Friday, January 23, 2009

Yay for my 100th post!

I just noticed that is my 100th post. What a remarkable day for all of us. I have been absent from the blogging world the last few months. December hit me hard, and I just had to cut back somewhere in my life, and that happened to be my time at the computer. Then January came along and I have been overcome with an organization bug. I know it is a typical new year thing, but it has been so refreshing after all the craziness of the holidays to just STAY HOME and go through all our CRAP (and CHUCK most of it!). I am not a born-organized person, so it has been a learned skill I have been developing throughout my seven and a half married years. College was a time to throw everything in a box and just hope it did something with itself someday. The first year of marriage was about the same way. However, right before I had my first baby, I discovered the FLYLADY and she pretty much changed my life. I have read a lot of organization books since then, and while they are all helpful in some way or another, I still fall back on the Flylady's simple and useful system. Today I would like to share three organization books that have been helpful in bringing *order* and *peace* into my life. And yes, I stole these pictures directly from Amazon. BUT I'm linking right back to them (just click on the book, isn't that exciting?), so they should be paying me commission.

I ordered "One Year to an Organized Life" right before Christmas this year, and I've already read the whole thing. A lot of it was pretty basic stuff that most people already know/do, but there were certain sections that I really liked. It basically takes one month at a time and has you dive into different areas of your life. The kitchen section inspired me to completely redo my pantry, which has always been one of my worst areas, and now I love my pantry so much I feel like kissing it every time I open it. However, I'm not suggesting that this is the greatest book in the world. It has kind of weird little mantra things in it where you're supposed to pray to your house and stuff, and I'm not really into that. Well, I guess it's just called the 'Affirmation of the Month" but it made me kind of embarrassed for the lady who wrote it. Good for a laugh though. For example, August is "Moving Month" (in case you happen to be moving in August) and here is the AOTM: "I am guided with ease to my new home. I embrace the life waiting for me. I also bless and thank my current home. I release it to the new occupants. I am thankful for all the participants in this transition." Maybe I just haven't released my old house or something, but it all strikes me as a little odd. I really don't know why I'm talking about this book. I guess I'm just so happy about my pantry that I had to mention it. If you want to borrow it, let me know, and we can laugh together. You probably don't want to buy it. NEXT!

My mother-in-law told me about Organizing from the Inside Out a few years ago and I love it. The main principle is that you should have everything you need for a particular task within arms reach. For example, at your desk you should have pens, paper, a calendar, a phone, stapler, phonebook etc. within easy reach, and NOT have things that you don't use often, like owner's manuals or books you don't need. Store things that aren't used often in more out-of-reach places and reserve all immediate space for things you need every day. This applies to every place in the house, and I am still amazed sometimes at the things I have in places that make no sense. The job of organization is never done, I guess.

Which brings me to the FlyLady. I love this woman. I don't use every single piece of her system, but I use a LOT of it and it has helped me in so many ways. Her big thing is to start by shining your sink. You can't feel good about your life with a dirty sink, and once your sink is clean it will rub off on the rest of your life. I know it sounds silly, but I love coming out to my kitchen in the morning to a clean sink! Plus, she has a great system for getting rid of clutter. I love how she says that everything you own should bring a smile to your face. If you are holding on to something out of guilt or obligation and it doesn't make you happy, get rid of it! It is so liberating to be free of things that just bring me down every single time I see them. I used to be such a pack rat, because I was trained in the school of "what if I need this someday?" and guess what - if I do need it, I probably won't be able to find it and I'll end up buying a new one anyway so I may as well send it on its merry way to the good old Deseret Industries. Another thing I love about the FlyLady is her system for keeping bathrooms clean. I used to spend every Tuesday in rubber gloves with a thousand different chemicals trying to disinfect my disgusting bathrooms. Now I take ten seconds and wipe down my bathrooms every day and I really never have to "clean" them because they don't get dirty! I'm not saying that you should come to my house and check the bathrooms every single day and judge me if there are water spots on the mirror from time to time, but the system seriously works and has made me love my bathrooms. The FlyLady is also very adamant about taking care of yourself and not pushing yourself to live up to perfection. She has a great web site that tells you basically everything you need to know, and you can even sign up for daily email reminders to get you in the mode. I held off buying the book (Sink Reflections) for a really long time, but I finally did because I like to have all the great knowledge in one place when I need to brush up. Like right now, for example, I am getting ready to dive into my Final Frontier, my scrapbook room. I have so much STUFF in there and it has been the landing place of about everything else that I don't know what to do with. I haven't even approached it yet because I need to be in the right frame of mind, and I am finally getting there. I can't wait!! I know it is so nerdy and I never thought I would be this way, but I absolutely love tackling a space that seems hopeless and turning it into somewhere I love to be. Yes, nerd alert, I know. But it can't be as bad as this. I'll leave you with December's Affirmation of the Month. It's a good one. Maybe I should have used it this year: "I stand in the center of the storm known as end-of-the-year madness. I am an oasis of calm. I release to the past all the sad, unhappy, or angry memories that have filled my mind. The past is over. I learn from it. I do not hold onto it. This month is rich with opportunities to create new, positive, happy memories for me to savor. I open myself to receiving my good."

14 comments:

Annie said...

Wow, I am inspired! I need something to motivate me right now and I think this is just the thing. Thanks for joining the blogging world again.

Joanne said...

Amen to the kitchen part and flylady. Now when can you come to my house =)

Stephanie said...

The organization bug hit our house too. I had finally had it with chaos and disorder. I found "Simple Mom" a couple of months ago and have really liked some of her ideas. We should get together and trade tips!

Glad you are back

I love the fly lady's "Shine your sick" thing. If there is one thing I love it is a shiny kithchen sink.

a-anderson said...

I am so glad you are back. I always love your posts! I have been felling a lot the same way about getting things organized. You are always so organized and on top of things. I love that about you. I will have to check out the Fly Lady. And thanks for the other books too.

Nate and Jilleen said...

Thanks for the inspiration/pep-talk... I'm in!

Williams Family said...

I love your posts, they are always so fun to read & I love organizing as well. To me,organizing is fun. My problem is I get distracted organizing things that are not a priority insted of areas that should be de-cluttered & organized. So, I can't wait to check out some of the resources you have mentioned. Thank-you for taking the time to share all of this great information with us!

carrie said...

I loved reading your post. I have been REALLY trying to get rid of a lot of stuff I've been "holding on to". It's SO hard, but it's so worth it. I need to check out your books though...and take some advice. :o) I agree w/Alish.... You're so organized and so "together".....and I have always admired that. I wish I could be more like you. I'm so glad you blogged again. I have missed reading your posts. You really are such a great writer.

Teresa said...

Nice, as soon as we get a house I'll definitely be needing some good tips from flylady. & I'm so glad you're back to your blog! I've missed you.

Rencher Fam said...

haha! I'm so glad that I read your post AnneMarie! I love organization but I'm not very good at it and don't know where to start! I'm excited to check out all the books! Thanks for all the info!

Julia said...

I wish I could be an oasis of calm. I love FlyLady even though my sink is usually not clean in the morning. Congrats on number 100!

alison said...

I'm glad you're back! Great post. I need some organization myself.
Love!

Tiffany said...

Happy 100th. Missed ya lately. Maybe i'll try some of the suggestions even though I prefer to pay some lady to clean while I sit on my butt and watch but that's not always feasible.

Sierra said...

I think there is something wrong with me because I love to throw things away. I don't have the most organized house ever, but I don't need to. I don't have that much stuff. I already threw it all out.

Christie said...

I love it. I always do my dishes immedately after every meal, because it makes me feel that there is some sort of organization in my life. I am organized by nature (maybe even a bit OCD) but my husband is not, and gradually through the years, I've started to adopt his messy style. I love this post, because just last weekend I chucked so many things, organized and cleaned, and it felt SO good! Great post.