A look back, and leapin’ into 2008

Based on my blog hits these past few weeks, it looks like a lot of you are reorganizing your playrooms after the big Christmas throw-down. I revisited my post on Playroom Organization 101 and still think it hits the nail on the head when it comes to keeping toys under control. Admittedly, my kids have been total mess makers since December 25th (well, technically, no one was having any fun until December 27th here since I had one kid puking for two days and the other fighting off a fever and respiratory infection…Merry Flippin’ Christmas Kersh family!). But now that they’re on the mend, they’ve been hopping from one cool new toy to the next (highlights include a bucket of car wash tools for my son and an electronic keyboard for our daughter…I can already tell who will be the cheap date in 14 years!) leaving a trail of mess behind them. Only 3 more days until they’re back in school and then I’ll start to enforce my pick-up rules again!

Carter and I did our own little bit of organizing while he had some time off. I can’t believe I’m airing this dirty laundry, but I’m prepared to take the heat. This is what our basement had become after a busy fall of building projects and some serious neglect:

Basement Before Basement Before 2

And here’s how it’s looking now:

Basement After 2 Basement After

We truly had gotten to the point where we just opened the door and threw crap into this room without giving it a thought. It happens even to those of us who considered ourselves to be organized! But rather than beat myself up about this dirty little secret, I decided to embrace the mess and put off the project until we had the time to tackle it. We shipped the kids off for 24 hours, put up new shelves, peg board, recycled a van load of cardboard, freecycled the rest and now we have a basement that functions for us. It STILL may not be ready for the Real Simple photo crew to come in, but it’s oh-so-much-better.

My advice, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by your mess, is to start small. Pick one space–just ONE. Set aside some time to tackle it (we don’t always have 24 hours without children to clean up and clear out)–even if you only have 15 minutes, you can still get started! Start by sorting and categorizing the things you need and use, purge what you know you can live without, and then create a home for what you keep. Beautiful bins and lovely containers are nice, but the most important thing is to create a system that you can maintain and that truly helps you to function better day by day.

I hope 2008 is your most organized year yet! If one of your goals for this year is to shovel out from under the mess, let me know. I’m happy to help you set realistic goals and problem solve how to achieve them. Happy New Year!

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