Organize This!

The Truth About Clean

I see real progress in my quest for personal and household organization. The closets are usable, my desk is neat and tidy and I am rarely late for appointments anymore. I have found a catch though. I have to keep it organized and that means good cleaning habits. If you think about it that is pretty much what organization is--keeping everything in its place. Remember the old adage, "A place for everything and everything in its place?" Turns out it wasn't just something moms said in order to make their teenage daughters insane!

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The Garage!

I love getting emails in response to articles I have written. I've received quite a few since I began this column last fall. Many of them just say thank you for an idea or helpful tip. Others ask me questions such as how to organize your child's room or how to deal with the recycling. Generally, my research comes up with several answers or helpful tips. The topic of this column is one that I have had several emails on and, as it is something I am trying to conquer, I thought I would give it a shot.

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The Art of Organizing

The art of being organized is big business. Libraries carry tons of books on the subject. Entire stores are devoted to hawking "get-organized" merchandise. If you are especially in need of organization and have a bit of extra money you can always hire yourself an organization coach who will come to your home and do it for you! And why not? With today's busy lifestyles, it's easy to become disorganized and harder to be anything but disorganized. As I have learned, getting organized is a slow process that requires as much inner change as it does outer housecleaning. Some people are born to it--others have to work at it.

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Recycling

Confession time here. I'm a bad recycler. Sometimes I do okay; other times I close my eyes, assuage my guilt by telling myself I recycle more then the average person and toss things that could just as easily be recycled. Actually, not just as easily and that is the problem isn't it? Recycling isn't as easy as throwing away. It takes a bit more effort and some of us have a hard time getting started and keeping going. A good friend of mine tells me it is just a matter of organization and, after all the tricks I have learned in the last year, I'm beginning to believe her.

So how does your personal recycling center measure up? Do you have nice neat buckets and bins? Shelves and drawers? Or is your recycling area an unrecognizable, bad-smelling heap?

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Picking a Planner

I always seem to make my resolutions in the fall. Maybe it's the age-old cycle of starting school after a summer of leisure that always made me feel the possibilities of a new beginning. I loved the new pencils, peechees and the reams of crisp, freshly lined paper.

This year is no exception. With my part time writing career blossoming on top of my other hats as wife, homeschool mom, gardener and community activist, I knew that my lackadaisical lifestyle needed to come to an end. It was time to get organized, especially if I was going to get my children to football, ballet, art, Spanish, science, etc. on time!

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Organizational Musings

I have a love/hate relationship with New Years. I love the idea of a fresh beginning, but loathe the feeling of failure that often comes in February (or sooner, depending on the resolution). Since I turned over my organizational leaf last fall, I see no reason to set myself up for another big change. Instead, I will evaluate my progress and think about goals.

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Holiday Party Checklist

I was forced to give a party last summer. OK, forced is a big word--maybe prompted would be a better way of putting it. It was one of those things. I told everyone that we should all get together at my house before the summer was over and my husband held me to it. I rarely entertain simply because, well, I'm not very good at it. "I can do this!" I cheered myself on.

Then my husband tore down our back deck--one week before the party. And it started raining. Three days before the party my back yard was stacked with nail-filled boards and mud. It was an unbelievable three days, sawing and stacking, trying to clean the house, coordinate the food and get the gardens in order.
To say that the party was disaster is an understatement. I neglected to send directions to half my guests, the barbecue got too hot and became an inferno of flame, causing us search all over for a squirt bottle to keep the meat from incinerating. To top it all off we ran out of chairs. Everyone assured me they had a good time--on their way out the door--an hour and a half after they arrived.

So what to do?

The holidays are coming and I want to give it another try, with a whole new set of friends, of course. I don't know if I can get any of the old friends to come back. What can I do to organize a party that might actually offer the guests and my family a good time?

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Organizing Your Kids' Stuff

It was time. I had been promising my son for the past year that I would do something about his bedroom and I could put it off no longer. I was going to have to try to make that little 9x9 foot bedroom look as big as his sisters'! Not an easy task.

Two walls were covered with painted paneling. It had to go and I decided to go ahead and redo the entire bedroom, making choices that would help him to easily organize and keep it organized.

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