Thursday, October 14, 2010

Don't Organize Clutter

In a recent magazine there was a little blurb about decorating and organizing. The magazine said "hide your clutter in nifty boxes".

Now, what's wrong with this?

Clutter is clutter, and you don't organize clutter! You declutter, purge and make room for the things you love and use and want to keep. You don't put all your junk in pretty boxes where they may never be looked at again. Pretty boxes or not, they still take up your valuable living space.

Instead, you should store your valued belongings in these "nifty boxes". Label them appropriately so you can easily find your memorabilia, papers, shoes, etc.

I'm just saying....

Garage Organizing Project - Status Update

We have been working on finishing our garage for quite some time now, like a couple years. My husband got it all nicely insulated and then the project came to a halt. It simply wasn't feasible for him to do the drywall all by himself because of skill and mostly because I would have nagged at him constantly for spending every weekend in the garage to finish it! So he hired someone to drywall the garage last month. They did the project in a day and a half! We'd still be at it if we hadn't done that. Especially since the ceiling of the garage is a major puzzle of triangles and strange shapes.

We have spent four weekends working in our garage. One to prepare it for the drywall folks, emptying the place out and prepping it.

The second weekend we started painting it and hooking up the washer and dryer which I was without for 8 days. (For a person who does a load of laundry a day on most days, this was hard for me.) But everything is back together and that wall looks fabulous.

The third weekend we finished painting the loft area and all the rest of the walls. That was a long weekend, but it made the garage look wonderful. We even got some of the new shelving up on the walls. It was getting very exciting to start to put things back in an organized fashion! Plus, it was supposed to rain so we had to haul everything back into the garage regardless.

The fourth weekend we put up the rest of the shelves and put away most of our belongings. It's so nice compared to before. However, it's also a challenge because we need to find new homes for everything. We get to decide what stays and what goes, and which shelf everything will live on. It's nice to work with a clean slate.

Today the UPS truck delivered the new shelves I ordered for the garage to put my stockpile of food on. The shelves have wheels so I can move it out of the way of the furnace area if it should need to be looked at. I love it! It's so nice to have all my stuff on one nice tall shelf and be easy to see and easy to get to. My previous shelves were too small and were toppling with boxes. I also know now that my stockpile cannot exceed my space allowed. That's a basic organizing principle anyway. You only have so much space, fill it appropriately, don't over fill it! That goes for closets, garages, and houses in general. Live within your space!

There are just a few more things we need to tidy up and give a home and then I can post pictures of the new garage! I'm so excited about this! Plus, I should be able to park my van in the garage again after that. Woohoo!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Catching Up - Sorting Kids Schoolwork

This month (July) was a catch-up month. I figured it was a good time to tidy up around the house and actually tackle those items that I walk past daily and they shout out to me "give me a home" or "file me" or "sort through me". I'm sure you have those types of items in your homes too.

The thing is, these tasks never take as long as I imagine they will and the results are great. So why do we put off these little tasks and continue to walk past them?

I had a large stack of papers and projects, mostly from the second half of school. It took me only 15 minutes to sort through all the papers for two children. I sorted them into keep and toss piles. That alone cut the pile in at least half.

Second, I took photos of the craft projects from my daughter's preschool and put them in a clear plastic box just for her school work. This took me about 20 min.

A bit later I went through my son's pile of crafts and papers. It seems that once they hit Kindergarten, there is a lot less crafty stuff and a lot more workbook pages that are much more easy to part with. His pile took about 15 min. to photograph. And then I added his "keepers" into his clear plastic storage box.

His box is pretty full now so next school year we'll have to be a bit more strict and review what we really need to keep from the past two years. It's hard to let evidence of their growth go, but photos help a great deal with this issue and saves a ton of space.

This entire task took me under an hour. And since I did it in three small chunks, it was completely painless (minus the heartstrings being pulled when seeing evidence of just how sweet my kids are).

Now to tackle a few other items around the house begging to be given some attention. And I'm hopeful that they won't really take that long once I just do them. I'm sure I've spent more time stressing about them than it will take to handle them once and for all.

Good luck with your small catching up projects!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I Reorganized My (sort of) Pantry

I would love to have a pantry, but I simply don't have one. I am expecting to have some storage space built in my garage someday down the road, but not yet. It's a work in progress. So, in the meantime, I have been stashing my very small stockpile of extra food in my linen closet. I didn't think I had much and tucked it away in the dark corner of a shelf next to my towels. Lately, I've been getting some good deals on things and have been putting them in my linen closet until it got to the point that I really couldn't get to the linens! There was a row of spaghetti sauce in front of my towels.

I decided to reorganize my closet and see just what I had. I was shocked to see just how much stuff I had collected. I decided it was time to put all the food on its very own shelf so it's easier to see what I have and to access it. And my towels and sheets can be retrieved as well without any issues.

Here is a picture of my end result. Almost one shelf of food. But now I can quite easily see what I have. Much better! Though I'm still looking forward to that storage space in my garage.

I also have quite a few toiletries and healthcare items that I have stashed in my linen closet as well. They only take up about half of a shelf. Thank goodness for these deep shelves!

I always feel better when things are in order!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Decluttering My Hard Drive

OK, so, my computer has been running really slow lately and you can hear it working and working and working to do very little.

Last night, my husband decided to take a peek at the space on the hard drive. (Right click on the start button, click on explore, right click on the C: drive, click on properties.)

Yikes! The entire pie chart was blue. That means, my hard drive was about completely full. Wow! I had no idea. (I don't claim to be a computer guru.)

So now I'm in the process of decluttering my hard drive. After cleaning up the disk there is a little more room. (Yay, a little slice of pink on the pie chart.) But I need to go through my files and delete a lot more "stuff" that I have no need for.

Decluttering our lives goes way beyond our homes. It includes our daily schedules, and our computers!

That's what I'll be working on for the day! Do you need to declutter YOUR computer? Your emails?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Finally! Organized Tools!

You know how they say you can't organize another person, or their stuff? Yeah, well, it's still hard sometimes to live around someone elses stuff that really needs to be dealt with and not say anything.

But I am writing today to say that my husband has finally organized his tools!

Over a year ago, two Thanksgivings ago, he bought himself a really nice Craftsman tool cabinet with all the fancy drawers. However, he never got around to actually putting his tools in it! Instead, they remained in the large outgrown tool boxes that he had prior. And, they all sat in the area between my door to the garage and my washer and dryer. So I had to see it and navigate it almost daily. Plus, if I needed a tool, it was a hassle trying to sort through the boxes trying to find what I needed.

Over the recent holiday break he took a couple hours (yup, that's all it took) to transfer his tools into his fancy new tool cabinet. It looks great! And it freed up a lot of space on the garage floor for us to walk through. AND, it's going to be a breeze now finding the tools we need for whatever project is at hand.

He's been suffering my nagging for over a year about this and with a short amount of time it's now over and done. I'm betting he wishes he would have done it earlier and avoided the accumulated hours of me pestering him about this!

Anyway.... thanks honey for finally organizing your tools!!!!

Now, onward with the rest of our garage organization project... and more things for me to put on my honey do list!