Thursday, June 19, 2008

Getting There

Since school's been out (two weeks), I've been on a home organization kick. I have been inspired by orgjunkie, whose posts help get my brain thinking like an organized person, not my default setting! I have also surrendered to flylady, who helps keep me on a semi-routine. I thought I'd share a few of my latest projects.

I have made peace with the fact that our home does not have many of the modern touches that I would like. We are limited on space and the design does not allow for many of the things on my wish list, like a mud room, desk in the kitchen for home management, closet space, etc. I'm making due now and trying to get it to work for us. I made a control center in our kitchen, next to my free standing pantry. On top is a file box (some day to be replaced by a "pretty" one). Next are cookbooks, then place mats, and on the bottom are reusable grocery bags. It's still a work in progress, I tweak it as I find other ways use it.

We now have a family calendar, right by the control center and phone in the kitchen. It is great and has lots of space to mark what everyone has going on. Although the two-year old doesn't need spaces a lot, I have used it for his well-child appointment and for when do things as a family.

I organized the standing pantry that I have in the kitchen (it's next to our control center). I got some baskets to hold breakfast items and snacks. Below that are baking supplies. On the bottom shelf are trash bags, paper cups and plates, a phone book, a lunch box, and a flashlight. The very top shelf looks a little disorganized, but I know everything on the shelf. It holds shopping bags that I reuse, baggies, a first aid kit, my foil and wax paper, and tea bags.

I decided to make a "mud room" in our garage, by the door we use to come in and out of the house. The bench in our living room had become the dumping ground for coats and the floor there was always piled with shoes. I decided maybe this open space by the door out in the garage might work. I hung some hooks, all by myself! Now we have a place for seasonal outdoor needs (swimsuits and umbrellas now, mittens and hats in 6 months). I also have the kids keep their shoes here, so that we always know where they are and it cuts down on dirt in the house. So far it's working great and I love it!

There are enough hooks that I can hang the kids' swimsuits to dry. Next winter there will be snow suits and scarves, hats and coats. It's definitely nothing fancy, but I am making the best of the space we have and trying to use it in a way that helps us in our new routines!
What I have been learning through all of my little projects is that it's important to give a home [in your home] to anything that is important to you. If it matters, you will find a place for it. I tend to "store" things on my kitchen counters or on top of my computer desk. I'm still a long way from done, I'd actually be very embarrassed to show a picture of either spot in my home right now. Every day, I chip away at the chaos, getting a little bit closer to where I want my home to be. When I get frustrated, I remind myself of the small gains I've made.

Each project that I finish brings me a bit closer to the home I've envisioned. The home that is harmony.

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nikkis30by30 said...

I love this post. I, like you, "store" things on my kitchen counters and desk. My mom used to do it on the dining room table, where I noticed on my last visit Grandma S does too. Someday I will have a home that will have just a little more space to do such things. Yes, I can do some of the things you listed, like the mud area. Mom and I talked about that this weekend. It just takes time. Something I never feel I have any of!!!!

Mimi said...

Amen. I'm an organizing NUT! We just got a bench for our entryway: there are three cubbies and three baskets underneath it, one each for me, and Pynchon, and Munchkin. In the closet, I've hung a hook at her level. She's two, and dammit, she's going to hang up her own coat now. Cut the chaos!!!

Mama said...

I watch those remodel shows with a passion. I am so upset because they never have a box of tissue or a toilet brush around. Who can have a family and have their counter clear? Oh yeah, my mother in-law. But she wouldn't do that again. She'd enjoy her kids. My point- have a HOME not a HOUSE. I love your ideas and that garage makes me jealous.