Laundry: when something is just too hard…

It’s no secret, I really struggle to put our laundry away. It is not (or wasn’t) uncommon to find [in our master bedroom] several laundry baskets of folded clothes that never made it “home.” It just seemed so hard… so I avoided it… like the plague. So there the clothes sat, on the floor, mocking me day after day. Most mornings involved digging through said baskets for clean clothes, and most evenings involved digging for pajamas. Not fun… especially for yours truly whose Type A self loathes (seriously loathes) “digging” for anything. This particular “putting away laundry” problem was really wearing on me to the point that I “analyzed” the problem. In my former life as an EBD teacher, much of my job was to analyze and modify behavior. To do this, I had to dissect the problem as a whole: determine the antecedent (what happens first), the behavior (what the problematic behavior is), determine the consequence (what happens because of A and B), and finally come up with a plan for change. This is what I discovered about my laundry problem…

Antecedent

Laundry gets washed, dried and folded, but it is difficult to put away.

Behavior

Because it is difficult to put away… I don’t put it away (pretty straight forward)

Consequence

The folded laundry sits on the floor… inducing anxiety

When I took a moment to really look at the problem, I discovered that the solution was quite simple. I needed to make it easier to put the laundry away. Enter my new Elfa closet organizer. This thing has truly revolutionized our laundry situation. It was as “investment,” but because I don’t dread putting laundry away now, I actually do it!

Before, there was no rhyme or reason to our clothing storage. It “lived” where it fit, which meant it was in the dresser, chest, nightstands AND closet. Ugh.

IMG_6679 IMG_6680

Now, (after a good purge) all of our clothing (mine and my husband’s) is in this closet and we have room to spare. Putting our laundry away is so easy now.

IMG_6697IMG_6693IMG_6690

Seriously, if you hate putting laundry away as much as I DID (yay for past tense), maybe your clothing storage just needs some tweaking :).

Confession: I have been leaving the doors to the closet open so that I can admire this beauty while I drift off to sleep at night…

Advertisements

Maintaining Organization

Judging by the hoards of people at Menards and Target stocking up on rubber totes and organizers this past weekend, I am quite certain many people have resolved to “get organized” in 2015. For many years, that was me too. I have always loved organizing, but my systems often failed me so “staying organized” was (year after year) always near the top of my list of resolutions. I can honestly say, I have not made that resolution for two years! Sure there are things I would like to improve and some systems always need modifying, but I have found a few key things that have allowed me to maintain order and organization within our home…

1. Decluttering is of utmost importance. Clutter attracts clutter so it is important to keep surfaces clear (save for the items that are really necessary or truly loved). My house may look a little sparse to some, but less clutter leads to less mess and less cleaning, and more time for me to relax.

2. Purge. If you are feeling overwhelmed by stuff you more than likely just have too much of it. Before you start organizing all that stuff, go through it. Donate or sell what you no longer need or truly love. Just pick one room at a time to go through, and grab a box. You will be amazed by all the stuff you own but have ZERO need or desire for, and the burden that will be lifted by removing that stuff will feel amazing!

3. Designate/Define spaces. Paper clutter drives me crazy so I needed to designate a space for bills and paperwork. For me, it was key that my paperwork be easy to put away and ignore. My paperwork is kept in a laptop computer hutch in the family room on the main level (easy to put away), and I can close it so that my paper piles aren’t visible (easy to ignore when they don’t need my attention). The filing drawer at the bottom is where I keep the files I am most likely to need.

4.  If a space is bothering you, determine what the real problem is. In most cases, the solution is highly dependent upon the problem and the person. Look at the mess and make a mental note of what it is comprised of, who the culprit(s) is/are, and determine why/how the mess occurred. Our master bathroom was really bugging me, but when I took a minute to critically and thoughtfully determine why it was bothering me, I discovered that it wasn’t my organization. In reality, It was a small (2 year old) problem with an easy fix. My daughter kept pulling everything out from under the cupboards while I got ready in the morning so child safety locks were a logical and easy solution.   *****I feel like I need to mention that we do not keep any chemicals or medicines in the cupboards which is why we hadn’t already installed the child safety locks)****** 

All in all, I would say getting and staying organized is a lot less about the systems you have in place than it is about your approach. My tip for getting and staying organized is simple: approach your space with a critical, thoughtful eye and never forget that LESS IS ALWAYS MORE.