My husband used to tease me about the color-coded sticky note system I use to post important events on our calendar. The neon colored squares are housed on the refrigerator. They do manage to spill onto our kitchen counter, onto our coffee table in our living room, and the really brave ones make the trip to my dashboard. My system is quite simple, really. Blue=Don (for boy), pink=me (for girl), purple=us (because blue + pink = purple). Makes sense, right?
Well, in the midst of doing extensive home renovations Don felt that this system wasn’t really that important. Nor was the food in the refrigerator. “We can eat out for one week,” he rationalized, as he moved the majority of our living room furniture into the kitchen…smack dab in front of the fridge. And, most importantly, our calendar. (We were having our hardwood floors refinished and the only room in our house that had tile was our kitchen.)
“See. We can live without sticky notes,” he said as we ate pizza slices for the fourth night in a row, perched atop a box labeled “shoes.”
We made it for five days without my system, until our world came crashing down! Don missed his check up appointment at the dentist, we forgot to go to our accountant’s office for our yearly tax meeting, and we didn’t get our friend a birthday card…all in the span of a single day!
Now I have to keep a stash of colored notes in a secret location, away from Don’s paws because he “stole” my system to keep our appointments and his work schedule in order.
If you don’t have a spouse to steal an idea from, here are some guides that can help get you on your way to organizing part of your life. Since it is the first official week of spring, I encourage you to do some “spring cleaning.”
In this midst of our home renovations and new pizza diet, I suggest A Housekeeper is Cheaper Than a Divorce. You can find funny anecdotes that will give your family ideas to afford some help in the cleaning department.
If you’re more proactive than I am, you can find plenty of handy ideas about organizing every aspect of your life from cleaning the toilet to balancing your finances in books such as One Year to an Organized Life and How to Organize Just About Everything.
If you’d rather pass this duty of cleaning and organizing to your children, as I highly suggest, I would start with some fun picture books to inspire your little ones.
Nice and Clean by Anne Rockwell shows the entire family cleaning all the rooms in the house.
Max Cleans Up stars Rosemary Wells’ character as a pack rat who can’t get rid of a single toy! Use this light hearted story to inspire your child to donate something…maybe they can be more giving than Max.
Or, if there seems to be no hope at all, go for the great bedtime story Five Little Monkeys With Nothing To Do. Those five little monkeys that you know so well from jumping on the bed are up to their old tricks. They try really hard to clean the house for grandma’s arrival, but they somehow end up creating more of a mess!
If you have teens, I suggest Books of Magic! Ok, that won’t do. But it was worth a shot!
With the weather warming up this week, I think I’m just going to crack open the windows and blast my CD player and get to work. I suggest epic albums that won’t take you away from your important work. Try Led Zeppelin’s BBC Sessions, Pink Floyd’s The Wall, or Bruce Springsteen’s Live in New York City. They are all double discs and will keep you energized for a few hours!
Lisa Shaia is the children’s librarian who is thinking of cutting out her morning coffee for a housekeeper. (Yeah right!)