Monday, February 22, 2010

My Blissfully Sweet Life of Organized Chaos

The topic of the day is who misplaces things and who can find them. The overall theme for this, to me, is organization, so read on to find out how we handle organized chaos at our house…
Hubby: “Has anyone seen my shoes?”
Me: “Under the table!”
Hubby: “Which one?”
Me: “The end table where they were kicked under, like always.”
Hubby: “How about my keys?”
Me: “Downstairs on the arm of the couch.”
Hubby: “My phone?”
Me: “Stuck between couch cushions in the living room.”
Hubby: “Wait, what about my wallet?”
Me: “You left it in the console of your Jeep.”
Hubby: “Oh yeah. Has anyone seen my hat?”

Are you KIDDING me? Thank goodness I adore this man.

This is my life of organized chaos. We’re a fun loving family that stays very busy. A family of 4 with two Chihuahuas and a rotating door that invites houseguests at all times of the year. Our 2 crazy dogs that think they are Dobermans and bark at every knock or doorbell ring on the TV. My daughters are amazing. At 6 and 9, they could keep me laughing from morning ‘til night, if I wasn’t at work all day. They are creative, inventive and love doing projects with Dad. “Dad, Can I use the nail gun?” is a common question we hear. They and their dad absolutely make the chaos fun and the work day worth working.

My ultimate goal is to have everything organized and to simplify our lives. This would mean that everything has a place, closest are perfectly organized and labeled, my books and files are where I left them in my office, and shoes can find their own way to the closets. ~ I’ve since come to my senses and I’m settling for being able to see the kitchen counters and not get anything stuck to my feet when I walk on the wood floors in the living and dining rooms. Yes, it’s not my idea of “clean and organized,” but as long as others are helping out, I’ve decided to not be such a perfectionist.

I’ve noticed that everyone in our house misplaces things. Typically, things get set down where ever and I have a basket for each person that I put them in when I clean up. With my husband, however, I tend to have a different approach. I think I drive him crazy because he seems to want me to just leave his stuff where he left it (on the table, counter, window sill, etc), but I feel that if I give him a place to put his day-to-day things (wallet, keys, phones, etc), he should be able to put them there every time and know that they will be there when he needs them. This works sometimes. However, if these specified locations get filled with other items like tools, fishing line, other not day-to-day items, I move them to a basket in the closet. Therefore, I tend to misplace his stuff for him. However, I see it as cleaning up.

While things are certainly crazy all year round, I feel that summer is the craziest. With the entire family home, other than me, the house has no chance to sit and enjoy being clean. That is, three people here to dirty the house all day and the one that does most of the cleaning is at work and does NOT want to spend her entire evening cleaning.

Enter here…the chore list. Sometimes they get done, sometimes they don’t, but mom’s rule is that if it’s not done before I get home from work, you don’t get allowance for that day. It tends to work with my 9 year-old and I’m hoping that rubs off on the 6 year-old soon. However, she tends to be a walking tornado…things literally fall on the floor as she walks by. I’m thinking about having her tested for a sixth sense…what do they call it when you can make things move without touching them?

At least with a system of chores...(written down and posted on the fridge counts as a system, right?)...and some family members that help…(Kudos to my amazing 9 year-old!)...we can typically find the things we need to make our family function without too much freaking out…on good days. This is what I call Organized Chaos. Now, where is my energy drink and why is the dog in the baby doll stroller?

Who is your household misplaces things? Do you have a system for keeping your family organized? Inquiring minds are always looking for ideas.

Thanks for reading: Domestically Disabled


Anonymous said...

I think the bride would probably say that would be me. I don't know why she moves the things like my boots. I wear em everyday so they should be by my chair, and that isn't really "in the middle of the d&mn floor! Everything I tote I leave in the pockets of my dungarees until the next day when I switch it to the new dungarees for the day. See now THAT is a fail proof system, unless she messes with em after I take them off!

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...


I'm totally completely disorganized.

The roles are switched in that role play with my husband.

I'm always calling him up asking him if he has seen this or that.

I can clean. And when I actually do it, I'm pretty awesome at it. But like anyone else, I HATE doing it. When I get back from work it's the very last thing I really want to do.

On the days I don't work I want to just hang or chill with my family. Go places, do things. It's a lame excuse.

When I stayed at home my house stayed relatively clean yet I've never been organized. I've bought a bunch of books to help me... and I know everything I'm SUPPOSE to do...

But my kids are required to keep their room clean and can't play until everything is picked up and put in its place.

I always say, "Do as I say not as I do"... seems to work for now, but I know I have to get my SHIZ together because when they get older they will have a problem with that saying. My hope is that they will have embedded cleanliness and organization in their systems before that time...

I know... that's flawed thinking... but I can wish right?

Either way. I'm the guilty party in this whole scenario.

Hair Bows & Guitar Picks said...

I am the clean freak and I tend to go way over board with it. I believe that everything has a place and needs to be put back when you are done.

The kids have a play area and their toys/games and stuff must stay there...I do not want stuff scattered all over the house.

My middle son {7} however is a slob..I mean a totally slob. I clean his room and 10 mins. later it is a total disaster. So I have had to really let that one go or I would freak out every time I walked in his room - and it's not healthy for me or him.

I am sure that my kids and hubby hate me for always yelling to "put it back where you got it" but with 3 kids, 3 dogs, 2 cats I have to be that way or god knows what our house would look like.

Mrs.Duran said...

My husband is a police officer who works midnights and so when he gets home all he wants to do is take his uniform off and I totally understand I just wish he could hang it up instead of having everything piled on the kitchen table or the floor. I even have a box where he can put his small things in handcuffs,belt keepers, notpads ect... but does he use it? NO!!! He also loves to read the paper which is not that big of deal it what he does with it when he is done, he just puts it on the floor and he knows that drives me crazy because he will say to me " dont worry I will throw it away" no he doesnt my 2 year old will get a hold of it and just have fun with it!!! Been married for almost 6 years and you would think he would have learned to just throw the paper away when he is done reading it!! Guess he is a slow learner!!!!

Anonymous said...

My husband would say, in a heat beat, that it is I who misplaces thing. I correct him and say that it's our 3yr old daughter who insists on picking things up and hiding them because I am VERY anal about where things go, how things are cleaned up, etc.

After chatting with NV (Nolens Volens) so much, he helped me realize that I have a touch of OCD. I seriously cannot function if things are not put away (by my definition) properly, or cleaned up my way.

However, my husband's idea of being able to find things is leaving them where ever he feels like putting them. If no one touches them, he can find them.

Meagan said...

I guess my husband would say I misplace things because I clean his junk up! Then he can't find anything because, "I hide it". I'm also just better at remembering where stuff is than he is. So he frequently asks me where stuff is and usually finds it. Since it is just the two of us that doesn't bother me. His stuff being every where and him telling me whatever system I am trying at the time isn't working is what drives me crazy. Good to know I'm not the only one. Will be checking out to see if anyone has a solution!

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I'm not back to give a solution... But I just want to say, you have no idea what great service you guys are doing to be able to tell us that lose things or can't remember where we placed them where those things are!


See I am the best finder, when u miusplacwe things like I do you would be also... But it's so much faster to just call my hubs and ask him!

I'm just sayin. You guys should be proud that your brains work that way!!! Thankful you can help people like me!!!

Missty said...

Not to unorganized here, or things misplaced. I have one very simple rule - nothing personal is left in the common areas of the house - ever. So your shoes, cell phone, keys etc. are in your own pockets, on your feet or in your own bedroom. Boys messy rooms - that is why there are doors. I close them. lol

My sister is always in turmoil with her keys, etc. I am always hearing- husband took my set of keys this morning, so now I can't leave the house or lock the door or drive, etc. Or teen daughter took my car with dads keys and now I can't do_______.
Umm, hello get three sets of keys, to the house and each person who drives get a set or whatever. DRIVES ME CRAZY, just listening to her, I couldn't live it.

I have my set of keys, NEVER has my husband had to take them or me take his because we have misplaced our own.

April said...

My son probably misplaces the most stuff. Next is my sig other and then myself. I'm ALWAYS the one who gets ask, "Do you know where my XYZ is?" Like I have some location device implanted in my brain or something.

I know where they usually "lose" it, so I do tend to "know" where they left, oops I meant lost it.

It's so funny that you refer to your daughter as a tornado because that's what I call my son all the time. I reserve cleaning for the weekends. Every other weekend my son goes to his dad's house. By the time he comes home on Sunday, the house is nice and clean. Not even 5 minutes after he's walked in the door, the house is a mess. You always know when he's home, that's for sure.

I, too, keep a chores list for my son. I have a typed up list for the different chores he's supposed to do each day. He has to initial next to the chore as he completes it. It's based on an honor system, as I take his word that he's actually done the chore he's initialed. If I find that he didn't do a chore the way he's supposed to, or not at all, money gets taken away from his allowance. He gets 2 chances to lose from his allowance. The 3rd time he doesn't do something, he gets grounded for a day. This goes on a weekly basis.

DGB said...

I am an organized person. There are a few areas around the house where I will put things. My wallet not on my nightstand? It's gotta be on the desk in my study. My wife, however, is hopelessly unorganized. And since there is no rhyme or reason to where things get placed, I'm of no help.

Of course, I don't try to help her either. Take her keys, for example. We have a key bowl close to the front door. A designated spot to put your keys so you can always find them. Yet her keys sometimes land next to the keybowl. Or in her bag. Or on the counter. Or somewhere under the chaos that is her desk.

Organization comes naturally to me. Not to her. Rather than fight about it, I've given up on the dream of living in a tidy home.

Anjeny said...

OMG...I can't even begin to count how many times the hub or the kids asked me about somethings of theirs they misplaced.

I've come up with a smart ass response to all their questions.

Doesn't matter who, the hub or the kids, when they asked if I've seen this or that of theirs, my response is always...

"Yes I grew a pair of legs and took off down the street, if you hurry, you just might catch up with it."

Yeah, I got a lot of angry looks from that one but at least it stopped them from asking me about it first instead of trying to remember where they place said item in the first place.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

DGB-bwahahahaha given up the dream! So true.

Anjeny- hehehe at sarcastic remark! I'd drop kick my husband and torture him for the info...I guess it'd be easier to just remember where I put it.

I'm surrounded by anal people over on this blog!!! ;)

The Bare Essentials Today said...

Oh god, my ex used to do something similar....but he didn't have issues finding things. He would walk through the front door and immediately strip. Right there,in the front door, clothes draped over the couch. It would drive me bonkers!

The Bare Essentials Today said...

Oh god, my ex used to do something similar....but he didn't have issues finding things. He would walk through the front door and immediately strip. Right there,in the front door, clothes draped over the couch. It would drive me bonkers!

The Bare Essentials Today said...

Oh god, my ex used to do something similar....but he didn't have issues finding things. He would walk through the front door and immediately strip. Right there,in the front door, clothes draped over the couch. It would drive me bonkers!

The Bare Essentials Today said...

Oh god, my ex used to do something similar....but he didn't have issues finding things. He would walk through the front door and immediately strip. Right there,in the front door, clothes draped over the couch. It would drive me bonkers!

The Bare Essentials Today said...

Oh god, my ex used to do something similar....but he didn't have issues finding things. He would walk through the front door and immediately strip. Right there,in the front door, clothes draped over the couch. It would drive me bonkers!

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I just wanted to say I think Donna had something to say...

Donna we heard you!!! :)

SheSaid/HeSaid said...

You must be living in my house. Perhaps you go up the back stairs as I'm coming down the main stairs - cuz I swear the same thing happens in my house. The biggest things that get left around are books. I place the kids' books on the steps, thinking that they will see them on the way up and grab them . . . not! They may notice them as they continue to climb up the stairs but figure the shelf elf will magically place the books in their rooms if they wait long enough - and of course, they are right because I get sick of seeing the crap sitting on the steps!

Pre-marriage and kids, my house was immaculate. When my boyfriend/soon-to-be-husband moved in, he teased me about my house cleaning obsession - claiming that I will change once we have kids. I of course swore up and down that I would never not have a clean house. Jump to 13+ years later - and it pains me to admit that he was right. I consider it a major accomplishment to have the dishes and laundry done - forget about the menial dusting, mopping and toilet cleaning that I once obsessed over.

I consider my house comfortably lived in - it's never immaculate unless my parents are visiting, but it is never filthy either. I like the comfortable middle ground!

I wish you luck on your organization. The problem is - no matter what procedures we implement, it requires the cooperation and effort of our fellow house-dwellers. When someone out there finds a way to adequately train the family members, please share it with me!

Shell said...

We all misplace things in my family!

I couldn't find the charger for my blackberry for two days. It was in my youngest's dresser- he'd thrown out all his shirts and put my charger in there. SIGH.

Jessica Stier said...

My kids tell me that I'm the best finder in the world. It's true. I have mad finding/knowing where things are skills. But in my family of four boys, including my husband that's not too difficult. I don't think they'd be able to survive without me for a week. Really.

Shirley said...

Both my husband and I misplace things. The difference is: when husband can't find things, he expects me to drop whatever I'm doing and find it for him; when I can't find something, I look until it's found without bothering him. He also forgets to take his cell phone to work at least once a week, and then needs me to drive it over to his office as soon as possible. I always tell him I'm going to go shopping afterward as a reward for being so nice. : )

Emmy said...

Organized Chaos is a great phrase for it. My husband loses everything. My kids lose everything. They are a walking tornado when they come home. And I learned a long time ago that trying to keep up with them all will drive me to drink. Instead, I like to say that our house has the lived in look.

Domestically Disabled said...

Thanks for all of the comments!

Sage: Shoes are always in the middle of the floor at our house. I’m pretty sure that walk there on their own…right?

Shelle: Not a lame excuse. Family is a good use of your time  I’m ok with their rooms being messy as long as I don’t have to help them find their stuff. I tell my daughters that if they need my help finding clothes, then I get to pick what they wear. My organization has worn off on my 9 year-old and her room is typically super organized as well. I have had to learn to be ok with a less than organized life at home…but I am SUPER organized at work since no one there messes things up. Lol!

Hair Bows: It would probably look like our house  I tend to give up rather quickly. I really don’t mind cleaning…if that was the only thing I had to do, it would be fine. Good for you for sticking to it. They’ll pick up on it eventually – I hope.

615sWife: I hear you.

Alex: My hubby says the same thing. I try to explain that my stress level is directly related to how messy the house is. It doesn’t change things, but I like to be heard on this one.

Megan: I read that comment to my hubby and he says that sounds just like him! Lol!

Missty: I agree. Even my little kids have their own house keys 

April: Sounds like you have a good system. My problem is sticking with a system since I’m not the one that is typically home to enforce it.

Daddy Geek Boy: That dream is also dwindling for me. My hubby even asked for one place that he could put the mail everyday so I put a basket on the counter that says “MAIL”. Guess where the mail was yesterday? On a bookshelf. Today? On the side table. I give up as well.

Anjeny: Sometimes we all need to use a smart ass response.

Bare Essentials Today: We’ve been through that phase as well. The kids tend to do this with shoes, coats, backpacks, even though we have hooks and shelves for everything only 4 steps away.

She Said/He Said: Lol!!! If you find a Shelf Elf, I would like the number. I tend to use the phrase “If you want to come visit a clean house, you’ll have to come at Thanksgiving. That’s the only time it’s completely clean.”

Shell: Our kids like to hide the remote. Boy does hubby LOVE that! Ha!


I think my daughters bedroom is a total mess. She calls in organized chaos. As far as I'm concerned those 2 words dont' fit together. How can it be orgainzed and chaos too? Seems to me it has to be one or the other.

Domestically Disabled said...

ATV Web Solution: Seems like if she can find her stuff and knows where things are when she needs them, then her chaos is organized :)