Sunday, August 21, 2011

Organize-it, Part One

I am fully appreciative of my good fortune as I enjoy a full summer off with my family, however, with the increased amount of time spent in our home comes an increased awareness of just how much junk we have acquired over the years. As summer draws to a close (ouch), I would feel guilty if I didn’t make some progress in my ongoing quest to “organize.” I consider myself a fairly organized person (which is to say that my junk is generally hidden out of sight in areas like closets, the garage and the basement storage room). In an effort to start off the new school year feeling “lighter,” I am going to tackle a few problem areas and report back to you. This holds me accountable if I do nothing. If I am being honest, I would rather watch a movie than organize a closet, but one thing I do love about organizing is that it is free! Sure, you could spend endless amounts of money on bins, storage units and baskets (trust me, I have spent a few bucks myself) but essentially organizing is about uncovering those items that are important to you and that best reflect your character and interests. Says professional organizer Julie Morgenstern, “Being organized has less to do with the way an environment looks than how effectively it functions. If a person can find what he or she needs when he or she needs it, feels unencumbered in achieving his or her goals, and is happy in his or her space, then that person is well organized.” She goes on to define organizing as “a process by which we create environments that enable us to live, work, and relax exactly as we want to. When we are organized, our homes, offices, and schedules reflect and encourage who we are, what we want, and where we are going.”

Part One—The Shed/Playhouse
When we first had our shed constructed, we asked the builders to ensure that it would be safe to use as a playhouse, because I loved the idea of giving our kids somewhere to create a little home for themselves. Problem is, the shed also acts as a storage space over the winter. So, a few weeks ago, my daughter and I cleared out the collection of half-used bags of soil, broken toys and folding chairs and hosed away all of the dirt and mouse poop that had accumulated over the winter. We added a table, a couple of chairs and some bright pots to hold her assorted writing tools. The playhouse is a work in progress—we have plans to add some shelving, some of the kids’ artwork and an indoor/outdoor rug. Given that they have used the playhouse exactly once since we cleaned it, though, maybe the d├ęcor can wait until next year. In any case, I was satisfied with a job well done and I stood back to admire the new space more than once. By tackling our disorganized spaces one at a time, I experience a sense of accomplishment that motivates me to continue on to the next space—at some point, anyway.

If you have any great organization ideas, please pass them along. I have also begun accumulating some fun ideas on my Pinterest board.

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