A 6-month-showing-no-signs-of-stopping-nesting-instinct and the obligatory new start for the New Year have combined behind the scenes here at ThimbleNest for a cleaning/reorganizing/purging-fest of epic proportions.
My main objective (other than purging/cleaning the entire house Smile) is to ready Spud’s room to house himself and our new baby in April.  I’m trying to go with the flow, working as Spud and my time schedule allow, but I have to admit, with less than three months to go, I’m feeling just a tiny bit of pressure starting to surge up. 
Today was a good day: Spud played independently for most of the morning, and I was able to finish emptying and relocating items from a dresser that will be moving out of his room, and did the same with a set of shelves as well.
(Above: paper, scrapbooking, cardmaking drawer awaiting a thorough going over)
During past endeavors of this sort, I’ve discovered my tendency to start spinning in circles.  You know how it goes . . . I pick up one item, deliver it to its appropriate spot in another room, get distracted by something is said room, remember I need to fill the bird feeder, and 2 hours later I discover my original task still unfinished.  (I totally identify with this scenario, and let me assure you, pregnancy brain does not improve the situation!)
So, to keep myself on track and headed in a productive direction, I’ve developed a system that’s been working well for me (you might even call it a sanity saver).
Directly beside or below the area where I’m cleaning (this is key—the containers cannot be even across the room, or I’m doomed!), sit 5 bags or containers of some sort (one is just out of view in the photo above).

  • Upstairs/downstairs box—My biggest downfall is traipsing downstairs to return some item to its proper place.  Now, as I sort, I simply place items that need to go downstairs in the box and take it downstairs when I’m finished.  I try to put things away downstairs as soon as possible or they filter their way back into the mess I’m trying to get rid of.  This one trick has streamlined my sorting/organizing immensely.
  • Goodwill/donation bag—Anything that is in good condition and can be donated goes in here; I use this bag with great zeal and not much hesitation—very rarely do I regret giving something away.  We make it a habit to drop off our donations at Goodwill at least once a month, and I try to regularly re-evaluate things that we have and keep purging.
  • Recycling—I am determined to reduce the amount of catalogs/junk mail/magazines that accumulate around here.  I don’t subscribe to any magazines, and we’ve cut down on catalogs, but we still receive tons of unsolicited junk mail that piles up quickly.  I very much identified with this post of Kyrie’s the other day.
  • Trash—Anything that doesn’t fit into one of the other four categories goes immediately into the trash.
  • Family bag—We generally see my family in the Big City about once a month, and usually I have items that I need to return or want to give/loan to them during our visits.  If I don’t place these items in a specific spot, they have a slim chance of making the journey with us.  My mother and aunt, for example, have been waiting for me to bring them a specific embroidery pattern for at least three months—my forgetfulness is getting downright embarrassing.  (You’ll be happy to know, Mom, that the pattern, your Christmas books, and clothespin holder all went into the bag today!  Triumph!  Now, if we can just remember the bag!)

Things are starting to take shape around here.  What do you do to keep yourself on track while you’re cleaning/organizing?  Any tips or tricks to share?
(Also, remember to comment on this post for a chance to win a copy of Simplicity Parenting!)


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