…I’m here to help!
I’m the kid who had her Barbie accessories separated into distinct Ziploc baggies…the student who straightened her teachers’ desks…the daughter who loved to help her mom put the groceries away (in nice, neat rows) and help her dad file bills and paperwork (in his many filing cabinets)…and a girl who just really loves organization!
My habits border the OCD line, but they help me stay sane, clean, punctual and efficient.
For my 21st birthday, I asked for a filing cabinet of my own, and now, each drawer has a purposeful use, and its insides are even whittled down to (for example) folders for cards from friends, that I received on my birthday, that had to do with graduation, etc.
My clothes are hung by color and style, and even my junkiest closet has separate boxes for electrical supplies, decorations I’m not using, craft items and so on.
You may think I’m crazy, but I challenge you to add some structure to your life!
Reasons why you should…
- Knock on wood, I don’t know if I’ve ever lost anything.
- My house is inviting, with everything in its place and a place for everything.
- I’m always super early to where I’m going – and a lot of this is due to the fact that I’m not fumbling around in the closet, searching for my keys, etc.
- There are only 24 hours in a day, and if your kid knows where he/she should leave forms for you to sign (Create a homework/parent portal!), if your spouse can easily access his/her golf clubs (Make a sports rack inside the garage door!), if you yourself can easily see what groceries to buy, what library books to return and what events you need to attend this weekend (I love organization stations!) – your life will be a happier and smoother thing!
…and my tips for how to begin…
- Start small: I want you to stop reading, go to your bathroom or kitchen, and choose one drawer or cabinet. First, throw away everything that is expired or unused. While all these items are out, go ahead and clean the space, too (toothpaste gunk and spilled spices shouldn’t be forming a gross layer here). Next, set it all back in nice and neat (maybe you even want to alphabetize or stack from tallest to shortest). Not too hard, right?! Once you’ve got an area under control, you can move on to pesky closets and overwhelming garages.
- Elastic, cardboard boxes, egg cartons…: All these household items are your friends! Yes, The Container Store is amazing – but during your cleaning process, you will find up-cycled containers; you can store earrings in that egg carton, wrap elastic around spare cords and use a pretty box you haven’t been utilizing to hold spices or hair products.
- Expect to expand: Suddenly, you can find things! You’ve even discovered things you forgot you owned! You start arriving to work early, since you easily found your other shoe! Organization has the tendency to pour over into all areas of life, so I expect you to share photos of your clean cars and tidy cubicles! (I’m just finishing up my first semester of teaching, so continue reading to see how organization has helped me survive here:)
From using labeled clothespins to hold graded papers together to labeling file folders for forms, substitute info and future quizzes, I stay orderly in the classroom, avoiding piles of paper and the stress of unsuccessfully keeping track of things.
My room has a clean and structured feel, but it’s still pretty and inviting – which I feel promotes learning.
Furthermore, thanks to our digital age and Woodson I.S.D.’s technology grant, I am able to quickly locate essays through Google Drive, send out reminders via email and show reviews on my projection board; all my computer’s files are sorted by tests, slideshows and so on, and I even keep written documentation of why we’ve covered what we’ve covered and how I modified lessons for, say, kids who were absent or GT students.