How do I organize one room a month?

Hello everybody,

I hope you are enjoying your spring! I have been having a blast organizing one room a month this year, and I wanted to tell you about my journey.

In January I did the Master Bedroom.  In February I did the Family Room and my daughter’s room.  March was the library.  April was the Mudroom and Front hall closet.  I want to tell you what I’ve learned in hopes that it will inspire you to get organizing!

Don't let perfection keep you from starting to get organized!

Don’t let perfection keep you from starting to get organized!

Things I’ve learned from organizing one room a month:

  1. Having a focus, a goal, a deadline really works!  It takes the indecision out of organization needs in the home.  When I see disorganized areas of my house I feel less concerned and guilty because I know each room in the house will eventually get its turn.  The important thing is to choose a room, write your goal down and tape it by the kitchen sink, and then focus on the room at hand, because when the month is over, it’s time to move on to the next area.  Remember, it’s better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing perfectly.  (confused?  Don’t worry I am too.  Just kidding. . .  it’s just important to do something than nothing and organizing one room a month is one way to get going.)
  2. I didn’t finish putting knobs on my daughter’s dresser which bugs me about my February project, but I plan on doing it someday.  The great thing is that the room is darling, she loves it, and I got a lot more done than I’d planned just by making it a goal!
  3. Organizing one room a month works well for the budget because I am also decorating unfinished rooms and each month brings a new paycheck which helps stretch the dollar instead of trying to do the whole house all at once with one paycheck.
  4. Research shows that 80% of the work is done in the 20% of the time allotted.  I’ve learned that it’s the last 20% of time in which I get 80% of the work done.  How do you work?  It’s interesting to think about and learn how to change oneself into a slow and steady tortoise, instead of a fast and furious “procrastinating” hare.
  5. I think a lot of people struggle rewarding themselves and celebrating their achievements.  We celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, why not when achieving our monthly goals?  Each month when I finish my organization project I reward myself with a celebration of some sort.  I’ve learned that I struggle celebrating by myself, but if I throw a party or plan to serve someone else as part of my celebration then the celebration will happen.  I still have room to improve on in this area, but actually taking the time to deliberately plan fun activities to reward myself is a huge step for me!
  6. Working with my team (my family) has been the most fulfilling part of the organization journey.  I’ve learned that I love working with children one on one.  Here’s a little poem my mother Margaret Cooper wrote about working with her 11 children:

Working with one is fun,
Working with two, your blue,
Working with three will surely get messy.

Jesus Christ ministered one on one as he shared his message of love and hope; I have thoroughly enjoyed following his example and working side by side with one child each day after school.

How have I done this?

pantry food organization hutch

Filling up the pantry canisters with beans would be a great 1 hour project with your son as your worker bee. Just remember, it doesn’t matter if you waste a cup of beans because you are building a man, not filling cans.

After snack time and private 2 minute talks, it’s time for jobs and homework.  One lucky child gets to my worker bee and work with me on a project of my choice, while another child is the job leader that orchestrates all the other children doing their jobs.  It’s awesome because the worker bee feels loved and important and they are learning important life skills to boot!  I have seen the worker bee’s confidence and love for me grow greatly from this one on one time mentoring time.  I love getting to work with a friend (the worker bee) and it’s so fun to work on a project that actually stays done!

The job leader gets the opportunity to “step in my shoes” as the mom and try to get a bunch of children to work (not an easy task!)  The job leader loves the leadership opportunity because they have POWER as the head chief!  It’s fun to see the job leader get perplexed and find creative solutions to solve problems that I usually solve.

Children often don’t like working with parents because the parents get distracted or interrupted so the work drags on and on. I choose a project that takes one hour or we set a timer and then honor the time frame so the worker bee has a light at the end of the tunnel.  They still have time to play and we had a lovely time working in a peaceful environment without lots of other busy bodies.

One day I organized all the games into 3 drawer units with my daughter.  Another day my son and I glued together books from the “Fix it” box that had been there for 5-7 years.  I was about to throw all the broken and torn books away, but I’m glad I didn’t because we had so much fun gluing and taping everything back together.

Here’s my House Organization challenge for you:

1-      Decide one room to organize this month.
2-      Write down your goal and post it at your kitchen sink as a reminder (Include the room, deadline, and celebration reward on your paper.)
3-      Plan a celebration reward at the end of the month when you accomplish your goal.

P.S. Post your success stories!  We can’t wait to hear what you’ve learned and how you’ve enjoyed working with your team!