Okay, I’ll admit it—I’m a pack rat. There. It’s out there. Done.
So in the spirit of “spring cleaning” and “getting organized” for the season, I thought it a good time to ‘fess up to that little tidbit. I also thought it might be a good time to INSPIRE you (and maybe, just maybe, motivate myself) to get things organized at home– whether you’re a pack rat like me or not.
We’re currently trying to organize our unfinished basement, which has become a disaster of a storage area over the last few years. (I’ll spare you any photos—if I had any, they’d be gruesome.)
But here’s one that’s close to what ours looked like last week (found on this site)…
Actually, this screen shot is a little extreme… even for me. I tend to be more of a disorganized packrat behind the scenes. So in other words, things look all tidy and nice on the surface… but, oh, what lies beneath! (Hmmm… they say you ARE your surroundings.) But I digress…
I think it’s the same “they” that doles out that kind of advice who also says that when you’re trying to organize your home, you need to start in small bites or chunks. That means don’t set aside a whole weekend for organizing your entire home. It ain’t gonna happen. And if, by some miracle, you DO get your entire home organized in a weekend, then it wasn’t that disorganized to begin with… and/or you pulled a string of back-to-back all-nighters and are heading to the office or to the school PTA meeting on Monday morning with a de-cluttering nightmare of a hangover. Not good.
So be kind to yourself. Start with a pantry. Or a closet. Say to yourself, “I’m going to turn my pantry into a place I’d LIKE to go on Saturday afternoon.” Then get to steppin’.
Here’s a pretty good example of a “before-and-after” pantry. The “after” is a definite improvement with the wicker baskets. Especially if you have wire shelving. (If you do, you KNOW how those small boxes and bottles tend to constantly fall over. ) But there is still too much of a mish-mash of non-related bottles and jars on that lower shelf for my taste. (I may be a packrat, but I’m still pretty persnickety…)
Now here’s MY kind of pantry, photo courtesy of HGTV.com… (not that mine looks anything like this, of course!) See the sliding baskets and drawers? Not to mention the WOODEN shelves. Everything is grouped together so, *SIGH*, neatly… A slice of organizational heaven!
And here’s a before-and-after on a closet that shows what a little time and a couple of extra shelves will do (a company called Clutterbusters was the organizer)…
There are, of course, a myriad number of ways to organize. I personally like the “4-pile” approach. So when removing all of the junk from these closets and other spaces, sort it all into separate piles as follows:
- Treasure (keep)
- Trash (self-explanatory, no?)
- ? (This is your “not-sure-what-to-do-with-this” pile… so you don’t get hung up making the decision!)
Back to pictures of organizational mayhem. Here’s a split-screen shot of a closet in a kid’s room. Rather tidy “after.” Looks like all that was needed here was an additional hanging rod and some clear plastic crates…
(By the way, for a quick look at closet organizing AND ideas for closet systems, watch this video.)
Anyway, you get the point. Start with the smaller areas. Do one of those for a couple of hours each day. THEN move onto the bigger stuff… like the dreaded kitchen…
There’s a lot going on in the “before” above, as posted on HGTV.com. (Hint: Store things within cabinets—not outside of them.) Much cleaner “after” look below. (Yes, it is the same kitchen.)
So “piles” aside, it’s pretty clear that a huge part of getting organized comes down to adding or changing your storage resources. Meaning that shelving and bins and baskets can do wonders, as seen in this garage organizational system cobbled together with great Container Store finds:
And here’s a nifty solution to organize an entryway or mudroom (LOVE that blue beaded-board wall). Here you’ve got keys, a calendar, notes, tickets…and, of course, assorted notebooks, toys and other must-haves for the busy family. Add a shoe bench and a unique umbrella stand underneath and you’re in business…
So circling back to where we started– that disorganized basement… I just had to share this “re-run” of a fantastic finished basement, originally found on this blog– complete with pristine workout room and uber-organized play area for the kids. (Dare to dream!)
Ready to get going? I can tell you– I’m on it. Ready to roll. No more Mrs. Pack Rat. (My husband is just laughing and laughing right now cuz he’s not buying it…)
Of course, if organizing your home seems like a miserable, tedious chore (it’s because it is!)—AND you want to keep your weekends free—there are plenty of organizational pros that you can find right here on Kudzu. Be sure to check them out. (And if a deep Spring cleaning is more up your alley, find a housecleaning service while you’re at it.)