ack! new stuff keeps coming in

talley_sue_nycMarch 1, 2005

Just when I think I'm getting a handle on things, even if it's only a plan:

DD takes up the flute (flute, book, need to have them accessible for practicing and taking to school on music day)

DD starts doing big display projects (several project-display boards, etc)

DD starts doing big research projects (which means lots of papers she needs to be able to find again)

DS has a birthday (only just recovered from Christmas; now we have more Transformers than will fit, plus he got K'nex)

DH gets a new assignment, which means many new books to have out for reference

Mostly it's the kids, whose lives keep changing, and where the heck do I PUT this stuff?

I can try to toss old stuff, but boy does THAT take time! Plus they are NOT going to cooperate, so I can only do it when they're not around, which is never.

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Do the kids have rooms?

If you can rule that they work on these things only in their rooms, you can limit the mess and provide one place where everything will be.

Just a thought....

    Bookmark   March 2, 2005 at 10:18AM
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well, then they'l have to have that stuff in their room (one room, roughly 9x12, for the two of them)! Which is also just barely under control.

And they can't work on them in there--no work space, no computer (for writing and for Internet research), etc. And then of course they want to KEEP them. Argh!

Another thing that came in and just flummoxed me was the school fundraiser brochure. It make me think enviously of Cupofkindness and her stackers on the kitchen counters.

I don't have anywhere right now that I could *put* stackers, but I figured she'd just tuck that brochure right into those stackers, and off she'd go!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2005 at 10:26AM
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My mom has this basement to die for. About 900 sq feet of completely open, windowed space! Bright, cheery, carpeted, complete w/bathroom and little nook area for whatever!

Where's one of those when you need one? Pfttt!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2005 at 9:40AM
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well, I'd still find mysel fhaving to change everything. It's not so much that there's not enough space, as that life isn't static--and so the *stuff* isn't static.

I get a spot for every toy, every hobby, every chore--and bingo, something changes

And it's not just the kids (though they make it MUCH worse, because of course their lives and interests are changing much more rapidly than mine) I get my bedroom arranged the way I like it, and bingo, I need the air cleaning machine--gotta fit it in.

Or, I agree to do Sunday School, and then I gotta find a place to KEEP that stuff, where I can find it, and it's out of the way....

    Bookmark   March 4, 2005 at 9:56AM
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So I guess the moral of this story is, try to build some "flexibility" into our organizational systems, so they move and change with our lives? I have no idea how to do this, but it is something I want to explore...

For me, I've recently decided I want to start selling Avon (this isn't an "ad" or anything, I'm not even selling yet, just by way of disclaimer). The only thing I can't figure out is where I'm going to put stuff, because at the moment, my office is organized around my other hobbies and correspondence, and there's not a lot of room to move things around (well, there's probably plenty of *room*, it just doesn't *look* like there is right now). So I'm going to have to go through everything *again*, declutter, and reorganize in order to fit all the "stuff" that goes with this new venture in my life without letting things get too unorganized.

The problem is, there was really no way to predict I'd make this decision...just like you really have no way of knowing that your kids are suddenly going to take up instruments, or whatever. So I'm not really sure how (or if) it's possible to be organized enough to allow for things like that - could be that we just have to be willing to keep reinventing our systems as life changes around us...

Then again, I keep thinking that if I were truely organized *to begin with*, then finding a way to fit new things in wouldn't be such a puzzle...

    Bookmark   March 4, 2005 at 10:44AM
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What about the music stand? I know you're just dying to fall over that cheesey metal music stand (in the middle of the night) that's issued to each lucky band student! Actually, the flute is so beautiful. It's really a treat to listen to them practice. My oldest daughter played it for several years, and now my second daughter will begin this summer.

My kitchen stackers look like a skyscraper, but I have to say that when it was time to find my Girl Scout cookie money return envelopes, I located them in each girl's stacker (I have four Girl Scouts). What a relief. One more fundraiser that I didn' screw up or turn the money in beyond the deadline.

I found a great way to do a family calendar. Actually, my friend Kathy showed me this: use a dry erase board for weekly activities. So I found a nicely framed monthly dry erase calendar at Bed Bath and Beyond ($20 less $5 coupon, so it was $15) that has five weeks. So rather than Monday being a square, it's five squares (all down the calendar). Everyone who can read knows what's happening the whole week, and I have something that communicates what's going instead of my personal monthly calendar. The bottom row (that is the fifth week) is where we put important things for next week so we have a reminder the entire week what's coming up. Talley, this sort of thing would be great for your family b/c each of you could still have a square for each day, plus you could have a "Looking Ahead" row at the bottom. I plan to use my new P-Touch to make labels for the bottom row to help everyone remember to put in future events. This system has been an answered prayer for me.

This calendar was one new thing that actually worked!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2005 at 3:05PM
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I wanted to add that I've found that sturdy totes really help keep stuff organized, like the LL Bean canvas totes (my Cub Scout stuff) or the plastic totes (nearly indestructable) made by Koziol that come in about 10 colors. I have an orange one for remodeling, a blue one for store returns, and each of my girls has one for plays, dance, etc. in their own color. Piano lessons stuff (including a metronome) is in a Koziol green tote. Very easy to identify, grab and go.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2005 at 3:10PM
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could be that we just have to be willing to keep reinventing our systems as life changes around us...

I think this is it--and if nothing new came in, life would be pretty boring. (my life is pretty boring, and nothing new has started in it)

if I were truely organized *to begin with*, then finding a way to fit new things in wouldn't be such a puzzle.

I think that too sometimes, but then I wonder if that's not just a way to blame myself for everything, in typical "it must be my fault" fashion. In reality, I think, the MORE organized you are, the harder it is to adjust the system, and the storage spaces.

Probably there's a way to choose storage solutions that are adaptable.

And probably there's an attitude you can have that would make the problem-solving be fun, instead of a betrayal of all you've invested, mentally & financially, in your existing system. Lately, I've just lost that attitude. It'll come back, though--it always does.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2005 at 3:20PM
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I know what you mean. Just when you think you have things figured out, something changes. We don't have kids, so my changes mainly revolve around DH. It seems I have very few changes with regards to things like this. I had the bedroom pretty well organized, then DH got a CPAP machine & a humidifier. He became a pilot & has to have a flight bag with his stuff in it. Then he joined a local flying club. That didn't really cause any changes - until he became secretary. Now he has all this club paperwork & needs somewhere to put it. We've found a place, but of course it involved changing around some things.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2005 at 6:32PM
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I was reading this thread as I'm starting to work at home (permanently I hope) and DH works at home and stuff is just unwieldy and piling up in our apartment. But it's nothing compared to having kids and their stuff too.

cup -- you always inspire me! You are just a championship coper.

I just bought a small file cabinet and I'm trying to clean out all the papers and clips I don't need. I've been storing stuff in cardboard file boxes with lids (helpful as the lids help me feel "neater"). But I'm thinking of slightly better looking boxes so I have less of a pack rat environment to work in.

Anyone else have good and relatively inexpensive box storage ideas? I go to the Crate and Barrel website and their storage baskets are something like $60 each and I cannot see that kind of $$ but also don't want the clear plastic from Target.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2005 at 11:32AM
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Thanks for the compliment, but for me it really is one step forward and at least one step back. I'm completely overwhelmed with life right now. Like you see on so many threads on this forum, just when you think you have a handle on something, something else hits you and a few plates stop spinning and fall.

I think "Born Organized" people are somehow wired differently. Lucky them!


    Bookmark   March 7, 2005 at 3:16PM
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Cindy, I think it's the same for all of us, or so it seems. And I can really related to "overwhelmed with life right now"! So if everyone is healthy, maybe a bit of a mess isn't the worst thing after all.

And I did make a little progress in organizing and getting some basics done today.

But I've been so grumpy I had to call and apologize to a friend for sending a grumpy email. I said, "just call me Ms. Grumpy Email." He was so funny. He said, look down, we're both wearing the same sweatshirt.

Maybe it's just the time of the year or the planets or something. My DH complains that life moves too fast today and that we aren't emotionally equipped to handle it.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2005 at 9:46PM
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I think you're husband's way of looking at things is correct. We were designed for a simpler life. Mabe in 100 years people will have figured that one out and made society an easier place to happy and kind. Oh well.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2005 at 7:40AM
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Cindy -- Or the computer geniuses will have invented robots who can really do the chores while we just have fun! Kind of like those voice-recognition robots that answer the phones for companies these days. Maybe someone will come up with a task-recognition robot! Lol! You and I are bound to be the first 2 people in line at the store, coupons in hand. I'll be complaining and you'd be keeping an eye on the kids in the car.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2005 at 9:23AM
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I think that changing routines and interests is a part of life. I think, for our family, anyways, I have to go through things now and then and re-prioritize pretty routinely. Things that I wouldn't have considered getting rid of at one time are no longer used and can be cleared out to make room for new interests. Sometimes what I find we don't use surprises me, and it might be ME that is holding on to kids things, when they are perfectly willing to let go. I have become MUCH better at following their lead! The summer that I let DDs paint their rooms, we totally cleared out the rooms (including DD2 who up until then could not get rid of ANYTHING). After we painted and put the furniture back, she didn't want any of the other stuff, and we got rid of most of it. She was 11 at the time, just going into middle school, and has kept her room pretty neat since then. Both DDs periodically dump a box of stuff in my room to get rid of (I don't tell them to, they just do it). And I do get rid of it. I never thought they'd act this way when they were younger!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2005 at 12:15PM
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