Organizing: You Can Have It All

Besta storage from IKEA – image via The House on Penny Lane – click for info

This is a guest post from Adrienn Csoknyay.

We want it all.

Or at least I do.

Is it really too much to ask to have a great relationship, happy kids, nice home, and a job I love?

Apparently it is.

You can imagine my shock when I discovered that I started to have eczema on my hands while expecting my first child. I couldn’t treat it with effective creams due to my pregnancy, so I started to examine why I developed it in the first place.

I realized that I became nervous, irritated and itchy when someone told me horror stories about how difficult it will be with a little one at home, how I will manage the housework, the cooking etc. Both our families live quite far, you see, so I have no other choice then to do it on my own while my partner is at work. I could get some paid help for weekly cleans but the daily tasks would be still on my shoulders and to hire someone seven days a week is a bit out of our range.

I knew I had to come up with some solutions that would help me maintain my equilibrium and the skin on my hands.

Living in an inspiring, stylish, and clean home is for me like breathing fresh air. Without it I feel truly miserable.

Hey, I’m the girl whose happiest moments in youth were when she returned home with the newest interior design magazine! But everybody kept telling me that it will be impossible, that all the little gadgets and toys will invade our house leaving us in plastic toy hell. I wont have time to shower let alone clean away everything while nursing and raising my son. And seemingly it is fine, no one will mind, it is like a badge of honor to let it all go cause you are with a baby and that’s the MOST important thing right now. And it is. But still, if I don’t feel comfortable in my home, who will?

So I didn’t take it.

Fast forward 18 months.

I’m due with my second baby in 2 weeks. Eczema is gone. As I look around I see no chaos, no scattered toys, dirty dishes, overflowing cupboards.

How did I do it, you ask? With a different approach and some simple-to-follow strategies.

My 5 secrets to sanity:

Minimum toys: Use your imagination and let them play with pots and pans and whatever interesting things you can find around the house. We also have the Besta shelf unit from IKEA (Width: 47 1/4 “Depth: 15 3/4 ” Height: 15 “), which is not big at all in our living room, to store all the toys and books along with one additional little basket. If I see that my son doesn’t play with something for a while, I clear it away and replace it with something else. His room upstairs is just for sleeping and dressing, making it all the easier to clean.

Store toys before naps and night time: Enlist the help of your child even if he will be more of a hindrance in the beginning, after a while he will enjoy putting things back in the drawer.When he is finally asleep you can come back to a clean slate and don’t have to start doing it on your own, loosing precious minutes.

Me time: While he sleeps do all the things that need your full attention (email, work etc.).

Involve your child in the housework: Cooking, cleaning, folding laundry you name it, do it together. He will learn so much! As your child grows you can give him bigger tasks. Parenting experts agree that by involving your offspring in the daily tasks they get the required attention and can express in a positive way their power which in turn results in less nagging and whining.

Think like a stylist: Only what pleases your eyes should be allowed in your home. Even if it is left out it shouldn’t bother you.

I found that even if I tried to ignore the mess it still affected me. That’s why I’m constantly working on solutions to make organizing easier and less of a hassle. This doesn’t mean, of course, that our house looks visitor-worthy all the time, but I know that in no time I can make it look like it!

These guidelines will help you set the tone.

– – –
Adrienn Csoknyay is an interior designer turned professional organizer who has worked until recently in her family-run tennis club as a coach and tournament and event organizer. With two children under 2, she set out to create an online organizing business called Adrienn Csoknyay Organizing, focusing on simple, eco-friendly, and stylish solutions for your home. You can find her here.

6 thoughts on “Organizing: You Can Have It All

  1. impressed by your single mindedness and ultimate streamlined success
    i am somewhat of a muddler myself working as a vintage dealer/artist
    i fight a constant battle with clutter
    {my greatest challenge is the random nature and clutter of my mind}
    my son is now grown 18 and i have more time to get back to my creative roots i feel i have earned the right to now be a tad selfish
    i have started a new blog trying to forge creative connections
    by celebrating the creativity of others
    great post women can have it all but perhaps not all at once?
    good luck with the birth take care linda x … ***

    1. Thank you so much! I’m back home now with my baby girl enjoying our little family and getting to know each other.

      I hear you.

      Here is a post from Devaa Haley Mitchell: http://birth2012.com/2012/07/29/3377/ that sums it up perfectly.
      “I believe we can still have it all. But having it all may mean something very different to people today than it meant when we were growing up. And as we set our own standards for success, we give ourselves permission to have much more satisfying, joyful lives. Now who doesn’t want that? ”
      Good luck with your blog!

  2. It amazed me how many folks urged me to “lower my expectations” rather than give good tips and ideas for keeping the house/life/kids in order. I had to figure it out for myself. It’s not magazine or even blog pic worthy, but it’s reasonably uncluttered, clean and functional. The kids are happy and helpful, meals are simple and I like it. We are mindful of the ‘stuff’ in our house instead of blind to it. Glad to have read of someone else with similar experiences.

    1. I love the way you say ” the kids are happy and helpful, meals are simple and I like it” Cause isn’t that the most important? To nourish there hearts, souls and belly’s!

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