It’s week # 11 (eleven!!!) in Org Junkie’s 52 Weeks of Organizing challenge. This week Org Junkie’s topic is “Consolidate & Conquer.

Eeeek. That makes me absolutely quiver with fear. Quiver I tells ya. And not in a good way.

You see, I already know how to consolidate… that’s easy. I toss massive piles of crap into bags and boxes and buckets all the time! It’s the conquering that baffles me.

The reason people like me have so many piles of stuff everywhere is because we cannot make decisions. Wait, let me rephrase that. I am great at making quick decisions about really important things like what to major in (history! sure, why not? there are probably TONS of jobs for history majors!), what house/car to buy (this one doesn’t smell too bad!), whether or not to take a job in another state that would uproot my family and leave us in financial ruin (yes! let’s do it!). But when it comes to whether or not I should toss a plastic milk jug cap? Hmmm. I’m not sure. You know what, I think I’ll keep it. For now. You never know when you might need something like that.

Which leads to having a bag like this in your basement:

On the count of three:





But you know what? I’m getting better. I am. I am gradually seeing some improvements around here. And those improvements are boosting my confidence. And that confidence is helping me to not keep every piece of paper or plastic that touches my fingers. Want some proof?

Here’s what I conquered this week: the outside of my fridge. Also known as the MOTHER of all crap magnets.

Ick. Nothing screams “I totally do NOT have my shit together” like having your most used major appliance completely buried under a bunch of junk. In fact, I’m pretty sure there must be a direct correlation between the number of decorative magnets on one’s fridge and that person’s insanity level.

Well, not for me, anymore! I conquered that sucker! Well, the fridge part… still working on the sanity.

How’d I do it, you ask?

Naturally, I tried to follow Org Junkie’s PROCESS (Plan, Remove, Organize, Containerize, Evaluate, Simplify, Smile). However, after 11 weeks, it seems as though I have developed my own slightly less effective version, which I like to call ROACHES: (Remove, Organize, Attack (toss as much as I can), Clean the dust buffaloes I’ve uncovered, Hide rest of crap I couldn’t bear to toss, Evaluate, Shop for cute containers.)

Here is a picture after my “REMOVE” and “CLEAN” steps:

This is totally my favorite part.

The rest of those middle steps were not quite as photo-worthy this week. But let me assure you that I did a bunch of tossing and recycling this week, and did not need to resort to very much “crap HIDING.” Especially because most of the junk on the fridge was outdated paperwork that was a no-brainer even for a gal like me.

Now I’m in the “EVALUATE” and “SHOP” phases, and here is what it looks like so far:

I put all the bread products on top of the fridge into a bigger wicker basket that I already had somewhere else in the house. Isn’t that so much better looking? Very easy to grab the whole basket and just get/return what I need.  I also designated one magnet for each kid to display their ONE favorite piece of artwork for the week. (Still waiting on my third child to choose something for our “gallery”). I’ll have to vigilantly enforce the “One In, One Out” rule here so we don’t backslide into the dumping ground it was before.

On this side, you will notice three “Responsibility Charts,” courtesy of Org Junkie, and a pen hanging from a (sassy pink leopard print) shoelace. We just started using these charts this week. So far, so good! I’ll let you know in a few weeks if we are keeping up with it.

And on this side, I’ve got ONE decorative magnet (the blue polar bear with a picture of my husband and youngest son) and one baggie for coupons and one baggie for those evil Box Tops I absolutely abhor with a passion.

At some point I’ll buy or make some cuter storage containers for the coupons and Box Tops, but that’s just gravy. I also need to find a magnetic paper catcher for new recipes that I haven’t added to my recipe book yet. But I haven’t found one I like at this point.

Now of course, my children cannot STAND to see uncluttered spaces. Those are just blank canvases to them. So not one day after I achieved this marvel of organization did I find this piece of crap on my fridge:

If I were a better mother I’d probably be celebrating their creativity for making a flower out of K’Nex and lovingly participating in the decorating of our home. But no, I’m just annoyed they are mucking up my pretty kitchen with their plastic CRAP. Why I oughta….

Fortunately, I can just employ Org Junkie’s Ten Minute Tidy at the end of the day and quickly spot and remove any stray objects from my newly organized spaces! Foiled again, my uninvited little decorators!! HA! I guess I need to put some kind of bulletin boards or magnetic surfaces in the kid’s rooms so they have a surface they can decorate as they please. No prob, I’ll just add that to the “SHOPPING” list!

Have a great week, everyone!


PS – to see the rest of the 52 Weeks projects I’ve tackled so far, click here.

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