Friday, March 14, 2008


I have never been what one might call organized. I envy people who are. Still, Lysa said that any of us could participate and I can't resist even if it is slightly embarrassing! So, I'm participating in the swap and hop.

Not being organized was learned at a young age, so it is a very hard habit to break. My mom would say, "Clean your room." At 10, I interpreted this as "Put everything under your bed." My mom never thought to look there, so I never got in any trouble for it.

It has caused more stress as I've gotten older and had to deal with adult things rather than the box of collected rocks, dolls, yarn, and other odds and ends. I spend a good deal of time looking for things. While I am trying to get better at this, it isn't going so well.

I've been working at Barnes and Noble as a sub. I started there over the holidays to pay for Christmas. The one idea I've gotten from them is RECOVERY. Everyone who works there typically hates it, but I think it has it's merits. It happens periodically through out the day, but more intensely at night the hour before the store closes and the half hour or so after the store closes. Basically, it is thoughtfully helping all the books find their homes again. Here is how it goes:

  • The store is broken into zones. Everyone gets a zone to concentrate on.

  • Everything has a home.

  • You carry a PDT (little computer) and scan the books without homes to find where they go.

  • Said books get put in their proper places.

  • To really do a good job, you actually run your hand along each shelf of books and straighten them. If there are big gaps, you face some books out. (Especially your favorite authors that you might know!) Authors don't pay for this like they do space in the front of the store. It's all up to the bookseller.

I need to apply these principles at home. If I did, it would look like this:

  • Everything has a home

  • Do a zone or room a day

This is what my life actually looks like:

When company comes I use boxes and bags to get that into:

And then the table looks like this:

I had to do this today because I have a friend's two boys coming for the weekend. Jill is speaking at Hearts at Home. (Please pray for that.) My annual contribution is keeping her kids for her. Hence the cookies.

I've had it suggested before that when I bake, I should make extra and freeze the dough. So, I did do that today as well. It's freezing right now. (Balanced a bit precariously, but I know not to open the door quickly.) In a bit, I'll put them in a container.

The other thing I do manage to do, is keep files on the computer organized. My pictures are in files labeled by year or type like "Shots to use on the web." My emails are also organized by ones I want saved: Blog tech tips, Blog info, Names of Friends, etc. I can manage to do that but not the physical organization on a regular basis.

I'm blessed that even thought I'm not organized, God manages to use me anyway.

I need to run. I have two boys to pick up and entertain for the weekend! Can't wait for a chance to peruse your ideas!


Becky said...

Great tips Amy. I think it is great that you are serving your friend this weekend so she can serve others. Have fun with the boys and enjoy your cookies.

: ) Becky

Lysa TerKeurst said...

You are so funny... so honest... and so real. Love that!!!

And I love the bookstore idea. Thanks for sharing.

Bobbie said...

I bet working at a bookstore is one of the best jobs there is! I like the idea of helping the books find their homes. Thank you for sharing- everything has to have a home so it can be put away.

Ann said...

I used to work in a library and we did the same thing :) I don't have many great ideas--my biggest challenge is my husband, who likes to spread everything out so he can see it. I do know that it's easier to keep something clean than to get it clean, so I try to maintain every day :)

I got a failure notice on an e-mail I sent you with my contact info--I resent, but if it doesn't come through, please check and make sure your e-mail box isn't full :)

Anonymous said...

How did you get that picture of my kitchen table? :)

Actually, it's the kitchen counter that grows the paper in this house. Lately, it's been sprouting small, crumpled receipts. I've got most of the paper handled though. I wrote a 3 part series called "Don't File Paper at Home Anymore" if you are interested. It's on my "freakishly organized" page.

I've seen you around a lot. We must read a lot of the same blogs!

p.s. I could never work in a bookstore. I would go broke. I'm the "book lady" at my church's annual rummage sale and from the number of books I bring home in a two week span every year (for just a dollar or 50 cents each), I can't image working in a retail bookstore. That would be bad. If you want to see pictures, they are in a post entitled "i am not alone" on my devotions page.