Re: How neat are you?
Kay made the comment ,"I tried for years to figure out why I could get it together away from home, but not at home. " I have a similar situation on the farm. The farm shop is kind of a community place. There are only 2 of us now, but at one time there were 4-5 people going in and out of it.. In the shop tools go back in the correct place, the floor need swept, etc. However, in Mikey's chicken house (my shop at home) there is barely a path and things appear disorganized. BUT I am basically the only one who uses it. Nothing larger than my Kawsaki Mule will fit in it. When I set something down in the middle of a project I usually know where it is if I need it. It's just me.
I mentioned my service truck. There were usually 2 people working out of it. Things HAD to be put in their place or you wasted too much time searching for tools and parts when you were on the customer's clock. Or when I had one on the farm you spent too much time when equipment was down.
Neat is nice. Too much neat is compulsive behavior.
Re: How neat are you?
I think that's true that we're better at taking care of other people (and their clutter) than ourselves. It's our curse as women.
I long to have a neat, organized house, but so far I haven't been able to figure out how to do that. I have been on a laundry-washing marathon for a few weeks, though, so that's helping. My main problems are:
- My mother never made me clean. I am making this mistake with my own kids. I need to fix that. They enjoy dusting and spray-cleaning the windows. I need to let them do that. They do pick up when I tell them, but need specific instructions.
- My husband is messy, and he doesn't really care if the house is messy. That doesn't help.
- My kids have too much stuff. Will and I got 3 bags of clothes out of his stuff Tuesday for Goodwill. They have way too many toys, as I've talked about before. We have to pare down. Part of the issue too is that some of their toys go where they can't reach them, which means they don't get put away unless I do it, so I can't really blame them. I need to reorganize the playroom so they can put things away themselves and face the consequences if they don't.
- Paperwork! They each bring home a stack of papers from school each day, plus I have paperwork for my business and for the farm, and it's just out of control. I need a system to get organized.
Ugh. It seems hopeless some days. I hate it when we have a neighbor pop in or something and the place is a disaster. I have to get it together! What I really need is a week with my husband here (and willing to help) and the kids at school, and a professional or a partial third-party to help keep us on track! If only the crew from Clean House would come, LOL!
Re: How neat are you?
Lisa, I feel your pain. One thing I used to do was put the kids' toys on shelves, instead of into a toybox...a carryover from my teacher training. You can use a plastic bin for Legos and small stuff that would scatter, but I adore wire shelving that doesn't have to be dusted.
If each kid has one set of shelves, and his or her stuff is limited to that for volume, it gets more manageable for them to clean up behind themselves, We all just have too much stuff. (Search the topic on amazon, to see how prevalent the subject is for writers....)
You can put the rest away temporarily. Rotate things occasionally - maybe offer them to do it once a week, or every other week, and then stuff taken out of storage seems like a new toy. I recall reading a proportion of one-third out to use, 2/3 stored, at any given time. Imagine having over half of their toys out of the way at any given time.
If they want something out of storage, something else has to go in. Storage can be a closet, or covered bins in the garage or a shed. I think it gives them pracrtice not only at cleaning, but at making decisions and weighing options, to do something like this.
Some people take it so far as to confiscate toys not picked up, and relegate them to storage until the next trade-out day. I was never that organized, so it was hard to justify being that though on the kids.
Papers are a bear. I start cutting them down by dealing with the mail, and sorting it over the trash can (we actually have a separate one for paper to burn in the boiler.) That kills at least 90% of the volume in fifteen to thirty seconds a day, an automatic habit now.
If I want something from a catalog, which is getting to be a rarer occasion every day, I order it and toss the paper right away. If I want to keep a confirmation or order number, I write it on the calendar the day I ordered it. Online orders send e-mail confiormations, so I do nto really need to note them. Regular farm supplies are bookmarked in the computers, so we do not need catalogs for them anymore.
I should take a photo of my tiny workbench with Mike's crap on it, so you could let Jayson see he's not the only messy man...but, then, why encourage him? I am working in that room today, but the floor is going to take all day out there.
It's gotten greasy from his woodstove cuisine, and today is the first one I've had all day and the energy at the same time to tackle it in many months. Didn't realize how bad it was, until we rolled up a mat out there a while back. The boys finally installed an exhaust fan out there, so it should not accumulate any more crud.
I bought a jug of degreaser at Sam's last week (ever notice that whatever brand, it's always purple?) Got into Lowe's and found the perfect combo mop - sponge roller, flipping to stiff plastic brush bristle - on Monday. I've been taking a small section at a time: fill bucket of hot water with strong mix of degreaser in it, sponge on, scrub the gunk loose, soak up with sponge.
Can't do but so much at once, since it gets very slippery, and I have to have a safe place to stand. I'm doing each section about three times, then moving on. I wil get the part of the room with the stove in it done this afternoon, and will need more clenaser to finish. Saving some to wipe down the divider wall that secitons off the room, too.
We "did not need" an exhaust fan out there...I was vetoed, but I get to scrub and sweat...the stove's cranked up b/c it's cold and windy here again today. The workbench "doesn't need cleaning off" either, but guess what????
I am glad that we got an extra supercan when we bought the old store, and I am claiming it this week. My mother never made me clean, either...I was too good a tractor driver to spare for housework, and I worked for free. We still need to get a grip on the basics, though, don't we?
You are right that the boys need to learn young. I wish I had done far better with this aspect of parenting. You are so outnumbered by the Y-chromosome types, you need all the help you can get!