Friday, October 8, 2010

Being organized (and my baby is 10 months!!)

I'm caught in the whirlwind of planning.  2 birthdays (one of them is a 1st birthday!), our annual Halloween party, an anniversary thing for me and the hubs, moving soon, and trying to find time to hand make 4 kid's costumes (by their request...and how could I possibly say no?).  You could say, my brain is threatening to bleed if it doesn't get a break.

In the midst of all this uber planning chaos, my baby boy turned 10 months today.  10 months!  10 flippin months!!  Where the F did the last 10 months go?!?  I swear it was just yesterday that I was yelling "For the 100th time NO, I don't want a fucking epidural, I'm FINE!" at some poor nurse.
Moose - 10 months
I don't often stop to ponder how I make it all work.  Raising kids, running an house, running my own business, writing novels, blogging, getting ready to move soon, and about 10 million photo projects going at any point in time (ok, ok, so right now I have 3 personal photo projects going, not 10 million).  I will admit it scared me a bit thinking about the extra work that the new house is going to add in since we will be doing some construction work to it before moving into it...uhm yikes.

Guuuuuuuurguuuuuuuuuuurg!  Yeah that's the sound of me being squeezed between all these projects.  Priorities are boxing it out like Hollifield and Tyson (hope no one bites!) and thank God for my lists and lists of lists and lists to keep track of my lists.  My husband can make fun of them all he wants, without them...well...lets just say my house would be a flashback to something he worked very hard to forget about.

If you have more than one child, more than 2 children, more than 3 children, you know organization is everything.  Recently I was asked by a mom who visited my house for the 1st time, how I keep things so sane here.  Here are some very easy ways to keep your house organized, yourself sane, and your family off the A&E show "Hoarders".

1.  Bins, bins and more bins.  I have labeled bins for my business stuff, the kid's art stuff, school stuff, even food in the pantry.  I have a bin for ziplock containers.  There is one for spice packets (taco seasoning, etc) and another for bags of pasta.  There are separate bins for healthy snack and unhealthy snacks.  In the laundry/mud room there are bins for each child for their winter accessories and their summer accessories (gloves & scarves/baseball caps & sunglasses).  There are shoe bins, boot bins, and 4 separate baskets for laundry to be sorted into depending on if it is clean or dirty.  There is a basket on our stairs for toys and other items that the kids need to put away when they go up to their rooms and there are multiple baskets for mail and bills.  The more bins I have, and the more clearly labeled they are, the less likely things are to end up shoved in the wrong place or lost.  I even have a bin for extra bins that are not currently in use (I kid you not.  I <3 bins & baskets).

2.  Files.  I have an impeccable filing system.  Business or no business, keep your shit straight.  Manuals, warranty info, bills, medical information and bills, if you're a blended family you undoubtedly have court related materials, important legal docs (such as wills, titles, etc) should all have homes.  Keeping things filed is super important when trying to keep the clutter and confusion under control.

3.  Everything and I mean EVERYTHING has a home.  Nothing, not one single item you own, should be a nomad.  Everything should have a place where it belongs.  Whether it stays there or not is not the issue, the issue is that it needs a place to call home so that when you are trying to get things clean and organized, nothing ends up just getting shuffled from place to place.  Think Adam Sandler..."Are you too good for your home?!?".  Not a damn thing we own is too good for it's home.  Some things rarely go to their homes but you can walk in here at any point in any day and ask about any object and we can tell you where it belongs.  Knowing that items have a place where they go, is essential to being able to straighten up quickly and efficiently.

4.  Have a box.  A lot of people disagree with this but a lot of people also have messes.  Have one box in an inconspicuous place that serves as a temporary house for things you don't have time to file/put away.  But COMMIT to emptying this box and putting it's contents in their homes once a week!

5.  Plan meals a week ahead (or 2 if you can).  Planning your meals ahead and making your grocery lists accordingly can save hundreds of dollars a month and saves tons of time.  If you're really good, you can even have bins in your pantry and fridge that have the days labeled on them with the ingredients of what you're cooking that day in them (I'm not that good).

Make lists.  It helps.  Start off slow trying to get organized, one thing at a time.  Don't burn yourself out and know there are days that you will fall off the organization wagon but you gotta get back on.

Of course, here I am avoiding my "put away box" and blog instead of working on party planning.  Such is life. It's a 4 day weekend and I will get it all done between the apple picking, photo shoots, and mommy shopping trip!  At least I hope so!  I'm off to work on party invites!  I'll post them tomorrow :)

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