The Quest For Organization
February 1, 2006
Being organized is not my strong point. My anal retentive husband wishes it were. I am full of good ideas. I would be great at telling other people what to do, but when it comes to implementing the organizational strategies in my own life, well let’s just say that if the road to hell is paved with good intentions I have already gone there and back several times.
I love organizational stuff. I love baskets and bins and dream of having a playroom like you see in one of those Pottery barn catalogs, where all the toys are put away in their labeled baskets. Unfortunately, I have children who actually want to play with the toys and not just admire them in their bins or lined up neatly on the bookcases.
I am not nearly as organized as Carmen.
The one area that I do shine is my mudroom closet. Yes, it is a small small area. But it is a start, right? I think that it works because I thought about what the closet needed to do before I designed it. When we bought the house there was no closet on the first floor, no mudroom, no dedicated laundryroom. All of those things are imperative for a large family, so we added on to our house. The space for the closet was limited so I knew that I would have to organize in other than a traditional manner for it to work for us.
There is a bar with a shelf above it that runs along the back of the closet and along the right side. I hang up my coats as well as some of the extra jackets and vests that belong to the children. The bar is higher than normal to leave ample room underneath. On the shelf I have baskets which, since it is winter, hold out of season things like umbrellas, sunscreen, rain ponchos, swim diapers.
On the left hand side I have shelves which hold wire baskets. Each kid has their own basket labeled with their name to keep their hats, gloves, sunglasses, etc. Rob and I each have one and there are several left over for the extras.
On the uppermost shelf I have two small wire baskets, the content of which changes depending on what I am going to be doing. I’ll put mail in one if I am going to the post office so I remember to mail it, my wallet, extra diapers if I know I have exhausted my supply in the car. Right now the shopping cart cover and sling are waiting to go back into the van after being brought inside to be washed.
All the kids socks are kept in this closet. The large white bin on the bottom shelf holds the socks. The one on the right holds baseball hats. Yes, we have that many baseball hats with six boys.
On the right side of the closet I have a peg rack. Each child has a hook to hand their coat and snowpants on. There is room underneath for two pair of shoes per child. Their snow boots are kept lined up near the back door where I can better contain the mud and wet mess that they make.
It usually looks neater than this but the baby kept running in there and grabbing the shoes and tossing them around while I was trying to take the picture.
I also use baskets in the children’s bedrooms to hold their small personal toys and books. The boys have some blue wooden bins. I have found boys wreck havoc on traditional baskets, these are much sturdier. (Please ignore their bedroom floor, it is slated to be refinished this spring)
My daughter has several baskets and stacking “suitcases” to hold all her tiny treasures.
And that is probably about it for me. I have other organizational systems in place for meals, cleaning, and laundry but those don’t seem to go nearly as smoothly. In the interest of keeping it real, I thought it would be better to focus only on the things that actually do work for me.
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