Seeing Your Clutter and Being Alright With It

Getting organized has always been a challenge for me. What I’ve discovered most about myself in my attempts to get it together is that once something is put away (and by away I mean hidden in a drawer or file cabinet), I am very likely never to look at it again. One day while searching through various piles I have stacked on the kitchen table, desk, shelf, every flat surface, I decided enough was enough. I started with what I knew. If this mission was going to be a success, I had to be honest with myself. The more I could leave out in the open, in plain view, the better my success rate would be. This began a series of brainstorming activities which got me so excited I started a list (another task that I dread… not so much completing the list, just making it).

My list looked something like this:

1) Shelves
2) File Sleeves
3) In/Out Boxes
4) Dry Erase Board
5) Wall Calendar
6) Rolodex
7) Open Closet/Nook

Notice how each item on my list leaves it’s contents in plain view, yet neatly contains them at the same time. Now I can have everything in front of me until I’m finished with it, then file it away into the bottomless abyss of a file cabinet “just in case” I should need it again someday.

Here’s another awesome tip one of my friends recently shared with me. She has a place where she puts things she doesn’t know where to put, a purgatory for paperwork if you will. It hangs out in limbo until one day she decides to go through it. What she found is that many things lose their importance over time and she eventually feels comfortable throwing them away. If it is something she needs again, she knows where to find it. Me? I would move an item around from room to room until I got so irritated I would throw it away, only to find out it’s something I needed the very next day. Her solution eliminates a great deal of hassle and worry.

I have a relatively small space to work with and having things accessible, yet tidy, are important to me. It makes our family life much more efficient and comfortable. Don’t get me wrong. I still battle the urge to drop and leave. But, it’s a start. What are some organization tips you’ve incorporated into your apartment that work well for you?

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