This was nearly a headline in my local newspaper this morning. Talk about going out with a bang! I am forever chastising my husband for leaving his dirty clothes on the floor at the foot of our bed, and last night I had a rude awakening from my half-slumber as I got tripped up in his skivvies on my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Dirty clothes on the floor is just one of the many hazards I have faced in our seemingly-innocuous three-story suburban household. A barefoot stroll across the living room can feel like walking on broken glass because of all the stray Legos, and one misplaced Boys' Life or American Girl magazine on the stairs makes a heck of a slip-and-slide.
So in the interest of home safety, I've set up a small basket on each set of stairs in our house and do regular sweeps throughout the day to keep the floor clear. It only takes a few seconds, and anything that isn't in current use but belongs on a different level of the house gets tossed into the appropriate upstairs or downstairs basket. You'd be amazed at how much neater a room looks with a clutter-free floor. The kids need occasional reminders to empty the baskets and put things back in their proper place, but I find that they are fairly good about it.
So if you want to cut down on trips to the ER and save your vacuum cleaner, give this a try and save your 15 minutes of fame for something a little less fatal.
I find it ironic that my husband will drive around, lost, for ages without stopping to ask for directions but will not stray from a recipe calling for a dried herb we don't have. Conclusion: Most men are good at following specific instructions as long as they don't have to ask for them.
So when it comes to keeping the house organized, assign a home for everything, make it easily accessible ('cause you know nothing will get put away if something else has to be moved first), and label, label, label! Whatever you do, don't require him to figure out where to store something unless you're okay with it left on the floor at the foot of the bed.
Granted, there are some men who are very organized by nature, and if you're lucky enough to have one of them at home, you should be out buying him a GPS instead of wasting your time reading this post!
Valerie Sheridan is a professional organizer, wife, mother of two, and Founder/Owner of EasyPeasy Living.