A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Butts, ruts, and guts.

I have a confession to make:

I’m stuck in an organizing rut.

It’s not that I haven’t been keeping up with my 52 Weeks of Organizing List. I’m still organizing my little heart out over here.

It’s just that I haven’t actually COMPLETED anything lately, and therefore haven’t had any “after” pics to share.

The last time I wrote a 52 Weeks post, I was in the process of cleaning out my closet and got totally sidetracked trying on all my vintage denim and showcasing my camel toe for all the world to see. That was Week # 18! My how time flies when you’re digging denim out of your front butt.

It’s now Week # 23 and I have made absolutely no measurable progress. Ack. Or as my husband’s dearly departed Italian grandmother would have said, “Imma disgusta.”

And I know exactly what my problem is: I’m a starter, not a finisher. Story of my life. Ask anyone.

I was on a roll for a while there, but then I lost my focus. Instead of seeing a few projects through to completion, I gave up and started a few new ones. Bad idea.

I never actually finished the Command Center I started working on way back on Week # 12.

I’m still not done organizing my closet. I have purged numerous bags and boxes of ill-fitting or out-of-fashion (probably never in fashion) clothes, but I haven’t created any new systems yet. Still in the “purge ’till it fits” phase.

We partially cleaned out the garage a few weeks ago. I still have a big pile in there to take to Goodwill. You would think that the foul odor emanating from that pile last week would have been a good motivator to get that pile out of the garage, but no… still sitting there. And no, I never did find the source of the stank.

I am up to my ears organizing my digital photos. When my laptop started giving me grief a few weeks ago, all my organizing priorities shifted. I found myself clenching my teeth and getting all sweaty every time I’d turn that computer on…just holding my breath to see if it had died yet. That was a bad feeling. I suddenly realized how important all those photos were to me and vowed that I would do everything in my power to protect them and organize them. But it’s a huge project, and it’s complicated. I have pics on three different devices. It’s going to take a while.

I am in the middle of cleaning off my home-office desk. We are replacing two ancient dead or dying computers with one shiny new beauty this week. A nice new computer deserves a nice clean desk, don’t you think? Just don’t look at my office floor. Apparently my idea of cleaning a desk is to just push everything off the desk onto the floor. My grandmother clearly dropped me on my head right after she used my soft-spot as an ashtray.

And lastly, as if these weren’t enough projects to keep me busy, I now need to deal with my sweet little Bucket Head’s bedroom closet. Yes, sadly, my one formerly tidy child has suddenly become not only a slob, but also a liar and/or master manipulator. This needs to be nipped in the bud.

"My room ith all cwean, Mommy!"

"...but not my cwothet."

It is clear to me that I need to refocus and prioritize. I think if I could just hunker down and FINISH something it would do me a world of good and get me back in the saddle. So that’s my plan for this week. I’m going to focus on my desk, new computer, and office floor. Tune in next week to see if I can get out of my rut and check something off my list!

Sincerely and with new focus,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.




  1. Janet

    Oh, Iris. If you could only see the desk upon which my computer rests, you’d feel better. I’ve tried moving it all to a table in the family room, where I planned to sort it all out so I could figure out what needs to be paid (!) and what goes where. And there it sits. I now have a new pile to add. This from a woman who once worked at The Container Store, an organization fiend’s Mecca.
    My daughter is getting married in less than two weeks. I have many DIY projects with a very definite due date hanging over my head. I am hemorrhaging money. The Bride, and the Event, are in a different state. My contact for the ceremony/reception is very difficult to track down because, he says, our wedding “..is on the busiest weekend of the summer!” Oops, sorry. The Maid and Matron of Honor are my other two daughters. Matron just had a baby and Maid is working full-time at a new job which takes all of her time and attention, so they are otherwise occupied. My head is spinning and The Bride’s facebook status the other day was, “Seriously, I need a personal assistant.” WTF.
    You, my dear, are a little spot of hilarity in my day. Thanks for all your efforts to keep your cyber-fans entertained!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Yowza, Janet. That sounds truly dreadful. Is it too late to talk your daughter into eloping?! At least there is an end date in sight. And as far as the spinning head goes, I recommend a glass of wine and a bowl of Cheez-Its. Everything always seems less overwhelming to me after my daily portion of wine and cheez.

  2. Dwell

    I have been reading the linked blogs on Organizing Junkie and I have missed seeing yours – you and The Snob comes Clean are some of my favorite reads. Just wanted to let you know you are missed. Good luck with the picture protection project!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Thank you! I have missed posting there as well. I was really on the path to recovery before this last relapse! Onward and upward! (I hope.)

  3. sara d

    I am totally with you…I have SEVERAL unfinished organizing projects going on around here (including my command center)….hoping to get a few done this week!?!?!
    We will see about that.
    Good luck to you!

  4. oneshabbychick

    That’s it! I’m a starter not a finisher, too! I’m glad to know you’re in it with me ; ) Although I did plant the last shrub yesterday… Yeehaw! And thx as always for the BL and for missing me! xo ~ osc

  5. Anne @ Domesblissity

    Oh Iris, you’re not alone. It’s the story of my life. I’m so fed up with the mess in my kid’s rooms. I threatened to take everything out except their bed and their clothes last night but I was hormonal and didn’t realise it. Poor buggers, having to put up with Mum’s mood swings! LOL Good luck with it all!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Ha! I actually did that once to Mini-Me…took everything out except her bed. Long story short, it didn’t work and it just made a huge frickin’ mess in my room (where I moved all her stuff temporarily).

      I’m pretty sure my kids keep a monthly calendar now so they know when to leave me the f*ck alone.

  6. Kate Yarris

    I am absolutely a starter and not a finisher. I get sidetracked as much as my dog on a walk. In our old house I made a gorgeous mosaic over my stove (with tiles I painted myself and then carefully broke). I got it up on the wall after months of painting and planning and laying it out on our pool table my husband couldn’t use because my crap was in the way. Once it was up I eventually grouted it. By this time I was pretty pregnant with child #1, and that was it. It was on the wall and therefore not fun anymore. My husband sealed the grout so splattered spaghetti sauce wouldn’t ruin my work. Thanks, Hubby. That’s just one of my projects left in limbo. Oh, well. I won’t sweat the small stuff. 🙂

    • The Bearded Iris

      That was in your OLD house? You moved? After all that creativity and labor? Ouch. Let me tell you something: I have ALWAYS wanted to do that – make a mosaic on the wall. I even have a collection of tiles and plates for it. But I’ve never gotten further than that. So kudos for you to get as far as you did! Pregnancy is a huge road block. Then motherhood. Then perimenopause…

      • Kate Yarris

        Yeah, well, I had a signature tile so either the new owners had to look at my name on their wall, or tear it down. We moved for my husband’s new job… from the Midwest to New England… not down the street. 🙂 I’ll post pics on FB.

  7. Allysgrandma

    I’m totally sidetracked by my granddaughter who I drove down on Friday to Sacramento to pick up along with her mother (who cares about her?)…..haha not really. Daughter is shooting a wedding and after reading your first reply, I will tell YD that maybe the fact it took so long for the bride to recontact her should be forgiven. (Wedding booked like 8 months ago, YD needed to make flight plans from SC to California and kept e-mailing, etc and finally heard from her last Thursday….only decent flight she could get was the next day Friday the 10th. Wedding is on the 18th, next Saturday. So I have my little sweetie for a week, then I am driving them back down to Sacramento to fly home to South Carolina….waahhhh…..

    So I have missed a few weeks myself at 52 weeks, but will be back soon too (2 weeks maybe?)

  8. Alison@Mama Wants This

    I’m a starter and a very poor finisher, if at all. I just lose steam, enthusiasm and interest. I do hope you regain some of that though! Especially the pictures, those are priceless and irreplaceable!

    Alas, I have no advice. I can only offer support! Go you!

  9. Brennna's Mom (Barefoot Deliberations)

    Oh my. I can relate in too many ways… I’m all about the starting but all to often find myself in the “not finished” line. Maybe it’s just the habitually disorganized that suffer from this – perhaps because all of our tasks are so BIG (maybe that’s just my problem)?

    Ra-ra- get back on track! See – I’m also good at motivation spee…

    Hey! That’s shiny!? Where was I?
    Good luck!

  10. Rochelle

    I’ve decided to just be a quitter! That way no one can expect anything out of me. I thought working part time would free up so much time, but it seems as though God has decided to add more – like a broken shower pipe and letting my brakes fail on my car. Really? I quit!

  11. AlexisAnne@CleanSmartSimpleStyle

    omg I was literally just about to sit down and write a little post on my own blog about how I’m not a finisher either. I also love to start projects, but then quit when I’m like 95% done…and then by the time I go back to finish it, I pretty much have to start over. I am about 10 projects into 52 weeks, and the one I just finished last week, I started like 7 weeks ago, and I still haven’t blogged about it.
    I don’t have all of the answers (or any at this point), but if I ever get around to finishing a blog post on the topic, I’ll give you a heads up 🙂

  12. laura lee

    well, my house is completely organized but i’ll pray for you.

    like in steel magnolias, “if you don’t have anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me!”
    if your house is chronically unorganized, come to mine! you’ll feel better. i’ll have a box of wine and a straw waiting!

  13. Marsha Seiberling

    I only ran across the challenge last week and already blew it the first week. My goal is my desk area by next Friday. I did a post anyway with my intentions.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Dang, Marsha! That is a big goal for your first week! No wonder you blew it. Pick something easier for your first week like a sock drawer or your Tupperware. (In my humble opinion) Desks are HARD!!! Intentions are good though. You are on the right track. Best of luck! Hang in there!

  14. Katybeth

    I think I was a finisher at one time in my life…back when I also had an occasional complete thought and carried a jazzy leather organizer in a purse without soccer shin guards and dog leashes. I think the internet has been my downfall–I am always following some new tip or cloud, or buying a new book on how to do it better and differently—if I had stuck to my leather organizer which never needed to charged and post a notes in pretty colors I am certain I would have more items checked off my list. But its a little to late now…I’m doomed. Good Luck.

  15. Heather Novak

    When in doubt Darling, NAP.

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