Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Organization Class

Last night I went with my sisters to a nice lady named Ann's house for a class she teaches on organizing your home. It was informative and interesting, and I was silently pleased to find that I already do a handful of things that she recommended. I love to organize things, I have an unhealthy "thing" for boxes and containers, such that sometimes I own a stack that I don't know what I want to do with.

I learned a few things, too, such as that Ann has a way with antiques-- her house is very decorated, and much of it is vintage or antique pieces, most of which I coveted from the moment I got there. This photo is the decor atop a smallish hutch in her kitchen. I dream of decorating with antiques, so I would like to take another tour of her home and just take photos of that.

 Here are some pics I took of some organizational things Ann does that I will be incorporating in my home. I am not OCD, nor do I have super-cooperative kids now that I work full-time, but having a place for everything makes it so much easier to ask that everything be put in its place. Rereading this, I realized I captioned all the photos above instead of below. I hope that doesn't confuse you, dear reader.

First, in the kitchen, drawers organized thusly. My drawers are fairly small, and I have already done some of this, but I like her use of matching containers. Mine are a mish-mash of cardboard, canvas and plastic. I will be sorting through the drawers and getting rid of things we haven't used in years.
 Another kitchen drawer, the gadgets. I think my drawers are a lot smaller than hers... mine would never fit horizontally...
 I liked the medicine cabinet with the notes and information taped to the inside of the door. I have a box up high that holds most of ours, but I've also got about half our dish cupboard where I keep the daily and weekly stuff. It would help a lot to have it all in one place. Just a note here, Ann recommends not keeping any prescription drugs in a public area, such as the bathroom or kitchen, because some teens are having drug parties where they just mix together random prescriptions they've stolen and then everyone takes a handful??! Yikes.
 I LOVED this idea. Buy the flat, long totes and store the sheets under the bed. I already do this with smashed, flimsy cardboard boxes. Why didn't I think of this? DUH!
I also do this, again, not as well as she does, though:
 I thought this was great- they roll their pjs together! I wonder if I could get my kids to do this with sweats and tees, too... since the boys don't sleep in pjs anymore...
I would love for my daughter to have a shelf such as this in her room for all her stuffed animals. Anyone who doesn't fit on the shelf gets donated to a child who needs it more than she does. Since she (seriously) owns about 60, that would make me very happy...
 This idea is one I will absolutely be doing. It's a file box, each child has one, and in it are stored their school journals, important papers, etc. It's like a big scrapbook keeper! I need this. Now.
See the hardware store tiny-drawer thingy? She keeps her earrings in it. Brilliant! I don't own enough earrings to justify such a thing, I just think it's a great idea. Also lots of cup hooks on a board to hang necklaces from. I need to do that for my daughter!
 This is a quick pic of the box in which she stores all the bandaids, neosporin, etc. for boo-boos and owies. Again, I don't know why this never occurred to me! I will be doing this one for sure, as well. She mentioned that it's a good idea to tear the top flaps off the cardboard boxes to make the bandaids more accessible. Smart!
 Can't read the labels? The top box holds her "Lost and Found" items. Small things that would go into a junk drawer in most homes. After a year, they get tossed.
 Their basement is unfinished, but they use it anyway. I've tried this, but mine isn't nearly as big, nor as functional as hers. These are all down there:
 Kids toys and books
 Rockband and Wii storage. Can't do this in my family room, but I still like it.
An old file cabinet, puzzles stored sideways.
Food storage, under the stairs
I just like the shelves that are built to hold large totes so much. I want some for all my holiday stuff. Now. I need to convince my hubby that he can do this:
Canning supplies, including stored spices, I think:
Overall, it was a good class. I learned some stuff and we got to admire her lovely home. It was a wee bit too much for me (information overload?) and I felt like we didn't actually need to see every nook and cranny of her house. It kind of became a "see what I've done" instead of "ideas for organizing", but that's easily forgiven, since much of what she does is really fantastic stuff. I just ran out of steam after the first hour, I think, and would have liked to finish sooner. It took about 2 1/2 hours. I've got a lot going on right now, plus I live 45 minutes away from her house, so... less would have been more. But it was worthwhile.

I wish I had time, money and space to do some serious home organizing, but I'm thinking I will figure out better techniques for the space, money and time that I do have.


Anonymous said...

Looky here! My very first comment on your blog. I actually know Ann. We were really good friends just after high school. I follow her blog. So I have actually already seen everything you just posted here. :D

I feel the same way as you; completely overloaded. I think sometimes people who do these types of things forget it is a talent. It comes easily to them, because they have the talent. They think everyone else just needs discipline to learn how to do it. However, for me, a women, with no talent in organzing or decorating, creating a house like this would take way too much time. I would much rather play with my kids. Maybe when they are all grown up and moved on, I will have the time to learn it and practice, but not right now that is for sure. Now, I'm not saying that women who have houses like this don't play with their kids, they probably do. They just have more time to do both, because decorating and organizing comes easily to them. Make sense?

I had someone tell me recently that they kept their house clean, beause it was important to them and they wanted it that way. I can laugh about it now, but my first thought was, "so mine isn't as clean as yours because it isn't important to me and I don't want it". Later I realized that technically it takes more than desire to have a clean house. And yes, there are more important things in my life right now than learning something I do not have a talent in, so esentially, it just isn't important enough and I'm totally ok with it . . . well, most of the time anyway. ;)


Steph said...

Lydia, she mentioned that she knew you and she said you and Dori were there recently! Small world! I totally understand how you feel. I'm trying to find a happy medium, because I get sort of grouchy when I feel like the house is trashed. Somewhere between perfection and what I have now is what I want. :) That's why I'm only taking a small portion of what she showed us and actually trying to apply it in my life.