Organized Chaos

   I had a reader email me, and ask me how I keep my house so tidy.  She looked through all our photos and couldn’t see a mess in sight. 


After I laughed and told her we definitely have our messes, I explained that the tidiness we DO manage to achieve, comes from being a totally compulsive Pillow-Fluffier, House Picker-Upper.  I can’t help myself, I tidy and fluff decorative pillows each and every time I walk past the couch.  And, as I walk from one end of the house to another, I gather handfuls of things that are out of place, because I can’t STAND a mess!  I have my kids clean up before lunch & naps, again before daddy comes home for supper, then again before bed.  They play better when the house isn’t trashed, they really do!

  I am a big believer in a place for everything and everything in its place.  The kids play closet is full of baskets, each housing a different collection of toys.  Baskets are such a great tool for tidiness.


    I use canvas baskets inside our coat closet to house miscellaneous things like hats, coats, scarves, sunglasses, sunblock, & Dale’s ball caps.




Thanks to a generous friend, the kids each have a locker for their school stuff.


There is one basket on top for “treasures” and another basket on the bottom for gloves and hats…….which we seem to have bazillions of!


  I use the side of the lockers for important school notes and updates.


  This is how I control the grown up “treasures” that can totally make my kitchen counters look cluttered:


  I have this basket on the kitchen counter right when you first enter the kitchen.  This houses box tops to send to school, DVD’s to be returned, things to mail, broken necklaces waiting for repair etc.

  Dale has a basket to prevent “Dale Trails”. He’s had his basket 8 years now.  It was an old one given to me by my mom, and was the original “Organized Chaos” basket in our home.  It lives on the dryer, which is RIGHT inside the back door.


What is a Dale trail you ask? 

  When we were first married, I’d come in from work and LITERALLY could follow the path Dale had taken as he walked in the door.  Thus was dubbed the term: “Dale Trail”. 

 Picture with me this…..

Keys on the dryer, change on the kitchen counter, wallet on the buffet, cell phone on the living room mantel, receipts on the desk, desk chair pulled out with shoes and socks next to it, a belt on the chair in our bedroom etc. etc.…..

AHHHH!  This was NOT OK!  My tidy world was being destroyed!!!!  The basket has helped a ton, no more Dale trails, but we are working on making it IN the basket, not AROUND the basket.  🙂  Sorta like the toilet. Oh wait, that’s the “little Dale” in my life named Tylan…..never mind.

  Yes, I am a little basket-happy, but it totally has worked for us!  I even like to use baskets in my pantry, one to house onions and garlic, another for snacks and the big one for a bazillion bags of opened chips and pretzels.  (Can someone PLEASE teach my family the “finish one bag before you open another” rule?)


  Hope this helps!  I got my baskets ages ago at Wal-Mart, some for $3 a piece up to $8 a piece.  Not a bad investment if you ask me, but that could just be the Pillow-Fluffier in me talkin’! 


Whose Bright Idea Was This, Anyhow?!

  Today’s project was “Toy Closet Clean Up”. I thought it’d be a great idea to involve the kids, assigning a few baskets to each child, to be gutted, sorted and put back on the shelf.  It seemed so simple really.


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How is it that stuff like this always seems like such a good idea at the time, but then turns south reallyreally quickly?


  I do believe at this point, he had discovered Mommy’s Trash Bag of broken toys:  “But they’re SPECIAL, Momma!”

  {Or, quite possibly, I snapped at him to quit playing and get his baskets done before lunch!}  (Sorry, Ty!)


  I explained to him that in our family, we like to stay organized and keep things neat and tidy.  This means we don’t keep broken toys that just take up space.  This was a great way to make sure his UN-broken cars had room in their basket home.  Well, he thought that made some sense.  He dried his tears and got back at it, even working with Destiny to surprise me by organizing the Train Table.


  It wasn’t long before Avery turned on the waterworks, although I cannot for the life of me remember why right now.  It was so close to lunch and nap time, who knows!!!!!


Tylan, sweet boy, grabbed her by the hands and said something vaguely like what I had just said to him, about being tidy and working together to get the job done.


  Phew. Disaster averted.  Time to make lunch!

When it was all said and done, the closet looked MUUUUCH better, and we had actually cleared enough space for 3 additional baskets! Yay!   🙂


  My next project? The one I’ve been putting off for 5 months now…..

See that HUGE stack of white paper on top? 

All new recipes to try. 


  029I need to gut and re-do my existing recipe folders, then place these new print offs in sleeves and add them as well.  Ugh.

As you can see, I currently have them shoved in my desk, so I don’t have to look at them each day.  How overwhelming!

Maybe I’ll get to it while the kids are outside playing and Pax is napping?

What’s that kids? You want me to come play in the Tee-pee with you?”


Shoot, guess I am TOO busy right now to start such a large project.

146Darn.  Maybe tomorrow.

148Or the next day.


Or next year……