Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Attempts at organization

I am not, by nature, a horribly organized person. I keep things "surface neat" (as my cousin calls it) for the most part. Lurking in any closed space, however, is a potential avalanche of stuff that I can not seem to keep in order. I'd like to think that this is entirely the result of many years spent learning poor housekeeping skills at the knee of my mother, who is one heck of a cook, but one terrible housekeeper. That woman can make a meal that will leave you gorged and delirious, but you'd have to settle in on a couch full of cat hair, twelve mismatched pillows and pile of overdue bills in order to sleep off the stupor.

Thankfully, I have risen above this standard.

For the most part, my lack of organization hasn't crippled me in any way. Sure, I spend more time than I should looking for certain things. But frankly, I bet I spend just about as much time as I would if I had some fancy organizational system that required a lot of upkeep. Friend J. and I have decided that those systems are useless, and were clearly not designed for anyone who lives in a house with other human beings--who may or may not--be on board with said organizational system.

I find, though, that areas in which I am solely responsible for the general upkeep stay fairly neat and orderly. This is evident mainly because the schoolroom, which functions as my library of resources, is probably the neatest room in my house on any given day. This means that there are no piles. Because in my house, even a tidy room has a pile somewhere. Dh is a piler. Jo is a piler. Atticus is a piler. Logan is a piler. So, by default, our home has piles.

Which means that it's not my fault, right?

Well, no. I'm still the only one who cares whether the piles exist, so I am still the only one who tries to get rid of them. I've developed a few winnowing techniques over the years, and on more than one occasion, I have simply trashed an entire stack of some seemingly-discarded stuff. This is usually met with howls of indignation, but hey ... I keep at it. Maybe someday the piles will all disappear simply out of fear, right?

In my continuing search for a way to at least make the piles more visually attractive to me, I've decided that a trip to the dollar store is in order. Our local huck-a-buck has a massive assortment of plastic bins, boxes and containers. I figure $10 ought to do it. One bin for each child's bed, where Bibles and devotionals seem to be multiplying at the foot of their beds like gremlins being spritzed with water. One each for the steps, where I continually dump the random books, Legos and Sunday School knick-knacks that also breed like bunnies around here. One each for the schoolroom, where they seem to forget items faster than they can haul them down. And one just for dad ... for that spot where he insists on piling the receipts he hasn't put in the checkbook yet.

Hopefully this system doesn't get too complicated. Hopefully I can get "buy in" (dh's new work phrase) from everyone. If not ... ((sigh)) I guess I'll have to join them Pile it on.


Karla said...

I was just complaining last night that I spend way too much time looking for things I know we have. There's gotta be a better way. The good news is, I'm more organized than I useta be. The bad news is, I have a long ways to go.

Woman in the Tent said...

Have you tried the Flylady?

~ Angi :) said...

Ugh. Piles. I've got them too, similar to yours . . .I do my best to weed through them every two weeks or so ~ invariably I spend a couple of hours ripping up envelopes of junk mail offers, and finding homes for the important r'cts.

*sigh* My big task looming is the master bedroom closet. Can't seem to find the "go" button on that one . . .any suggestions?

marygrace :-) said...

Flylady is just not my thing. I wish it were. Maybe someday it will be. And no, I have no pointers, Angi. Except to say, of course, that bins at the dollar store are (gasp) $1. :-)