After our , Regina Leeds, Zen organizer and author of One Year to an Organized Life With Baby, said she would come over and help bring order to my home in hopes of starting me and my daughter on an organized life together. She reminded me before we parted ways, “Don’t clean, I want to see how you really live.”
I cleaned. Monday evening I did what I like to call tidying up. You know the kind of cleaning that is done before the maid comes over so that you aren’t embarrassed? You’re still leaving the heavy lifting for her, but you can now feel that your level of disarray can be justified as normal. Regina walked in, pet my dog, looked around and said, “Wow, what do you need me for?!” I guess I overdid it a little.
I assured her that it was all hidden in my cabinets like a secret stash of cookies you don’t want anyone to know about. Regina was quick to get to work … on my husband. She gave him many of the organizing gems that she had already mentioned to me to get us on the same page. Here are just a few:
- Couples need to communicate and commit to organization. It is important to agree on the items’ new place in the home so that it can be returned each time.
- It takes the same amount of effort to return an item to its proper place as it does to put it somewhere else.
- It works best for each person to have an area assigned to them to organize, something like the usband takes the closet, and the wife takes the kitchen (often dependant on who uses what area more). Here, I was in charge of the kitchen and he had to remember that unlike him, I am not 6-foot-2 and can’t reach things past the third shelf. Marital compromise ensued.
- Have areas of the home designated for a single purpose. This was a big one for us. My husband worked in two different places, the baby slept and napped in two different areas, and items were kept in multiple locations (medicine in the kitchen, bathroom and on the side of my bed). Keep like with like.
- Area rugs are a great way to create an invisible boundary in a shared space. Placing an area rug under one's desk can make it separate from the seating area and keep people at bay, without having to say it.
- The bedroom is for sex and sleeping only!
With my husband off this week we set to work on Regina’s suggestions. There were many to work on. We have made huge differences in the kitchen, dining room, nursery, closets and bedroom. We woke up the next morning and looked in the living room and breathed a sigh of relief.
“Chaos and disorder can spread throughout a home, but so does peace and order," she had told us.
She was right.
Check back when Regina sees our progress and gives more organizing tips on video.
Leed's One Year to an Organized Life has been chosen as Book of the Quarter by FedEx. It will go into displays in 1,300 FedEx locations across the country, starting in June.