By: Leah Prescott
Before I start talking about organizational ideas, I need to get something out there. I am always trying to organize for one major reason: I am a hopeless slob. My mom did her best to teach me better. I have tried reading books and blogs about organization. I continue to purchase boxes, bins and labels. I constantly re-assess our “system” in hopes of improving the result. In the end, it all just seems futile, as no matter what, I continue to naturally make a mess of my surroundings.
The problem is that I crave order. I long for clean, empty spaces with clutter carefully filed away. I truly desire blissful simplicity! In fact, if I could wish for ONE thing right now, it would be to have a place for everything and everything in its place! Now that we have three kids and are also homeschooling in a small space, I have recently come across a few tricks and tips that have helped us cut down on clutter and streamline our schedule.
1. The coaster tray. You guys know that I am not necessarily the DIY girl, but I do enjoy crafts when I have a chance to cram them into my hectic day. This was a fun project that has been used daily ever since we made it. Simply put, you personalize a coaster for each family member and mount it to a board. Now, we go through fewer glasses and cups, and they aren’t sitting around on every flat surface like they were before. Ta-da! Clutter averted, simplicity embraced!
2. The homeschool bag. This is an idea I found on Pinterest and customized to my needs. I used a large bag with lots of pockets, a file box, and file folders to create a mobile office. Now I can keep our basic homeschool needs at my fingertips, haul them out of the house easily, and hang it all out of sight as quick as a flash. This has helped our “school room” not completely take over our “kitchen.” (Hint: these two rooms are one and the same at our house.)
3. Magazine files as storage. This may be an obvious suggestion, but it took me a few years to figure it out. In our tight quarters, I was starting to feel like our antique kitchen hutch just wasn’t worth its large footprint. I was trying to find a way to utilize the storage potential without completely ruining the aesthetic appeal of the piece. Finally, I discovered magazine files could function perfectly to organize workbooks, manipulatives, paper and other school supplies. Now, instead of housing a few seldom-used formal dishes, the space keeps the vast majority of our educational materials right where they are needed. And we don’t have to discard an heirloom that has been in the family for years! Win-win.
What helps you create sanity out of the chaos at home? Currently on this slob’s wish list: a better laundry system, an improved calendar-ing method (right now I pretty much just write stuff on my hand), and for Pete’s sake, some kind of stuffed animal storage. So if you have any suggestions to help a girl out, by all means share them! Your advice will be implemented and much appreciated!