Monday, 22 February 2010


I like things to be orderly. My house doesn't have to have a spotless shine to it, and I'm okay if everything is not always in its place, but I like to have general order in my home. Clutter drives me nuts, and things "put down here, just for now" nearly kills me. And it seems as I tidy ahead of me, things keep jumping out of their place behind me.

But I have had a gravitation as of late toward containers. Instead of just a "place for everything and everything in it's place," I am looking toward the more specific "a container for everything and everything in its container." It just seemed to be that much easier.

Well, today I came across a blog post on "I'm an Organizing Junkie." Just the name of the site lured me in, as I know I am not as well organized as I want to be, and clearly this woman has her stuff together in that area! She posted the other day on containers, and she actually clarified just what it is about containers that are so lovely. In her words:

"One of the most important things about containers and other storage solutions is this:

Containers establish boundaries and limits.

"So often people don’t pay attention to the space they really have available to them. They figure that if their space is full they must then just need more space. When rather what we should be thinking and what would be painfully clear if we had established limits and boundaries is that we just need less stuff.

"Let’s take my cookbooks for instance. I have a designated space for them on one shelf in one of my bookcases. That is the space I have set aside for them based on the space I have available in my home. I have established that to be the boundary and limit to my cookbooks. When that gets full I don’t then start piling the books up on the floor as I get more. I’ve exceeded my limit and therefore need to reign in my over consumption by purging out the excess or making some tough choices about what else I could part with in order to make room for them. And because all of that takes work it definitely makes me think twice about what I buy in the first place.

"Those in place boundaries and limits keep me in check."

Isn't that wonderful? I had never considered that once I run out of space, I need to stop buying that thing. I have a little shelf for my cookbooks. It fits the ones I use, and one or two extra. And I don't need anymore. Truthfully, I won't use any more than those. And so next time I'm out and see a great deal on a good cookbook, I DON'T BUY IT!

Currently I have containers for the boys' books (means that they can only pull out one box of 20 or so books at a time), containers for the boys' toys (one group of toys per box, with lids) and a container for my cleaning supplies (which ports around the house quite nicely!) I also recently finished organizing the basement into storage totes - no more mismatched boxes piled in the corner. And every time I organize into containers, it makes me really question whether or not I need this item. I used to be terrible for "I might use this one day." Now I limit myself to things I really do use (plus one or two boxes for things of a sentimental nature). My storage boxes are mostly for seasonal items (clothes that rotate, or winter/summer sports equipment). I access those boxes almost daily, which tells me I'm not hoarding, just organizing.

Any other fantastic organizing tips out there that you've found really work for you?

1 comment:

Organized Home said...

Having been a work-at-home mom for over 15 years, I've come to adore containers too! With so many sizes and styles available, you can find containers to match every possible style and organizing need.

One other thing I learned from my mother is to ask myself often, "Do I want, like, need or use this?" If the answer is mostly no, then out it goes. It was tough to do at first, but now it's second nature. And getting rid of that stuff creates a sort of vacuum to allow new and better stuff to come into my life.

Getting organized is rewarding in so many ways!