Organization is a constant challenge in our home. I’ll find something that really works – like the toy storage featured above – and it works for a while. Then something happens (in this case, Johnny started emptying ALL the bins, “swimming” in them, and walking out of the room), and I have to start over. The toy bins are now stacked between the washer and dryer (where they conveniently fit perfectly), and the kids have to ask for each toy by name. In a few weeks we’ll try moving the bins back into the playroom! I’ve conquered a few organizational challenges (Emma’s room was a recent success), but other areas (most notably the half-wall that divides our kitchen from our living room, serving as a convenient place to put random things) remain a challenge.
And so I was thrilled to receive a review copy of Pretty Neat: The Buttoned-Up Way to Get Organized and Let Go of Perfection. As anyone who knows me in real life will tell you, the Perfection part of that title doesn’t apply to me. At all. I’m very much a pragmatist, and so the first part of the book that focused on letting go wasn’t terribly helpful. If anything, I have trouble letting go TOO much! As I read on, however, I grew to appreciate the diversity of approaches and tips that are offered in the book. All of the suggestions seem realistic, and – because they are so diverse – there should be something there for everyone, from the on-top-of-it-all women to the help-I’m-drowning-in-stuff types. The book includes several tips that definitely work for me, including getting rid of stuff, creating to-do lists, deciding what cleaning priorities matter the most to you, and using Google Calendar to coordinate family activities.