Friday, January 28, 2011

Outbuildings and Organization

Ahhhh, January. The time when magazines are published to make you feel like you need to go out, buy all new containers, and organize every closet in your house. At least, that's how I feel. I pore over Better Homes and Gardens, sicken myself with the sweet organizational nectar Real Simple gives me, and then try to get to work.

Try is the key word here.

As a farmer's wife of three small children, it is easy to set unrealistic expectations for myself. I'm at home. I'm crazy about organizing. I love bins and baskets and bowls. I should have a home where everything has a place, and every person is completely on board with the new system of bins, baskets, folders, drawers, etc. But, I don't for the same reasons I should. I have small children, yes, and they are being groomed to be as crazy as their mother about organizing (my middle daughter has told my mom that they "have to get this room organized before playing anything else!" YIKES!), but Joe is groaning here. I have tried so many, many times to implement many, many systems to help alleviate his need to clutter our house with stripped off layers, house shoes, mail, random keys, checkbooks, business cards, and the like.

But all my systems fail miserably, as Joe needs to put on his warmer layers in just a few hours, so why put them away? Why find a place for the nine hundredth farm magazine when they may or may not be hauling grain to an elevator that may or may not have a long line to wait in? Why throw away the feed sacks when they make perfectly good floor boards?

I'm not kidding.

However, in a strange study in contrast, we have these outbuildings around our house: one we call the "ghetto shed" which will be thankfully torn down come spring (hooray attached garage!), a machine shed, and then just our regular garage. Even though, after doing some informal research, polling the farmer's wives in our operation, all the wives sing the same "stuff everywhere" song, these outbuildings are surprisingly organized, especially the machine shed. This monstrous steel building houses not only most of our equipment, but also a lot of the guys' tools. Because most of our equipment is in here, including two semis and trailers, two pick up trucks, and a lawnmower (not to mention a monstrous combine and other various large tractors and implements), each piece of equipment housed in here must be put away like pieces of a puzzle. Most of the equipment is cleaned meticulously by the dealership before being put away for the season, and then housed in the order in which they will be needed the following season. Wouldn't Real Simple be excited? A plan! Clean, crisp order! What bliss!

The tools are housed in red Craftsman chest after red Craftsman chest, and, although a light film of grain and road dust covers all the red surfaces, any of the guys on any given day can locate the correct appendage for the air compressor that will help me when I need to pump up my jogging stroller tires. Real Simple would be horrified that the spare nuts and bolts are are housed in old coffee cans that are NOT covered in color coded paper, but they are put away, no less, leaving no nut or bolt behind.

It's a system, that's for sure.

Although this makes my organizational brain so proud...why is it so hard to get Joe to understand my basket system of shoe organization? Why am I still finding random fleeces, sweatshirts, and, as I type, I see there is now a hat on the top of our sofa?! Honestly! There is clearly a dresser, bin, basket, whatever in every corner of every room and in every closet? Why is this so difficult???


I think I should reconsider my Pottery Barn-ish baskets for coffee cans.

I might get better results.

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