Friday, October 24, 2014

Your Bedroom and Closet

Speaking of closets, do you organize the clothing in your drawers and closets?  You know, neatly hung and/or folded and stacked?  Or do you just kind of shove and run?  Do you leave piles of clothing all over your room or do you put them away every day?

I like to think of my bedroom as a haven.  Not that I spend much time in it, but if I need to, I like it to be neat and well organized.  I don't keep any papers or things like that in my room.  If you have to have a desk and/or papers in your room, then try very hard to keep the clutter down.

I also don't like to have clothing strewn around the room...clean or dirty!  I make a habit of hanging my clothes up right away or tossing them right into the laundry.  I put clean clothing away the same day, too.

The bed gets made every morning because that really brings a sense of peace to the bedroom.

I like to make picking out my clothes for the day as quick as possible, so last fall I decided to organize the clothes in my closet in groups by color.  Skirts are all to the right; shirts and sweaters to the left.  All I need to do now is pick a skirt and then go to the appropriate color coordinating section and see what my options are for the top half.  I really like this and feel it has also helped me mix things up better.  After doing this, I also was able to see if I was lacking in a necessary color and it made it easier to decide what I needed to buy for the season.

I did try that trick in my drawers about folding the shirts and putting them in rows so that you can see all of the different shirts (as opposed to just having piles of them, where you can only see the top shirt).  It works well for t-shirts and turtlenecks, but my drawers aren't deep enough to do this with sweaters or pants.  I tried it with my son, because he always seems to just wear the same shirt, and it worked for awhile...until he had to put away a bunch of clean shirts; then he just did the open and shove.

This whole series is about how to make the many small things in your life very routinized so that you have time and mental energy to deal with the big things.  Keeping your bedroom clean makes going to bed and getting up a much more pleasant experience, and keeping your drawers and closet organized makes getting ready for the day faster and more mindless.  Save the pondering about clothing for special occasions. :)

God Bless!
To see all of the posts in this series, you can go here.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Organizing the Closet Disaster

It's clothing week over here at the 31 Days of Organized Chaos blog.  Today, let's discuss closets.  I currently have three girls that share one closet.  Yeah, I know.  Here's what it looks like:

Clothes, clothes everywhere.  We have some of those multi-layer skirt hangers, and those help a lot.
 In amongst the stuff on the floor are a couple of bookshelves.  Here is where the girls store their books because there is no other room to do so.  I'm thinking that since they never look at those books that we should pack them away and utilize the shelves for clothing or shoes.

This top shelf is actually quite big and deep, which I suppose can be a positive and a negative.  I have absolutely no idea what is in those boxes.  I wonder if they know.

And I wonder why they usually just toss their clothing on the floor instead of hanging it up.

Since this is a rental house, I don't want to do anything permanent or expensive, so I'm looking into cheap and easy ways to help them organize this area.

Of course Pintrest will be a minefield of ideas for this project, but my basic outline is to empty the entire closet first.  Then, we need to go through all of the clothing and only keep what is necessary and in season.  We'll also have to go through those boxes and books and decide where we are going to store them.

I'm sure I can find some kind of a storage or shelving system for that top shelf so that there is more than one level to it.  We have a sturdy step stool that they could keep in there so that they could access whatever ends up on top.

I'd also like to utilize those shelves for shoes and work clothes that the girls have (two of them have work uniforms).  I think it would be much better than using them for books they never read.

Since these are plaster walls and the landlord doesn't want us nailing anything into them, I'm not able to add another rack, but that would come in handy.

The long and the short of it is this:  we just need to take some time to disassemble and then reassemble the entire thing.  This is almost 6 years of accumulated build up.  As you know, when you let things go for a long time, it soon becomes an overwhelming task.  Ideally all three girls would be home on the same day (which really would require a small miracle at this point) and we would tackle the project together.  Short of that, I might just have to go in there and blast through it myself!

I can only imagine what kind of things we will find hidden in the dark recesses of this closet.  That is one of the main reason why it is so important to maintain control over your closet.  If you don't, you will not take full advantage of the clothing you have, and you may even spend money you don't need to because you'll rebuy something you already have but have lost in the mess.

If your closet looks like this (or, dare I say...worse), set aside a day and take back your closets, ladies and gentlemen!  It will make getting dressed in the morning a much more enjoyable task.

God Bless!
To see all of the posts in this series, you can go here. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Clean Clothing Goes Where?

Having a lot of kids means having a lot of clothes, even if you do reign in how many outfits they each have.  Having a bunch of those kids in one room means a lot of those clothes have to fit somewhere in that room.

One problem we had with the girls was that, once their clean clothes were folded and put in their room, they wouldn't get put away in a timely fashion and the clean clothes would end up all over the floor mixed in with the dirty ones.

Telling them to put their clothes away didn't help, so I came up with the idea that I would put a laundry basket in their room and all of the clean clothes that came in would get put in this basket.  This way, they wouldn't end up all over the place and everyone would know where to find their clean clothes.

I'm sure you can guess the downside to this program.  Yep, week after week passes by and more clean clothing gets stacked on top of other clean clothing and never gets put away.  People start digging through the pile looking for that one thing and messing up everything else.  Once in a great while one of the girls will put away their clothes, but I haven't seen an empty basket since I don't know when.

Overall, I suppose it is still better than seeing piles of clean clothing getting strewn around the room, but in a perfect world, I'd like to see an empty basket at the end of every week.  Pick your battles, right?

If you're looking for a solution to this problem in your home, I'd recommend you give this a try and see if it works for your kids!

God Bless!
To see all the posts in this series, go here!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A "Neat" Scarf Solution

With six girls in this house, you know at least one of them is going to like scarves.  In fact, she doesn't just like scarves, she kind of has a buying obsession with them.

Seeing as how clothing storage space is at a premium for the girls in their room, we had to come up with a way to neatly store all these scarves so that they would remain neat and be easily accessible.  It bugs me to have things crammed into drawers because first of all, they get all messed up and secondly, you'll end up likely to wear the same scarves over and over again because the rest get buried in the big pile.

I credit my scarf-loving daughter with this solution.  In case you can't tell, she's hung all the scarves through the slats on her sister's bunk bed.  It also blocks her bed from the hallway view, which is kind of nice, too.

Not only does it keep the scarves neat, you can also find them easily and see what your complete selection is.  In addition to all of that, they serve as a colorful decoration to the room.  Remember, we can't hang things on the wall in our rental home, so this is a nice bright addition to their mess room!

Are you a scarf lover?  How do you deal with them?

God Bless!
To see the full list of posts in this series, go here.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Keeping Your Purse Organized

Are you a big purse person or a small purse person?  Or maybe you're still in the diaper bag/backpack years.  Finding the right purse can make a big difference between being organized and having a garbage bag attached to your arm.

One of my daughters is finding out how much of an impact this can have on your life because she has a cute, small purse but now that she is out and about more, she is realizing how little it can actually hold and how fast it fills up.

For 16 years I carried various forms of a diaper bag and back pack.  It was silly to have a purse for my stuff and a bag for the current child(ren) in diapers.  When I was finally able to carry a purse again, I opted for a big one since it seems I like to carry a lot of things around with me.  The key to keeping it organized is going through it and sorting through the junk and papers at the end of each outing.  If I'm running around for a few days straight and I don't get a chance to clean my purse out, I just never know what I'm going to find in there.

On a side note, I have noticed a difference in the generations when it comes to keeping the checkbook register up to date.  Only one of my daughters is organized in that area.  The other two rely on their online banking screen to tell them how much money they have in their accounts.  One daughter in particular is horrible at keeping up with the receipts in her wallet.  She'll let a wad of them collect there, realize how far behind she is and then just throw them all out and look online.  In my experience, it is just easier to take a few minutes each day or so to go through your receipts, enter them into your register, figure out your balance and go on your way.  I use the online bank register to double check myself, and the bank, in case there is a mistake.

Anyhow, I digress.  Finding the right size purse for your needs will keep you on the organized track.  If it is too small, you'll be nothing but frustrated.  If it's too big, you'll end up with the contents of your house hanging off your shoulder, which will definitely hinder your ability to be organized!

God Bless!
To see all of the posts in this series, you can go here. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Storing Photos

This is the view that greeted me the other day when I opened up the doors to our coffee table.  This is where a lot, but not all, of our photo albums are stored.

After peeling back the layers, this is the mess I found.

After years of sitting in albums, our photos are falling out, the pages are ripping and everything is getting jumbled.  You know how it is, don't you?  The problem is, as we all get older, we're trying hard to remember which baby that is in the picture.  They used to be sorted nicely by year, but once everything starts falling apart and things get mixed up, I sometimes can't recognize which baby is which!  Horrible, I know.

This is one project that is at the top of my list when the kids are mostly grown and out of the house and I have a lot of extra free time on my hands (ha!).  I've thought about other options in the past, like cardboard photo boxes or plastic storage boxes, but as of yet have not invested in any of them.  My biggest fear is that one of the boxes would get dropped or knocked over and we'd have an even bigger mess than we have now.

Since I've gotten my first digital camera (about 6 years ago) I haven't really printed that many pictures out.  I have a separate hard drive just for my photos, but even that scares me.  I really need to get some printed out in the event that my hard drive blows up or something.  I can say that they are organized in a very systematic fashion on my hard drive.  Does that count for anything?

I told you in the beginning it wasn't all going to be perfect here.  This is another area where I just don't have it all together.  Unfortunately, I think it might be one of those things that I will regret having not organized after something bad happens and it is too late.

How do you store all of your photos?  Does it work for you or not?  I am definitely open to suggestions on this one!

God Bless!
To see all of the posts in this series, you can go here. 
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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sending Cards in a Timely Fashion

(Coming in under the wire with this one!)  One thing I'm not very good at is keeping up with birthdays.  I love to celebrate peoples' birthdays, however, I am not very good at getting cards in the mail in a timely fashion.  

I have one calendar in my kitchen, that hangs on my fridge, that only has family and friends' birthdays on it.  You would think that that would be enough to remind me to get cards ahead of time.  Well, it isn't.  That calendar was my attempt at becoming organized about birthdays.  It hasn't worked.

Heaven forbid you should be on my card list and have a birthday or anniversary within the first few days of the month.  I usually don't see those until I flip the calendar and then I'm already too late.

Ideally I should buy all of the cards I need for the month about two weeks before the month arrives, but, well, that never seems to happen. 

We've tried making cards.  This way I don't have to get out to the store.  Still didn't work.  I just don't think we're creative enough to make that idea last.

I'm always impressed by people who send cards to our house in a timely fashion.  I'll have to ask them what their secret is. 

Any ideas on how to make this more organized for me???  If so, please share, as I'd really love to be able to stay on top of this for more than one month.

God Bless!
To see all the posts in this series, click here.