Monday, January 24, 2011

Taking Baby Steps

Clearly Charming Blue Baby Feet Heart Locket Charm Baby, Child ThemeI get easily overwhelmed.  I can sit and look around the house at all the projects and messes I need to tackle and wear myself just thinking about it.  It's a serious problem of mine.  I just don't even know where to begin so I don't or I feel like I am fighting a losing battle trying to clean faster than the mess can be generated.  I am also not naturally organized.
Thinking back I specifically remember being in 1st grade and trying to organize my desk.  I would take everything out of my desk and stack all the books and papers in a nice neat stack with larger books on the bottom etc.  Then I would put everything back only to find it looked like the same disastrous mess it had started out as.  I used to look around the room at all the other kids desks and wonder why my desk didn't look all neat and organized like theirs.  Now I do the same thing with my friends houses!

Baby steps is my new mantra.  Whenever I find myself getting down about the fact that my house isn't clean and organized enough to be on the cover of a magazine (well, maybe a magazine devoted to natural disasters or pathological hoarders) I just remind myself to take baby steps.

I am also applying philosophy to various areas of my life like cooking/cleaning/organization, health/nutrition, home improvement, parenting, my business and even this blog.

For the past couple of weeks I have selected one room of the house to work on.  Right now I am working on my kitchen.  My goal is to keep the rest of the house from getting any worse while focusing on cleaning and reorganizing the kitchen.  It seems to be working rather well.  Quite honestly I can't think of the last time I had every single dish washed much less kept up with them for a week.
Rubbermaid Easy Find Lid 24-Piece Food Storage Container Set
I have reorganized cabinets and gotten rid of a cheap set of Woks I've had for years and never used once.  I have a hard time getting rid of anything!  I also made a small $15 investment in a new set of Rubbermaid plastic containers with "Easy Find Lids" which is allowing me to purge all the mismatched containers that filled up so much cabinet space.

Whitmor 6060-322 Supreme 4-Tier Shelving Unit, ChromeIt helps that I am not allowing myself to allow one limitation to derail my whole project.  I really want to get a new shelf for the kitchen.  I don't have a pantry just one tiny cupboard I have to cram everything into which means food is very hard to keep organized.  In the past I have just not bothered to even try to organize it because I wanted to wait until I had a shelf to put it on.  This really gives you an insight on why my house is in the mess that it is.

I am a bad procrastinator and have all the excuses in the world!  I also have what I call cleaning ADD.  Usually it goes something like this.  "I need to do the dishes . . . let me just put this item back on the dresser in my room where it belongs first . . . this dresser is a mess I really need to clean it off (set item on bed and pick up another item off dresser) . . . this belongs in the bathroom . . . ugh need to clean off the bathroom counter . . . this cup goes in the kitchen . . . oh ya I was trying to do dishes . . . let me put this pile of kitchen towels in the laundry first . . ."

You get the picture.  By focusing on the kitchen only rather than letting myself get lost on the overwhelming task of cleaning the entire house I am able to put something in another room where it belongs but ignore the mess (for now) in that room.  It even feeds into my natural urge to procrastinate by telling myself I will get to the other messes later!!

Now I know that this seems like common sense to many of you and I have read the same advice countless times from professional organizers but this is the first time I have ever really put this advice to use in my own life.

It does help that my son has turned the magical age of 4 and suddenly learned to clean up his own toys!  He makes sure to do it every night before bed and even cleans up after his 2 year old sister.  He seems to have the organizational skills I am very lacking in.  His sister is making up for his sudden helpfulness by potty training.  It seems like I have to drop everything I am working on every 5 minutes or so to run her to the bathroom only to not make it on time.  I do have to do one extra load of laundry every day just for her training pants.  Baby steps baby steps. :)

Next week I will be moving on to the kids room.  I ordered the new floor today (got my ebates!) so we will finally be able to get the kids and all their stuff back into their bedroom.  This will be an immense help in decluttering the rest of the house!

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