Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Your Space -- Organized !

Let's face it. Homeschooling makes a mess. A lot of mess. Our lives are busy with little people and big people: people eating, people playing, people experimenting, people doing crafts, people reading and writing, people making paper, people messing up the house. We love our people, but the mess can drive us crazy.

Yesterday, I scanned periodicals and stores for home organization. I just wanted to see what was being offered. One article announced: homeschoolers are drowning in clutter! Following this was a lengthy buffet of random ideas. I found oodles of advice, plentiful books to read, and hundreds of products guaranteed to change your life.

As kids go back to school and homeschools start another year, the advice and the products for organization are everywhere. But which ideas really work? Which products are worth the money? Which options are practical for our daily lives? The choices and the chatter are overwhelming, even for me -- and I have been an organization guru.

Do yourself a favor and don't Google "organization. " It's not a pleasant experience.

Listen, I know what you are up against. I've been in your shoes. You need something that works fast, can be used on-the-go, is easy to maintain, doesn't bust the budget, and leaves you with time and energy to do your main job, which is teaching your kids. Here on Apple Pie, I'm going to tell you the truth. I'm going to share guiding principles that grew from the trenches of a long battle. I'll give you gritty, lived-in, reliable advice. I won't waste your time.

This isn't organization quite like anything you've seen before. Forget that usual list of things to do and products to buy. We'll be talking about the big picture and then breaking it down into a few simple applications that you can use whenever and wherever you need them. We'll be talking about how to be ready to respond when your system isn't working and your plans go awry. There are seasons in homeschooling when that happens almost every day. I know about it.

Before we begin, you will need a place to jot down reminders. Hopefully, by now, you've started to work in your organizer notebook. If you have one, you will be able to use it as we walk through your space and make changes. If you don't have one, that's okay. I recommend that you read my post on a good umbrella, instead, and pick up one of those before you start working on your space. If you're catching up to us once a week, just grab the nearest spiral-bound notebook and a pencil.

Now, I want to give you a chance to vent. Go ahead, get it off your chest! What is frustrating you most about your space right now?


  1. Okay, I'll go first. The thing that is bothering me most right now is PAPER. In our temporary space, I do not yet have any sort of order for all the paper that comes in. I'm not keeping track of the mail. Probably there are bills I have missed. Maps, computer print-outs, Bible study materials,shopping lists, books, magazines, newspapers -- all are mixed together and sprinkled happily around. It's driving me crazy.

  2. There's little that can be done with my irritant as it is the design/layout of our home. It's very open, flowing freely from one room to another. This means that I can visually see the mess spread from one end (nearly so) of the main floor to the other end. The spaces start out fairly tidy as we begin each day, but by mid-day, it's havoc once more. And I chose it. I chose an open design when the children were small so I could see them and interact with them more easily while doing mundane tasks. But it does not allow us to compartmentalize our learning lifestyle, at all. So I live with the mess, am never beyond its reach, until Mom says, "Okay, time for tidy-up,5-10-15 minutes," depending on how crazy it has become. It's my one long groan each day. (I do best when there is order.)

  3. Just popping in to write a quick note ~ I googled 'organizaton'!!! 340,000,000 results, yikes!! lol

    Seriously, I have enjoyed reading your recent blog posts, I am guilty of reading them in my reader and then not coming here to reply. {slouching off}
    Thank you for your wisdom. :)


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