Getting Organized, Step 2: give everything a home

We often joke about stuff that is hanging around the house: "Where does THIS live?" 

I think you all agree that life would be so much easier if we would not have to look for displaced things. 

Keys, phones, vaccine booklets, passports, cherry pitters, you name it! 
Yes, the other day I had to pit cherries by hand ! For the life of me I couldn't find the pitter which I distinctly remember having purchased last summer!

Also I had to contact the doctor's office who gave me the last shots about 13 years ago and ask them what exactly I was vaccinated for, polio, tetanus,..? They replied by e-mail, so I printed it out and took it to the current doctor. If you are not tidy enough, you've got to be resourceful!

So, in order to put everything where it belongs, you need a place for it. Now the keys would be easy, there are lots of cool ideas. 

Just - I always leave my keys in the lock, and I hardly ever have to hunt them down. No excuse for this Lego board then, too bad.

It is Saturday afternoon, and I am happy to report that this morning I have been cleaning up and throwing away "homeless" things" for over two hours:

Now in Switzerland the next step is to put a "trash sticker" on every waste bag. We follow the polluter-pays principle. The steep price per sticker is 3 bucks. Think twice before even bringing stuff into the house - cause getting rid of it can get expensive! I have talked about recycling which can help reducing the costs of trash. Provided you've got a temporary home for the "to be recycled" stuff! In a time before 6-days-work week, hubby made this recycling center:

So this is where plastic bottles, aluminum and glass go until somebody brings them to the final collecting point:

Look how short he was 3 years ago, 
could hardly reach the opening!
Have I mentioned there are "hours" at the container because clashing glass goes under noise disturbance. So no recycling activities during lunch hour, after 6pm and absolutely not on Sundays and holidays. Unless you are a SAHM or work at least part-time you have to get it done on Saturday.

At least the paper and cardboard are being picked up - 4 times a year. Until then: hang out at the garage!

Onwards. This is an area I am happy with for now:

I should have taken a "before" picture, because Colin's wardrobe was so crowded that a visitor who didn't know me well at the time, asked if I was a nanny taking care of a bunch of kids at my house.

Could use a recommendation for a shoe cabinet, though. Not happy with the one we have. Absolutely not suitable for boots, not even "low ones".

Also have no idea what to do about the handbags. Currently they live crammed into the only built-in closet that we have in our house. And don't tell me "one in - one out" for every new item, give away an old one; not going to happen!

I will need creative ideas on how to store spacious toys like the alphabet foam mats and the countless boxes. They are too heavy to carry down to the basement and up again as soon as  Mr C decides he wants to play with the wooden bricks.

Speaking of Colin, he "helped" cleaning up, too. Meaning he started to play with the stuff I asked him to sort: keep, give away, throw away. He basically wanted to keep everything. Even the baby books. And to prove how serious he was, he sat down and looked at the pictures. "Look, mommy, a bear! Oh, and a rabbit and some sheep!" How exciting ;-)

This is why I snuck the toy parking garage and the pick-up truck down to the basement a couple of days ago. I will bring it to the children consignment store I've talked about before. If that goes well and he doesn't notice, I will remove more. 

We.Have.Got.Too.Much.Stuff!!! And still not every category of items has a steady home. However I am quite proud with what I got done today. 

Gotta go making dinner now. Corn bread, yum!