Project: Organize – The Closets – Part I

March 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

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I think one of the biggest organization suck zones is the closet. It never seems tidy, no matter how many times you re-fold the clothes. Plus, I’m always faced with the question of, regardless of how many clothes are in there, why do I always open the door and still feel like I have nothing to wear?!?

When I started my Project: Organize, my plan was to begin in my home office. Despite it being a very important room in the house, it became partially a dump zone when we moved a couple of years ago. We moved at a crazy time and I just did not have enough time to go through everything properly and organize like I normally would while setting up a new room. And since my office is tucked away out of sight, with a very convenient door to close, it became the place to put those nagging things that you can go through “later” just to get them out of the way.

A lot of the junk is papers and things that built up, waiting for a home that never happened. I know that at this point, much of it is garbage, but I also know there are a few important items mixed in there. Which means, I have to sit down and go through each little thing piece by piece. And considering the piles and piles of these, on top of the archive files, and other things that still need a home (we won’t talk about that pile of magazines), my office was a very daunting task. As much as I love my little space, working in there drives me crazy. The room is such a distracting mess that it carries over into my mind and makes it very hard to concentrate and work. It seemed like the logical place to start.

But I quickly realized it would also be the most frustrating and time-consuming place. Even if I was making good progress, it wouldn’t look like it for quite a while, and I didn’t want to get frustrated so early on. I wanted to feel successful and motivated.

So I decided to start smaller. I started with the front hall closet instead. Coats were jammed in. Hats & gloves were exploding everywhere and never seemed to have a match. Scarves would jump out every time I opened the door – it was a mess.

First, I went through and pulled all the coats we no longer wear and put them in a separate bag to bring to the shelter. Next, I pulled all the kid coats that didn’t fit but we wanted to save for hand-me-downs, and packed them away in a bin. This was a good start! I actually saw space in the closet and could already breathe a little better! So I moved on. I took a couple of multi-tiered pant hangers and hung all the scarves on those. Now we could easily see and retrieve each one of them without having to create a tornado to find the one we want.

My “everyday” bags went in a basket on the shelf. Then I created a container for each of us to have for our hats, gloves, and sunglasses. Our dog also got her own basket for her various leashes, poop bags, tennis ball, etc. I put a couple more small bins on the floor – one for my husband’s cycling stuff (no more helmet rolling out on me every time I open the door – yay!), and one for my dance shoes and teaching paraphernalia. The umbrellas were tucked on the side, the vacuum took its own corner, there was a spot for my work bag, and still room to spare! I pulled all the extra hangers out, leaving a couple for guest coats, and now suddenly we had room to move things around in there. We could see everything we had and could easily access it all. It was exhilarating!

I actually felt like I accomplished something and I could see the physical outcome of my efforts. I was now even more motivated to see how far I could take this project.

I moved on to my daughter’s closet. She recently had a growth spurt, so I pulled the majority of her clothes that no longer fit, rearranged the others, gave her her own shoe rack, and rearranged her dresser while I was at it. She was almost as pleased as I was – this was fun!

I decided to tackle a harder one – our bedroom closet. There are clothes of all different sizes in there (yay baby weight), shoes from various decades, leftover things that we just didn’t know where to put them. I started with the shoes. Bought an awesome shoe shelf and got those up off the floor. It already looked a lot better! Next item – tackle my clothes. This has proven to be a bit harder. I have a sentimental side, so some things are just hard for me to toss. I already have two bags of clothes pulled, though, so it’s a start.

That’s where I had to leave off. The other closets gave me such a dorky little “high” I can’t wait to finish this one. I’m excited to get things organized, find out what actually fits me now, and make the closet more “user-friendly” for both of us.

The closet part of this project is going to extend not only to all the closets in the house, but the drawers, cabinets, and everything along those lines. I learned some neat tricks when we had to stage our old house before we moved, so I’m going to add on to that and really get this place in tip-top shape. There are also so many great organizational tools out there now. I have a friend who works for Thirty-One, so I’m planning on having a party once the weather gets a little nicer to not only get some new gadgets for myself, but to help my friends start their own mini organizing projects for Spring cleaning. This has been too fun not to share!

More to come!

 

I would love to hear feedback from my readers during this project.  Have you had a similar experience to my need for more organization? How do you tackle the closet dilemma? 

Please comment on these blogs with your experiences as well! I know there are many people out there who have needed to re-evaluate, organize, or make certain changes in their lives and I would love to have a section that can take my personal experiences to a more global level and create a community involved in this mission!

More on Project: Organize

Photo Credit: closet factory via photopin cc

Project: Organize – The Almighty List

February 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

to-doSo we already know that I made the decision to enroll myself in a project to “organize” this year. The decision part was easy. The where-to-start part proved a little harder. So I started with what I always do – A List.

My husband is perplexed with my obsession with lists. I have lists everywhere. I even have lists for my lists! He said that having that many lists can’t possibly help with organization – it’s just one more massive thing to keep track of!

Yet somehow, it does help. Sometimes when I have a huge list (as seems to often be the case), it is a bit daunting. But at the same time, I don’t have to try to keep all that stuff in my head. Once I write it down, I don’t have to worry about trying to remember it anymore. Whether if the task is completed or not, it’s one more thing off my mind. Plus, there’s something that is just so satisfying about crossing an item off the list. In a world where the “to-do” list never seems to be completed, it’s nice to have a visual representation of all the things I have completed. I might get very frustrated, feeling like I never get anything done, if it wasn’t for those lovely dark lines, striking through my list!

So, when I decided to put my Project: Organize into action, the first thing I naturally did was make a list. I just stream of conscious wrote down everything I wanted to “fix up” – whether if it was a house project, a work project, or even a new exercise routine. In less than 2 minutes, I suddenly had 66 items on my list, and I was still going!

Daunting? Yes. How was I realistically going to get all of this done? It’s not like I can take a whole year off from work and life to just concentrate on this. (Although, that fantasy was very alluring!) Was this hopeless? Was this project doomed from the start?

Looking at that endless list, it kind of felt like it. Then I realized that I could already cross a couple of things off. The list will likely keep growing as my project continues, but daunting or not, I was already on my way:
1. Make a list.
2. Get started – Just do it.

Check & check.

 

 

I would love to hear feedback from my readers during this project.  Have you had a similar experience? Was there a time in your life that you had to take a step back and make a difficult decision or re-evaluate things? How did it work out for you? What are your experiences with The Almighty List?

Please comment on these blogs with your experiences as well! I know there are many people out there who have needed to re-evaluate, organize, or make certain changes in their lives and I would love to have a section that can take my personal experiences to a more global level and create a community involved in this mission!

 

Photo Credit: Silverpen Productions, LLC.
Photos should not be used without prior permission & license from Silverpen Productions, LLC.

 

Project: Organize – The Decision

October 16, 2013 § 2 Comments

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I ADMIT IT – I CAN BE A PERFECTIONIST.

I’ve recently been forced to take a step back and look at my life. When it comes to myself and my journey through life, I have very high expectations. With other people, I’m much more flexible. I do not expect them to be perfect. I don’t expect myself to be “perfect” either, but I have set some very high goals, and if I don’t feel I’m reaching my potential, I tend to be very hard on myself. This is something I’m working on. It’s good to have high expectations that we are working towards, but I know I need to allow myself some of the flexibility and open mind that I give to the other people in my life. With others I have patience, myself – frustration.

I also tend to do too many things at once. Miss Multi-task is my middle name. If I’m only doing just one thing at a time, it just doesn’t feel right. I’ve always been good at it, but now it seems to all be catching up with me. There are just so many hours in a day and I am only human.

A year ago I had a health scare, one that unfortunately we still do not have all the answers for. However, it seems that physical therapy is going to be a major component of my recovery. In looking at the big picture with all of this, I realized that P.T. coupled with my multiple jobs, running a business, a 3-year-old, and several upcoming family commitments was just a little too much – Miss Multi-task or not. I may have had to be bonked on the head, but I finally “got it”  that something’s got to give. I’m not good at putting myself at the top of the list, but this time, I knew I had to. My health needs to come first because without that, nothing else will work either – family, job, everything will first depend on my own health. So I did a little soul-searching, tried to come up with every possible solution, and eventually realized that in order to put in the time needed to concentrate on the P.T., I had to come to the very hard decision that I will need to take a step back from some of my work.

GASP – Not continue working toward a goal that I’ve had since childhood?!? The thought was inconceivable. Terrifying! But, all too real and it has to be done. It has been hard for me to fully wrap my head around this decision, so in order to make it seem a little more “all right” to do this, I realized I had to come up with a plan. Time off just for my health doesn’t seem right in my weird little world, but what if I make it into a project?  Project: Organize.

I realized that over the years, as often happens in life, I have strayed a bit from my goals. I’ve been working so hard to “stay on track” despite life circumstances, that I seemed to have fallen off the road somewhere along the way. The “track” is not the same as it used to be and I somehow missed it. Problem is, now I don’t know what journey I’m on anymore, so I need to organize my life, my surroundings (yes, the closets too), even my business so I can find the right path for my own personal journey once again, and to figure out what it all means.

This is a difficult decision for me – giving up a piece of myself to once again find myself. It seems silly, but necessary. It starts with my health and whatever time leftover will be dedicated to organizing one aspect of my life at a time, until I am ready to move on, once again whole, and ready to confront any challenges ahead. I’m going to chronicle it, and lucky you, post my progress here. This will be one way for me to really see any changes that come about, to put in black and white my experiences and their outcomes, and to sort through the craziness that now surrounds me into something organized and clear. If my surroundings are clear, I can gain a better sense of perspective. My mind will have the room to settle and clear out as well. And as any yogi will tell you, when the mind is settled and balanced, it is focused, sharp, ready for anything. Then the answers can come and I will be ready to start once again down my personal path and tackle whatever lies ahead.

Look out world – I’m on a mission – Project: Organize!


I would love to hear feedback from my readers during all this.  Have you had a similar experience? Was there a time in your life that you had to take a step back and make a difficult decision or re-evaluate things? How did it work out for you?

Please comment on these blogs with your experiences as well! I know there are many people out there who have needed to re-evaluate, organize, or make certain changes in their lives and I would love to have a section that can take my personal experiences to a more global level and create a community involved in this mission!

 

Photo Credit: Silverpen Productions, LLC.  Photos should not be used without prior permission & license from Silverpen Productions, LLC.

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