Tuesday, September 22, 2009

SOS Week - Part 2

Here is an update of how my SOS Week went:

- Clean up command central - How can I be organized with clutter on my office desk and piles of unopened mail? Cleaned up and updated my filing system from my "had enough time to save all this scraps of paper." Paid bills, balanced budget. Recycled a ton of paper clutter.

Tuesday - Flylady's Crisis Cleaning - I use baking soda to shine my sink instead of chemicals. They I disinfect it with a natural spray with essential oils from Trader Joes's. It looks shiny and clean, and all the dishes have been cleaned, dried and put away.

For this day I made sure of setting my alarm the night before and to go to bed at a good time. However 2/3 kids woke up during the night, and I did not get the sleep I need to rise up early.

Wednesday - Continued with Flylady's Crisis Cleaning and organized for activities. This week all of our activities start at once, so I have to make sure I know where I am going, when and have the correct forms.

Still having trouble waking up on time, I could not sleep the night before. I believe I would sleep better if I did not drink or eat after 7pm, and if I exercised.

Thursday - Making sure I have everything ready for homeschool co-op tomorrow. Today I am going to focus on cleaning the boys room and dining room. All that school clutter needs to find a place. FYI I do not have a school room, MISS G. prefers the dining room table. All our books are kept in the adjoining living room, which has 7 FULL bookcases. I have stacks of books on the floor, waiting to find a place. This is defiantly a problem I need to solve if I want to be more organized. I spend a frantic hour last night looking for co-op material, which I found in a Trader Joe's bag containing next weeks school books.

Friday - First day of homeschool co-op, followed by a special lunch, and then go to work at the bookstore for a 5 hour shift. Not even laundry will be done today, hopefully I will have enough energy to help my husband fix up our coat/shoe area on Saturday before I leave for work.

Looking back I feel a little disappointed not getting more done, which is the way I usually feel, and not very helpful feeling I might add. Time just seems to slip through my fingers. I know God will give me the strength to plow on through this year of hard work and send me the wisdom to simplify my life to make more room for Him and His plans. It will probably take us until next summer to get to an acceptable level of organization. Focusing on what I have gotten done makes me see the progress. However, there is no use in organizing if I do not train everyone else as well. It is really disheartening to see my shiny sink filled with dishes and stains, and piles all ready accumulating on my desk.

This is not the before picture or the after picture. Rather, it is the after, after picture, the following Monday after I shined my sink on my SOS Monday morning. It does not really show the stains well, but believe me they are there. Sigh. Instead of giving up, I am going to look at what is causing the problems and solve them.

There is no way one person can do all the work. It does start with me, I need to just do it, set the example, and pray for God to equip us and change our hearts.

Here on some next stops on my organizing mission:
  1. My Sink
  2. My Mornings
  3. Chores -training the children and keeping my husband and myself focused
  4. Clutter buster while constructing order
  5. Meals Planned
  6. Papers, Communication & Calendar - e-mail is my Achilles heel
  7. Refreshment - more time with the Lord and exercise
How do you battle the mess in your house? Hearing other mom's tales of clutter battle are always encouraging to me.


  1. Here are two quotes I love from the girltalk.com blog. It is in regards to cleaning and company/hospitality.

    1. “What you can’t see from a galloping horse, don’t worry about.”

    2. “If you’re coming to see me, come right over; if you’re coming to see my house, you’ll need to make an appointment.”

    Hehe :)

    Our home is clean but we have a paper clutter bug. We attack dirt, grime, and germies full force. We have more patience with clutter though. :) Rarely do the stacks of paper, mail, and other random items make it off our designated clutter counter. We have an organizational system for all of this... 3 bins (To Read) (To File) (To Do), but we don't keep up with it well.

    When my kids are older and out of the house, I'll have plenty of time to clean and organize. For now, I'm trying to enjoy this season of raising small children for what it is with all of its joys and challenges.

  2. Yes! Someone else has a clutter counter! I absolutly love the quote about the galloping horse. I laughed out loud! Karen, I have to say that it sounds like you are doing a great job, especially since you are home-schooling two children and have a part-time job. I'm glad to hear that you are making time for the Lord-- the most important thing to have on your list! Keep in mind, too, that everyone has their own clutter capacity. I gave up a long time ago not having people over my house until it was completely neat. If that were the case, I would NEVER have anyone over, and I would not have gotten to know a lot of people over the past year. I sometimes ask Will how he feels about the house (or he expresses it to me- not always a happy time in our house=)!) and if he's okay with it and I am, then that's all that really matters. Sometimes my house is organized, sometimes it's not. Depends mostly on the home-schooling day and how many nights a week we were out. Ask Catherine, my house was pretty disorganized this past Thurs. night when she was over, but it was just one of those hectic weeks. I hope that helps.

  3. Thanks ladies. Those are good things to remember. In actuality, people that come over probably expect to see a messy house. If it were neat, I could perpetuate the Super Mom Myth. Thanks for being open about your own mess.

    It is really important not to be a perfectionist about your house. I was never one to turn down a hug from my toddler for dusting.

    However, there is a point where the mess gets out of control and takes everybody in the household along with it. As you add more children, the house gets messier - there is just more of everything and it needs to be cleaned more often, especially if you homeschool. That is way people tend to get more organized the more children they have, or they just stop having children. :)

    Personally, my goals are as simple as to make sure everyone has clean clothes to wear, clean plates to eat off of, find the school books and make sure I don't lose a bill that needs to be paid. Not perfect, just livable and responsible. Sure everyone gets disorganized or loses something, but it gets to a point where it becomes irresponsible. It is not fair to people who are counting on you - believe me, I could tell you stories. Not to mention an overwhelming mess gets me down and stress out, which does not make be the best person.

    My kids are not going to be young very long and I need to teach them important life skills like picking up their toys. Also, I do not want to spend their youth stressed out, missing important doctor appointments and fun field trips. I really believe the level of my mess is getting in the way of the work God has for me. Now is the time to work hard and pray.