Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Big Book of Disorder and Chaos

One of the things that I often read about on the snooty and well organized homemaking blogs that I like to read when I'm not feeling bad enough about myself, is the homemaker's planner. The Binder. The Big Book. The organizational tool to beat all organizational tools, which tells the happy homemaker what to do.

One of the things that I often read about on the snooty and well organized homeschooling blogs that I like to read when I'm not feeling bad enough about myself, is the home-school mother's planner. The Binder. The Big Book. The organizational tool to beat all organizational tools, which tells the happy homeschooling mother what to do.

Hmmmm. Those two paragraphs have a lot in common, don't they? Since I do both, perhaps I need a planner?

I do have my day-planner with the spaces that Franklin-Covey thinks I need. But I always end up scrawling information in the margins and writing important things clear across the much-ignored squares on the monthly calendar page and then reading the entire thing if I want to retrieve that information.

And I tried to make myself a housekeeping binder a few years ago. I didn't use it much and it represented what someone else told me I needed, instead of what I needed. And besides: Needs change, homes even change, and home cleaning chores are not things I need a binder to nag me about. Woo Hoo...three rings of guilt. No thank you. I can tell when my house is dirty all by my self.

But I have decided that I do need something. I've chosen to call it my Big Book of Disorder and Chaos. I've yet to invest in my real BBODAC, and am using an embryonic starter version consisting of a one inch binder with notebook paper in it.

Currently the chaos part comes into play in that it is lacking tabs and dividers, and the notes I took on the kids' future school work plan (woo hoo, I've written out lessons for the next month or so and taken the un out of unschooling) are all in there willy nilly along with grocery lists, random notes I've already forgotten about, Bible notes and some journaling.

So, instead of telling you, fair reader, that you need a binder of your own, and that you, fair reader, have to make a binder just like mine...or else the homemaking/homeschooling fairies will smite thee...I'll just humbly offer this nugget:

What if, with the Big Book of Disorder and Chaos, some sort of order bubbles up to the surface that will actually be usable? What if logic and expedience is used to guide what happens next? Like, for instance, I might decide to create a tab divider for each of my kids and make it easier to find those pages where I've written down their lessons. Or I might decide that I need a place for menu planning.

Et Cetera.

It ain't rocket science. And after a few weeks of embryonic chaos with my Big Book of Disorder and Chaos I know three things: 1) I need more paper. 2) an embryonic system of Dividers would be nice. 3)Fabulous pens are worth it (I like those free flowing ink ones) and 4)nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.


Dollymama said...

Awhile back I started what I call my "Plagues and Nuisances List." it was the list where I dumped all of the stuff niggling around at the edge of my consciousness, making me feel bad that I hadn't gotten it done, and causing an undercurrent of worry that it wasn't done, or that I might forget altogether. Then I started tackling all the items on the list. Periodically I have to do it again. Your post reminded me of that. I'm all for figuring out what works. :)

mamajuliana said...

I tried the whole Managers of their Homes 'thing' with the homeschool/chore/housekeeping schedule-list-planner. That was many years ago when we had just begun homeschooling.

I came to the conclusion that I wasn't like everyone else. I could never adjust to the keeping it all together thing. I am NOT a type a personality.

We made it through it all though. No day was ever the same-bizarre stuff happened-but I think that we raised two happy, (if not so well adjusted cookie cutter) kids. They might end up in therapy someday and the name "Mom" might come up..but I tried.

I still have my pieces. Somewhere among the homeschool portfolios. I think I called it "My home management Binder"...oh was a home-so much for the management part!

Glad to know I wasn't alone!

elizabeth said...

binders can be good; i have a school stick it all in here binder and a oh i hate taxes stick it all in here binder. then i have the i don't know what to do with these papers so they will go on the bookshelf pile. and yes, i am a professional librairan... but they don't teach personal paper management in library school.

i discovered that google calendars will email me reminders. i like that. and i have the magnet list on my fridge for groceries... :)

margi said...

I write on the lining paper on my kitchen wall. At some point the man will come to cover that up with nice duck egg blue and I'll go back to recording crucial information on the backs of the envelopes I collect with the vaguely virtuous idea that I'm saving trees.

gemma said...

Love it... that Disorder and Chaos thing needs to be rearranged....great idea.

Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how glad I am that you chose not to take on any guilt from the homeschool or housekeeping "fairies" (haha) who might wanna smite you for not being all Sue Ann Nivens about organizing stuff. (Remember her? Mary Tyler Moore show? :-) )

Here's a thing to consider. I will never forget the story told by a college professor who accidentally failed to get some message about the location of his departmental mailbox. Whole academic year, never went to that mailbox once. Eventually, he found out about it, and some exasperated secretary, I suppose, handed him a box full of mail he'd never picked up. He went through it, and actually? Not one piece of it really mattered. Nothing important happened or didn't happen because he'd ignored it all.

Organization is for people who can't handle chaos. Ha. Put your feet up, Alana, and enjoy your kids and your house *your* way.