Last Updated on May 29, 2024

Oh that it wasn’t time to get organized again, although I’ve been “getting” organizing for the last 3 years.  Yes, years. 

I wish that was an exaggeration.  I think being a single parent adds an element of chaos that is unavoidable.  There are simply too many things to accomplish in a regular day without additional projects to trip up the careful balancing act we walk.

And yet, I am undaunted in my hopes to get organized.

Tonight I had to head to a coffee shop to write.  I’m ashamed to say that it’s because my house is a wreck…a pile up, a disaster zone, a pit.  I have organizational issues.  I’ve started a project in every single room of my house.  No area is left untouched by my whirlwind.  I have piles, boxes, baskets and bags EVERYWHERE.

Unfortunately my endeavor to make my home into a haven has turned into quite another thing altogether.  I’m stressed out; my kids are stressed out; and everyone is snipping and snapping at one another.

It has been said that it’s darkest before the dawn. Golly, it’s pretty dark right now.

So, here I sit with my small, decaf coffee and my laptop, hoping I will be able to write something encouraging.  Here are my do-as-I-suggest-not-as-I-do thoughts.

1. Stick to one room at a time

I always end up finding something where I’m currently working that needs to go somewhere else and then I, all of sudden, find myself working in another room leaving the 1st undone.

2. Get a friend or ten to help (I think I might need the National Guard.)

Our children can certainly help as well!

3. Prepare for a bit of chaos…plan ahead.

For example, have some ideas of what you can throw together for easy dinners.

  • Keep one area untouched by the organizational bug so that you don’t have to sneak away to get your thoughts in order.  Your kids will need that space too!
  • Set aside time to enjoy your kids daily even if it makes your projects take FOREVER.
  • Pick an organizational style.  There are tons.  Here’s what has worked for me:

I use boxes or large paper yard bags that stand upright.  I label them “trash,” “recycling,” “charity,” and, lastly, “take to another room.”  I set up an area for all the “take to another room” boxes/bags, and when I get a chance, I sort those by room.  It’s also another opportunity to purge.

4. Don’t pull all-nighters

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought, “I’ll just not sleep for the next week.  It’ll totally work. ” It sounds nuts, but at least once every couple of months that thought pops into my head.  And I actually consider it.  Crazy — but, that’s me!

I have five more minutes before I must head back to the chaos.  I feel energized just having thought about ways to make this process better.

I hope that they will bless you as well.  Here’s to organized, stress-free houses…at least for a day!

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  1. Thanks for sharing this. I too am buried and not sure even where to begin. I have visions of that show "Hoarders" in my head. Going to start in one room, dig in and get 'er done!

  2. Sharon Donehey says:

    Helpful AND hilarious! Love it!!

  3. muriel May says:

    Muriel May – How about throwing 10 paper items out in 27 minutes, and then stop for the day.

  4. You are not alone. When I pick a room I try to start in one spot and move around the room in a circle. That way when I don't finish at least I can see where I've been 🙂

    1. That is awesome! I'm always going in circles anyway!!!

  5. I like those big plastic bins, so I can load them up with the stuff that I can’t decide what to do with, put the lids on, shove them in the attic or a closet, and wait a decade! It’s kinda like Kim-che (we just said goodbye to our year-long Korean exchange student). At the end of the decade, I will either open a box to find ancient treasure or fermented stuff (I never did acquire a taste for Kim-che) I AM TOTALLY KIDDING ABOUT THAT BEING A GOOD IDEA …. I’m just trying to cover my tracks with some humor. I did this very thing last week. … Love u friend!!!!!!!