The Joys of Being Organized

The Process of Organizing

I love to organize. To borrow a quote from my quote journal, a place for everything, and everything in it's place. Lest anyone I know should read this article and roll on the floor in gales of laughter, let me qualify what I just wrote. My first sentence was, I love to organize. To organize, as in the process of getting organized. Somewhere between the "getting organized" and "staying organized," however, is where I lose my way.

I recently went on an organizing rampage, and cleaned all of our bedroom closets and dressers. I spent hours straightening and labeling, placing things in neatly arranged stacks, on shelves, and in drawers. What an exhilarating experience! The clothes we haven't worn in over a year were weeded out, the surviving outfits arranged neatly on the same sized hangers. Skirts, pants, jackets, blouses, are all grouped together. It has been a few days, and it still looks neat. The chair in our bedroom is still empty, save the occasional snoozing cat. No sweaters or blouses draped over the back, or pants strewn over the seat. Sometimes I even go over and actually sit on it. Ah, the simple joys!

Staying Organized

Inevitably, however, the "staying organized" part of the equation will fall short. I know this because this cleaning, sorting, organizing ritual takes place regularly in our house. I spend hours, even days, tackling a wayward area, such as the closets. We would revel in the glory of this new found neatness. Despite our best intentions, though, it is all "undone" in a few short weeks. It's not that we do not enjoy actually knowing where things are when we need them. We certainly appreciate not having to iron wrinkles from our clothes, or brush the cat hair off before we put them on.

You would think that after spending so much time getting things the way they should be, that we would be better about the follow through. I would love to put all the blame on hubby. He does, indeed, contribute to the clutter. One look around the room, however, would reveal who the real culprit is. Who, me? I'm afraid it's true. It happens every time. It starts innocently enough, with a blouse casually draped over the chair back, because I may wear it later that evening. Or the pants get folded and put on the bed, in my rush to get to a meeting or event. And shoes, who knows how many get tossed aside and abandoned in search of just the right pair to go with an outfit. Well, you get the idea. Before you know it, all of my organizing efforts have been sabotaged.

I think back to when our daughter was still living home, and wonder how we ever did it. Our "stuff" doesn't even fit into the closet space we have, so what we ever did with all her stuff is a blur to me. Perhaps some things are best left clouded in fading memories. I do seem to remember my poor hubby grumbling about all the "girl stuff around here." His clothes had long ago been banished to an attic closet and cupboard. Now, before you go getting all sympathetic, he did get half of our bedroom closet back after she moved out. In my defense, our home is older, and only has one tiny closet in each bedroom. We have two bedrooms (I'm not counting the one that has been transformed into my craft room - and that only has a half-closet). That's two closets (did I say tiny) for all of our clothes. Now you don't need to be a fashion guru or dapper Dan to know that two entire wardrobes do not fare well crammed into two three foot x three foot closets! Which brings me back to these regular bouts of purging and organizing frenzy, and our inability to maintain order.

I blame the "right brain" aspect of my personality for the organizational backsliding which inevitably occurs. Surely you don't expect a person to be creative and orderly. That just goes against the laws of the universe. I have a sign (somewhere on my desk...we won't go there) that says, A messy desk is the sign of a creative spirit.

I admit to having issues with this whole organizational area. I am a Pisces, and it's in my nature. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it! I will probably always have to fight the urge to "put this here for now, and pick it up later." I will continue to purchase the perfect container for this, and just the right basket for that, only to have the "this and the that" sitting on the closet floor next to their perfect containers. Well, at least until my next neatness attack.

For now, I will enjoy my neat closets and dresser drawers. I will open them just to stare and admire the tidy rows of clothes, like proud soldiers at attention. I will pat myself on the back for my efforts. I will even tell myself, and anyone who will listen without snickering, that this time they will stay that way.

Who knows, in my next nesting urge, I may just tackle the craft room.

Do It Yourself Closet Organization

Making The Most of a Small Closet

I know I am not the only organizationally challenged person in the universe. Some of you can surely identify with my affliction. There wouldn’t be volumes of books written on the subject of organizing if it were not so. Well, not to worry. Remember, my problem is not in getting organized, it is in staying that way. Being a resourceful person, I have developed some creative ideas for storage and making the most of my space. Even if you have small closets, there are ways to organize and take advantage of all the space you have. Here are some tips for making the most of your closet space.

Purge
When space is limited, as in a small closet, it’s a good idea to re-evaluate and purge every so often. Start by removing everything from the closet. Examine each item as you remove it, and sort them into piles. Have one pile for clothes you will keep, another for those you will give away, and the last one for items to discard. Clothing drives and Good Will stores are always willing to take used clothing. Charity organizations are also in need of used clothing. You might consider trying to sell some items at a consignment shop. Remember, if you haven’t worn or used it in a year, get rid of it!

Reconfigure Your Space
There are many terrific organizational systems for closets available now. An investment in one of these systems will pay off in more space for your clothes and accessories. If a new system is not in your budget, install a second rod in the closet, below the one that’s there. Be sure to leave enough space for hanging items such as shirts, skirts, blouses, and blazers.

Use Every Surface and Space To Your Advantage
Is there room between the ceiling of the closet and the top rod to install a shelf? This could be a great place to store out of season clothing, boxes of accessories, extra shoes.
Decorative hooks can be attached to the walls of the closet, ideal for hanging purses, scarves, hats, belts, etc. Even the door can have hooks, or an over the door shoe organizer. These hold dozens of pairs of shoes in a very small space.
Clear plastic boxes or plastic drawer units are great storage for the closet floor. If you are handy, or can invest in wooden units, these will look attractive, and increase your usable space. These can hold gloves, jewelry, scarves, socks, undergarments, and so much more.

Organizing Hang all similar and same size clothes together. Shirts should be together, as should pants, skirts, blouses. Place shorter items together at one end, and longer items at the other side. All hangers should be the same style, and they should all be facing the same direction. If you’re still using wire hangers, do yourself and your clothes a favor and toss them. Plastic tube hangers are inexpensive, and much kinder to your clothes.

Now that you have conquered one closet, use the momentum to do them all. You will feel so much better when they are all tidy and organized. You may even decide to do the dressers, and after that, who knows!

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Comments 33 comments

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California

My problem is not my closets and drawers, I have that conquered. My problem is my room, as you said before, I leave clothes on seating areas, thinking I will wear them again soon. Now, that is what I need to get a handle on. Also papers, I have a problem throwing away papers. Really good and informative hub, Doodlelyn!


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 7 years ago from India

My husband is Pisces too...and now I understand the daily battle he has with keeping his wardrobe in order! :P


lindagoffigan 7 years ago

You are smart to make organizing a family event. I wouldn't blame myself if things gets to its original state. I think that it is written somewhere in the universe that when you allow one thing to get unorganized, the rest follows. I would stick to the adage about having creative as a reason for disorganization. Then again it seems that one misplaced piece finds its mate. I try to keep one place organized that only I get to use and that is my handbag.


beautyrose 7 years ago

I appreciate people who are well organize though it takes such a discipline in order to learn this value. My mother is an organize person. Though I would also like to do it but most of the time I'm at work so I do it weekends or when having long holiday lols. Nice hub.


DoodleLyn profile image

DoodleLyn 7 years ago from Upstate New York, USA Author

Fastfreta - Don't even get me started on papers! I've already got a hub working on that one. I really do have a handle on that now that I found the secret. Thank you for your kind comments.

Feline - Thanks for stopping by. Ah, yes, we Pisces have our heads in the clouds a lot!

Linda - I like your idea about the organized handbag. Somehow mine is always cluttered. I'll have to work on that. Thank you for visiting.

Beautyrose - Yes, it is a learned discipline, I'm afraid. I really have to work at it. Babysteps, lol. Thank you.


Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

I am completely hopeless when it comes to being organized or neat in my living space or my working space. Thankfully my DH is! :) Lucky me.

Amazingly enough I am productive when it comes to work. I'm not quite sure how I do that and I think anyone who could see my work space would ask the same question. But when anyone tries to clean it up, I can't find anything.

I wonder if that's just a defect in my character?

I read your hub wishing I could do what you have done even if it does only last a short while. But alas, I am hopeless.


DoodleLyn profile image

DoodleLyn 7 years ago from Upstate New York, USA Author

Duchess - Thank you so much for visiting my hub. I know what you mean about your working space. You should see my scrapping table after I work on cards or scrapbook pages! Like you, I can't find anything if someone else cleans it up. lol. No defect, just creative spirits playing in our craft!


emohealer profile image

emohealer 7 years ago from South Carolina

Being organized, brave subject matter. Well written with some great tips, my solution has been to build another building, more space to spread it out in so I can still find it later, I suppose however, that is not really organization. I have also believed in the past organized was knowing exactly what pile it was in and where in the pile it was located. I have thought about working on my organization style, thanks for some realistic information to head that direction.


Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

I'm a big fan of being organized. It's always good to see other people who are as well. :)


DoodleLyn profile image

DoodleLyn 7 years ago from Upstate New York, USA Author

emohealer - I can see my friends getting a very big laugh out of this....me talking about being organized. lol. I am getting better, though, but it's a daily struggle. The thing is I really DO enjoy being organized. If only it would last!

Lisa - It certainly does make life easier! Thanks for stopping by.


rigor04 profile image

rigor04 7 years ago

Hi, many thanks for this article. I like when everything is at its place, but it's very hard for me to organize myself and put things where they should be. However I often say "Don't ruin my mess, I know exactly where things are"


DoodleLyn profile image

DoodleLyn 7 years ago from Upstate New York, USA Author

Thanks rigor04. I hear you loud and clear! I call it my "organized clutter".


ftgfmom 7 years ago

Loved the artical.


DoodleLyn profile image

DoodleLyn 7 years ago from Upstate New York, USA Author

Thank you, ftgmom. Glad you liked it. Welcome to HubPages.


Christa Dovel profile image

Christa Dovel 7 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

I can so identify with everything you had to say. I love organizing and order, but it is no fun to keep up. Keeping it up is so different from creating.

The thing that has made the biggest difference to me lately was realizing that order is necessary to creating. When I don't want to keep order, I stop and think what would happen if my crafting supplies were in the disarray. Creating would be impossible, or at least very difficult and no fun.


DoodleLyn profile image

DoodleLyn 7 years ago from Upstate New York, USA Author

Christa - I know, I know. You're right, especially in the craft room, it's important to be organized. Sometimes I feel as though I spend more time looking for my supplies than I do actually working! lol

Minilady - I'm so glad I'm not alone, and there are others like me out there struggling with this organizing dilemma. I'm laughing about your exercise bike clothes rack! Laughing with you, of course, not at you!


sbeakr 7 years ago

I'm not alone! And neither are you...organization is one of my fetishistic pastimes. Fantastic suggestions, very attentive article!


DoodleLyn profile image

DoodleLyn 7 years ago from Upstate New York, USA Author

Thanks for the encouragement and kind words, sbeakr. Ah, I guess there are more of us organizationally challenged people than I thought!


Erick Smart 7 years ago

I am glad that I am not the only one who truly appreciates being organized. Of course right now I am remodeling my home (including office) so I am scattered and not happy.


DoodleLyn profile image

DoodleLyn 7 years ago from Upstate New York, USA Author

Hi Erick,

Thanks for reading my hub and commenting. I don't envy you remodeling...lots of work. Good luck with it, and hopefully you will put in lots of organizational aids.


Patti Ann profile image

Patti Ann 7 years ago from Florida

I am an organizational fanatic too. I can't stand to have anything out of place. I'm lucky to have a husband who willingly goes along and keeps everything in it's place.


DoodleLyn profile image

DoodleLyn 7 years ago from Upstate New York, USA Author

Patti - Yes, you are lucky your husband is helpful that way. It is very ironic that this seems to be one of my popular hubs, and it is the one that I hesitated writing, because of my obvious lack of follow-thru in the organization systems I set up! Go figure! I DO love to be organized, and I will try harder, I will, I will, I will!!!


Denny Lyon profile image

Denny Lyon 7 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

Wonderful hub! I have to laugh along with you as a right-brainer who is way too much of a conceptual thinker. What that translates into is what I call "piles of neat." Getting around to filing is so left-brained that it bores me. So, I use misdirection on myself and put on favorite music to get me upbeat to do the grinding bore. I have cats as inside pets just to force me to do housework to pick up their furballs. :)

Seriously though, for creative types like all of us here it is a challenge to keep organization going after the initial love affair of everything finally in its place. Finally, I did quit the bit of getting more containers or storage space to hold all the creative inspirations to spark more creativity, started scanning and taking photos of it instead and then purged. I kept the best tactile goodies and shared the rest.

What I discovered over time is that pack-ratting can be an outward manifestation of too much emotional clutter which I write about from time to time. That's really the key: If you have a hard time letting go of something ask your inner self why and don't let it off easy with the first seemingly rational logical answer, ask again. You will be surprised at what surfaces if you allow it the time and space it needs to get above the clutter to speak.


KStyle 7 years ago

that is funny! especially because I do the same thing.

organizing is great, but it's tedious work that is never finished. It's on constant rewind I think!

love that hub!


DoodleLyn profile image

DoodleLyn 7 years ago from Upstate New York, USA Author

Denny - I like your "piles of neat," and can certainly identify! Thanks for visiting, and your ideas and comments.

KStyle - Thanks so much for stopping by to read my hub. It seems I hit a nerve with this one....lots of people are experiencing the same difficulty!


cosette 7 years ago

i hate clutter, and am a big believer in the benefits of organization and decluttering to your overall well-being. purging is definitely good for the soul. they say if you haven't used something in over two years, you don't really need it. great hub!


DoodleLyn profile image

DoodleLyn 7 years ago from Upstate New York, USA Author

Thank you, cosette, for visiting my hub. I quite agree, purging is good for the soul.


Wife Who Saves 7 years ago

Your article is right on the spot. I would clean and organize the entire apartment, only to have it go back to the way it was. The solution was to toss what we no longer used. Now I no longer cringe when company comes over. Thanks for the hub.


DoodleLyn profile image

DoodleLyn 7 years ago from Upstate New York, USA Author

Hi Wife Who Saves,

Thanks for stopping by and reading my hub. I have done that, also, tossing the old stuff we no longer used. Problem is, it seems to have "grown back." lol


festersporling1 profile image

festersporling1 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

I'm still working on being better organized. This is the key to really succeeding in almost anything IMO.


Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines

I'm living all alone, no one to make a mess of what I arrange at home. But when my siblings and their children come even on short visit or vacation, that's when I haggle with myself to put up and stay organized. Thanks for the sharing.


Property-Invest profile image

Property-Invest 6 years ago from London

Hi DoodleLyn. A very funny hub and great tps too1 Thanks


ABC 4 years ago

Being organized is very simple. Place things in the order to which they are used, the ones most often is close prominity arranged by height and perhaps color to make it attractive. Something I find interesting is that clutter bug creative types generally live in unattractive spaces(no accounting for taste) just make it lovely and keep it so...every time! Years ago a household was run by the lady and the rules of where things belonged and how they were placed was a matter of fine housekeeping which was revered as a form of good stewardship...like common courtesy and manners. Sad to see it has gone by the wayside. I'm lazy and find it easier to just put it back where it belongs, each and every time, also makes for better time management and a nicer peaceful surround.

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