Thursday, October 22, 2009

Must organize! Need help!

Am I the only one that gets overwhelmed by my to-do list and wants to just chuck it? I’ve needed to go through Baby Lu’s closet for some time now, but have been putting it off. I should have done it when she went from 0-6 to 6-12 m size. But I didn’t. I should have done it when she outgrew 6-12, but I didn’t. Now it’s an unbelievable mess with clothes in piles and stacks ranging from 0-3 to 12-18 m. (Also, she’s my third daughter and each time the clothes seem to increase exponentially.) Why do I do this to myself? I thought maybe if I put it out there in the blog world I might actually work on it. Will you hold me accountable?

Then there are our books. We were already book lovers and collectors of books before we started using Sonlight curriculum, now it’s getting ridiculous. We’ve also been fortunate enough to inherit books. We have the complete Nancy Drew series, countless other assorted mysteries such as the Peggy Lane and Connie Blair series, and a complete Encyclopedia Brittanica set. And these are just the books given us by my aunt. Then there are the 100 greatest books my parents started giving me while I was still single. They truly are the gift that keeps on giving! (One per month for over 8 years!) Then there are the books from my studies. All my College and Graduate science texts, a whole bookshelf full, that I just can’t bring myself to get rid of, especially since we homeschool. And on our trip to Indiana I discovered my sister-in-law also used Sonlight the last three years and she let me bring home the books we’ll be using next year. My husband and I love books. I haven’t even gone into all the biographies, history and political books, and works of fiction. Thank goodness my husband has a library at the church for his commentaries, church history, and theology books. I actually went through our books last year and got rid of 5 boxes of them. I sold them back to a local bookstore that gives store credit in exchange for used books. Can you guess what I used the credit for? You got it, I bought more books. Needless to say, I must get around to reorganizing our books!

Then there are our drawers. I want to get rid of all the drawers in our house. Is that even possible? It’s not that I never organize our drawers, it’s that they never stay organized. Most people that come to our house probably think I’m a pretty decent housekeeper. I like things to be neat and organized. If only they could see our drawers, though! And the drawers in my girls’ room are the worst! They have 5 top drawers, 3 of which serve as catch-alls. They have 6 other drawers (for clothes) and one cabinet, as well as a closet. Is this overkill?

I need some motivation and organizational tips. Please help and encourage me! If nothing else, hold me accountable. They say the first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem. I admit that I have a problem and that I’ve been in denial about it. Please, help!


  1. I've been there!!! I inherited clothes from a shop-aholic, and I had tub after tub after tub of clothes.

    Here's what I did: I decided to only keep 12 outfits for each size and season. I actually got a legal pad and made a little chart, and when I decided to keep an outfit, I would make a hash mark. When I got to twelve (It was so hard to choose!) I would make myself give everything else away. I set out 3-4 empty tubs to gather the keepers, and trash bags to fill the give-aways. I pre-labeled them "0-6 mos. summer, 0-6 mos. winter, 6-18 mos summer, 6-18 mos. winter, etc. Later I could consolidate if need be.

    I think I got it down to 4 tubs of girl clothes!! Yay!!! I felt such relief!...and think of all the other little well dressed girls out there enjoying my extras as I keep having little boys!

  2. ok. when i'm done today with switching out the clothes from summer to winter, i'll take pics of the closets and blog about show you how i do it. i have five organized clothes is TOTALLY my thing! :) consider it my early gift to ya. ;)


  3. Thank you to my anonymous commenter. Twelve seems like such a reasonable limit. Just now I put a pair of mittens on my baby that still had the tags on them. I've kept them around for 8 years and they were just worn for the 1st time! Guess what? We only came back from our little walk with one of them!! I can't believe I held onto a pair mittens 8 years for them to be worn once! The craziness must stop!

    Gen- I can't wait to read your post and learn from you! It will be fun to work on this project together!

  4. Thanks so much for stopping by the Cafe and leaving your story... I can relate :)

  5. This is a challenge for me too, especially as my husband doesn't want me to throw anything out or give away stuff that might be useful later on. Storage is a nightmare! And now my 4 and 5 year old are the SAME size, so the 3 year old gets a double lot of hand-me-downs which is just way too much for one little girl to wear. Sorry this comment is not helpful, just wanted you to know you're not alone!

  6. Can your children help you sort and organize? Surely there are lots of lessons to be learned in the process, right?

  7. I cannot say anything...Until 3 days ago my daughter's chifferobe door had been open for ummmmmm, at least several weeks with her colder weather clothes just flung over the top of it, patiently waiting for me to go through the contents getting rid of those that were too small and those that were too sleeveless. If my mother wasn't coming to stay with us for this next week, they would still be there. Those, along with many other items that have in the last two days been cleaned or thrown out! =)

  8. I love organizing! I just have a hard time keeping it that way once it is done! I will tell you what I do.
    I have all the clothes sorted in totes. I don't sort by sizes, because they never seem to be the same. So, I have a tote that is "Too big for Padme summer", one that is "too big for Padme winter". I only keep clothes in very good shape, or for sentimental reasons. I like Annonymous' idea of only 12 outfits. My totes are all labeled, so if I need something, I know which tote to look in. I don't keep clothes from my 10 year old boy for my 1 year old boy. I pass the clothes on and trust that God will provide for the baby. He always does!

    On books- I am a book junkie! My husband isn't, so that probably helps cut down on the amount of books we have! All my school curriculum is in totes by subjects. So, I have one tote that is all language arts, spelling, and Spanish stuff. With Sonlight, I put all the curriculum in a tote so that those books are not out on the shelf getting lost. So, I have a tote for each of Cores 1-9. The books we are currently using in our school cupboard, and once we are done with them, they go back in the correct tote.
    All of the rest of our books are out in bookshelves in our family room. They are organized by subject, and reading level for the kids. Now keeping them that way is a part time job!
    Sorry this is so long, and I hope it makes sense!

  9. Thank you for the helpful suggestions!

    Jan- Yes, my girls will help me. It's just finding a block of time between school and activities!

    Amy- I think storing the Sonlight core in totes after we've used them is a good idea. Right now I have next year's on a shelf the kids can't reach. That may work, I'll have to see. I also don't save my 10 yr old son's clothes for my 3 year old. It's just too many years!

  10. Oh honey, I HEAR you! We have 3 kids in 600 sq. ft, and our bedroom looked almost like this photo! I just DID it over a couple of days when I was feeling down. Took off homeschooling and went and went and went. I had like 3 - 4 rubbermaids of clothes to sort through! And piles! What a relief it is to have it done though, I even did a couple of bins of office papers! Hey, if I can do it...anyone can! Go girl, go! :) I am cheering for you!



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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.