I have decided to make a serious organization effort over the next couple of weeks. This new found motivation came in the form of a speaker that came to speak to my MOPS group about organization; however, I did not get to see this speaker because I wasn't organized enough to know we had MOPS that night. Yes. The irony is not lost on me.
I actually used to have an organization obsession. Just ask anyone who came to my house in South Dakota; I had buckets, baskets and labels galore. Our house in Vermillion was quite tiny. It was 910 square feet total. That was all we got for my husband and I and our baby (and at one point my brother and brother-in-law). I lived in the house for five years; it was my first home away from my parents’ home. Over that five years, I went from having just enough "stuff" for my bedroom at my parents’ house, to having stuff filling every part of the house. (BUT, I was organized enough to know exactly where everything was when it was put away)
On a side note, I look at this listing for that house, and I get terribly home sick. There is something to be said for a house that you spend so much time in and put the work into fixing. I, by myself, painted every room. My father (who owned the house) remodeled the bathroom, put new carpets in, built a really cool custom door/bookcase thing, installed new siding, new wiring, all new windows and doors and new sidewalks and driveways. I miss my orange kitchen.
Right before we moved, I was home with our newborn for three months. I took that time to purge a ton of stuff. For the most part I don't regret purging anything (except this one chair. I really liked that chair.) I must remember that when I start to purge this time. For the most part, you will not miss the stuff you get rid of!
When we moved into our new house, we doubled our square footage and we had massive open spaces. That lasted for, oh, about three months. Now we've filled it to the brim again. We're like goldfish. We get as big as our space. (They do that, don't they? Or is it another animal?)
So, now it's time to go through the house and fix all the "trouble" areas. I will even share these cringe worthy spaces. I have found that our trouble areas exist because of a few factors:
1. We had just moved in and need a storage solution quickly. So, we used whatever we had. So even if it's ugly or doesn't fit properly, we use it.
Case in point: our bathroom storage. One bathroom has a metal cart that used to be used in our kitchen in South Dakota. It worked great in the kitchen. Not so great in the bathroom. Not to mention our daughter can reach everything in the basket and loves to steal toothbrushes. Just ask our daycare provider. She's a toothbrush thief!
Our other bathroom had these blue plastic drawers when we moved in. They remind me of a boy’s college dorm room. They are quite functional since there is absolutely zero storage in either bathroom, but they are pretty ugly.
It’s free, so we have to use it, right? (The answer is no. You don’t have to use dysfunctional ugly things, because they are free.)
Case in point: our laundry sorting thingy. First of all, this is laughable since I never ever sort clothes. I started that process in college and have never ruined a piece of clothing. Seriously. I do occasionally do a load of whites to give them a blast of bleach, and I also am vigilant about new clothes being washed on their own at first or using a Color Catcher sheet, but otherwise NO sorting.
The house we moved into had all these hooks in this odd closet that kinda just morphed into a utility/freezer/dog food area.
3. Too much stuff.
This is a pretty obvious reason for having an organization trouble area. We have lots of coats, and I don't know where to put the out of season ones. So, we have this amazing bench my husband's grandfather made for our wedding present, and it's hidden by coats, and you can't even sit on the bench with all the coats hitting your head!
I think many people have this problem, but we have a linen closet that's out of control. I tried to do the "fold and put in the pillowcase" trick, but eventually I just got lazy and stopped. The really funny thing about all these sheets? WE DON'T HAVE A BED THAT FITS THEM! Yes, that's right. We upgraded to a beautiful king size bed (a serious necessity with a husband that can't say no to his ridiculous dogs), and no longer have the full size bed that these sheets fit. And let’s be honest here. For two adults that don't have bed wetting issues, why do we need more than two sets? One is on the bed and one gets washed the minute it comes off the bed. So why do I need to keep 10 sets of sheets for a bed that I don't have? I am planning on getting a guest bed in the very near future, but even then, two sets will work just fine.
Our bedroom. Oh our bedroom is SO bad. It always seems that’s always the very last room to get any TLC. We’re only in there while we’re sleeping, and I just don’t bother to keep it clean or organized or decorated. Every project I do for the room is an afterthought. Poor Poor bedroom. It becomes the furniture cast off area (My white dressers are from my parent’s first home 29 years ago.) The closet has no doors (never ever a good thing), and I have the most random stuff in the room. A closet rod with no clothes on it? Check! A ladder with a few random scarves draped on it? Check! Air conditioners stacked in the corner? Check! A half-finished ottoman? Check!
The last trouble place is often troublesome for young families. The toy area. We have a corner just for my daughter’s toys, and it’s overflowing. I make a serious effort to go through and remove things she’s outgrown, but the pile still gets bigger. I am definitely going to start rotating toys. I will also try to make other improvements.
So, join me on this journey over the next couple of weeks (months? years?) I hopefully will discover some cool tricks that will help you with your own organization disaster zones. I will also share some things we’ve been doing for a while and that just work great. Of course, I’m sure there will be a bit of DIY involved and probably a bit of junk hunting. (How can I resist the excuse to go on a treasure hunt?!?).