Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Get Organized!

The second session I attended at Hearts at Home was titled "The Get Yourself Organized Project". This was a really nice session with basic advice for those of us who are really tired of trying to be Martha. I love how she defined organization: "Organization is getting the things done that are important." 

The Get Yourself Organized Project
Her ideas are pretty simple. There are two things you need, a system and accountability.

She gives 8 simple rules for getting organized:
  1. Work Backwards: Break up a task so that you don't have to do everything at the last minute. Give yourself time to complete tasks and do them on days/nights that are less stressful. This is a great concept to teach your children when it comes to school work. 
  2. Apply Pressure Where Needed: What makes you feel the craziest? Which room do you hate to walk into? If you feel better having a clean kitchen focus there, if it's the bathroom then focus on that room instead.
  3. Wait For a Path to Appear: There is no perfect solution to organize your craziness. Take a look at what your problem is and where the path is. Her example was shoes in the entryway. To solve the problem she bought a shelf and put it out of the way to hide it from visitors. Well that of course didn't work. Her husband suggested a basket by the door where shoes end up. I'm sure you can guess that it was much more successful. There was a path already and the basket was just placed on the path, where the shelf was trying to create a new one.
  4. Never Organize Alone: It seems like common sense but use your family. This is a great opportunity to teach your kids responsibility and how to be part of the family.
  5. Treat Your Home Like A Grown Up Kindergarten Room: Have you ever been in a kindergarten classroom before? EVERYTHING is labeled. Why? So the children can do for themselves. I organize and my kids and husband unorganize, why? I know where things go but they don't.
  6. 3 Boxes 2 Bags: I've heard similar strategies before. Set the timer for 15 minutes and work on one room. Grab your 3 boxes and 2 bags.
    • GREEN box: give away
    • Purple box: put back
    • Orange box: other rooms
    • 1 Garbage bag
    • 1 Recycle bag
  7. Make a Decision Even If Its Wrong: If you are unsure about an item, pretty soon that one item starts multiplying. If you don't need it or don't use it, get rid of it. You will always be able to replace it later.
  8. It's Your House You Make the Rules: As a mother of 3 preschoolers I am seeing the importance of house rules when it comes to cleaning and organizing. Some parents might not make their kids clean up their messes but in my house, if you make the mess then you can clean it up.
It was a nice session that reminded me just to be simple in cleaning and organizing. There are great blogs out there helping you get organized but it can be overwhelming. What I took away from this was to make things simple for myself and family. Help them learn how to organize and stay organized. I don't need to do everything on my own. This is our house and we ALL need to be responsible for taking care of it. Nothing was mind blowing but gentle reassurance that I can do better and I'm already doing ok.

For more ideas check out http://www.kathilipp.com. There is so many great posts on her website and several books available for purchase including The Get Yourself Organized Project.

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