Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Out with the old...

This is my favorite load of laundry of the year:

(Is it possible to enjoy doing laundry? Yes, I was looking forward to doing this load for the last two weeks!)

I knew I was courting disaster washing all of the coats, mittens, hats and snowpants in March, but it was over 70 degrees on Saturday!! And even if winter is not over, I am over winter. (Here is the same photo, two years ago, only taken in late April. It is truly nothing less than a miracle that we will be hunting Easter eggs in grass, not snow. I may actually have to go out and actually create an Easter egg hunt this year!)

Of course it snowed all day today (not enough, or not cold enough, to stick, fortunately). I did leave out one coat each (yes, we actually own enough coats for each child to have more than one!) and they have plenty of fleeces, rain coats, rubber boots, etc. that they will not freeze. I folded most of this stuff away in the Coats for Kids bags, putting a few things in the "will still fit next winter" bins and some of M's stuff in the "will fit E and Z someday" bins. I just noticed the coat I bought M in kindergarten, which still fits, but which he suddenly decided makes him "look dumb" was not in this load. I hope he didn't intentionally "lose" it!
In other organizing news (I know you just sit on the edge of your seat waiting to find out what I'll be organizing next, don't you?), I dealt with my piles this weekend. Other than the box I showed you in my room (which stuff I had crammed in there in the months preceding Christmas, because I didn't have time to deal with it), I also had a much larger, much fuller box to deal with downstairs.
Things had really gotten out of control in the loose paperwork department, between papers brought home from school by each of the three boys, junk mail, magazines, forms, letters, things I keep putting off and never getting to (like correcting the address on and resending a Christmas card to my brother!!)
M was late (again) with his reading log the previous week and, though I do expect him to keep track of and remember it himself (in the hopes that by the time he's in middle and high school, I won't need to remind him to take his homework to school!), I did feel somewhat responsible because so much paperwork had accumulated on one end of the dining table, the end of the counter, the art table, the kids' table, the mudroom dresser and pretty much every horizontal surface that it was almost impossible to keep track of anything.
I forced myself to sit down Sunday morning and go through each and every piece of paper in both boxes and read, file, recycle or otherwise deal with all of it. I got our Census form filled out, and M's baseball registration. I skimmed and recycled several back issues of various magazines. I even entered our "Christmas cards received" into my spreadsheet and put them in the bag in the basement that I swear one year we'll turn into fabulous crafts (yes, I am an odd mixture of anal and slob). I gave C our property tax update form, which I'm pretty sure I should probably take back and deal with myself, because if I've got piles, that man has got mountains. We're a bad combination.
This happens every so often, the paperwork becomes so overwhelming that I have to spend a good solid hour or two figuring out what everything is, where it goes, catching up. I need to make a concerted effort to deal with things as they come in the door: cute art onto the art strings (which also need to be weeded; I just keep pinning new art on top of old!); tests, report cards and memorable school work into files; one-sided paper in the scrap bin; read magazines; file bank statements; give C the bills; fill out and return forms immediately; recycle anything not immediately necessary and useful. And maybe set aside five or ten minutes each day, or a couple of times a week to deal with those little niggly things like correcting addresses, sending thank-you's, etc. that I tend to set aside for "some day" and never get to.
Do you suffer from piles? How do you handle your condition?


  1. I too am buried under piles of paper! I shuffle the papers from surface to surface, postponing dealing until they are screaming to me while I sleep. This week I finally tackled a few. Some things had expired -- so straight to the recycling! I filed for reimbursements, deposited some checks, mailed 10 Christmas cards that had fallen between the seats in the car, and punched holes in medical notes and inserted them in binders. But already new piles are growing!!

    What are art strings? I'm intrigued. Ruby is prolific and tapes it all to the walls. I'd love a new method.

    I love your organizing posts!!

  2. Yes, we always have piles! We did get a nice filing cabinet a few years back and my husband is wonderful about creating files for everything, including the kids' homeschooling work. This had made a huge difference. Now, I just have to remember to file everything before they get piled up! :)

  3. My piles are always out of control.

  4. My piles are always out of control.

  5. Yesterday, I swept the fireplace of ash and today woke to snow. Isn't that the way it always works!?

  6. Like Mary, I love your organizing posts. And like both of you, I have piles galore. I recently read somewhere that a family's goal should be to keep all horizontal surfaces free of temporary items (i.e. a potted plant is okay, but a receipt isn't). I think it's an admirable goal, but not one my family is anywhere close to achieving!


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