Friday, January 13, 2012

If it works for you.

I've seen a lot of info lately on getting organized. Little file folders for the counter, buckets with lids and draws, uniformly labeled with pictures so that a 3 year old can tidy up. Yeah right. The sad thing is, many of us are desperate to clear the clutter that appears every day, as soon as someone walks in the door with mail or a bag of any kind but these ideas rarely work.
I am guilty of rushing to walmart, or target if I'm feeling really posh, to purchase matching linen totes and a label maker, in hopes that this will cause my people to want to keep things picture pretty. The trouble is, they do absolutely nothing for the mess unless you actually use them.

So I will share with you some of the best advice I ever got from a professional organizer and also share that if you follow the rule, it works.

RULE- Do not start, by trying to organize! I knew you were going to like this.
Spend the next few weeks, watching your families behaviors and patterns. It will feel a bit like one of those nature shows on TV, you could walk behind them with a video camera, whispering in a British accent, "notice how male of species, can't seem to reach hook, 3 inches above where he dropped his outer garment"
Then it's time to plan your attack.
After you have gathered the data, you are far more equipped to come up with a plan that works for you and your people.

Here are a few of my wins.

Wet shoes often come off at the front door and rarely does anyone return to retrieve them So an open topped basket tucked in the corner, quickly solves that problem. When the bucket is full, rarely as this is not our main entry, a quick yell to collect shoes and we are good to go.
Oh and by way of observation, I have noticed people are far more quick to offer to remove shoes when you have a wood floor than they do with carpet?

This is storage in the basement. Not painted and pretty but very functional. Cheap Ikea shelves, of course, that you can add on to and place at any height you want or leave huge gaps for things like luggage. Very easy to build, no skills required.
Duct tape and sharpie for labels and you are organized.

Our back/main entry and most used corner of the house has always been a pain point.
I would kill for one of those mudrooms I see on the pinterest, with matching umbrellas and rain boos set on decoupaged baking trays but alas, I don't have a bedroom sized space attached to my garage door so this is what is working for us.
(this one is a semi win)

Particle board shelves, the height of an average shoe and painted white, is a great place for me to put all the shoes left on the floor, right as you walk in the door.
That's why I call it a semi fail. "They" still don't put shoes away but I can, very quickly, when it is bugging me.

A very small wall, but with 2 sets of coat hooks, we have a place for coats, hoodies, aprons and a dog leash.

Sometimes the things already attached to the wall deter me from using it but just by cutting a hole for the phone, (yes people, I have phones plugged in to the wall and so will you when you have lost enough cordless ones to go this route) we have a great space.

This cool feature, however, is an epic fail. It was designed for gloves and hats/winter or goggles sunblock etc/summer with the added function of a seat for putting on shoes or being on the phone but it is actually just a shelf where we dump anything needing to go to the garage or being brought in from the car.

This is a cool wire rack I found at claires that fits inside my closet perfectly. It is right where I get dressed and I can see everything so no more bundles of things in a drawer.

Most simple but most used, tub on the stairs for things needing to go up.

Finally my favorite thing, the kitchen counter clearer. Partial win, partial fail.
I had a small wall, again hindered with light switches but I used it anyway. It has evolved as things worked, I added to it.

The wall hanging file folder where I can put mail and school papers, the tubs for pens, lego guys and the odd marble found on the floor. WIN. The family home evening board that doesn't get used but was a gift so I feel obligated to have it hanging. FAIL. The awesome notice board which my kids look at, as the rest of us not living in the past use a phone calendar, is a WIN/FAIL. Win because I like how it looks and makes me happy, Fail because it only works as long as I update it and I haven't much this month but I will now ;)

So what do you think? What are some of your awesome organizational tips. Please do share.

1 comment:

Marianne said...

How did I miss this post?

I love all your ideas. I do not have any great organizational tips or tricks, but one thing I really like to do is put it away when I'm finished using it. That helps a lot, and since most of my stuff (and everyone else's) has a place where it belongs, this works pretty well, especially in a small house where space is a premium commodity!!

And Dennis gave me a cool thing from Claire's, kind of like yours but smaller, because he didn't like all my necklaces hanging from push pins in the bedroom wall!!