Getting Organized for the School Year

I’ve been spending a considerable amount of time this week getting organized for the upcoming year, and all I have to show you are photos of our new cat, Coco. She’s little isn’t she? The vet estimates her age at 13-14 weeks. I wouldn’t say she’s cute, as I think she looks like a bat (and I don’t think bats are cute), but she does have big ears and strong legs, she’s fearless and frisky, and I think she’ll make a fantastic mouser.

Like I said, I’ve been getting organized. Now that I’ve got 8+ years of parenting under my belt, a few years of homeschooling complete, and I’ve been living in this house for a year and a half, I decided it was high time I reorganize our stuff. No more looking for the music bag or the art smock and notebook as we’re running out of the house: the bags will be hung on designated hooks by the door. No more wondering where to put this or that; where to find this or that… things now have a home. Every room in our house is being overhauled. It’s a big job but I’ll tell you, it feels good!

I started by thinking about my roadblocks & bottlenecks. The big ones are laundry (it gets washed and dried but after that it piles up. Literally.); holiday decorations (they are always so hard to drag out and so hard to put away); and my desk. I started with those three bottlenecks. As I dealt with them, a number of other smaller organization projects popped up and were handled along the way.

Laundry: I used to take clean, dry laundry out of the dryer and pile it into a laundry basket. Everyone’s laundry was in there, all mixed together. I would bring the laundry basket to my bedroom and expect the laundry fairy to fold and sort, then put it all away. I don’t have to tell you what happened. Piles. Piles all over.

If I can stop the laundry pile from forming in the first place, I’m in good shape. So I purchased four milk crates in different colors and set them in the laundry room. One for each of us. As I take laundry out of the dryer I immediately fold it and put it in the owner’s crate. Each of us is responsible for bringing our crate to our bedroom and putting the folded clothes away. My girls are old enough that they can do this. So far, so good!

Holiday Decorations: I do like to decorate, but the decorations are so hard to pull out and hang up when they are stored deep in a closet on the third floor of the house. I asked myself why I keep decorations in the attic when I don’t use them up there. Why? It’s hard to lug the bins up and down the narrow, steep staircase. No wonder I’m so slow to decorate and put them back where they belong. It’s because they don’t want to belong there.

I want the decorations to be stored on the main floor of the house. They are going in a closet and will be easy to access. To make room for them in the closet, I had to clear out boxes and boxes of old files that we had moved from our former home. After going through all those files I tossed about 90% of what was there and kept only a few important papers. That felt great!

My Desk: My desk is a catch-all for me. Anything that needs to be handled or filed goes in a pile on my desk. After a while, my desk becomes one big pile. To deal with this I set up a few places near my desk where things that have habitually gotten thrown in a pile will now have a permanent home. My camera; artwork; 4H projects; craft supplies; library books. I cleaned out the desk drawers and purged everything that was old or not used anymore. I labeled the closet shelves and assigned places for everything.

In the kitchen I have our family wall calendar and I added a place for active papers, such as current class schedule sheets and paperwork that needs to be dealt with before it can be submitted or filed. Now those papers are off my desk and on the wall for easy viewing!

To help me get organized I have been re-purposing a few things and I will show you when they are up and ready! I am so happy that I’m streamlining things around the house. It’s about time!

One more of Coco:




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