This giveaway is now closed, thank you to everyone who entered! Congratulations to Lyssa, comment #24 , who saide, "I like your FB page!"
Once upon a time I was extremely organized, to the point of being ultra organized. I was still teaching and my kindergarten student's lives were color coded. The red group sat at the red table, got their supplies from the red tray, put their finished work in the red work bins, and found center assignments in the red part of my sentence strip organizer. Games and activities all had their spot on the shelves. My classroom library was organized by theme and then by the month I would use them. So were all my teacher files of activities. I had a label maker in my desk drawer, ready to go at an instant.
While I think I did a pretty darn good job getting my student's organized, for some reason that skill has not translated to my home and preschooler. Mainly because of the toys...you know what I'm talking about. The TOYS have a life of their own! Our main problem is too many babies! While she may only be 4.5, it's like pulling teeth to get her to give up one stuffed animal and more keep coming! Sure I've bought containers and I've tried to designate places for each one but stuff is still everywhere! Don't even get me started on the bits and pieces from the various playsets.Lately it seems anywhere I look there's something that needs to be picked up or put away. Sometimes I feel like I don't even know where to start. With the new baby on it's way, more stuff is going to be coming into the house and it's already full! The nesting instinct is kicking in. I'm in full organization mode; it's the perfect time for Pretty Neat by Alicia Rockmore & Sarah Welch.
I was eagerly anticipating the book's arrival in the mail, and expected it to mainly be about dealing with clutter. It definitely covers that but also a whole lot more! Instead, I found it to be more of an all out organize your whole life book. It has strategies to help you develop a realistic outlook, prioritize, find a to do list that works for you, deal with schedules, and how to just say no to extras that can overload life. I need help with most of those areas, except the last. After a year of being preschool session rep, I've got no problem saying NO! That's the first half of the book, establishing how to organize the important life essentials.
This lead me to think, if I could get a handle on those things, I would feel a lot less stressed AND have more time to devote to other things...like toy clean up! The second half of the book gives tips and ideas for how to handle the clutter, cause what kind of organization book would it be without touching on that? I found the chapters of toy tsunamis, taming the inbox, and master home cooked meals really helpful and I know you will too.
I enjoyed the style of the book, the approach to organization is down to earth and doable. There are a lot of antidotes from other busy women, letting you know, your not alone. Love that, cause sometimes I feel everyone else on the block must live in a magazine ready home with perfectly appointed rooms. Pretty Neat is also written in a friendly girlfriend style, like you're sipping coffee and chatting.
Oh and those toys we've got everywhere? Pretty Neat gave me some good suggestions, my new ideas to tackle that problem? First things I've got to be more consistent about having her clean up her things before I just jump in and do it to save time. I'm also guilty of wanting her to hold onto toys for my own sentimental reasons. I need to let those go and make room for the ones she actually plays with.
Lastly, and this is the tough one...I have to be firm with a policy for every new one in at least one has to go out...and it should be two or three. We went through her babies last week and I was surprised at how easily she could identify babies to donate. Actually, if asked, she could tell me which games she didn't need and we even went through the small toy bins and got rid of a lot from there too. It was such a relief to feel like we're at least starting to get a handle on things! Next up, I'm going to take pictures and make up tags for her toy bins. Since many look like the same, it's probably hard for her to know where to put things. This will help establish a home for each type of toy.
One reader will win her own copy of Pretty Neat!
Leave a comment on this post. Now that I've confessed our toy problem, it would be fun to find out one of your organization hurdles.
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Giveaway open now through March 19th at Midnight EST to US residents. Winner will be chosen via random.org, contacted via email, and have 48 hours to respond before a new one is chosen. Good Luck!
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the book for review and have a chance to win additional prizes for posting. Opinions and experiences are personal and unbiased by the sponsor.