Thursday, 25 February 2010

Helen's challenge 74.










I have this thing about organisation, storage especially. To me there is a right & a wrong way to EVERYTHING, from how to arrange the toiletries on the bathroom shelf to which way to fold the towels & how to make the beds{hospital corners no less...}I have even come up with the "Tilbury fold" for our clothes after they have been ironed. I'm not out to convert anyone else but all the systems I have instituted work for me & make my busy life just that little bit easier.
I have days for washing, days for kids to help me with dinner {"kitchen duty"} & Friday is the day I get my car refuelled & go through the carwash. These little things make me feel in control & like I am "on top" of things. Of course this OCD needs to be tempered at times & drives the rest of my family a little nuts, but they also appreciate that they can find anything whenever they need it {or should I say, I can find it for them!} because everything has a home & I always say "put it back where it lives".
I guess this sounds kinda sad to outsiders but I like it. I grew up in relative chaos so I really battled at first to get my life on track & read many books about organisation. Now I consider everything I buy & only keep things I love, that have special sentimental relevance or are just darn gorgeous & enrich my life. I tell my kids "Everything you buy you have a responsibility to for the rest of time – once it is yours you need to clean it & care for it, house it & dispose of it responsibly should you tire of it".
I regularly sort stuff out for repurposing or passing on. While I love to have a clear out I never fill up a black bag for the bin, like you see on the TV shows. Coming from Zimbabwe I have seen far too much poverty to even contemplate that & even spend hundreds of Rands sending my old stuff back there to Christopher, my gardener there {as we still rent out our home there}rather than getting my maid here to sell it for next to nothing. Once stuff is gone here it is difficult & expensive to replace so I always have a garden shed to house all those things I'm not willing to dispose of just yet...no attics or basements in homes here.
I hope I manage to instil some of my ideas in my kids. Chelsea is already totally "anti-tidy" but hopefully this is just teenage rebellion as she used to be a really good little helper when she was small. Jack is already Mr. Neat but has always been that way & poor old Bing-with his dyspraxia-is pretty much a lost cause.His policy on his wardrobe is "TFTT" {Take from the top} which always makes me chuckle. I actually love that he is so un-image conscious that he really doesn't care what he wears.Luckily he has a lovely wardrobe & also gets to share Jack's lovely "kit" {clothing}.
Jack is Mr. Stylish too & loves branded clothing, especially white, & always buys it himself with Christmas/birthday money & anything he manages to earn from his random entrepreneurial ventures. {He always seems to have a plan on how to make a buck...} He colour codes his wardrobe just like me-At least I have a protégée!Sharing a room has been challenging for these 2 boys but buying them each a couple of chests of drawers has gone a long way to helping them keep everything separate. Plastic wheelie boxes under their beds keep the rest of their "stuff" tidy & accessible too...
I find the best systems are custom-made, ie:- the ones that work for you. The same goes for storage. Always see what you have that needs housing then custom buy or make according to your specific requirements. Containers are my passion – I own them in all shapes, sizes & materials, from basketry to wirework, to clay pots, to wooden boxes, hand-carved or with intricate marquetry. Plastic containers are a positive addiction but the truth is, somehow I do use them all! The fridge gets an almost daily makeover & all the left-overs are decanted into the right sized container, preferably square so as not to waste precious fridge space!
I spend so much time keeping the lives of my loved ones organised that my scraproom is the last place I sort out! I am busy overhauling it at the moment - in anticipation of our house move - and am hoping that the floor to ceiling cupboards will make keeping a "neat look" easier to achieve. While I love scrapbooking I find the storage aspect of it all a bit of a nightmare, as my requirements are ever-changing & there is very little, if any, dedicated scrapbooking storage available here in South Africa. That said I already have a really cute selection of storage options, from cupcake containers to dressmakers forms {used to hang my ribbon off} & cute organza flower-embellished baskets, plus dozens of mini cookie-jars for buttons & other embellishments ;-D
Keeping track of the possessions of a big family is challenging it is rewarding too. Even Cami {definitely not the neatest kid on the block} "knows the rules" when it comes to putting stuff away etc & I think this already gives her an advantage in this mixed-up world we live in. Fortunately Shane shares my sentiments, to a degree, although he definitely wouldn't mind if I was slightly more chilled about it all. I just find it easier to keep at it as it does seem to be a never ending task & often my "just 15 minutes" turns into an hour or more. I like to think this "hobby" of mine has positive spin-offs all round though!

5 comments:

Tracy said...

Awesome job, Helen ... I have an organised heart ... but that is about it ... tee hee ... I too would organise everything if it stood still long enough but I have had to learn to let go ... to the extent that I sometimes live in a bit of chaos ... sadly, for me, it's one way or the other ... sigh ... but you've renewed my spirit to get organised ... TFS ...

Love, Tracy G

tania said...

great journaling helen!! like the layout very much!!the colours are beautiful.

Nicole Drewniak said...

I love it! I can totally relate to your "OCD". Organization rules! Great page!

Ann said...

Lovely page and, living with a husband who has OCD, I can understand where you're coming from. I know that your family benefits greatly from your organisation although they may not say so!

Helen Tilbury said...

Thanks everyone! Your comments are really appreciated ;-D