Thursday, October 4, 2012

Getting Organized - Again!

I'm reading The House That Cleans Itself by Mindy Starns Clark as recommended by Carol who blogs at Plant City Lady.

Photo courtesy of Amazon.

I have to say, I really identify with Clark. She's not a natural neat-nick. Neither am I. She's trained herself to be clean and organized over the years. I've come a long way since my early days of trying to keep a home. She's written a practical guide to help us be organized. I haven't done this, but you know, I want to. Maybe someday when I'm truly as organized as Clark is now.

I'm so glad she's a person who's lacking the organizing gene. I have to admit, it's hard to take advice about organizing from people who've never had an unorganized day in their life. But, Clark has. Her advice is an easy pill to swallow because she's been there. She understands.

Her tips on how to battle back from a mess and turn your home into one that's easy to maintain and practically cleans itself are, well, practical.

So, do I leave a bucket of cleaning products out and the house will do the rest? Photo courtesy of Morguefile.

Per her advice, I'm working my way through the house, room by room. I cleaned and organized the bathroom over the weekend. That was pretty easy because this has long been the room I keep under control. It was due for deep cleaning, but it's typically the easiest room in the house to clean because I don't let any clutter build and I give it a good cleaning at least weekly. On Sunday, I went all the way. I cleaned the light fixture, dusted the few knick-knacks and used a toothbrush to clean around the sink. Right now, my bathroom is crisp and clean, just the way I like it!

The boys' rooms are next. I started with my 8-year-old's room, which was the worst of the three by far. Knowing this project was coming up, I was drooling pretty heavily over a 3-drawer plastic organizer at Walmart the other day. I thought it would be perfect for Legos, which are an ongoing organizational issue. But, Clark says to NOT buy any containers until you've gone through and decluttered and organized without them. Then, if you find you need something, get it.

Photo courtesy of Amazon.

I was THIS close to putting the thing in my cart. What stopped me? Ultimately, the price tag. But, Clark's advice was good reinforcement.

Today, I'm so glad I didn't buy it! I didn't need it. My mission was to cut by half the amount of Legos in his room. We've done this before. We store the extra away in the utility room in boxes. They gradually make their way back over the course of several months, until he's overwhelmed again.

This time, I got rid of other things my little pack rat likes to hang on to. I was brutal when it came to cleaning out his nightstand and desk.

I cleaned the way a mom can clean only when her kids aren't watching.

All the drawers got dumped. Old crayons, pencils and other odds and ends have left their comfortable hideouts. These things NEVER see the light of day. He won't miss them. We have a whole craft cupboard full of stuff the boys use on a regular basis. He doesn't need to squirrel more of it away in his room.

This opened up drawers to use for organizing Legos. So, not only did I remove at least half the Legos from his room, I also utilized existing drawers for the things he plays with regularly. No extra plastic organizers needed.
A drawer full of mini-figs and other Lego odds and ends.
Now, his room is clean, shiny and ready for the fresh bedding to come out of the laundry. Won't he be surprised when he gets home from school?

As a bonus, I think my addiction to containers for organizing is finally over. Thanks, Mindy Starns Clark!


  1. Good for you! As you know, I am going through this book also and am so happy you are as well. I hope to have my home done by the middle of November, but will accept however long it takes. HARD NOW for EASY LATER.

    By the way, do your readers know it is your birthday?

    1. Thank you for sharing the book title! I think it's one of the best organizing books I've read because it's so practical!

  2. Happy birthday!! And if you ever have another manic cleaning/organizing episode, can you pls. stop by?

    1. Thanks for the b-day wishes! Unfortunately, I still have LOTS of areas in my home that need manic cleaning/organizing. If I ever get through it all, you're place will be first on the list - lol.

  3. It's an interesting blog.I am extremely inspired with this.

  4. I love the different options that you mention on your blog. They have really helped me learn to clean my own home.

  5. Hi,

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  6. Wow great advice; I'll have to check out that book as well.

  7. im searching online for this book now!!!! i have triplet boys and my house needs a good clean out thanks for sharing it!

  8. Thanks for the inspiration and the great ideas! I so have to try them out! :)