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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

CrAzY from Clutter

What saps me more than anything? Clutter and disorganization- yet I am guilty of both. You should see my desk from which I am typing right now, with the one little clear space that just fits my coffee cup. I've got Wedgits Design cards in front of me, a remote I took away from Danny, printouts from BookMooch of books I needed to mail off, The Art of Teaching by Gilbert Highet, some contraption that is a compass and magnifying glass thing-a-bobber. Yesterday's math test that I forgot to grade because dh wanted to go out to eat last night.

Danny has more toys than places I can stick them, Camille's room has been taken over by books because she has 3 full size bookshelves in there plus the Playmobil castle the kids' got for Christmas and her crafts. If you think a 7 year old is consistent in keeping her floor clear of clothes and shoes-think again!

The problem is I'm in charge of too many things, paying bills, laundry, homeschooling, my children's clutter, my dh's clutter and my clutter. Who causes the most clutter? Yep, that would be me. I'm constantly being pulled in so many directions so I leave catalogs, mail, books, things I've taken away from Jack (our pup) and Danny and other stuff laying around the house in so many places because where things are left is where someone called out, "Mom! I need you RIGHT now!"

I have 4 junk drawers in our house and the worst part is when I get it in my head I have to put something in a safe place- that safe place wherever it is, is never found again. If I had time to draw myself a map, I would! So what's the real problem? Self-discipline. I really despise that word, because in spite of my best efforts it means I still have MORE work to do on myself. Plus, I've had a condition called homeschool-itis, where when you are out in the world and see a book for $1.00 about any subject you are studying, you justify the purchase by saying, this book is nice and CHEAP. I have raided Goodwill numerous times over the last 2 years and gotten plenty of books. These books have to be housed and read and if you're me- organized.

Since deciding to go with TOG, I now have a purpose in my book aquisition adventure instead of just buying because it is a deal. Science, music, art and children's literature, these area the areas that I allow myself a little more freedom but the children's literature is always carefully considered. Will using the library for this book be easier? Most of the time the answer is yes. The only time it is not is when the library does not carry the desired title at all. Those I must buy.

Right now, I'm purging books and it is in the air we might move this June. The possibility is stronger this year than last and if we don't move this June it will be June of '09. I have 96 books so far that I have identified that I need to let go and there are more... not to mention the 100+ books I have listed at BookMooch which are stored in my closet. Our homeschool supplies are in bad shape too. I have stuff that I'm holding on to because we MIGHT use/need them in the future. Right Start Math games is one of them, it is an awesome product but we're not using it. Craft supplies is another area, it seems that when we need something I will go to the store faster than searching through what I already have.

If I am viligant about purging, that will only create more clutter- clutter that is meant to be lessened until the clutter is hauled away. What to do? JUST DO IT.

Okay, another area of crazy....

What to do with it? I think I'm going to send any educational items to with a few exceptions that I want to sell, like the Right Start Math Games. I'm lightening our load of french items too. Tapes that I've bought at library sales...parenting and homeschooling books that I've either not read or have read and I'm done with. Yep, this makes me CrAzY!



Chris said...

I can so relate! As a preschool teacher, my "radar" was always on, especially during the summmer, when we'd hit the garage sales! And I'd collect things like old keys to sort, small baskets and other cool containers, and books, of course! It all adds up, doesn't it?
It helps to move--we unloaded so much 6 years ago when we moved from FL. Do a little at a time--you will get there!
Do you know where you might be going? (How about VA? lol I'd love to be your neighbor!)
Have a happy day,

Trivium Academy said...

Unfortunately, we'll still be in Georgia. I'd like a little more variety but until my dh has more experience in the ministry, we are to stay in Georgia. Once you have some clout, you can request to be moved to another state within the framework of the Methodist church.

Although VA is nice, my first choice would be either South Carolina or North Carolina. :)

Trivium Academy said...

But I would LOVE to be your neighbor too!

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain! I have to pick up the school room by Monday so a new week can begin. A week ago we did school in the dining room, because you could hardly set foot in the school room. It is the entrance to the attic, there is always a pile there waiting to go up.
I didn't even mention the rest of the house. like the pile next to my bed. It's a wonder I don't break a bone in the night.

Sheri said...

I am going through the same thing!! We are re-organizing our entire house right now...

*making the current schoolroom into an office/bedroom

*the great room will be the schoolroom

*organizing books in librarything

*purging books (paperback swap)

*laying tile in laundry room/bathroom

*updating all light fixtures/ceiling fans (we live in a 70's home)

oh my... the list could go on and on!! Clutter is everywhere! I can't walk through one room in the house that is organized right now.

I am excited about the changes we are making, but getting there is so much work!

Anonymous said...

I feel for you with the moving thing. We are in the process of moving to Japan, and we can only take 3000 pounds. That means all of my books are in storage and I am depending on an overseas library - and Amazon :)

TeacherMom said...

Oh, yes, I feel your pain too! I had so much STUFF after teaching (other people's :-) )children for 10 years, and then I discovered so much more (wonderful) stuff in the world of homeschooling curriculum.....LOL.......I am constantly trying to downsize, resize and organize!

KimW(who after being subscribed to your blog for quite awhile is going to try to come to the site and comment more often! :-) )

kids educational website said...

I used to think I was the clutter queen, but that all changed after living in the world's smallerst apartment! When I had limited space to put things I finally learned how to organize so that I could actually find what I was looking for.

mom24 said...

I have homeschool-itus too! I haven't found an organizational system I want to stick with yet. And everytime I walk through a room, the thing I was heading to do disappears as I think about what needs to be done in the room through which I'm walking! I feel totally ADD this year!
But I guess we all have to organize and go through extra stuff. I'm glad TOG will help with that! We have Right Start Math curriculum (plus games) and LOVE it but I guess that's bcuz it's our main curriculum.

jubilee said...

I am in the process of moving and can relate to your post on many levels.

The scary thing is the only thing my mind is focused on is:

I wonder how many of those books she (trivium) is going to add to her bookmooch inventory?

I think it's a disease...a book addiction? lol

Thank you for sharing!

Southpaugh Homeschool - Heidi said...

I belong to bookmooch, too; as well as several other book-swap sites. You may want to consider listing all of the {homeschool} books, 'cause people like me are all the time, Jones-ing for good homeschool related books.

Summer said...

I'm trying to declutter my stuff right now too. How does all that stuff get in here? LOL All those books, papers, gadgets, and toys. I'm a bit crazy too. :)

Jennifer@DoingTheNextThing said...

First, let me say "thanks" for posting your animal science curriculum on the web. I found it via Andrea's sidebar. I think it will be a fun addition to my 3rd grade dd's curriculum ... we've not done much with science this year. Your hard work creating those lessons is evident and appreciated!
Second, I feel your pain! I'm a neat-freak by nature, but somehow the juggling act of homeschooling/mothering/home-keeping makes it not humanly possible for me to keep up with the de-cluttering of all the stuff 7 people accumulate. FLY-lady has been a helpful resource - mainly because she encourages us to just tackle a little bit at a time and know we've blessed our family. Kudos to you for your progress so far!
(Let me know if you move to the metro Atlanta area!)

LisaWA said...

LOL.. Jessica... I have some of the same piles you do! I had a project for January and finished it... but i have so many other hot spots.... the office being a huge dumping ground....

I huess I just do a little at a time and put what I dont know what do do with stuff in the attic... thing is.. the attic is getting full! lol

Great post!