Using Julie's Morgenstern's book as a guide, these are the technical errors, lack of skills, that I am dealing with—and my commentary about them.
- Items have no home. The first time I went through Julie's book (several years ago), I assigned homes for lots of things. This has worked really well for me. Most of those items I am able to keep pretty good track of. They rarely get misplaced or lost (unless my DH or one of my kids use them). But I never finished the job. Plus, I have lots of new items that have no home.
Action plan: Go through each room. Decide what it's function is. Create homes for the things that need to be in that room.
- Inconvenient storage. I have a rambler—and navigating the stairs is getting harder for me. Often I'll need to use something upstairs, but it's "home" is downstairs—or vice versa. So while I'll go get what I need,
sometimesfrequently, I don't put it back where it belongs.
Action plan: Since I can't just torch my house and build a new one all on one level, I'll be creating better homes for things—even if that means I have to have two sets of things, one for upstairs and one for downstairs.
- Too much stuff. This is a big house, and we're down to two people living here so I can't say that I don't have enough space. I just have too much stuff. Waaay too much stuff. And now that I'm entering a new phase of life—the empty nest/grandparenting/lots of personal freedom phase—some of the things I've kept because my kids might need them are now completely superfluous.
Action plan: Simplifying; getting rid of the things I won't need or use in this new phase of my life.
- Organizing is boring. Not really. Not for me. I love organizing—or at least, planning to organize. What I don't love is putting the planning into action. It's hard for me to lift and tote and carry things. I don't have a lot of upper body strength (as in none; as in spaghetti muscles) and I don't have a lot of stamina. So while my heart's in the right place, and I'm emotionally committed to doing this, the follow-through is hard.
Also, my DH works three jobs and there's no way I'm going to make him lift and carry after he gets home from a 15-hour work day.
Action plan: Hire neighborhood boys to help me. [Update 7/28/98] Good news! My daughters took me to dinner today and gave me an early birthday present. They're going to be my body slaves and help with some of the stuff that I can't do by myself. The boys are in for it too. I have the best kids!
- Organizing is expensive. (This is not in Julie's book, but it's definitely one of the things that holds me back.) To get truly organized in a way that works for me, I need containers and shelves and other things. I also need to do
a little[uhr, uhm] some[uhm, well] quite a bit of home repair. We've lived here 12 years and things are starting to need replacing.
Action plan: We have a small budget for repairs. Prioritize the repairs. Sell current stuff I don't need/want to earn money for stuff I really do need/want.