Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Lesson in Organization

I struggle with organization . . . organization of my things, my house, my time, my computer, my thoughts even . . . I have too much stuff, too little storage space, not enough time, and an insane (possibly genetic) disposition to want to keep EVERYTHING. There's the crates of clothes that Autumn has out-grown that I cannot (will not) part with and the issue of whether or not we will be having more children (which is a separate post and/or possible book in itself). There's scrapbook stuff that I don't have time or room for. Craft stuff that I love but don't have space for. Clothes that have lingered around far past their window of fit, stylishness, appropriateness and original color.
My sweet Visiting Teachers have heard my complaints many times . . . so, when my VT with an amazing sense of organization, style, and design offered to help me with my house at no cost as she builds a portfolio for her upcoming business . . . I could not contain my excitement.
So, with no hurried preparations or pretenses, I invited her in to open every drawer and cabinet in my home. And, I took the camera around and photographed every pile, stash and clutter spot. Even for me (PS I LIVE here) . . . it was incredibly eye-opening. There is nothing like walking around and noticing things that you have long accepted and over-looked . . . and trying to explain them. Here are a few examples:

The Returns Pile
Leah: So, this pile looks a bit random. What is this? (pointing to an assortment stashed in the corner of my front room)
Me: Oh, that's my "returns" pile
Leah: How often do you return things?
Me: Well . . . actually . . . often times they sit there far past the date of return and then I end up integrating them into the house somewhere.
Leah: Even though you didn't want it and were ready to return it?
Me (dumbly): Um . . . yea

The Magazine Collection
Leah: How many years of Ensigns do you have?
Me: Good question . . . a few
Leah: Do you use them?
Me (somewhat relieved): Oh yes . . . all the time for Family Night
Leah: Do you know you can access and print out everything online now?
Me (sheepishly): Um . . . yea

Then there was the issue of the LazyBoy (yes - fullsize) in Autumn's room, the basket of clean clothes in Gavin's room and the pile of dirty clothes on the floor where the basket should have been, the huge (new and expensive) stereo that consumes the bulk of the dresser space in the master that has not been hooked up in more than a year, the broken humidifier that sits on the floor of the kids' bathroom, the hall closet clutter (and collection of mini toiletries that will never be used), the spare bedroom/storage room/office/"I don't even remember what that is or where it came from" room . . . and I could go on.

Here's the point . . . I am committed to decluttering my house (and hopefully therefore my time, my thoughts and my life). So, I'll keep you updated.

In the meantime . . . if you want a good sense for what you have and what needs to be changed . . . invite a friend in and encourage them to open every drawer and door and to ask the obvious questions. It's a humbling experience.


  1. You are brave Karen!

    On a side note, are you going to come with us to Cali in June? We are buying the tickets in a couple weeks so let me know.

  2. Hey! Can you send her my way please!

  3. Yes you are brave, just the thought of someone coming into my bedroom and looking in my closets is SCARY.
    However, I am happy to report I did an all out organization day yesterday and it feels good now.
    GOOD LUCK with all of it and keep up posted.
    I think any bits of informations and help from others always helps.


  4. I need to do this...Wanna come over? :)

  5. When you have completed your things, come on over to my house and help me! I've tried using the "fly lady" with the dishes and it actually helps! Thanks for the advice!

  6. Do you know how I'm going to respond to the comment "insane(possibly genetic) disposition"? I am shipping you the eleven, yes, 11 boxes that I have sealed up with more to follow. See, you didn't get that predisposition from me! Love, MOM