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One Year Ago on Adventures in Organization – April 2008

How time flies. I'm amazed the Rubbermaid Adventures in Organization blog has officially been up and running for a year now.

In honor of our one year anniversary I'm going to start a series of blog posts called "One Year Ago on Adventures in Organization".  I'm hoping to post one a month. With each post I'm not just going to rehash the post but I'll try to add insight as to how the organization project turned out one year after. I can assure you there will be many good insights and we'll all learn a little something.

So, without further delay. The first "One Year Ago on Adventures in Organization" blog post.

POST SUMMARY:
Erin (10 year old daughter) and
Shannon (8 year old son) don't really have neatness or organization at
the top of their list.  I however was extremely tired of clothes,
stuffed animals and Pokemon cards bursting from the closet doors.  I
wasn't really sure what to expect but I figured I had to try something……

……The result…. WOW! I was totally amazed at the before and after
difference. Before each closet had one shelf to hang clothes.  Now, two
unique rods to hang stuff and tons of shelves.  The best part about the
whole thing is that moving rods and shelves around is super easy.  Just
slide a couple clips and you can move a shelf anywhere you want.  It's
perfect for the picky daughter who inevitable doesn't like where dad
put the shelf and rods.

ONE YEAR LATER LEARNINGS:
Since this post was early on in my organization adventures I had missed a few key steps. The closets are certainly better now than they were before I installed the new closet system but they are not as organized as the could be. I didn't really take the time to consider exactly how the closet was used, we didn't clear all of the clutter, and I didn't involve my kids in the process of deciding how they wanted to use the closet.

To make their closets work even better my kids and I should take the time to remove additional clutter as well as review the areas that are working and the ones that are not working so we can make adjustments as necessary. One of the great things about the 'adjustments as necessary' statement, and this WAS NOT PLANNED, is the Configurations closet system is extremely adjustable and can be reconfigured easily.  This will be extremely useful when we make updates to the closet.

SUPER BONUS LEARNINGS:
To stay organized you do need to maintain the space by spending a few minutes every once in a while to clear clutter, reorganized and put things back into their place.  I need to get the kids in the habit of spending 5 minutes a week picking up and organizing their closets (anyone got a magic wand).

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  38. Jim Deitzel April 6, 2009 at 7:53 am #

    My wife always tells me to act the way I want the kids to act. This is a perfect example. Thanks for the tip Julie.

  39. Julie Bestry April 3, 2009 at 8:54 pm #

    No magic wand, but how about a pair of magic words: Ritual and Reward?
    Instead of making the decluttering seem like work, how about building a ritual for the whole family. Saturday mornings, have a big breakfast together, then put on music (each one in the family can take turns playing Declutter DJ) and everyone can be doing this together. The ritual is about more than organizing, but about teaching the kids (and reminding yourself) that organizing isn’t/doesn’t have to be drudge work, but it is part of life, like brushing your teeth. In fact, it’s JUST like brushing your teeth…instead of dental hygiene, it’s “Household Hygiene”.
    The meal and the music aren’t the reward, just the set-up. Even the satisfaction of everyone marveling at everyone else’s success isn’t the reward (though you could choose who gets DJ rights the next weekend by a vote from the family). Create full-family rewards (a day outside, or at the movies, or wherever, NOT cluttering up the house) that make everyone feel like the group participation is just one more element of being a member of the loving, organized family.
    (Are you getting that it’s not about the kids picking up, but about you modeling good behavior by all of the family doing it together? There’s magic in that idea!)

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