Friday, January 06, 2006

StuntNotes Missing: Maybe I Need Some Organizational Help

I've been busy jotting down a few stories over the past week in my usual style - on the backs of used envelopes. I've been writing drafts in this way since graduate school. A good idea comes to me, and I grab the closest piece of paper, which is usually junk mail. We get a lot of unsolicited mail (even though we religiously call and request to be taken off mailing lists). "The Widespread Acceptance of Domestic Violence in Othello" - first draft composed on 13 envelopes, front and back. So I've been writing down StuntNotes in my way, and feeling comfortable, as my ideas are "safe". While the kids are playing well together with some new blocks, I thought I'd type up and revise some of those stories. My desk is finally clear, thanks to a 4 AM cleaning spree yesterday morning (the desk area was out of control). And now I can't find my precious bunch of envelopes. Frustrating.

I started writing this back at 8 o'clock this morning. It's now past 11 PM. What happened to my day? I finally found the notes, after tearing the house apart. (I must confess that I first accused my husband of recycling them. "I KNOW you moved them!") In the course of searching for my notes (where I had also jotted down a list of people who need thank-you notes sent to), I decided I needed to tidy up the children's books. They've been in a huge pile in the "library" - the room which also happens to be my self-employed, work from the home architect husband's temporary office. (I can't wait for him to finish the work on his future office - a space in the house that is currently not winterized, and has no heat source.) I moved the mountain of books out of his work space and into our family room. To make room for the books, I had to move some toys into the laundry room, which led to reorganizing the laundry room. Need shelving. No money. Solution: I went out to our barn and repossessed one of my husband's tool shelves. He wasn't using it efficiently, anyway. Which led me to switch around the pantry, which is really the closet in the laundry room. You see what's happening, right? My husband had to cook dinner tonight. I was just on a tear to make my surroundings - and that of my family, of course - more tidy.

I almost forgot to add the children into this mix! They didn't magically play quietly in a corner while I ran around making and cleaning up messes. The television didn't babysit them. (Small aside: My husband and I are united in raising the children without TV. We do have a television, but it's kept in a closet in an unheated back bedroom upstairs. We lug the heavy beast out for the occasional movie night, or if one of the kids is sick.) So the kids were in the middle of it all. My nine month old finally discovered the huge potted rosemary bush in the dining room. My two and half year old decided that today was the day that he would like to start using the potty. With a lot of coaching, he managed to keep his diaper spotless for the entire morning. My 4.5 year old is pretty good at entertaining herself - just give her a fresh box of crayons, scissors, and paper, and she stays busy. But I still had to act as referee between the two older kids. Anyway...

We've been in the house for 5 months now. Everything should have its proper place! I should not still be trying to figure out where to put stuff. I was thinking that in the new year, what I need to work on most is time management. I want to organize my time with the kids better. That will be the next story. But now I see that I could still use help in the physical way. So StuntMom, let me know if you read anything worthwhile in the Real Simple book. I don't want to read the book; I'm afraid it will tell me I need to spend at least $200 on shelving, bins, etc. to get where I need to be. If take-out pizza on a day like this is out of the question, organizational tools definitely are. Share the low-cost tips!

Day totally wasted, spinning my wheels? Sure feels like it. I'm going to bed, and tomorrow, the kids and I are going to hang out at my parents' house, where everything is neat and tidy, and all stuff has its proper place.

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