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I tell my kids on a regular basis that people are more important than things. I tell them this, because I believe it is true. Like most true...

Three Dave's No Waiting

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Place for Everything; Everything on Floor.

WFMW is having a special themed edition on organizational tips today. Organization is not one of my strong suits as my title suggests. My late brother made that wry observation once, noting that while I often had an elaborate organizational system nothing ever seemed to get where it was supposed to be.

So why am I just not laying low until next week? A good question. I think what I want to share today is what I would title as a "Works For Me" in progress, something that I chronically struggle with but hope to subdue someday.

Here are some ways I am trying to get Organization to work for me:

  • Looking through the mail.

Before: Stopping everything I was doing to get the mail when it came in and invariably leaving junk mail and catalogues I "was going to get to" all over the house.

Now: Try to wait until I am able to deal with the mail to take it out of the box. Go through mail near garbage can so I can throw away all junk immediately.

Working On: To be able to deal with all mail in one setting putting bills and correspondence where they belong and disposing of rest.

  • Keeping house in order.

Before: Leaving job after job 1/2 done with idea of getting to later. Dealing with cleaning and organization on as needed or crisis to crisis basis.

Current: Attempting to order as I go. Finding that I often still am under the command of the tyranny of the urgent. I also have tinkered with "multitasking" which usually ends with a 1/2 cleaned mess in every room and a frazzled and frustrated me.

Working on: To finish one job completely before moving on with another. This isn't to say that I can't have the lunch in the oven while I'm finishing the morning lessons. But the idea of helping one kid cook ramen, one with a computerized math lesson, and one with math at the table simultaneously while emptying the dishwasher is now a complete anathema to me.

  • Involving the children with the household tasks.

Before: Spend most of my day coaxing the children to do minimal amounts of work and generally having to redo their work myself.

Current: Every one has a routine in the morning that is to be completed before school starts. I try to split up tasks like preparing for or cleaning up a meal so each child can participate to their abilities. I still find myself cleaning up after them much more often than I'd like.

Working On: Breaking responsibilities in component parts and assigning them in advance. For example: Emma is in charge of feeding the bunny and replacing his hay each morning. Charlie changes his water bottle. I empty the bunny's tray each day. Emma is teaching Lucy how to brush the bunny's fur and they will rotate that job. Charlie, Emma and I rotate vacuuming the area where the bunny's cage is. I also am working to have them complete a job without my intervention.

So working on getting organized works for me. To see what works for those less organizationally challenged than myself step on over to WE ARE THAT FAMILY. To see all my other WFMW posts click Here.

Next Time: Hoppy Birthday


  1. Dave,

    Great stuff. I love the header picture...I am a home school dad. Would love to connect with you sometime. God Bless. Matt Sullivan

  2. Getting the children involved with household tasks is still my biggest challenge, but the 12 year old is pitching in. By the time he turns 18 and leaves the house he might become useful. :)

  3. I do an awful lot of coaxing around here too, come to think of it :D

  4. I try to go through my mail when I'm on the elevator in my building so I can drop things into the recycle box right after I walk in the door. I'm still working on the second part of reading and filing things in proper places. I'm still learning about what is important to keep here.

    I don't think multi-tasking works for everyone... I know it doesn't work for me!

  5. I started sorting the mail next to the trash and it has really improved the clutter situation at my house.


    Stop by and see me over at Free2BeFrugal!


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