Sunday, February 22, 2009

 organization frustration

I like clean. I love organized. When I am in homes that have alot of organizational tools and storage I admit I get a massive case tinge of jealousy. I've shared before that our home has very little storage. Like two small closets in the entire house little. This is how ridiculously giddy I get over small things when it comes to organization. Last week we were at Target (the store just rocks - plain and simple) and I saw an over the door shoe organizer. I knew these things existed, but it never really clicked in my brain what an amazing thing it was. I grabbed it and threw it in the cart while trying to steady my accelerating heart beat. Dave looked at me with that one eyebrow up "You okay?" look. I pointed to the item causing the organization excitement and whispered "look!". He nodded slowly with one eye still on me, just to make sure I was, indeed, okay. When we got home I didn't even have my coat off before I was positioning the lovely new home organizing product in to one of the two closets. 20 pair of shoe fit into it! Our kitchen immediately looked more organized and roomy as I pulled all of our shoes out from under and around my pantry. I seriously had to laugh at my self that night. I was really happy. All night. Over a shoe organizer. So, as you can see, being organized is a peace and happiness inducing state for me. Unfortunately I am not great at achieving it. Although part of it is our lack of storage, and shortage of fundage to attain more storage, I must admit that I lack that organizing, and keeping things organized, gene (cause I've got to blame it on something y'all. :) I have written often about my desire to have my priorities right. How I really want spending time with the kids, spending time cultivating relationships, having quiet time, pursuing ministry and developing strengths to be more important than cleaning. As I try to put important things first, and not spend all of my time worrying about the state of my home, I am sinking into the depths of despair frustrated as I seem to be getting more and more behind on keeping things neat and tidy here. I don't want the cleanliness of my home to drive me and over take my life, but at the same time, this is our wonderful little spot to relax, make memories, be ourselves, love each other, and enjoy time with friends. I want to make it an oasis for us. I want it to be decorated in a pleasing way and organized in a way that makes it easy for us to find things when we need them. My days are rough when the house is a disaster. I find myself continually telling the boys "later", or "you are going to have to wait till mommy has this clean" when their requests for reading stories or playing games repeatedly come. That doesn't meet my parenting standards. But the honest to goodness truth is - these things HAVE to get done. No one else is gong to do it and if I put it off yet another day it will multiply. You know what I am talking about - that strange phenomenon of one days worth of dirty laundry turning into 5 days of dirty laundry over night when you don't tend to it. A couple of weeks ago I began trying a daily cleaning schedule. I did a small task each day and at the end of the week the entire house was clean and looking pretty good. Than we had a really busy week. I got so behind that I kind of lost my momentum. I tried getting up earlier, because when the boys are up things are pretty constant, and I want to be able to focus on them. I was getting up with Dave at 5:15 every morning and was amazingly productive! But then I had several late nights in a row and sleep became more of a need. I'm sadly wondering if blogging is going to have to be replaced with cleaning. I am not great at discipline and balance. To spend more time with the kids, but still get things done that need to - will something else have to be taken out of my day? So friends, a little help?? What works for you? How do you get those priorities where they should be? Any words of wisdom on keeping toys, papers, etc organized and looking neat in a small space with little to no storage?


Rach@In His Hands said...

Wendi....I sent you an e-mail on Friday to your Ameritech account. Maybe check the "junk mail" box to see if it's there....or else I'll resend it!!

I agree with you on the organization giddy-ness. If I find something that works and makes things easier, I LOVE it!

My baby isn't with me yet, so I don't have any balancing advice, my friend. This is definitely something I will struggle with....because I don't know a mom who isn't trying to figure it all out.

But, please promise not to go away completely....I'd miss you too much. ;-)

Rach@In His Hands said...

Oh, and we've been blessed with about $1,100 so far on the drawing!!!! We are absolutely in awe and shock by this blessing!! We are so thankful...

Mel said...

ok i am not a huge at home organizer and i do find myself at times overwhelmed with clutter. Organizer type things don't work with me...but i find if I can let go of the control issue a bit and have my kids do somethings it is a huge help.

Also I decided a long time ago that indeed my housework would take a lower priority to other things. So that helps too...also i try and do things when the kids are having play time.

Again my house is not spotless but I also have relieved myself of the need to be have the world's most clean and organized home.

MoziEsmé said...

I feel your pain and am going through some of the same things... :) And I do put off my girl often with the rationale that it's important for me to model housecleaning etc. for her. I've got a cleaning/organization routine that takes pretty much most of the morning, and then the afternoon is free - to run errands, spend time with her, spend time on the computer.

I know of some folks who are giving up the computer entirely to keep on top of life, but I don't want to be that drastic yet. I'm putting time limits on my computer activities this week - we'll see how that goes. I feel like I really benefit from the blogs I read, so perhaps if I limit the time, I'll be more selective at prioritizing.

Gotta go! - 8 minutes left!

Katarina said...

Got to love that balancing act of kids and housework and everything else :) I do laundry every day but then all the other cleaning gets done on one of the days my oldest is in school. I give my 2 year old a wet paper towel and she 'cleans' with me while my littlest crawls around making a mess :)(we have a swiffer and I take out one of the handle lengths and it is perfect gor little hands, the kitchen floor gets cleaned and my kids have fun!) Also, i have a 3 stack plastic storage drawer in the closet that my kids throw all their hats and mitts and stuff into when they come in so we aren't constantly tripping over them.
Good luck!! It's a never ending challenge :)

Anonymous said...

I would offer some advice, but my schedule is so weird compared to other people's since I'm a working/full-time mom. Thankfully I work for our church so they are very understanding when I need to take time to take care of Princess (plus my cousin brings his baby up and they love to play together - I try to get as much work done as possible while his son is there to keep Princess occupied). When I get home it's really a toss-up. I will fix dinner while my hubby spends time with Princess. Then depending on if he has to study or not, I either play with her so he can study or I let them hang out and I work around the house. My day is non-stop work. The only reason I get to blog is because I do it on my lunchbreak or sometimes if I stay up late or by chance get up early. I read other blogs when I have busy work to do at my desk (that doesn't require my computer) which is why you'll see comments from me on 4-5 posts at a time. :) Like I said... weird.

Do the boys take naps? That's when I get the bulk of my work done either at home or at the church - when Princess is napping. And please don't neglect your sleep to blog OR clean. You are of no use to your family if you are exhausted and having to drag yourself around!

Arlona Mc said...

From being over to your home, I think that most of the time when I am around there, it can be cleaned in less than 10 minutes (so it is not really dirty, just needs picking up sometimes.) You do a good job. Don't beat yourself up. Five years from now, your guys will not care what you did today unless it was to read or to play with them. Have them help you so that you can play with them. If the toys are laying around, tell them that all of you need to put the toys away so that you can read/play. They will help you if you reward them with your attention. You help lots of people with your blog so do whatever God tells you to do with it. Love you and remember that all of your guys love you too. Mom

Ashley said...

I can totally relate to the organizational drama! You inspired me to write a post about some of my methods. Here's the link if you want to check it out:

As for no blogging, of course you should pray about it and do what God leads you to, but I have to tell you, your blog has been a HUGE encouragement to me.
I've always enjoyed it, but especially the last few months it has been a really powerful encouragement to me. I'm not even dealing with anything like what you have faced, but just hearing you share about going through such challenging times and coming out on the other side still praising God and truly enjoying life is such a blessing. You've given me hope that the season I'm in right now will pass and there will be happy times again:) So, I just wanted to say thank you.
And I don't think the blog should be the thing to go...surely there's something else that can give ;)

Elizabeth said...

I'm with you on all of this, so I am going to check back and read the suggestions for myself:)

The only suggestion I have is one that I need to practice myself. Rather than just talking about priorities, I need to live them. Lately I'm so convicted just by the amount of time that the computer takes up, that I wonder if I need to break away from it completely. I seem to have little self-discipline.

If I let things go in the house for even a day, it all falls apart. I'm like you and need the peace and happiness of an organized home. It makes life better for everyone when I am happy with the condition of the house.

One suggestion I am going to tackle myself this week: get rid of stuff! Then there's less to put away. We'll see how it goes:)

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

So I was reading through the comments above and I don't have anything original to add. I love love love having a clean house...but I just don't like to clean. :) I would almost rather do anything than clean bathrooms, and sometimes it shows. And now I am feeling very convicted about that, because I know that as the homemaker, it is my responsibility to keep things in order...but like you said, to have a balance in everything. But, I do try to keep things at least picked up or I will go crazy....I do enjoy the organizational part of it.

Missed checking in with you last week...I see I have a few posts to catch up on...

Beverlydru said...

Hi there. This is my first visit... I was drawn in by the title "Every Day Miracles"! I am starting a meme called Everyday Epiphanies that will last for the 40 days of Lent. Can't help you with organizing ideas - that in itslef would be a miracle for me. LOL!

Sara@i.Sass said...

Sweet Wendi. What "works" for me is I have learned that sometimes I HAVE to let the cleaning slide. And when the bug bites, as it always does then I feed it and feed it and feed it. I was looking at my baskets the other day. (I hang baskets on the wall above my cabinets.) and I saw this ugly gray thing wrap all the way around my kitchen. A cobweb that went through all the baskets. My first thought...Huh, that is one busy spider. My next thought...When was the last time I dusted up there?
That would be never, not since we moved in, 5 years ago. Not lying.
I haven't mopped the tile floor in the foyer in a month, I just add another rug. BUT I know that I've only got to get through snowy yuck March and spring cleaning bug will be HERE. If I were to mop the floor, it would take 5 seconds to get dirty then I'd get mad and start I add a rug and I'll do it when the time is extended to a day or too before it gets dirty.
Is that TMI?
Oh, I got excited over 2 new laundry baskets!!! My baskets are falling apart and I can't get rid of them because then the clothes would be all over the I finally bought 2 baskets! Oh, I'm in love. And with the 2 new facets...HEAAAAVEN!
Give yourself a break Hon. Are you loving God? Loving your family?
Get to it when the bug bites...if you don't get bit for a few days, it's OKAY! (As long as no poo is involved. Poo needs immediate clean up!!!) As for organization, one thing at a time. Shoes. Done. What's next, what is driving you crazy? Just one thing...

Noah and Ryders Mommy said...

I too love organization and am always looking for something that makes life easier wether it be in the pantry or in my bathroom cubbard doors lol. I LOVE those shoe wracks by the way! As far as cleaning advice goes, my mom always taught me to try and at least keep everything off the floor. When things are off the floor, it looks cleaner. When you master that, try keeping things off the counters and tables. Make it a habit to putting it back where it came from. She always said that "a clean home is a happy home honey." lol I love her! Hmmm let's see...The night before here is the things I try to squeeze in before I hit the bed (after the boys are asleep as well) premake their lunch, load the dishwasher, laying their clothes out and just getting little projects ready for the day ahead and also I spray clorox lol (it's a habit) laundrey day is always on Mondays as well as the day for running errands. We all slack off though Wendi, trust me you're not the only one! I know it's hard to find time for anything anymore, it's just little step by step habbits that help. I hope this did!

xoxo much love to you friend

Elizabeth said...

oh goodness...i am dealing with the same issues right now. i am an org freak...but i HATE organization MUST MUST be a direct route to less housework. :-)

i just bought a book "sidetracked home executive" hoping that it would give me a smiple straight forward method to keep my house clean while still having time to do everything else (mothering, friends, church, misc)...i did not like the book. about 1/2 way thru i was way too involved and b/c it was written in the 70s it was just too had smoe subtle updates apparently but too subtle for me.

i am going to GO BACK to the prob w/ flylady is that i never got through the initial "baby steps" b/c i jumped head long in...and b/c you have to get online to know what your duties are for teh day...

so, i have decided to still not do all the initial baby steps into the program b/c i "get" it already and have all the supplies...but i am going to print out the list weekly so i don't have to check daily what my "to dos" are. the cleaning is so QUICK in theory for flylady and i do beleive if followed it really is.

when i found it last january i knew it would chagne my changed some things DRAMATICALLY...but i still have some distance to go. but i would HIGHLY suggest looking at the website and just checking it out. i didn't buy any of their program tools but did my own version of it. that's what i liked about it gives you room to do things your own way and your own routine...but gives you a great framework.

this pgm if followed actually would elliminate "spring cleaning" if anyone does it anyway, I don't. :-)

anyway, if you check it out and have some questions or whatever...let me know...i'd love to know what you think about it.

the site is:

i actually may put up a sidebar thing that lists the daily duties...maybe that would help more than just me!

Chelle said...

I have this same lack of closet space issue and I can say, it's truly a challange...and we are only the not quite four of us yet.

One thing that has recently been helpful for me is going through and getting rid of excess stuff and trying to not have so much more than the space I have to store it in. I have sent a lot of things out to the garage in rubbermaids just to declutter the house a little.

But Wendi, you are so not alone in this frustration! And I hear you on trying to balancing it all with blogging. I have been such a terrible blogger lately. But my house has been relatively clean. It's a hard trade off. Wish I could come up with a way to juggle them both succesfully.