On an Organization Mission

For the past three weeks I have been decluttering, organizing, and donating items by the trunk-full and it’s just the beginning. Quite frankly, I’ve barely made a dent in the chaos! Seeing my house, I am not sure you can tell I’ve done anything.

I have several organization-related goals for this year:
– Pare down what we have, keeping just the things we love and frequently use.
– Develop systems for organizing and controlling the clutter.
– Spend several minutes every day maintaining these systems.

My goals sound so idyllic and simple. If only that were the case!

Here’s what I’ve done already:
– Reorganized our bedroom closet and pared down my wardrobe
I’ve gotten rid of the t-shirts from high school, the jeans that no longer fit, the gazillion socks I never wear. I’ve started replacing worn clothes with more high quality items. My wardrobe may be smaller, but it now only contains essentials. Plus, I’ve organized the space around it so it’s more tidy. Still need to do: buy a larger, more sturdy hamper. (Our current one is from graduate school!)

– Organized our dressers
What a mess they were before:

Organizing mission

Instead of stuffing or stacking the clothes in our dressers, I’ve gone through and neatly folded or rolled the clothes and lined them up so we can see everything (thanks to my friend Alissa for the awesome tip!):

Organizing mission

We’ve all discovered clothes we didn’t realize we owned! It’s been two weeks and the drawers are still tidy. I’m hopeful this will continue.

Here are some areas I want to focus on:

We need to donate or sell books that we’ve only read once and probably won’t read again. We won’t even notice their absence and if we do end up wanting to read them again, there’s always the library! We also have many boxes of books stored away. At some point, we’re going to have to go through them and donate those too.

Compact Discs:
We have hundreds of cds piled on shelves and packed away in boxes that we’d love to have access to. I hope to move all of these cds over to an external hard-drive and load them onto our iPod (or into Amazon Cloud Drive), so we can actually enjoy the music we own.

I plan to donate or sell all of the movies we don’t love or watch frequently. Also many of our movies are available for free streaming with Amazon Prime. Why do we have them cluttering up the house when we don’t need to?! Out they go! (Should Amazon remove them from streaming in the future, we can always buy them again. I’m okay with possibly paying $10 later to have more space in the house now.) I plan to store the remaining discs (that we love and want to keep!) in binders so they will take up less space and be easily accessible!

Kitchen counter and table paper piles:
Oh, we tend to be inadvertent hoarders:

Organizing mission

Anywhere there is a clear space it quickly becomes covered with mail, magazines, books, kids toys, art supplies, half-finished projects, you name it. Ah, the clutter!

Just because we live in a very small house, doesn’t mean it has to feel full. I want to come up with organizing systems to ensure that everything has a place.

Now, I believe the real challenge will be to keep the momentum up through the year. I have a lot of work ahead of me!

4 Comment

  1. Mom says:

    Wow, Thanks for the inspiration!! And some awesome tools! Also, re: books — I’ve kept most because I might need the info someday… I realize that now with the Internet current information on most topics is instantly available anyway! You are changing my thinking about the clutter of possessions we accumulate! Love the amazon cloud idea ~ and didn’t know we get streaming movies w/amazon prime..! Please keep us posted on your project any other org systems you find!

  2. Alice says:

    i’m impressed!! i always have lofty goals for organizing – and often get the organization part done! – but it’s the MAINTAINING part where i always fail miserably.

  3. Emily says:

    For me, organization seems to always be a Mission: Impossible. I’m working to give away or sell stuff to get clutter out of our house, but there always seems to be more stuff coming in than going out. I’m looking forward to seeing your organizational journey. Maybe it will inspire me to get my rear in gear.

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