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A place for everything? Not quite

By Staff
Michelle Blaylock, Mom's Corner
I hope everyone has had a great week! It's been crazy here. (Of course, with six kids what else is it going to be?) We made it through Halloween and have enough candy to easily give my kids a sugar high for six months! With the holidays coming up, I started thinking about getting the house ready and that train of thought led me to organization.
Organization. I love it! Just wish I had more of it!
Seriously! We seem to have a problem with this in our family. In our home we have two people who frequently undermine my organization. They are named Somebody and Nobody. You see, Somebody did it, but Nobody takes the blame! I feel very sorry for Nobody, because he's in trouble all the time! However, things are getting better, especially since whenever Nobody leaves things laying around those things tend to end up in "time out" or thrown away!
Children tend to want to collect things and save things. I don't mind, but I did have to establish some guidelines. I gave each child a "special spot" for their keepsakes. This is especially important if you have children sharing a room. For example, in the younger girl's room I gave each of them a drawer in their dresser. No one is allowed to touch anything that is in another person's special drawer. They are also required to keep their special drawers in good order and not overflowing.
This means they must make choices as to what they want to keep and what's the most important to them.
Even though I try to keep things at a minimum, there are eight people who bring stuff into the house. It never ceases to amaze me what accumulates and how quickly it accumulates. For example, we have school papers, books, mail, cool looking rocks, great looking leaves, sea shells, Barbie things, pacifiers, pencils, pens, and so much other "stuff." One thing is sure, we use a lot of trash bags. (No, that's not a joke.) I find that most of the stuff can be trashed. I'm truly beginning to believe that if it doesn't have a "home" throw it away! My children protest this philosophy. (Go figure!)
Unfortunately, there are some things that must be stored and not thrown out. This is when you have to look at storage solutions. There are so many available on the market today. There are some great internet sites that have terrific ideas. Three that I really like are onlineorganizing.com, organize-everything.com and organizedhome.com. I don't usually purchase things from these sites, but I do put their ideas into practice. If they do have a product I like, I try to find it elsewhere first. Most of the time you can find similar products at discount stores or your local hardware store.
If you or your hubby is handy with woodworking, you might be able to build what you need and it make it fit your situation even better.
I also try to look for unusual solutions to storage problems. For example, I had a real problem storing all my sewing supplies. I looked at all the traditional sewing boxes, but none of them worked for me. One day as my hubby was getting ready to go fishing I had a brainstorm – a tackle box! It worked wonderfully! I used one of the very small ones for things like snaps. I bought a larger one for other things.
My hubby loves to say, "The right tool for the right job." That's an engineer for you. I'm the one that uses the butter knife for a screwdriver. Anyway, how does this connect with organization? Well, sometimes there are things out there that you need the right container for. Take my scrap booking things for instance. I tried different ways to keep all the papers, pens, scissors, etc. together. I ended up buying a scrapbook organizer and it has been a lifesaver. It makes it so much easier to use and enjoy the scrap booking materials.
In the end it comes down to what works well for you and your family.
For example, I have an electronic hand held organizer (PDA) that "talks" to my computer. My families' entire schedule is on it. I love it, but not everyone needs it or would like one.
I hope these tips help you. If you have one you would like to share
please send it to me at: Mom's Corner; P.O. Box 1496; Hartselle, AL 35640; or moms-corner@juno.com.

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