I’ve mentioned in the past just how much I love cleaning. To be terribly blunt, I don’t. I work hard at keeping our house in a reasonably organized state, but I struggle. Of course, the fact that I often get new products to review can make organization even more difficult and I find that I end up going through phases in which I spend days in a row cleaning and organizing the household only to find it descending into disorganization a month later.
I needed a plan. I needed a way to keep my house organized once I’d taken the first steps. But I had no idea how to make that goal a reality. Then Barbara Reich came to my rescue with her new book Secrets of an Organized Mom. Barbara shared her knowledge recently with a great guest post about spring-cleaning here on Mommy Kat and Kids and I couldn’t wait to see what kind of information her book might have for me.
The first thing that appealed to me about Secrets of an Organized Mom was the simplicity of Barbara’s organizing method. The road to organization, says Barbara, can be summed up in four words: purge, design, organize and maintain. Immediately I could see that a big part of the reason I was struggling with the fourth step, maintaining order, was because I had often ignored the first step and always ignored the second. Organization simply doesn’t last if a room has too much filling it and the design isn’t functional for a family!
After a brief introduction on the basics of organizing, the book breaks down every room in the house using the four-step method of organization and gives tips and tricks for everything from dealing with the overflow of children’s toys to purging that disorderly closet. And Barbara delivers her advice with plenty of great analogies, funny anecdotes about clients and easy-to-implement ideas that will have even the most disorganized mom feeling ready to pull her household together.
One of my favourite tips, and one that applies to every area of the house, was that objects should be stored in the room in which they are used. Keeping a little girl’s hair bows in the bathroom is a waste of space, says Barbara, if her mother invariably braids her daughter’s hair in the kitchen before serving breakfast. This idea made so much sense to me! I think we tend to trap ourselves into thinking that hair brushes have to go in the bathroom, homework supplies belong in a child’s bedroom and DVDs belong in the living room. But if I brush my hair in the bedroom, Zackary does his homework at the kitchen table and the kids watch DVDs in the basement game room, why on earth would I make more work for myself by storing those objects elsewhere?
I’ve been tackling my house room-by-room over the last few weeks using ideas and advice from Secrets from an Organized Mom and I can’t wait to see if maintaining the order is easier with proper planning beforehand! If organization is something that you struggle with in your house, check out www.SecretsofanOrganizedMom.com for tips or grab Barbara’s new book and get purging, designing, organizing and, most important of all, maintaining!