My Real Life

April 7, 2012

All You Need is Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am
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All you need is love?

No, John…all you need is time.

This is my kitchen:

For every piece of paper I throw away, 17 more appear.

The amount of paper and crap my children bring into the house every single day is mind-boggling.

And, I don’t keep it!

I look at it and toss it.  We hang up tests and quizzes for a week, and then they meet their maker, as well.

Heck, I’m even the heartless mother who only keeps kids art work if it has a hand print, foot print, or photo of the kid on it.

There’s just so much.

See the paper bag on the island chair?

Last week, I decided I would do an experiment and see how much stuff was coming home with the kids in a week.

That was my second bag for last week.

Two full grocery bags of papers and “stuff” in a week.


I love organization and toyed with becoming a professional organizer at one point (I know…looking at that picture, no one would believe it) and so I have the tools down.

I have a small basket for mail, and I toss junk mail as soon as it comes in.

I have memory bins for all of the keepsake things that do come home.

We have a place on the invisible inside of the cabinets where I hang school schedules and lunch menus.

And still, this is what my kitchen looks like during a work week.

Now, I realize I am a full-time working mother of four.

I’m not looking for perfection.

But this drives me insane.

Something’s gotta give, and I fear, before long, it will be my sanity.

What I really need, though, is time.

That’s the struggle I have with the kitchen.

There isn’t enough time.

I love my kitchen.  It is absolutely the hub of our home.

However, it is absolutely the hub of our home.

Things get dropped on a counter, left on the table, stuck in a bin, set on a chair.

And then, eventually, pushed into a pile until I have a good two hours to do something in the kitchen other than cook, monitor homework, stop a baby from slamming his fingers in the cabinets, make appointments and phone calls, update the calendar, etc.

Two hours.

And the kitchen looks like this:


Time is all you need.

September 28, 2009

Your Questions Answered

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 7:33 am
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Diana writes:

“I am the most unorganized person. How do you keep it all together?  I get so lost in my everyday life and I have no kids.”

Diana, let’s be clear.  There are many days that I don’t keep it all together.  We have days where I’m racing out the door at the last minute.  There are days when I’m up way early because I just didn’t get to the laundry the day before.

Most days are good, but that’s because I’m an organization freak.  I have to be.  With three kids, if I’m not on top of things, no one is happy.  I think I mentioned before that I actually was always quite interested in being a professional organizer.  I find a certain kind of calm in organizing things.  (I’m actually very good at organizing other people’s things. 🙂 )

So, I do a lot of pre-work to keep our days running smoothly.  I’m like the man behind my own curtain.

I make the lunches the night before.  Toss in the laundry in the morning, switch it to the dryer when I get home, fold it when the kids go to sleep.  I do a lot of cooking on the weekend so I don’t have to do much during the week, or I do a lot of easy meals that are nutritious, but not time consuming.  The kids have chores and responsibilities that help keep things going, but not so many that they can’t enjoy being kids.

The most important reason I stay organized is so I can really be with the kids when I’m with the kids.  I want to be able to do the housework on my time so that I never have to say “Not now.  Mommy’s busy.”  That is really what’s most important to me.  They will only be little for awhile.  I want to create some lasting, loving memories now, while I can.

So, even someone without kids can get some pre-work done to set the stage for smoother days.  Planning ahead, knowing what needs to be done…that’s the key.

And…that’s the only question I got.  So, maybe we’ll try this again sometime.  Save up those questions. 🙂

September 14, 2009

Paring Down

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:48 am
Tags: , , , , ,

In the fall, I always feel the desire to settle in, to nest, to fill my cheeks with nuts in preparation for the long winter ahead.  Okay, perhaps not the last one, but you get the gist.

I’m usually pretty good at fighting the urge, but it’s tough sometimes.  It’s the law of nature to stock up and settle in as the days get shorter and the weather gets colder.

This year, I’ve decided to not only fight the urge, but to take myself in the opposite direction.  Instead of padding my nest, I’m going to purge my home.

Now, I’m a decluttering fanatic, so the truth is, we don’t have a lot of “stuff.”  I don’t really do knick-knacks, and I’m not a collector of things.  I thrive on organization and neatness.  I had toyed, for some time, with becoming a professional organizer.  Obviously, I didn’t.  Still think about it from time to time, however.

So, given this paucity of junk, what am I going to purge?

I’m starting here.


If you know me, you know that this is normally the last place I’d purge.  Books are breath to me.  There is nothing like the written word.  Holding a book.  Smelling a book.  Getting lost in a book.  Ahhh…

So, for me to start my purge here is a pretty big deal.

However, I started to think that many of my books are just decorations.  I read them.  I loved them.  But, I’m probably not going to read them again.  At least not many of the books on these bookshelves.

I have a few authors who I have collected over the years.  James Patterson.  John Sandford.  Jeffrey Deaver.  (Hmmm…they all start with the letter “J.”  Maybe there’s something to that.)

Anyway, I have all of their books.  Many of them are signed.  But, truth be told, while I loved them when I read them, I’m not going to read them again.  So, why do I keep them?

Now, these books…

books 004

…these books, I will (and already have) read over and over.  These are books that touched me in one way or another, outside of the story.  So, these I will keep.  I’ll refill the shelves with these.

I’ve already listed the James Pattersons on eBay.  The Sandfords are next and then the Deavers.   I’ve loved all those series because I love the main characters.  Patterson writes about Alex Cross.  Sandford writes about Lucas Davenport and Deaver writes about Lincoln Rhyme.  Great main characters.  Really. 

However, I’ll wait for their next ones to come out and then I’ll borrow them from the library.  Because, again, I’ll read them, I’ll love them, and then I’ll put them on the shelf to never be read again.

Maybe you want to think about an autumn purge yourself.  Take a look around.  Do you love it all?  Do you need it all?  Will you use all of it again?  If not, perhaps it’s time to let some of it go.  After all, you can’t take it with you.

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