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Posts Tagged ‘organize’

I did…draw the line on my overfilled utensil drawer, that is. Do you ever have one of those moments where you just feel a strong urge to organize something? Well, that happened to me the other day so I decided to tackle an area of my kitchen that had long bothered me: my specialty utensil drawer. Not my regular utensil drawer, with forks, spoons, and butter knives. I’m talking about my serving spoons, whisks, measuring cups, you name it. And you know what, it was out of control! Check it out:

utensil-drawer-disorganized

So I got excited. I thought, hey I can satisfy this urge to organize something AND fix a problem that’s been nagging at me for a while. Here was the situation:

Honey, can you grab me a whisk?

  • I couldn’t find anything. Okay, I was able to find some things, like those items I always kept on top the pile, but where was that black serving spoon we used to have? Or the whisk?
  • Even if I could see what I wanted, it wasn’t always easy to remove. Take the rolling pin for example. It was always kept off to the side, but was literally buried underneath several other utensils. The very thought of getting that rolling pin out to use it was a chore. And that’s only one of many examples. Anyone want to help me detach my potato masher from my pastry cutter?
  • Sometimes the drawer wouldn’t even open or close properly. Now you know you have a problem when this happens. Wooden spoons and ladles get contorted so much that the drawer gets stuck on its way open. Or you can’t remember how to arrange the funnels so that the drawer will actually close again.

Operation: Utensil Drawer

You’d think I wouldn’t have let my drawer get to this point in the first place. Well, I felt like I had no choice in the matter. I thought I really only had this one drawer for my specialty utensils and I basically had to make it work. That is, until I had that urge I mentioned up top.

Urges are funny things. Sometimes they can really crank up the creativity level. So I waltzed into the kitchen, determined to free up a second drawer to use for large utensils because clearly my one-drawer system was not working. Yes, I did think of putting a mug or jar on the counter with all my wooden spoons, but I rejected that idea ultimately because (1) I really do loathe clutter on my kitchen counter, just ask my husband, and (2) I don’t think removing a few wooden spoons would have made much of a dent in my problem.

How I freed up another drawer is really not too important here (if you’re curious, I moved my cutting boards to the oven drawer and then moved my plastic bags/foil/saran wrap supplies to the cutting board drawer…instant empty drawer!). What is important is that now I had a nice clean slate to work with to divide my one totally disorganized drawer into two organized ones.

Here’s what I did. I decided that the most obvious division between all my specialty utensils was serving utensils (wooden and plastic spoons, ladles, ice cream scoops, spatulas, etc.) and everything else (measuring cups, whisks, funnels, pastry cutter, rolling pin, etc). As it turned out, dividing the utensils that way meant a pretty equal usage of each drawer. Perfect. Check out my after shots:

utensil-drawer-organized

Wow, I can see the whisk!  And I found that black serving spoon I thought we lost!  But I can just hear the naysayers now: Sarah, you can’t possibly keep those drawers looking so nice and tidy for very long. Well, I have kept it this way for 2 weeks. Is that long? Drawer dividers would be ideal, but I don’t have any of those. I think the real key is that my husband and I both stick to the new system and we enjoy it too much to mess it up. Simple as that.

It’s a thing of beauty

To summarize, the new organizational system ensures that (1) everything can be found, (2) everything can be easily removed, and (3) the drawer opens and closes with ease. My three initial problems are solved. I probably should also mention that I ended up getting rid of a couple of utensils that were doubles or triples (i.e. we already had one (or two) and didn’t need yet another) or totally unknown to us (i.e. um, what does this do?). Clutter control can be a beautiful thing.

Well, so goes my story of how I satisfied an urge to organize something. Do you ever get these kinds of urges?

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Once upon a time there was a kid, me. And I was asked to empty the dishwasher by my mother. It was one of my jobs. My least favorite part of emptying the dishwasher was putting away the clean dishes, namely the tupperware. You see, our tupperware cupboard was a total disaster. Lids were stuffed every which way and each time you opened the door something came shooting out at you. The worst thing was that on top of it being a hassle to put tupperware away, it was even more of a hassle to find the tupperware you wanted. Oh can this story possibly have a happy ending?

Yes, it can. But not right away. I ended up adopting the same chaotic tupperware cupboard as my parents when I lived in apartments in college. But one day I had an epiphany. Tupperware cupboards do not need to be chaotic. They do not need to be booby-trapped. They can actually be organized. My roommate and I thought of a clever idea for the lids one day and so we decided to tackle the tupperware once and for all.

You can organize your tupperware too! It isn’t a lost cause. I will outline here today a step-by-step process you can follow to get rid of unneeded containers, sort and stack your tupperware more efficiently, and ultimately make your cupboard more accessible. Never be hassled again. Always find what you are looking for.  Rejoice, it’s a thing of beauty.

tupperware

Step 1: Empty your cupboard

If you haven’t noticed a pattern yet with my step-by-step organizational posts, I’ll clue you in right now that I almost always start the process with step one involving some kind of emptying of whatever it is you are trying to organize. You can’t really get anywhere if you don’t start from scratch in my opinion. Anyways, I digress.

So, pull out all your tupperware, whether it is a top quality Rubbermaid container or an old sour cream container you decided to save. Also be sure to take into account any tupperware that you are currently using (i.e. check your fridge or dishwasher).

Step 2: Match containers with lids

I will tell you up front that this step might be a little frustrating. But it is necessary, so march onward. What you need to do is sort all your tupperware containers and make sure that every container has a lid that fits. If you find a container that does not have a lid or a lid that does not have a container, then set those items aside for now.

Step 3: Get rid of containers you don’t need

Now that you have all your containers matched with their lids sitting out before you, it’s time to make some decisions. It is VERY easy to collect random containers over time so it is likely that you have a few, or maybe even a lot of containers you don’t really need. Assess your needs, be honest, and start pitching (don’t forget to recycle!). Also be sure to decide what to do with the unmatched lids and containers left over from step 2.

Step 4: Stack similar shapes

It is time to begin the organizing now that we’ve taken care of a little clutter. The best way to organize your tupperware within your cupboard is to stack similar shapes. Put all the round containers together, all the square containers together, all the rectangular containers together, and so on. Be careful to stack by size and eventually you will have a few nice and neat piles. What’s that you say? You have a container that doesn’t nicely stack with anything else? I hear ya, I have those too. Let’s not worry about them just yet.

stacked-containers

Step 5: Arrange all the lids

Now that the containers are all stacked neatly, it is time to move on to the lids. You shouldn’t have any extra lids in your pile if you followed Step 2 correctly. The clever idea my roommate and I came up with to deal with lids involves taking some kind of box container to hold all the lids (a large shoe box or an old cake pan you don’t use anymore will work just fine). The trick is to arrange the lids by size in a row so they are kept in one place instead of scattered every which way. The beauty of this system is that you can easily remove and replace lids from this box since each lid has a particular place it belongs.

container-lids

Step 6: Return everything to the cupboard

Don’t worry if everything doesn’t fit exactly on the first try. But I guarantee what you did will at least be an improvement over an ‘anything goes’ system. Experiment with how containers are arranged and try to find the best fit. Keep in mind that you want everything to be accessible, so don’t stuff small stacks way in the back. And now is the time to figure out what to do with those strangely shaped containers…don’t be afraid to be creative!

Step 7: Stick to the system

Just as I start with some ‘emptying’ in step one of every organizational process, I always end with a note about sticking to your new system. If there is one thing that can easily become chaotic again after only a few days, it is the tupperware. But if you put everything back in its proper place, keeping the lids evenly arranged by size, and keeping the containers neatly stacked, then you will not have any problems. DO NOT NEGLECT THIS STEP. Trust me, I know.

Reader Reflection

I am itching to hear other clever ways to organize tupperware. For example, has anyone found a way to capitalize on the number system (i.e. lids and containers have the same number, thus making it supposedly easier to match them together)? Please share!

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Today marks the beginning of an exciting new series called Houseplant Hacks that will be featured here at Lifestyles of the Organized on Mondays for the next two months. Houseplants Hacks is something I could have used two years ago when my husband and I moved into our new home and I quickly discovered that I could now own plants (prior to that I was moving around too much for it to be practical). One houseplant turned into two houseplants which turned into three houseplants, and so on. Pretty soon I had built up quite the collection and I found myself a bit overwhelmed with all the intricacies that make up being a houseplant owner.

Even if you own just one houseplant, you will quickly realize that it costs you money, takes up some of your space, and requires a little bit of your time if you want it to go on living. Add a few more plants to your collection and it becomes almost essential to have a plan in place to successfully manage them so they don’t manage you! After I rapidly accumulated all my houseplants, I needed advice. I needed organization. I needed houseplant hacks.

Why houseplants?

Perhaps you aren’t a total plant nut like me (I took botany classes in college for FUN), and you’ve always wondered why people bother to have one more thing in their homes to further complicate their lives. Here are just a few reasons why houseplants are great to have around:

  • Houseplants are pleasing. I for one will be the first to tell you that a good houseplant just brightens my day. Plants are beautiful living things and can have calming, pleasing effects on human beings, boosting morale and even productivity.
  • Houseplants add a little ‘summer’ to your home in winter. If you live in a climate like mine, you begin to miss outdoor green life when snow continues to fall month after month. Having houseplants indoors can help you get through those long winters and keep a little ‘summer’ around when you need it the most.
  • Houseplants make great decorations. Any interior decorator would tell you that a plant can be the perfect accent to a room. A beautiful houseplant adds color, interest, and even style.
  • Houseplants are healthy. Plants remove carbon dioxide from the air and in turn release oxygen, maintaining more healthful levels in the air we breathe. Furthermore, plants help purify air by filtering out chemicals and pollutants.
  • Houseplants are great teaching tools. There’s no better way to teach your kids (or yourself!) basic skills when it comes to caring for a living thing than with a simple houseplant. What’s more, plants also have the ability to teach their owners a bit about patience.

What to expect from Houseplant Hacks

Each installment of Houseplants Hacks will be in two parts. The first part will outline a particular topic regarding houseplant management and organization. Look for time-saving tips when it comes to care schedules, money-saving tips when it comes to buying plants & supplies, and space-saving tips when it comes to choosing plants and arranging them in your home.

The second part of each installment will spotlight an actual houseplant. I will choose houseplants that are popular, fairly easy to care for, and ideally stress-free so you can have some good ideas about which houseplants might be best for your lifestyle.

Overall I hope that Houseplant Hacks can help you enjoy your plants without any hassle. I’ll be sharing from personal experience about what worked and what didn’t work—with the ultimate goal of helping you maintain an organized lifestyle even with something as simple as the little green friend your keep on your nightstand.

Reader Reflection

If you own a houseplant or two, I’d love to hear your reasons why. Please feel free to share here.

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Well today sees the conclusion of this week’s series, Organize My Wardrobe. My hope is that you have learned several new ideas you can take to your homes and apply to your clothes collection. Here’s a quick review of the topics we covered this week:

  • Clothes Clutter Control Part 1: Sorting through your clothes to discover what you should get rid of in order to cut clutter and only keep what you really need.
  • Clothes Clutter Control Part 2: Creatively selling or donating the clothes you decided to get rid of in order to make a little money or help someone in need.
  • Clothes Arranging 101: Logical organization of your wardrobe storage areas to allow easier access and more efficient use of space.
  • Savvy Shopping: Money-saving shopping tips when it comes time to have to buy new clothes.

Long-term strategies

If you’ve taken steps to get your wardrobe organized, then good for you! But keep in mind that these first steps are only part of the overall process—you have to figure out a way to keep your wardrobe organized in the long term. Below I want to outline some simple steps you can take to maintain your new lifestyle and continue to enjoy its benefits.

  • Schedule regular clothes sorting days throughout the year. Or better yet, just always have the habit of monitoring your closets and dressers and keeping an eye out for clothes you no longer wear for whatever reason. Staying on top of this will prevent clutter from building back up again.
  • When you remove something, put it back exactly where you found it. If you are trying to arrange your closet by type and color, your system will quickly break down if you start putting clothes back in places where they don’t belong. Consciously make an effort to stick to your system.
  • Whenever you shop, try to save. Don’t only plan to find deals every once and a while. Strive to get deals every time you shop. It will take a little more effort, but your bank account will appreciate it and you’ll quickly develop an attitude where you won’t settle for anything less than an amazing price.
  • Develop an outlook that less is more. Do you really need that extra pair of jeans? Does your wife have to buy a brand new dress for the upcoming charity event? Maintaining an attitude of buying and owning less will help you control clutter, save money, and reduce stress. It’s okay to treat yourself every once and a while (I know I do!), but be reasonable and always be thinking about the impact your purchase will have.

Wisdom from the web

I follow other great blogs on the internet and recently I’ve come across some useful tips relating to my wardrobe series that I thought I could share with you all!

The first tip comes from Kelly at Almost Frugal in a recent post, ‘How to Look Fabulous, Frugally.’ She outlines five categories of clothes that she needs to have around: grungy, lounge around, nice casual, business clothes, and fancy dress clothes. Then she asks herself the following questions to decide which clothes she should actually keep: “Do I love this? Does this look good on me? Do I wear it? Is it in good condition? Does it fit into one of the categories of clothes I need?”

The second tip I’d like to share comes from Amy at My Daily Dollars in a recent post, ‘One Weekend to Shop.’ She discusses fall shopping tips and one of the best pieces of advice she gives is to shop for one color family. She offers that “if you buy several pieces that work together, you’ll get more mileage. Odds are that they will also fit in with what you have at home.” She also reminds us that spending a little more money to get longer-lasting high quality clothes could pay off in the end because “as we all know, frugal does not equal cheap!”

Reader Reflection

After a week of wardrobe organizing tips, do you have any further ideas to share?

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It’s now day three of this week’s wardrobe series and we’re to the point where we can start organizing our clothes storage spaces. This is my favorite kind of organization, so pardon me for being a little excited this morning! Since you’ve done a little clothes decluttering by choosing what to get rid of and either selling or donating it, your storage spaces are now ripe for some creative arranging.

Let’s face it. Not all closets are created equal. Not all dressers are created equal. And those of you with neither closets nor dressers have had to find unique storage solutions for your clothes that perhaps no one else uses. My point is, I can’t really tell you exactly how to organize your specific wardrobe storage spaces, but I can give you some handy guidelines to go by.

Why organize your clothes? You know what you own (hopefully) and if you have a smallish wardrobe, you probably know just about where everything is. But what about using that space more efficiently? We could all use a little more room here and there. Furthermore, have you considered the benefits of logical arrangements of clothes? There are a lot of creative ways to arrange your bins, dresser drawers, or close racks, and by doing so, you will find your clothes more easily and keep track of what you wear (and don’t wear). And if your wardrobe is the opposite of smallish, then organized arranging is a must!

I dream of a walk-in closet

Honey, are you reading this? I’d like a large walk-in closet with shelves, numerous racks, and creative storage spaces. Are you writing this down? How does this weekend work for you? Um, ya, does this sound familiar? Do you dream of a large closet that will pretty much organize your clothes for you? Well, maybe someday I’ll get my wish (hint hint), but for now my basic single rack closet will have to do. And don’t get me wrong—it’s totally functional and it does its job (it’s better than no closet, right?). No matter what sort of closet you have, below I’ve outlined some simple guidelines to help you get it organized through a little creative arranging.

  • Arrange clothes by seasonMonday’s post generated some good discussion about in-season versus off-season clothing. Some people store their off-season clothes in another location (e.g. the basement) and then make the switch when the weather starts changing. I am able to keep my clothes in the closet all at once, so seasonal organizing isn’t a necessary solution for me. But consider the possibilities of removing half of your clothes (or your kid’s clothes) from your closet and storing them in bins in the basement for a season? Would this free up some much-needed space for other things?
  • Arrange clothes by type.  If seasonal arranging isn’t your cup of tea or you don’t really need to go this route, then the next logical level of arranging is by type. What I mean by this is pants, t-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, sweatshirts, sweaters, skirts, dresses, etc. Keeping similar clothes together is a sure way to be able to find what you want and keep a good inventory of what you own. When you arrange your clothes in this manner, you’ll not only be able to just go easily grab a sweater from your sweater section, you’ll also be able to get an idea of just how many sweaters you actually have. You might just discover that a little decluttering is in order.
  • Arrange clothes by color.  Now don’t go rolling your eyes and think, “she’s one of those organizing nuts.” I admit that organizing something like your DVD collection by color might look pretty in passing, but it is not at all functional. However, arranging your clothes by color is a whole different story. When you choose a skirt to wear to a play, you probably have a particular color of blouse you’d like to wear with it, right? Let’s say you want to wear a pink blouse. If you have your clothes arranged by type and color, you’d first head over to your blouse section. Then you’d find your pink blouses and easily choose the one you’d like to wear. All the pink options are right there in front of you and you aren’t left digging around your entire closet to see you if have a better pink alternative. Plus, the beauty of the color system is that when you go to put your blouse back after you’ve worn it, you know exactly where to put it. Systems stay in place. Your clothes begin organizing themselves…well, you know what I mean.

The old faithful dresser

Perhaps you don’t have a closet. Or maybe you have a closet but you need a little extra space for certain clothes. Next I’d like to share a few tips about how your can arrange your dresser drawers. It’s one thing to let your eyes wander around your closet to find what you are looking for, but if you have to search through all your drawers to find that one pair of pants you need, then you are wasting precious time. If organized appropriately, your dressers can be as easy to navigate as your closet.

  • Assign dressers to basic categories of clothes.  My husband and I both have two dressers for our non-closet clothes. We each have a small night-stand dresser that contains our undergarments, socks, and other similar items. We also each have a regular-sized dresser where we keep the clothes that we prefer not (or don’t need) to hang up (like shorts, t-shirts, jeans, etc.). Therefore each dresser contains a particular group of clothes and makes for a logical division. If you only have one dresser per person in your household, then that’s fine—you’ll be more interested in the next tip.
  • Each drawer should contain only certain types of clothes.  It’s not really very effective to just throw clothes in whichever drawer currently has a wedge of room. How will you ever find anything? It’s best to assign each drawer to a particular clothes type (or a few clothes types). For example, one drawer can be socks and undergarments, one drawer can be all your pants, one drawer can be all your t-shirts. That way when you wear something, you not only know exactly which drawer to find it in, but you also know exactly which drawer to return it to. You’ll never be looking for spots to squeeze that clean laundry into ever again.
  • Maximize space usage in each drawer.  No matter if you are dealing with a sock drawer or a t-shirt drawer, it’s important to spend some time maximizing the space usage within the drawer. Is there a better way you can arrange the socks to fit more pairs? Is there a particular style of shirt-folding you can learn to be sure you are not wasting any space? Be creative!

Additional clothes storage options

If I wanted to bore you, I could outline and review a practically endless list of alternative clothes storage solutions. But I most certainly do not want to bore you! Instead, I’ll just suggest a few popular options if you are looking for additional space beyond your traditional closet or dresser.

  • Storage bins.  Clear plastic storage bins are the best kind because you can see what’s inside and they are usually stackable. Put them in your closet or under your bed, the locations are limitless! And if you want to be even more organized, you can label each bin so you can keep track of what’s inside. This type of storage solution would work particularly well if you wanted to arrange your clothes seasonally.
  • Collapsible clothes racks.  Perhaps your closet is full and you need more room. Or maybe one bedroom in your house has no closet, but you still want to hang certain clothes. Clothes racks are nice because they are usually cheap, quite adjustable, and can be collapsed and stored if you aren’t using them. Plus, you can pretty much put them anywhere!
  • Wardrobe armoires.  A level up from the adjustable clothes racks perhaps, these fancy pieces of furniture often offer a closet and dresser in one. They look nice and they are mobile, but you must be willing to spend a little more money.
  • Closet organizers.  This last option isn’t really an alternative clothes storage option per se—it’s really more of an improvement or addition you can make to your existing set-up. Google ‘closet organizers’ and you will find an overwhelming list of choices. These popular space-savers can be purchased at a number of stores, but you can also build one yourself!

Reader Reflection

I’ve offered some general clothes organization guidelines above that hopefully you will be able to apply to your wardrobe no matter your situation. However we all have unique lifestyles and homes, so would anyone like to share some creative clothes storage solutions you’ve come up with?

What’s next?

Continuing the wardrobe series, tomorrow we’ll investigate some shopping tips when it comes time for us to have to buy new clothes.

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I’m pretty excited about this week’s series, Organize My Wardrobe. One of the reasons I’m excited is because I plan to play along with the rest of you and do a little work with my own wardrobe. If there’s one thing we need to always stay on top of in our lives, it’s our clothes collection. As clothes constantly come and go in our lives, we need to be sure we have a system in place to organize our wardrobe every step of the way. Each day this week I will explore a different topic:

  • Monday: Clothes Clutter Control Part 1 [Reducing clothes clutter]

What is clothes clutter?

So today I’d like to start off the series by tackling clothes clutter. Just what do I mean by clothes clutter, you ask? In general I mean clothes that you don’t need or don’t wear that are just taking up your precious space and causing stressful clutter. I’m not going to get on a pedestal and tell you all to be minimalists and have one pair of clothing. I happen to love clothes myself! What I would like to do is take you through a step-by-step process of fine-tuning your clothes collection to get it down to a manageable and appropriate size. It’s time to take a deep breath. You can do it! And remember I’ll be doing it too.

Step 1: Sort your clothes

The first thing you need to do is go through your clothes and begin sorting. This first step is fairly easy actually, so enjoy it! Simply go through all your clothes items, one by one, and start sorting them into the following categories:

A. I wear this regularly.
B. Hmm, I haven’t worn this in a while…
C. Uh, I’ve actually never worn this.
D. Wow, I had no idea I owned this!
E. Gosh, I wonder if this still fits me?
F. Ugh, did I actually go out in public wearing this?

Step 2: Make piles, lots of piles

Make piles, rearrange sections in your closet, whatever works. Just get everything sorted and BE HONEST. Also while sorting, be sure to keep in mind things like seasonality (i.e. you don’t wear winter clothes in summer and vice versa) and other conditions like pregnancies (i.e. certain clothes don’t fit when you are pregnant, but you will resume wearing them again afterwards). Now let’s tackle the individual piles:

  • PILE A [I wear this regularly.]: Yay! Put these clothes right back into your closet. You love them. You wear them all the time. These clothes have the qualities you should be looking for when you more closely examine the rest of your clothes in piles B through F.
  • PILE B [Hmm, I haven’t worn this in a while…]: A good rule to go by is to ask yourself this question: Have I worn this in the last year? (again, consider seasons). If you haven’t worn it in ONE year, then you will likely never wear it again. Find a box. Use this box for all the clothes you decide to get rid of. We’ll call it the CCC box (for clothes clutter control).
  • PILE C [Uh, I’ve actually never worn this.]: This is a phenomenon I’ve encountered with my husband before. Now I don’t want to pick on him here, I just want to illustrate a point. When we were packing up his apartment to move into our new house, I discovered clothes in his drawers I had never seen him wear before. He told me they were clothes he had purchased for amazing prices at thrift stores with his brothers years ago. Buying clothes at thrift stores is a wonderful practice, don’t get me wrong, but there’s a problem with the system if you never actually end up wearing them! Put them in the CCC box.
  • PILE D [Wow, I had no idea I owned this!]: This pile could be a fun one, but it could also be a sign that you have too many clothes. On one hand, you might discover a clothes item you didn’t remember you had because somehow it had gotten shoved way back into the bottom drawer of your dresser. That’s fine. Resurrect it and wear it. Put it in PILE A. On the other hand, you might discover a clothes item you didn’t remember because you have several closets full of clothes and couldn’t possibly keep track of them all. This is an indication that you might have too many clothes.
  • PILE E [Gosh, I wonder if this still fits me?]: This pile gives us a chance to play dress-up! But be warned, you might be disappointed. A few days ago I tried on a dress I wore on the first date I had with my husband. Guess what? It didn’t fit. In fact I could barely get it on. Oops! I’d better cut back on the ice cream a little. In any case, clothes that don’t fit really should just go into the CCC box. I know I’ve said it before and you might be thinking it now, “but what if I lose weight and it fits me again someday?” Great! Lose weight (I hope to do this!). But be honest with yourself–by the time that happens, will you still want to wear that dress? See PILE F.
  • PILE F [Ugh, did I actually go out in public wearing this?]. This is the pile of clothes that cause you to scratch your head and ask yourself how in the world you ever went out in public wearing something so wacky! Fitting with the pile letter, these are perhaps the clothes you’d give an ‘F’ grade to. Let’s face it, clothes go in and out of style so quickly it’s ridiculous. But again, you need to be honest with yourself. Will you ever wear those parachute pants again? What about that sweater that looks like something straight out of the Cosby Show? If a shirt just makes you shudder looking at it, put in the CCC box.

Wait a minute, you didn’t mention shoes!

Nope I didn’t mention shoes. In fact I didn’t really get much into specifics at all. The above list of ‘piles’ is meant to be a general guide. You can use the guide for shoes, as well as jackets, undergarments, hats, and anything else you can wear. As far as specifically managing individual clothes items goes (like your prized shoe collection, for example), I’ll reserve those topics for another day.

What about kid’s clothes?

Excellent question. While today’s guide won’t work exactly with kid’s clothes as well as with our clothes, it still fits in most areas. What you need to consider is the further element of clothes-sharing and hand-me-downs, something we’ll actually discuss in more detail tomorrow.

What’s next?

Speaking of tomorrow, here’s what’s coming up in the Organize My Wardrobe series: I’ll outline some creative ways you can get rid of the clothes you put in your CCC box, from making a little money, to helping someone in need.

Reader Reflection

How does clothes clutter control work out for you and your lifestyle? Do you have any stories to share?

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Today I’d like to start the week off by doing a little reflecting. As I write regularly about all the ins and outs of organizing space, time, and money, it’s easy for me to neglect the bigger picture sometimes. Yesterday morning in church our pastor was speaking on the topic of not wasting your time. My first thought was, “Yes, I’m all about that…you should check out my blog!” But then he began giving an illustration of the kind of person we don’t want to strive to be: one who has everything organized, everything clean, everything planned, etc., but ultimately doesn’t have their priorities in the right place. While the benefits of being organized are many, it’s important not to let the act of organizing defeat the purpose. Below I’ve identified three potential downsides of organizing that we should all be careful to avoid.

Don’t organize just for the sake of organizing

I love organizing. Sometimes I just feel good when I organize something. But we have to be careful not to get carried away. Always consider the greater purpose with everything you organize. Is there a good reason to do what you are doing? For example, are you saving time? Are you saving money? Are you increasing the efficiency or convenience of a task? Keep these things at the forefront of your mind so you don’t lose sight of the purpose of having an organized lifestyle.

Be careful not to use organizing as an excuse

Are you looking to organize your closet because in reality you have too many clothes? Are you unable to put money away for the future because you are spending too much now (even if you are getting deals)? Try not to use organizing as an excuse (i.e. telling yourself it’s okay to have excessive stuff as long as you just organize it well). Instead you should try to use organizing as a tool to assess your weaknesses and see how you can change your habits.

Keep your priorities in order

This is the most important of the three points and also what my pastor was really getting at in his message. Are you so consumed with organizing all your material possessions that you’ve lost sight of what is really important in life? My pastor spoke of using your time wisely and trying to only spend time on things that ultimately have eternal significance—in other words, things that matter. You can be as organized, neat, clean, and planned out as you want, but if you don’t have your priorities in order, then you are missing the point of life and are sadly wasting your time.

Reader Reflection

I don’t want to today’s post to be a downer for anyone…in fact quite the opposite. I’d love these points to help you look at the bigger picture and think about things that matter for a moment. Today I encourage you to do a little reflecting so that we’re ready tomorrow to get back to organizing–but this time, with the right attitude and purpose.

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