Jun 10 2008

I need to get organized!

Call it nesting, call it frustration with having too much stuff in a smallish apartment–call it whatever you want–I need to get organized!

Being organized actually can go hand-in-hand with being frugal, in a way. If you know what you already have on hand and can easily get to it, you won’t be inclined to buy a duplicate item, for example. I know I’d be way better off to have less stuff around here. It can be overwhelming to look at, at times.

Here are some main areas in our apartment that I really want to get organized.

I’m not so skilled in this area, so any advice on how to tackle it or where to get organization supplies would be really appreciated!

The first step, obviously, is to get rid of everything we no longer need. Kinda overwhelming, but it’ll be a good thing. And maybe, I can sell some things and make a little bit of money out of it.

Second, I really need some storage containers/organization units.

Our bedroom closet is a small walk-in, and it’s overflowing with clothes. We’ll be much better off if we add some sort of additional shelving or some kind of system to it.

In our guest room/office/future Baby’s room, we have an average-sized closet that has bi-fold doors (I think that’s what they’re called). There’s a top shelf, and that’s it. Right now, I have Christmas things, some clothes, a 10-gallon aquarium (not in use), and junk that I probably don’t need.

I’d like to clean that out, get rid of stuff and make it a useful storage space.

Next, we have a hall linen closet. It’s actually in pretty good shape. I store our vacuum, towels, blankets, sheets, and my box of extra toiletries in it.

Our front room closet is used for coats, Shane’s shoes, and all of my kitchen wares that don’t fit in my kitchen cabinets (food steamer, crockpot, picnic basket, choppers, etc.). It kind of works, but we’d be better off with some shelves or something in there.

Next, we have a storage area under our hot water tank/furnace unit. It’s maybe three feet high by six feet long and maybe two or three feet deep. I’d like to organize our tools and similar gadgets, and maybe store our luggage there. It’s definitely an under-utilized space right now.

Last, we have a storage locker in our apartment building’s basement. It’s only secured by a padlock, so I’m reluctant to put anything of value in it. Right now, we have cardboard boxes and a fan in there.

So, there you have it! Our closet situation and what it needs. Do you have advice for tackling these projects? Any organization sites that you’ve found helpful? Stores that offer good products at a good price? Help!

If you’d be interested in my progress, maybe I’ll post some before-and-after pictures, and details on what I did.



6 Responses to “I need to get organized!”

  1. Hi Kacie, thanks for dropping by my blog. That was so sweet of you.

    I have launched several de-clutters the last couple of years, and it’s freeing, I tell ya! My motto: Be ruthless.

    You’re having a baby…the fish tank? Outta here!

    The clothes…thin ’em down to a dozen or so outfits each. Winter clothes in the back, summer up front; go through all those shoes – have two large outdoor garbage bags at the ready, fill ’em up, and drop ’em off that very DAY at Goodwill!

    Right around holidays (4th of July comes to mind), home-style department stores and Wal-Marts tend to put their storage containers on sale. Be on the lookout for them.

    Meanwhile, tackle one area at a time – get it clean, and protect it with your life. With an apartment, I think you could commit to yourself the next 6 days and, without stopping, get every single room and closet DONE. It would probably, if you don’t work outside the home, only take 3 days with solid work. And then you have a clean, organized home! It is SO worth it…trust me.
    :-)

    Don’t be afraid to toss stuff, either. Just think, if the place burned down, would you shed tears over x, y, or z? Treat your treasures well, and lose the rest. Living without clutter is an AMAZING thing. And then you can welcome your baby with all the bells and whistles you want to!
    :-)

    Bless you,
    Karen

  2. I love organizing! I hope you will too! These two websites are fun and useful: Unclutterer and the FlyLady.

    If you have a lot of emotional attachment to stuff you don’t really need, take a picture of it before you toss/donate it.

    Organize based on frequency of use for items, not just general categories that you think go together. Make it easier to access the stuff you use most, and stuff that is usually hard to find.

    And get rid of as much as you can! It’ so relaxing not to have so much stuff around! In the future, (esp. with clothes) get rid of one or two things for every new thing you bring into the house.

    Good luck and have fun, I love your blog!

  3. I HAVE GOT to get organized as well. Good luck to us! Haha :)

    amanda’s last blog post..Freebies and Samples

  4. First, let me strongly recommend this site:
    organizedhome.com

    ..and a book by the site’s editor, Cynthia Townley Ewer, Houseworks.

    Also, there are a lot of great blogs with organizing tips and ideas. Try this one:
    orgjunkie.com

    Most “experts” will tell you that decluttering (getting rid of what you don’t need) is the very first step to organizing. Then, you deal with what you have left.

    Also – when it comes to buying containers or shelves, take some time to think about what you really need before you buy stuff, because its really, really easy to waste money that way.

    You might want to check out the Container Store – the store’s products can be pretty expensive, but its a great way to get ideas on things you can find much cheaper at thrift stores, yard sales, and stores like Ross.

    Good luck!

    Kristy’s last blog post..102.

  5. I know what you mean about getting rid of stuff. Growing up my mom always had the rule of having to love it at least 70% (whatever that means) but the idea is to just toss, give-a-way or sell everything that you just dont use. I actually organized my closet to with the hanger facing the opposite way than normal and as you use and put things back you flip the hangers. At the end of a few months if you still have clothes hanging there that haven’t been used donate them to Good Will.

  6. Someone else already gave my number one suggestion: FlyLady. She’ll really help you attack this slowly and methodically. Biggest tip from her: Work for 15 minutes. Seriously. Set a time for 15 minutes and see what you can get done. Some folks do this all day long for marathon sessions. Of course, after 15 minutes, you take a break (like 5 minutes) and then do another 15. Most folks, it’s just for 15 minutes a day. You’ll be amazed at what you can get done in15 minutes.

    The other tip from her is 27: Find 27 things to fling (or recycle or donate) and then stop.

    My personal tip is that if you have things you need to say–say you are buying baby and toddler clothes and toys this summer at garage sales–get a whole bunch of identical boxes for storage. I like to use paper boxes (I can get lots from work, also check out places like Kinkos). It’s so easy to stack them up since they’re all the same! Be sure to label everything. I have a box for each size, gender, and season (2T G W (2T girl winter) or 12 mo B S (boy summer)). It’s easy to find the next size when you need it. I also put my off season clothes in the same size boxes now.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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