I haven’t yet figured out if I’m an organized person or a disorganized wreck.
When I was 2 years old I wouldn’t go to sleep unless all of my shoes were lined up perfectly on the floor.
When I was a preteen, teen, and early twenty-something, my room was usually a disaster area, in great need of police tape, a can of Febreeze, and probably several garbage bags – one for stuff I didn’t need, one for garbage, one for ‘coons rooting around in the wreckage… I could not remember things – like where my belongings were, what I was supposed to be doing, etc. etc. etc.
When I got married mid-twenties, I decided to try to keep our home uncluttered. Try. Attempt. Fail. Retry. Fail. Sigh.
And the romantic idea of an artistic type who’s just scatterbrained due to unbridled genius in other areas – well, that doesn’t hold any water when you’re not a genius.
And now I have two children added to the mix, with toys, middle-of-the-night crying sessions (usually my kids are doing the crying, not me – usually), and severe Mommy brain.
So I do what I can. I know most Moms can relate. Life doesn’t get any less complicated over time. But maybe my house can.
One way I’m tackling this is with my trusty chalkboard. It’s nailed up in the kitchen, and gets filled with things to do, erased, and refilled. If I didn’t have that visual space in which to plan my days, nothing would get done around here. I’m pretty sure I’d just wander from room to room, forgetting what I went in there for and feeling frustrated that there was too much to do.
As things get done, they get checked off or erased. How satisfying it is to make a big slash mark through something I did to help our family.
The bottom left of the chalkboard is where I plan out meals. Why in numbers? Because I know that “1” means pasta, “13” is tacos, “LO’s” are left-overs, etc. So far this system is working. It helps me to keep track in minimal space of what I plan to make for dinners each week, what I have to buy for groceries, and what I have to do that day (and all week – there’s usually a lot written on the board).
Still, some days are a chaotic mess. Some days nothing gets done at all and I’m tempted to throw up my hands and yell “I’M A FAILURE!”
But yelling only clutters our home further with tension and frustration.
Better to do a few things consistently, day by day, like sweeping the floor and doing the dishes, than try taking on the world and insist that my home always look like Martha Stewart’s. Or Cindy Crawford’s. Or anyone’s but mine. Particularly anyone’s who has a personal assistant, maid, or the like.
Next Monday I’ll show you another way I stay organized. Nothing works perfectly, but some things help. Thank you, trusty chalkboard.
Now where’s the chalk?