Show us your organizing triumphs!

gardenergwenSeptember 25, 2006

Dh and I are constantly looking for ways to improve the organization of our home. The last 10 months has been an organizational nightmare as we moved to another state and into a new home. Our old home was full of great closets and built-in cabinets (or ones that we had added). Everything had a place. Our new home has horrible, ineffective closets and has been in a state of remodeling chaos for the last 8 months.

So I'm looking for some inspiration . . . some ideas for what could be once our home is put back in order. Show us your playrooms, your offices, your kitchens, your mudrooms, your bathrooms, your laundry rooms. Anywhere that you and your family have overcome clutter or disorganization to find the peace of order.


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I hear the stress from lack of order in your message Gwen & you have my most sincere sympathy. I'm in the same dilemna only for me its been a year and a half. Not to discourage you - LOL!!

That sooo elusive *peace* is what I as well am after. As delightful as the 'end product' may be, the stress I've experienced over this last year plus has been far beyond anything I could have imagined.

My plan was to do the kitchen first, then move on to . . . however its over a year and the kitchen STILL isn't complete. Somehow the kitchen seemed pivotal but now I'm adopting an *it will get done when it does* attitude (for mental survival reasons) and moving on.

Alisande, in a message quite some time ago, mentioned the flow of things one to another and how, when one analyzes it, there is usually one key/pivotal factor or item. For me, this has been my 'office' as I call it. I need to get this room painted and the shelving unit up on the wall. That will allow me to empty many boxes from the Family Room (which is presently in use as a boxes-not-yet-unpacked storage room) so we can actually USE the FR!

For me, I also need to do things like get some additional shelving built in the linen closets, get a pantry area & laundry sink built in the laundry area yadda yadda, but again it always seems that A hinges on B which requires C being done first . . . and in short order my mind goes so fuzzy I can't think anymore. Can you relate? :-)))

I don't have much to show you IN my house but I have dozens of pictures on my HD of 'organizing solutions' thus if you give me an/some area(s) of concern for you, I'll be glad to post photos I've saved in case they help or spark an idea.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 2:35PM
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I don't have pictures either, but we moved almost two years ago and it was a process to re-group. We did a whole house remodel before we moved in, so I was able to come up with most solutions before anyone picked up a hammer. We were going from a 3 car garage to a 2 car garage and I vowed we would not have a shed or build on more space.

The best advice I could give you is to sit down with a pen and legal pad and start listing room by room and are you meeting those needs. I decided I needed very little long term storage. Holiday stuff, camping gear, winter sports gear, bikes, mower, snow blower, tools, gardening tools and car needs. I set up storage for those in the garage and an attic type space.

I set up storage for cleaning items, so they would be right at hand to use. I'm not going to run all over the house to a cental spot for the broom. Focused on our family supply spot for things like phone books, stamps, wrapping paper, tape, etc. It need a central and convenient location. I happen to use a four drawer dresser, which had drawers too shallow for good clothing storage. It has worked great for 10 years, but I made sure there was a place for that dresser in our dining area.

I really evaluated how our family lives, so many things you will find in other homes, we don't have. We no longer have a playroom. It was really just a storage spot for toys and one more place to clean. We don't have a traditional linen closet. I have other places I keep those items. We don't use much in the way of chemicals, so I don't need storage for that stuff.

DH and I both have separate home office spaces. I stay out of his. In mine, I listed what I wanted to do in there and keep in there. I have a collection of quilts, fiction with a quilting theme, vintage sewing machines, etc. I made sure I set up shelving to hold my stuff and so I could easily view the items. That was important to me.

You get the idea. I could kill hours looking at all of those glossy picture books on the racks of the big box home improvement stores. But I figure those pictures are kind of like men. When you are younger, you are always going for the good looking guys. After you have a bit of maturity, you want a good gene pool and a solid IQ. Everything else can be figured out. Figure out what you need organized and the solutions are much easier to find. Once you find what you need, it usually looks good to you also.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 3:39PM
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I have one little area that is my longest-running success story.

(I can hear the groans from the old-timers here--No, not the nightstand drawer again!)

to me the pivotal thing I did that makes this such an important success for me is that I started from a different point of view.

In the past, I would look at the stuff I *already* had there and ask, "where can I put it?" or "how can I organize it,"

This time, I looked the SPACE, and said, "what do I DO HERE?" And what do I need, in order to do it?"

I clip my toenails there; I file off rough spots on my nails. I get dressed there (deodorant; pantiliners; pantyhose; needle & thread for last-minute fixes). It's right next to the bed, so there are certain (ahem) supplies I might need to be able to read while IN bed. I get out of bed int he middle of the night (flashlight).

Nothing else is allowed to be in that drawer.

This won't solve YOUR problems, what w/ your new need for INFRASTRUCTURE!!! (I love infrastructure)

But it might help you figure out what to put where, in terms of both infrastructure and the stuff that'll go inside it.

I have a fantasy of filling an entire wall with a floor-to-ceiling bookcase w/ doors. Doors without handles, maybe, and painted so they look just like a wall. Hidden storage, so it can be messy inside and nobody can see.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2006 at 1:08PM
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