Select Page
photo: Martha G. Brady

photo: Martha G. Brady

I’m learning what healthy looks like. It doesn’t always look the way I expect it to. Finishing getting order to this apartment is one of four areas I plan to work on this year.

Today, Merri, the Organizing Aussie, came for her initial visit. We went through the whole apartment. I showed her my neat, sometimes partially empty drawers. She looked at my cluttered rooms. The worst one was the craft/guest room of course. That is also the overflow of the boxes and other stuff we have around here. She was very calm as she took it all in. I’m not her worst case. That’s always a relief!

But I also have cluttered coffee table tops, dresser tops and other places that catch a lot of paper clutter. I can’t seem to keep up with it! I’m wondering if some of those paper items hide and have babies in their spots! That’s how fast the clutter piles up!

What I did learn is that my problem is not so much that I am disorganized, but that I am poor at editing! As if you all didn’t already know that! Turns out that my writing is a lot like my personality. Yes, I know some of this is semantics, but I know editing is a problem for me and always has been. I can live with that.

To be told I was disorganized would break my heart! I don’t know why, but it would be a big blow. I can’t tell you how hopeful it was to hear her say that I’m not disorganized! Yes, I say it about myself, but deep down, I know I’m not as disorganized as I appear.

It is the same when someone tells me I’m illogical. That is insulting and patronizing! It is a huge put-down. Besides, I don’t think I am. There is a strong logic to everything I do. It may not fit someone else’s paradigm of logic, but it is logical! Those who truly know me, know I am logical AND organized. Those who don’t really know me, take what they see at face value. Yes, I know this has been a ramble.

Some people are organized but can’t edit,

others have the opposite problem

Still others have other organizational and editing problems in addition. To top it off, we all have times when we get overwhelmed and can’t get on top of our problems…whether they are disorganized houses, lives or souls. Often, they are intertwined…with one affecting the others.

So, if you have trouble in the organizing aspect of your home. Here are a few tips I have learned from my reading and experience.

No, I’m not naturally organized, but I need order.

No, organizing didn’t come naturally to me either, but I read books about it and learned over time. Friends who were good at organizing and  housework helped me as well. Slowly, I learned…one habit at a time. That’s why moving is so difficult for me! I have to start all over again!

  • Store like groups of items together in a small box or carton so you keep them together in a group. It is easier to find them (i.e. all cords are in one place). It is easier when you are cleaning to pick up one carton, than to pick up 10 cords.
  • Store items where you plan to use them. Store cleaning items under sinks along with needed rags, sponges, etc. in plastic containers or near the places they will be needed.
  • Make use of the backs of doors for needed storage…especially if you live in a smaller place. There are a host of items available for adding holders for extra towels, miscellaneous storage (shoe pockets were recommended to me as holders for multiple items for storage on the back of doors…use your imagination).
  • Buying shelves are cheaper than buying drawers. Adding wicker containers that can functions as drawers looks good on shelves and can mix the use of your shelves so you have a combinations of shelf space and “drawer” space.
  • Make use of low, flat plastic containers to store things like photographs (if yours aren’t already scanned), wrapping paper, and other flat items under a bed
  • Pay attention to areas that are boondoggle areas in your home. (They tend to get messed up all the time!) Try to assess where the problem lies. Ask yourself some of the following questions.
  • Do you need an extra container to hold items or a hook to hang them when you come in the room?

  • Do you have space where you can make use of more storage?

  • Do you need a trashcan closer to that area?

  • Does the furniture need to be rearranged so the area will be more functional?

  • Donate, sell, throw out or pass on things you don’t need or use. Keep only the things you use and love.
  • The problem area I have had is that I have kept too many things I thought I might use or that I thought I should keep. Now, I have to get rid of them. I no longer have the space!
  • Most of all, don’t expect to have order overnight. January is a time to assess, discover areas where you need help. It’s a time for a fresh start. It is not a time to change many areas of your life all at once! That is a sure way to fall on your face!
  • So look honestly at the areas you are struggling with. Don’t look at other people, just at yourself. State your goals in terms of yourself and possibly other relationships, but don’t compare yourself to someone else and try to be them. You aren’t them. You are you and have a special calling. Work on the changes incrementally and prayerfully. The most lasting change does not happen dramatically, but incrementally, by inches. GOD will provide the resources you need when you need them.

Are you making changes in your life?

Do positive life changes need to be made?

Are you making any of them a matter of prayer?

Prioritize the changes to be started on.

You have time to make these changes. They don’t have to all get done this month! As you plan, work on implementing them one at a time.

healthy graphic: tracimichelle