the zen of organized

I am not a naturally tidy person.  I'm not naturally messy either.  I fall right smack in the middle.  Often, I suffer from being a "placer"... a term my husband made up to describe my tendency to place something and then leave it there indefinitely.  Oops!

My Aunt Laney lives in a perpetually tidy house.  Her philosophy is to minimize work by putting things away the first time.  So instead of carrying it into the house, placing it on the counter, moving it onto the stairs, finally carrying it upstairs, sitting it on the landing and weeks later, putting it away... she carries it into the house and puts it away.  ROCKET SCIENCE!

The past week has been one of those weeks when I am energized and am getting things done (as you well know from my prolific posts).

One of my goals for this week (my last week before I begin babysitting an extra babe or two each day), is to get the house reorganized.  It seems that organization is a never ending cycle:  Organize guest room... move on to play area... move on to kids room... move on to bedroom... YIKES what happened to the guest room?

So far this week I've purged the upstairs of my house (our bedrooms and playroom/balcony) of all the things that don't belong there.  Goodbye Encyclopedia Britannicas... did I really think I was going to make you into a tall lamp?  Goodbye box of maternity clothes.  Goodbye box of newborn clothes (sob)... you certainly don't belong in my bedroom!  Goodbye typewriter that was left from the previous owners and never moved out of my kids room.  Goodbye cool wooden wine crate box that just collects odds and ends of crap.  And this is only the beginning!  I haven't mentioned the 2 bookshelves I moved out of the girls room... or the gazillions of old magazines and books... or the bassinet... or the box of toys that was packed up to wait until they're interesting/novel again...

This sweet lamp was my inspiration:

One of my mom's friends (the one with the pool and copious amounts of wine) was cleaning out her garage and getting rid of her daughter's (who is 40ish) things.  She asked if I'd like this lamp.  LIKE it... I LOVE IT!  The little zookeeper cart is a nightlight. The front clown is a music box.  Hazel sits at this desk completely enchanted with the music box.  It's magical to her.  Soon... I'm going to raid mom's trusty sewing box in hopes of finding some rick rack to decorate the plain lamp shade I stuck on top.  This lamp has been sitting on my woodstove for about 3 weeks... just waiting to find a home!  GUILTY.

As you can see, there is still a stack of vintage books and a set of children's encyclopedias that I can't bring myself to get rid of.  However, this is what I see when I walk up my stairs.  That poor desk top hasn't seen the light of day since we moved in.  I vow to keep it decluttered!

The play area while always looking a little crazy is also organized enough to make it easy for Hazel to clean-up as she goes.  This is something that is stressed in the Montessori book I just read.  So each day, when something is left out, IT goes into time-out for the rest of the day.  It's unbelievable how quickly this is working!  Granted, I still have some clean-up to do throughout the day and after Hazel's bedtime, but it's getting exponentially better each day!

Here's her playroom/ the balcony.  I had the telephoto lens on and it's a small space... so it's just a small peek.  Like how we've repurposed milk crates?

Lot's of brightly colored plastic toys and noise makers... clearly we're not following Montessori to a T :)

At night I leave the nightlight in the lamp on and it's the perfect amount of light to light the short hallway (to the left of the desk) that leads to our bedrooms and bathroom.  Each time I leave my tidy room to answer the calls of one of my girls, I don't need to turn a bright light on.  I must admit, I pause in each space:  my bedroom, the girls room and the balcony to appreciate the zen of organized.  Even at 3 in the morning, it brings me a sense of calm and satisfaction.

Last on my list is to clear-off the top of my dresser and organize the hallway medicine/bathroom closet.  Funny that those were the top two priorities... I get so much done when I procrastinate!  However, last night Hazel awoke with her first ever tummy ache.  So at 1am, I was neck/elbow/rumpus deep in bathroom products trying to find the natural tummy aide I had bought on sale last year.  That did not give me a sense of zen.  Nope, I was extremely ticked at myself!  My toddler was crying in pain for her mommy and mommy's lazy organization habits made her stay in pain for about 4 extra minutes :(

*Not sure if the natural stuff would really work so I also gave her some infant acetaminophen.  Not sure if that worked either 'cause ten minutes after I went back to bed, she called for Daddy!  She often lets me know that her Daddy can fix things that I struggle with.  "Daddy do" is what I hear anytime I struggle with a household chore.  GEESH!

**As I finished this, Hazel was hitting buttons on her toy laptop.  She accidentally hit the "off" button and noticed that there was no more sound coming from the 'puter.  She looked at me and said "Dada fix".  FINE... this incompetent Mama will let you believe that it's broken just so I don't have to hear the crappy music coming from the 'puter anymore.  HA!


  1. HA! I love that you let her believe it is broken. Caleb often asks me to "fiz it! FIZ IT MOMMA!"

    And occasionally I guiltily proclaim that it is just too broken to fix and I'll have to "look at it later".

    Usually my annoyance isn't noise, it's his hoarding. He is a child that likes to carry 3-8 different items with him everywhere he goes. I like this idea of toy time out... I must implement this in my home immediately.

  2. Would you come and organize my home?


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