Christmas is fun especially for children. I loved watching my daughter open one gift after another, her eyes full of awe and excitement with each and every one. All throughout the week, she has been happily playing with all her new toys. I am so grateful to all our family and friends who showered her with so much presents this year. Thank you Lolas, Lolos, Titas, Titos, Ninangs and Ninongs… you know who you all are. J But with all the new toys in the house, it’s time for “Organized Catherine” to put back some order!
So yesterday, when I joined my mom and dad for lunch at the mall, we decided to look at possible new storage containers to organize and make room for Franzea’s new toys.
If you are a parent, you probably understand the dilemma of post-holiday gift clutter. Now that it’s time to look past the clutter of Christmas Past, I’d like to share two rules that I live by:
1. GET ONE, GIVE ONE
For every new doll, new art set, new stuffed animal, I try to convince my daughter to let go of one that she has outgrown. I tell her that we need to either donate or throw them away (if they really look old and dirty) to make space for new ones. This is actually the best time to ask kids to let go of old toys because their focus is on all the new toys that they got for Christmas.
2. GIVE EACH TOY A HOME
Make sure that each doll, art set, stuffed animal and anything else that you child plays with has a clear and permanent place in her room. I like sorting them in different plastic bins so that packing away at the end of each day is easy and you can find anything quickly.
Christmas Noche Buena is over and if you have a mom like mine who thinks she needs to cook enough to feed the entire barangay, then you probably have enough left over food to last you for a week (Goodbye diet, see you next year!) Well, organizing left overs is key to a clean post-holiday fridge.
It all comes down to choosing the right containers and labelling them well. I used to make do with a mish mash of plastic containers but they did not fit nicely nor stacked well. So when I bought a new family of containers that stored perfectly, goodbye messy fridge! I prefer square containers since I think they save space and better fit the fridge versus round ones.
I also recommend getting transparent ones so you can see the contents inside. Finally, don’t forget to label them (remember that some food look different when frozen — I once mistook bagoong for corned beef, oh horror!). I use a label maker but you can also write on a piece of masking tape with a marker, or directly write on the plastic container with a white board marker.
I am going to start this blog with a big confession… I wasn’t always obsessed with organizing. In fact, I was the complete opposite. I wanted to be creative, free-thinking and intuitive. Sooo very right brained! I thought back then, “Being organized are for control freaks and I don’t want to become a corny left brainer!”…right? Well, I was wrong.
I landed a marketing job in a television network that needed me to conceptualize new ideas on a daily basis (yoohoo, right brain kicking in) but it also required me to cost out, plan and implement these ideas into fruition (hello, calling the left brain). So I had no choice but to challenge myself to become more organized. Yes, having a Palm Pilot helped (remember those personal digital assistants in the 90’s?) but it was more than that. I needed to change my lifestyle to embrace a more systematic and orderly life. I became so OC (Obsessive Compulsive) that my work station was hailed the neatest one in the office.
Soon after that, a tidal wave of work and a surge of adult life responsibilities quickly heaved in. I hardly had the energy to finish my to-do lists, much more take the time to be neat and organized. Being OC just had to take a back seat.
One day, I woke up again to the realization that clutter was taking over my life. Back then, my husband and I were living in a compact one bedroom condominium that was already filled to the brim with our baby’s stuff, his stuff, my stuff, and just a whole lot of other stuff. So stuffed was our place we couldn’t even have visitors over. My excuse was that we had no choice and just had to wait until we could move to a bigger place. But then I reached a point when every day just felt so hectic, I felt so inefficient with my tasks, important documents and events were forgotten and everything just felt so overwhelming. Worse, weekend mornings were used to either look for or clean up something… instead of me just relaxing with my husband and daughter. It was time to take my life back in order!
Fast forward to today. I am OCfied and loving it! And I am starting this blog to hopefully help you create a clutter-free life for yourself and your family. By being OCfied, you will create order in your home, find ways to reduce stress, maximize space and eliminate chaos in your life forever. If I was able to do it, so can you. ☺