DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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25 October 2010

Organising your home

I've been thinking about the one thing that helps the most in keeping us on track here. I know my DIL Sarndra will love this, because that one true thing, is organisation. She thrives on it, she's a natural, she knows instinctively where to place things, how to effectively store almost anything and how to arrange household goods to best suit their efficient usage. By doing those things, Sarndra knows where everything is, she works efficiently and she has enough time to do what she wants to do when she's finished. I'm a bit more challenged in that direction. and when I'm really busy I let things go, even though I know in the long run it will create extra work. I let my sewing/work room get into a real mess before I fix it, and I tend to do the most important things and leave those less noticeable. When I stick to my routines I'm fine but at the moment with Hanno away and being so busy with various things, I'm not doing all I should and I know it will be a real push to put it all to rights again.


I have a quite a few small tasks that need doing right now. My plan is to go through all of them in the next few days, and then stay on top of everything in the coming months when I'll be well and truly pressed for time while I'm writing the rest of my book. If I don't do that, I'll feel I've let myself down and that my home is not what it should be. I love that feeling when I can sail through my home and know everything that needs doing has been done and that I can relax and enjoy being there. And let me remind you here, I'm not aiming for perfection, mainly because it doesn't exist, but also because I want a functional, warm and inviting home, not a show piece.

Today, Monday 25 October, marks that day for me where I draw the line and declare that I will fix everything, stay on top of it all, carry out my routines properly every day and have my mind free to concentrate on the writing. Organisation is the key for me. If I can organise myself and my work I'll be able to do everything else that needs doing. So I'm seeing this as a gift for me that only requires a bit of work, sticking to my routines and making the most of the time I have to do my work and to write. I can't concentrate properly if the house isn't right and writing what I need to put in the book would be dishonest and foolish if I was writing one thing and living in another way. So this is it.

Line drawn.


Who will join me? Who needs to do this too? I am going to start a thread at the forum to monitor this and to keep me on track. I challenge you all to join me, to make your own organising challenge that will help you live to your potential in your own home. With many of us doing it and with the support and encouragement that will give us, I know we'll do it. So, who is stepping forward beside me?

The link to the forum thread is here. If you're a member of the forum, you'll go straight there. If you're not yet a member, you'll need to register first. It's free and easy, so take the plunge.

53 comments:

  1. I have been putting off organizing my home for a loong time! I really need to make a cleaning and laundry schedule, as well as a meal plan!
    So I will join you!
    Good Luck!

    - Jenny

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  2. I do and I will.
    I have a week off mow, so I will use this time to get things up to date and then try and keep it together
    Sue

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  3. I am going to have to pay close attention to your thread on the forum which I have not spent anytime at. I desperately need to be more organized! I did already take one step to better organization - I cleaned out an always cool closet and made it into a pantry. I put in shelves and filled it up. I love just opening the door and looking at it! I have the foods I canned from my summer garden plus store bought things. I just need to get the rest of the house organized now.

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  4. This was one of my goals for the New Year that I haven't been on target with.
    Even before reading this I had decided to use the next two weeks to really concentrate on getting EVERYTHING organized. So this is perfect timing.
    With all of the holidays coming and the winter season here where we spend so much time at home I want things to be nice and I'm like you I can't really concentrate or enjoy myself if I have a LONG list of things that I know need to be done.
    At our old house I had everything so well organized...every item had a place. I need that again.
    It's a tedious job but well worth the results.

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  5. I think in busy times like these we all need a bit of incentive to keep on track. For some of us ( like me!) we get easily distracted from the task at hand and working together can really make things work.
    I will imagine us all getting our homes organised while I am doing the ironing this morning ...well after I do last nights dishes.
    Great post , Rhonda, I needed that.

    thegirlwithgreenthumbs.blogspot.com

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  6. I'm in! It's one of the most glorious feelings - having an organised house and I need to get back on track too. For me being organised is the key to keeping the house clean and tidy. Looking forward to it.

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  7. I need to be more organized...mainly because even though I live in an apartment, there is still great space that isn't being used fully...and I want to maxmize the space I'm using. It'll be itneresting to see what everyone else has to say on the subject ;) :) Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

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  8. Oh yes, yes, me definitely
    Lizzie

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  9. Ah ha so this might be an indicator as to where all the new Forum members appeared from this Sunny Monday Morn ... I think I'm needing to do this too now Rhonda.

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  10. Count me in, I'm desperately sinking in a house with 3 rambunctious children and a busy husband!

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  11. This is just what I need!!!!!!Marie x

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  12. I had a laugh reading this post, especially about not doing it all and especially letting the sewing room get into a mess before it's sorted...that's me too. I'm notorious for leaving the dishes etc because I want to work on a sewing project!

    But I have the builders in now, doing an extension on the back of my house, and I've been making sure all is neat and tidy every morning by 7.30 when they turn up. Mainly because there's enough mess without mine added, but I'd be embarrassed for them to be wandering around if all was messy. A good incentive to being organised and it feels good too.

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  13. Yes please. I'm in. I'm about to send my girls off to school for the day and I have no idea where the school uniforms are, I know they are washed but... I need help with keeping the laundry organised. Also I have to submit our company's BAS statement this week - its not done though. So I also need help with our home office.

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  14. this is exactly what I need atm Rhonda. I'm in, willing and ready.

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  15. I'm with you Rhonda. I've been working on establishing routines and such for several years, and I'm getting there. One habit at a time, baby steps, baby steps, baby steps. I'm a flylady follower and from her I've learned how to manage my household. Its only one system and I'm sure there are others that work, but this one has been a life/sanity saver for me.

    Thanks for being honest with us about where you are at, its encouraging for the rest of us.

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  16. I'm already organized to a fault. Just ask my family! :) It just makes life so much easier. The one thing I tend to put off is putting up clean laundry, that's the one household chore that I absolutely can not stand. But other than that, I pretty much know where everything goes and it's already there. If you stay ahead of things, put them back as you get through with them for example, it's not hard. But the important thing is to stay with it.

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  17. oh no my biggest nightmare. I have been trying to do this on my own for 2 years now, so i am in - any help anyone can give would be really appreciated. thank you

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  18. I am in the throws of reducing what I have. and organising what remains. I have never felt so free and the deeper I delve I realise there is less that I want and am contented to deal with what I have and what is needed.
    There were times what hanging on to things seemed the only thing to do. But for me it was the wrong decision. so we are aiming, no I am aiming for when we move to take the heart of what we are and let others feast on the rest. I cant wait re purposing life and organising goods and I find that I am slowly oh so very slowly getting there.
    Many thanks for a great post.
    Best to you and yours
    Rachel

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  19. I will join in. Though by the look of things around here, it might take me a bit longer than most.

    Rhonda

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  20. Oh, Rhonda! You were reading my mind.

    I've just come off a crazy busy week, and the house is in shambles! Particularly the sewing/guest room, which I NEED to have in order to begin my winter sewing. Since it's still Sunday here in the States, I have a few hours to get my thoughts in order, right?

    See you at the forum!
    Barb_in_GA

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  21. I AM WITH YOU!! Now that 6weeks of guests is nearly over its time to get things back where they should be and keep them there - actually this was my plan anyway, I couldn't believe it when I saw you are doing it too, AND I'm going to blog my progress on my blog http://www.caitlynnicholas.com

    Off to join the forum!

    Cait :)

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  22. I used to be organised but it meant cleaning almost all the time. My 2 older children I managed to keep on track as they were in primary school before I met my current partner. However, I'll just stick to training my farm dog and the horse as after 13 years I still can't encourage/nag/demand that partner takes off his crappy (pooey, manurey etc) farm boots at the door or wipes the bench when he finishes making coffee or sandwiches. It's turning a blind eye and keeping my personal space functional, otherwise I'd be a stress case :).

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  23. Excellent idea Rhonda. You can count me in, I've stuck to my basic routines but fallen off the wayside about one chore a day so I have some bad corners and shelves.

    I know what you mean about feeling better when you're focussed and on top of routines -- it really does free you up.

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  24. I'm in! I've been trying to get organised for what seems like forever! Unfortunately I am a procrastinator, absent-minded and easily distracted. It's been bugging me lately that there is so much more I could be getting done if I weren't running around putting out fires (metaphorically speaking) that start because I don't get things done in a timely fashion. So I'm going to start getting things under control TODAY.

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  25. Ok count me in Rhonda,
    I was just saying this weekend that my hubby and I make a good pair - I make the mess and he cleans up after me! The thing is that weekends are just too short and I always plan more than I can easily achieve!

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  26. Hi Rhonda,

    This is a great challenge for me because I get upset and I guess a bit irritable if my house isn't fairly organized. Like you, my sewing/workroom seems to always be a bit messy. I tend to work on about four projects at once usually and I like to have them handy if I can snatch a few minutes to do them. However this isn't working well so I'm joining you in this challenge and send you very good wishes on this one. I'll be thinking of you as I work towards a more organized home.

    Blessings Gail

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  27. dear Rhonda

    thanks for such an inspiring blog and post. that constant nagging feeling of being in chaos can make one a bit irritable and anxious. a new state of organisation has been my aim since selling our house, moving to a new community, downsizing, letting go of all our stuff on freecycle, and thinking about living on less. a crawling exploring baby provides ongoing challenges though. having storage space is a vital element. and sleep.

    thanks again
    jill

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  28. Very timely Rhonda, I managed to get a corner sorted this weekend by making the 9yo help with the housework! I put on a timer and bribed him with extra computer time. Amazing what 4 hands can get done compared to 2. And I kept it clean my making really sure I cleaned up every last bit of my sewing projects when they were done (I'm really bad at the finishing and cleaning up part).
    For others - I find baskets and chests really useful. Chests keep out the ever present dust here, and the wooden ones are ornamental too. The big plastic tubs are fantastic for clean storage in a grubby downstairs area. Baskets are great for chucking stuff in, so it looks organised but can be messy inside. Then the whole basket can be hidden away when required.
    Good luck everyone - it's the kitchen cupboards for me - groan
    Anna

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  29. would dearly love to join you, Rhonda, but with a 4 week old and a nearly 2 year old, I'm having trouble getting dinner on the table even with people from our community providing meals most nights!! Maybe in a couple of months when we find our new rhythm I'll be in the headspace to join in? Hopefully. Enjoy organising :-)

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  30. I have recently found that organization, schedules and routines are very important. My mother needs 24 hour care in her home. I am the primary care giver, but we also have attendants and therapists coming in and out all the time. Organization helps keep everything we need to help Mom available for all of us when we need it. - Margy

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  31. I definitely need to join you in this challenge - usually I am quite organized but lately, I've let things slide and I know I'll feel so much better if only I can get on top of things.

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  32. I'll the first to admit I desperately need this and yet I'm putting it off..with good reason. We'll be moving around January and sorting through every bit of everything before we do. Until then my dear husband still works 12 hr night shifts and it just isn't possible to get to the worst spaces right now. Once he gives his notice he'll have day shift and I can set to work. I've already vowed to myself that the new house means a cleaning routine and serious organization. I'm more than ready for the change.

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  33. I would love to join you because I am having a guest for Christmas but I know I would fail miserably. Instead I will pledge to do one household improvement task per week. I might be able to manage that!

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  34. Yes! All week I have been thinking how I need to make my house work for me. We live in an apartment with a lack of kitchen space (at least space I can easily reach, lol!) so I am going to store things that I do not use at least weekly, only keep enough dishes in the cupboard for daily use (as in one cup, plate, bowl, ect.. for each of us so I will HAVE to wash them after each meal) and some other ideas. I figure if I get the kitchen under control, the rest of our home will follow but I know I must make the time to organize or it won't happen.

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  35. Hi Rhonda,

    well.. on this one you could put me next to Sarndra ;o)
    I have a weekly scedule. Not only for the things to be done, also for the meals to be cooked. I will give you my daily routine:

    Monday - for washing
    Tuesday - for ironing
    Wednesday - sewing day
    Thursday - to go shopping
    Friday - is to clean my house
    Saturday - the day to bake
    Sunday - (of course) is our day of rest

    In the beginning I really had to give myself a push to get me through the routine, but after a while.. it's become a real routine, I do not know any better!

    And when I'm done the things need to be done? I have extra time to enjoy the garden, or sewing, or knitting, or ...

    Hope this journey of yours will get you there were you want to be!

    Gooed luck!

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  36. I moved in to my house over a year ago and it's been under various degrees of destruction/construction ever since so we are still living out of boxes. I went down to the basement to look for my silverware and spent 2 hours sifting through all the boxes only to discover they had already been unpacked. Arrrgh! This is something I really need to concentrate on because it's driving me crazy. Once fall settles down here and I'm not having to spend so much time preserving food that will be my first priority.

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  37. Thank you my beautiful MIL! Our house isn't always as organised as I would like, which I am slowly learning to be OK with... My challenge is to somehow focus less on the house and more on organising other aspects of mine and Shane's lives. P.s We loved having you and Tricia, thank you so much for visiting! We cant wait to see Hanno.
    Xx Sarndra

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  38. I believe I will take your challenge Rhonda. We've been in our home for five years now, and it's high time, with the long winter evenings coming up, that I took charge of the piles of clutter and unpacked boxes hidden away.

    Thank you!

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  39. Hi Sarndra! It's lovely to see you here commenting. Maybe you would like to do a guest post on organising for me. I'll phone you to talk about it. Much love ♥ R.

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  40. I have been struggling with this very topic and and always trying to improve! Thanks for sharing your tips.

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  41. Been working on cleaning and reorganizing my spice and herb cupboards and also finally cleaned and reorganized my frig. Count me in! So much more to clean and organize . . . My garage is a total mess, kitchen drawers and dresser drawers are in total disarray.

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  42. I will be working on my laundry room, which has been the dumping ground for the family's odds and ends. This will be great for me!

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  43. I will go check out that thread now. Line in the sand time!

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  44. Fabulous! I keep thinking this, starting it, then falling by the wayside as things get busy. Routines are what work for me too, and I think that with organisation, one can achieve more in less time.

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  45. I found that the habits and principles at flylady.com worked for me really well - get that kitchen sink shiny and everything falls nicely into place.

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  46. I hear ya.

    Back on to my routines (via FLYlady) that work wonderfully well - not surprisingly only when I do them tho! LOL

    Positivity and productiveness to you!
    :)

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  47. Ever since gardening/canning season hit, my routine and housekeeping has gotten way out of wack, and it's never fully recovered. I've been meaning to do this for a while, and you are right, it's time! Thanks for the motivational push!
    The Girl in the Pink Dress

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  48. There is a website www.flylady.net which grew out of something called "Sidetracked Home Executives". It is essentially coaching for anyone who finds that they aren't keeping their home and household the way they would like to, and you might find it interesting.

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  49. I'm really overdue to get some more organization into my world - it's going to be a busy year, and the more I can do on this front, the better.

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  50. Thank you for this very timely post. As a homeschool mom of four, so far, it is critical that I get organized. I want to raise generations of children who not only know how to manage a home, but their resources and their time. I am going to commit to getting organized starting NOW. Purging things that are not blessing our home will help tremendously. I find I am a much more cheerful wife and mom when things are in their place. Blessings to you!

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  51. i love to be organised. elusive state! we are in a state of change, moving from a big city to a tiny village, so i will catch up with you in a month! however i do hope to make this move in an organised way, and only move things we love and use. thanks for the inspiration! amazing how much you can accomplish when you commit to organisation. good luck! x

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  52. Thanks Rhonda -

    I will join you for sure! You are such an amazing and inspiring woman.

    Vonny

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  53. Thanks Rhonda, this is just what I need, after leaving my housekeeping in DH's hands for 10yrs, I now have that much time to catch up on with re-organising my house to my requirements

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