Organize Now! A week-by-week guide to simplify your space and your life. By Jennifer Ford Berry.

This is the book that I refer to during this post. The author wrote these tips and steps. Please see the book for actual details, steps and guided advice.

Organizing my home and facing the clutter that is my life is a hot, sweaty mess. Week 4 of the book is still the hardest challenge for me to complete thus far. I am still stuck on Week 9 (filing cabinet).

Week 4 is all about chores, charts and having the entire family pitch in. The book gives great ideas and details. I love reading all of the author’s insights. Actually getting my children and husband to join in is another story.

This week starts the 3-6 month review of everything I have done in the book so far. This is the task I started working on today. I should be able to complete it by the end of the week. This is a wonderful time for reflection.

Being a packrat is an emotional thing, not just a learned lifestyle. All of my life, I have been able to organize other people’s closets, class schedules and personal finances. There is just no way I can do any of those things for myself. The Internet has thousands of tips and articles on the subject of becoming more organized. None of these have ever really helped me. That is why I think this thrift store find has been just what I needed to help start this journey. By my calendar, I am three weeks behind in the book. I am surprisingly ok with this.

First, I needed a break. I was becoming obsessed with following it to the letter. Second, life happens. Perfect example, two children with pink eye at the same time, one child refusing to come home after school and trying to run away with her friends, a heat wave from Hades and no AC. Any of these life experiences can easily cause a delay in a journey that is no easy task to follow.

So far, things are going well. A family friend came for lunch last week. He was surprised by how much has changed around here during the last two months. The girls are rebelling against the idea of picking up each night and putting toys away. D- is hiding more in her room in the hope of avoiding more chores. We are working on the nightly “Family 15”. This is where the entire family sets a timer for 15 minutes and cleans something. Don’t care what it is, just clean something until the timer sounds. The husband struggles with this more than any of us. He just cannot seem to put his phone down long enough to complete all 15 minutes.

As I have been reviewing the 3-6 month check list, I feel more encouraged. I see how much I have actually accomplished since this began. It has also forced me to realize I might need to invest in a new paper shredder. Mine is starting to act up and overheat. This is not a good thing. First, check the local thrift store. If all else fails: office supply store. These assigned tasks have also given me great tips towards downsizing. Yes, I need to make another trip to the thrift store now for a drop-off. I just did that 5 weeks ago!

No, these weeks have not been perfect. There have been several steps that I have missed or just skipped on purpose. This week is a great time to go back and think about them again. One of the best features of this book is readers are encouraged to skip around as needed to fit their lifestyle and come back to missed parts later. This has made the flow of daily activities in my family a little easier. Even D- is starting to become interested in the future section of cleaning the closet. I have not read that week yet, but she has. More power to her. She can organize her closet anyway she would like-as long as I do not have to do it for her.