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!
Profound Puns offers this advice in her hub
- Drowning in Clutter: Cleaning Tips for Pack Rats
I'm a pack rat. I collect things, I store things, and above all, I save things. What if I need that for a costume one day? What if I want to give that to my kid (who isn't born) one day? I can't give that...
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.
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!