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The Organizette!, Issue #58 -- Cleaning vs. Playing
August 06, 2013

Welcome to the Newsletter. I hope you enjoy getting the newsletter and that it helps to keep you on track with your organizing goals. Remember, you can get a lot done in only 10 minutes of decluttering and organizing!

Table of Contents

-Did you know?
-Monthly Mission – Laundry
-Check Out These Pages! – Relevant pages and new site additions
-Going Out to Play vs. Cleaning and Organizing


I just got my new wall calendar this week! I’m sure I’ve mentioned in the past that since I have school aged kids and life seems to revolve around school, it works out best for us to use a calendar that starts with August. That way I can write in the whole school year schedule up front. And my favorite calendar for the past few years is Amy Knapp’s Big Grid wall calendar. You can check it out on Amazon by clicking on the photo below. It has tons of room to write in everyone's activities and appointments and has a meal planning spot for every day which I find helpful for planning and also remembering how old left overs are!

That being said, we’re already shopping for school supplies and enjoying the last two weeks of our summer break. It seems to have gone by super fast this year, though part of that may be due to the fact that this summer break is 2 weeks shorter than last summer.

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Did you know…

The earliest washing "machine" was the scrub board invented in 1797. American, James King patented the first washing machine to use a drum in 1851. The drum made King's machine resemble a modern machine, but it was still hand powered.

Check out the link below for further washing machine history.


The Monthly Mission – Laundry

Let’s talk about laundry… several loads on one day, or one load a day? It’s got to be done! To read my suggestions for doing the laundry, click here.

Check Out These Pages!

Here are some pertinent pages on the website you may have missed along with any new pages.

Laundry Room Ideas - Ideas to help you out in the laundry room

Before and After Photos - If you enjoy seeing before and after photos of organizing projects, you can find them all right here.

Living Room Storage Make-over - See how we re-organized our living room (play room) with a new Ikea wall unit that's great for storing lots of stuff.

Christmas Organizing - Tips on how to get the most out of your Christmas holidays, in an organized stress free manner.

Home Filing System - Keep all your paperwork in order so you can find what you need at a moments notice, and learn what to keep and what to toss.

Garage Makeover - before and after photos of my personal garage makeover. See how we tackled the problems and ended up with a functional garage.

Streamline Your Morning Routine - Ideas to help you get out the door in the morning and be on time for work or school.

Organizing Children's Artwork - Here are some ideas about what to do with all that fabulous artwork your young kids bring home from school.

Stop Clutter - Quick simple tips on how to stop the clutter from coming into your home in the first place.

Going Out to Play vs. Cleaning and Organizing

I hear people say “life is short, leave your house a mess and go outside and enjoy life. The mess will still be there when you get home”. And I totally get that we should live to play and enjoy life and not live to work all the time.

However, at the other end, a person DOES eventually need to come home from playing outside, and yes, the mess IS still there. For me, when the house is a disaster, it immediately puts me in a sour mood. I hate walking around and over the kids toys and clothes, I hate piles of stuff sitting everywhere and the gross splatter the kids make in the bathroom.

I was just recently telling the kids that if the house were kept in basic order, we could go out on a moment’s notice to play when the doorbell rings and do something much more fun and memorable than stay at home and clean. Or we could make plans for the weekend, or perhaps I could sit in our little used back yard and relax with a good book, without being pre-occupied by the mess weighing on my mind.

And please let me be clear, that I’m not a perfectionist about the house. It does not need to be perfect. It does not need to be ready for a Better Homes and Gardens photo shoot. It simply needs to be tidy enough to walk around freely (instead of over and around stuff), the kitchen needs to be reasonably clean (no dirty dishes on the table or stacked on the counters), the bathrooms need to be less than gross with splatter and dirt, and the laundry needs to be in its proper place (hamper or drawers, not on the floor). A nice vacuum down the middle of the rooms every so often would be nice too. Am I really asking for too much??

So how do we get to this happy medium of keeping up enough so that we can have friends over or go out and play on a moments notice?

  • Decide what level of tidiness is acceptable for you to leave your home and return without feeling frustrated by the mess. How much mess can you happily live with? What’s the minimum that needs to be done so that you can relax and enjoy the rest of life?
  • Devise a daily, weekly, monthly cleaning plan to keep the house at this basic minimum of clean. (Big organizing projects are not included in this basic minimum. You can tackle those separately.)
  • Doing a little bit of cleaning every day will prevent the mess from getting huge and overwhelming, and then needing to spend a whole day to catch up instead of going out to play.
  • Put your stuff away! I think I may have mentioned this several times in other places. Everyone should clean up after themselves and put things away. If you don’t know where something goes, find it a home.
  • If you have too much stuff, it’s time to declutter. Just having less stuff means more space and less to clean up.

I do not like to clean any more than the next person, but there is basic house maintenance that should be undertaken daily. If this minimal cleaning and organizing is done, then everyone can feel more relaxed and available to go out and do the fun things we really want to do. The whole household should be part of this minimal maintenance. If everyone does their small part, it will be quick and painless and then everyone can relax and have fun, including those of us who are more bothered by the mess and tired of asking the kids to pick up after themselves. Why is it that kids don't mind stepping on their toys?? If they want to play, they've got to help clean, and that's that!

So let’s figure out what’s the minimum we need to do, make a plan, get everyone on board, and then spend the rest of the time doing things we enjoy. Let me know how you’re doing. I need to get the family jump started around here again too.

Until next time, happy organizing!

Tracy Greene

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