News - Parenting

The Organized Bird Gets the Worm

By Tammy Morales

Here's a scenario: You're supposed to be at work in 20 minutes. To leave plenty of time for dropping the kids off at the baby-sitter's, you should have walked out the door 10 minutes ago, but you forgot to put your clothes in the dryer this morning. Now you've got to wait just a little longer for your work shirt to be sufficiently dry (it can finish air-drying on the way if it has to). An irate 2-year-old follows your frantic search throughout the house for a tiny, stubbornly missing shoe, screaming persistently. Just as the dryer buzzes (in chaotic harmony with the 2-year-old), the door to the garage opens and an annoyed 5-year-old whines, “Mom, come on, let's go! I've been waiting forever!” At last you're ready. Kids are strapped in, all systems go... and the car keys have disappeared.

Sound familiar? A show of hands would prove that you're far from being alone. This is where I would say, “You could use a lesson on the importance of organization right about now!”

In Historical Perspective

The need for good organization has not always been such an issue. Back in the days when infrequent snail mail was the only mail, and responses were allowed a good week or more to find their recipients, it didn't really matter where the writing supplies were stored. Whether in a desk drawer or at the bottom of a box in the attic, there was plenty of time to find them. A Housewife who spent every moment of her day in the home typically knew where everything was, from cooking utensils and cleaning products to kids' shoes that actually matched. She didn't need color-coded bins or a filing system for the growing collection of DVDs.

Times have changed dramatically in a short period of time, and many of us are still trying to adjust. Organization is the key! We are faced with more letters and emails in one day than were received in an entire week just a few decades ago, and most correspondence now demands a response time of mere hours rather than days. The majority of moms nowadays are working moms, trying to juggle more obligations than our grandmothers would have believed possible. We don't have time or energy to spare for digging through this or that box in the garage for truant objects!

Rules of the Road

Whether you are trying to organize a house, an abstract chunk of information, or anything in between, there are basic principles to follow:

-       Simplify. Clear out the dust collectors, whether in a closet, file, or hard drive. The cleaning up of a computer's memory will allow it to run faster and use less energy. Getting rid of cooking utensils that just take up space will allow you to get to the ones you actually use a lot quicker.

-       Group. Don't let all your drawers be junk drawers! Keep similar objects together. Spices stay with other spices, receipts with other receipts, image files with other image files. You get the idea.

-       Position. It wouldn't make sense to keep the coffee filters in the laundry room, or the fabric softener under the kitchen sink. Place objects and information close to where they'll needed, according to how often they'll be used, so they can be accessed quickly and efficiently.

-       Maintain. Things have a tendency to accumulate. Without periodic upkeep, the organization you worked so hard for once will naturally revert back to chaos. This may sound overly-dramatic, but imagine what your file folder of bank statements would weigh if you did not ever throw the old ones out! Maintenance is crucial to good organization. You may discover that getting rid of useless stuff feels pretty great. Like the weight of a box of bank statements being lifted from your shoulders.

Getting Started

Even following these basics, getting organized can be daunting. Because every situation and its objective is different, it is important to find a solution that will work for you. If you feel you need help or advice, there are countless resources to help you get started. I'll list just a few:

1.     Flylady.net

2.     Order from Chaos, by Liz Davenport

3.     6 Secrets Every Organized, Successful Scrapbooker Knows!, by Tammy Morales

Or if you would rather hire a professional, use any online search engine to find the one that best suits your specific needs. Whether you need help organizing your home, your time, or just your priorities, there is a solution. And believe me, your kids will thank you for finding it!

About The Author

A dedicated and successful entrepreneur, Tammy Morales works from her home in a small prairie town just north of Calgary, Alberta. Her passion for scrapbooking led her to found Scrapbookersinnercircle.com, of which she is Editor and Publisher, as a way to share her expertise and encourage others to do the same. When she isn't working or spending time with her husband, Rumilio, and their two children, she enjoys traveling, reading, shopping, and scrapbooking.

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