Monday, January 2, 2012

The Value of Organization

Photo Krehb Fotografie,  copyright 2012

   It's amusing that I am dedicating a post to the value of home organization on a blog devoted to preparedness.  When we were first married, I was organized to a fault.  Being a registered nurse and then a charge nurse, I was accustomed to having everything exactly where I needed it in the intensive care unit, and I developed the desire to have everything "just so" at home as well.  This works when there are only two of you. I tried to keep everything organized when we had two small children, but although core areas of our home were organized, imposing organization on small children is counterproductive to their growth and creativity. I learned to adapt to my files, my personal drawers and our room being organized, but their being messy areas periodically in children's rooms and in areas they played in.  Children need a certain amount of disorganization in which to play creatively. and in order to develop an appreciation for neatness as teens, they need to be able to make a mess, and for their parents to allow them to live in relative squallor, until they decide to clean up.  Just when the two elder children began to put things away,  two more children were born, and we experienced upheaval again.  We moved about every four years when our children were small, a common American habit, as was necessary to gain more space as it became more affordable to us, and as we pursued other jobs, or decided that another state might be a better place to raise and educate our family.
           Several years ago, after our youngest son Daniel died suddenly, I must admit that cleaning and organizing wasn't of interest to me.  We were trying to survive, rather than organize and maintain.  It took a very long time for me to feel that it was important to organize and maintain our home as we had in the past.  It has been a bit more than three years since Daniel's untimely passing, and I am only now just reorganizing our farm.
           Whether you have a large home, or a very small one, organizing its contents and knowing where everything is, is extremely important.  First, decision making and clear thinking is much easier when you lived in an organized space.  Secondly, we are all much more prone to buying a new one of something, if we cannot locate the ones we thought we had.   I have two irons now, because I put the first one in a safe place and then could not recall where it was.  I have also bought everything from disinfectant spray, to spray starch, to soap bars from time to time because I am not exactly sure where I put the last ones I bought.  Some of this is understandable because with a large family, someone has something in their bathroom, and I may not know about it.  However, some of it has been purchased because I am simply not as organized as I used to be.
           This week I began a new quest to reorganize.  I redid my paper back-up address book in a larger leather format (so I can more easily read the tiny lettering. Today, I cleaned out the garage bay where I keep my car.  Not only do I now know where everything from foldable shovels for car use are, but I know where I put all the fluids for my car.  The winter here will be much easier knowing where all the items for winter use may be found.

 These are pictures included simply to inspire you.  It IS time consuming to organize tools, clothing, toiletries, toys, games and cookware, but it is much less time consuming to use them when you need them, once there is a place for everything and everything returns to that place.

This particular pantry looks really well organized.  (It's not mine, by the way)   In an earthquake prone area, the recommendations are that a supportive piece of wood or metal should be secured about a third of the way up on each shelf, allowing items to be dropped in or pulled up and out, but would not allow all these cars to fall out and shatter if violent shaking were to occur, as did here in August.

This smart person secured kitchen supplies using bungee cords and eye hooks, which of course will achieve the same thing.

Preparedness Pantry Blog


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