I have struggled to write this post for quite some time now. No, actually, scratch that. I’ve struggled to start this post for quite some time now. I didn’t even get to the writing part.
This post was originally scheduled for mid-July, then the end of July, then early August, but I just had no idea what to write about, so I kept pushing it back farther and farther until finally it landed here today. Hello! I’m ready now!
So what is it that was so difficult to write about? Getting organized! Improving organization is the next step in the Living With Less philosophy that I’m working to implement in my life this year (if you missed the intro to the series, you can check it out HERE). And it’s the step I desperately need to get a handle on. That’s probably why I was floundering when I tried to write this post. How can I give tips on organization when I can’t even get myself fully organized? So I’m not going to give tips. I’m going to recount what I’ve done in the past, and what I plan to put in place moving forward. Shall we get to it?
Me + Organizing, A History
My house isn’t tiny, but it certainly isn’t large either. And there’s no garage or basement. The attic is capital S scary, and really not for everyday storage accessibility anyway. So needless to say, every closet is precious when storage space is at a premium.
When I first moved in and for quite some time since, I put my excess belongings wherever I could fit them. Some making logical sense, others not. As I’ve lived here, I’ve started to alter my approach. Like things should live together, near where they are ultimately used, whenever possible. Paper party plates and plastic cutlery shouldn’t be stashed in a drawer in my office, they should be in the kitchen or dining room. Right? Right.
As a basket and bin lover, I also tend to buy storage containers before I know what will be stored in them. I actually have some bins with nothing in them, sitting atop shelves, just waiting to be filled. One day. Professional organizers would not approve of this method. I am not advocating it either. I’m just confessing my organizing sins.
While I’m in the mood for confessing, I have not fully completed steps one (decluttering) and two (paring down decor) in my Living With Less journey. But once I do, and once I migrate all of the things that made the cut to their new homes, I have a plan for how to organize my newly sparser storage areas.
Have you seen The Home Edit’s show on Netflix, Get Organized? It’s good, you should watch it, but I digress! They’d tell you that you need a system. Things have to live in a logical place and should be stored in a way that makes sense for how you use them.
I’m probably breaking all their rules by admitting this, but sometimes you need to keep things you may need one day. It’s just a fact of life, right? And when you need it, you should know where it is. So that you don’t have to tear your house apart to find it. I’m all for a label like the ladies of THE are, but I’m not going to label EVERYTHING. No. Uh uh. I like organization but the designer in me can’t be that practical. Form over function.
So my idea is to create an index of sorts. A simple illustration showing what is stored where. Or even just a list could work. Each storage space gets its own page, or two, or three. The list can be general categories, or you can spell out each type of item and even the quantities you have if you want to get into the nitty gritty. The point is, make it work for you. My plan is to create a simple illustration, and to then index everything as well, alphabetizing the items and listing which storage space it’s in.
This may sound insane to some. In fact, it sounds kind of insane to me too. But I’m going to try it, because if it helps me then it’s worth it! Don’t you think?