they're not in place.  This has been a great rule for us because the boys know where their shoes belong, where their toys belong, and even where to put their dirty clothes and their dirty dishes.   Knowing where my keys are, where the vacuum cleaner is, and where food items are located in the pantry saves me time and allows me to get things done much faster.  It doesn't take long for a few things to gather here and there. . .then over a few days or even a week you have huge piles of stuff that has accumulated.  Instead of allowing it to build up, I have learned to put it back where it belongs. . .if not right away-at least by the end of the day.

2. De-clutter.  I cannot tell you how much cleaner and more organized our home has become since I have begun de-cluttering every room and every space.  Start small.  You can work on one room at a time.  Get rid of things that are just taking up space.  Donate items.  Have a garage sale.  Re-use the items.  There are many ways to de-clutter then environment.  While some people say that they work better in a slightly cluttered environment, I think most people are much more efficient and effective when they have a neat, tidy environment with limited distractions.  My productivity shoots way up when I'm in the right environment.  I like to think of it like a classroom.  If a student has a desk, backpack, or  locker with papers crammed into it, broken pencils and crayons, leftovers from lunch, and all sorts of random items. . .they are not likely to find their homework, permission slip for an upcoming field trip, or library book.  The "teacher" and "mom" in me wants my kids to be organized, so I have to set the example.  They are paying more attention to "what I do" than "what I say."  They are watching to see if "what I say" matches with "what I do."  

3.  Make a plan.  I used to come home every single Thursday from school-exhausted from the week and ready for Friday!  Thursday was my designated cleaning day to get the job done!  Even though I was SO worn out, I spent about an hour and a half to two hours cleaning-everything. Laundry. Dusting. Vacuuming. Sweeping. Mopping. Cleaning the fridge...and my absolute favorite good 'ole Bathrooms!  I no longer have two hours to spend on Thursday afternoon for cleaning because if I wait until Thursday I have too much cleaning to do and I'm more likely to make excuses.  Being home during the day with my kids gives me a chance to break up the cleaning schedule over the course of the week.  You can make your own schedule that fits your needs.  Maybe you want to work on cleaning and organizational tasks two or three days a week.  Maybe you want to commit to doing a small task every day of the week. . .whatever you do, just be consistent.  Here is my little plan for each week. . .

  • Mop it up Monday-This is the day that I sweep and mop in all of the tiled/wet areas.  If we have a spill on another day during the week [which happens quite often] I just take a few minutes to mop that specific area when the spill occurs.  On Monday's I also do a "deep clean" of the kitchen-counter tops. refrigerator. pantry.  
  • Tidy up Tuesday-I just take a quick peek in every room to see if things are in their "space."  Things that aren't in the correct place are removed and rearranged so that they're back in order.  This is a day where I am very intentional about reminding the family to "claim" their items that are out of place.
  • Wash clothes Wednesday-This is a day where I get most of the laundry done.  I have an infant and a little one who's still navigating through the potty training process [most days there are no accidents-but we have them a few times per week] so there's no way I can feasibly do laundry on one day alone. . .I just make adjustments as necessary.  I designate this day to wash sheets, towels, and miscellaneous items.  There are times when I can get all of the laundry done on one day alone, but for now this is pretty flexible.  
  • Thorough Thursday-This is the day that I spend time dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning bathrooms.  Instead of spending an hour and a half to two hours on this day, I can now complete these three tasks in about 45 minutes.  I like to do these jobs on Thursday because it allows me to have the cleaning wrapped up and ready for any guests who might arrive on Friday.  Also I can go into the weekend relaxed!
  • Finally Friday-I do pretty much nothing!  The work has already been done, and all I have to do is maintain what's in place.  I continue to put things back where they belong and stay on top of the little stuff.  
I hope this is helpful to you in some way. . .I'll be posting some tips for teachers as well as more tips for moms in the upcoming weeks-stay tuned!


  1. You are on top of it, Brooke! I returned to work on Monday, and my house currently looks like a bomb went off in it. The worst part is I don't see that chaning any time soon!

  2. It will get better! Trust me I've been there and I know how it is! I don't think people realize how hard it is to have multiple children (who are very young) and teach at the same time!

  3. What great tips! Thank you for sharing them! :)
    Crayons and Curls

  4. I hope they're helpful! Thanks for reading!


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