Monday, March 17, 2014

Confessions of a Disorganized Housewife: Learning Not to Be an Oscar Madison

Cleaning and organizing do not come easily to me. Some people are born organizers and seem to have an innate sense of where everything goes. Then there are those of us who have the Oscar Madison gene. 

Most people I know fall in between the two ends of the spectrum. I however, fit in with Oscar Madison. (For those of you unfamiliar with the Odd Couple, Oscar is the one on the left, played by the late Jack Klugman. Yes, I know I'm old.)

However, if you're an Oscar like I am, there is hope. I promise. Inside me there is a neat freak screaming to get out. But I usually can shut her up with a pile of magazines or a new book to read. Mmmhmmm.  

As i stated above, there is hope.  While not 100% neat 100% of the time, I live in a home that I could open the door to company without cringing (much. Just don't open the door to the Bear Cave.). If you want perfection, wrong house. If you want to come visit and have some tea and maybe some cake or cookies, come on over!

So how did I get to that point? I moved. Here are some tips I've learned through trial and error and years(!!) of reading books and magazine articles and following blogs dedicated to cleaning and organizing:
  • Move. Seriously. Actually, not so seriously. If you are moving soon, great!  If not, pretend you are. In either case, while boxing up belongings, pay attention to what you have and purge what you can.
  • In purging, give yourself this test: Do I love it? Is it useful? Does it hold sentimental value? If you can't get a yes to at least one of those questions, toss it, donate it or sell it. 
  • Focus on the amount of space you have. For instance, the bedroom closet. Mine is the size of a shoebox and I share it with The Hubs. Do I really need eleventy-hundred pairs of jeans? NO! Cute as they all are, you can't wear all of them. If you have the clothing budget and the closet space to match, go for it. If not, choose a reasonable number and donate the rest. Share the wealth. Bonus: Fewer pairs of jeans means less laundry to deal with.
  • When it comes to free things (samples, hand me downs), Learn. To. Say. No. Can I do it? Nuh uh. Nope. If I think I can use it, I happily accept offerings. But I'm learning to use a discerning eye .  I choose what I can use and then I pass the rest on to someone else who can be blessed. 
These are just a few tips that are helping me. I have one more for the kitchen. Both Flylady and A Slob Comes Clean suggest starting with the sink. Flylady says shine your sink, Nony suggests doing your dishes. I tend to agree. Once you do your dishes and the sink is nice and shiny, it spurs you on to other cleaning activities.  That being said, it's time for me to get busy cleaning. Have a great day!

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