Organize, Organize, Organize

Posted by Rebecca

One of the keys to loving a small space is making the most of your organizational skills.  Or, if you don’t have natural organizational skills, effectively stealing others’ ideas.  And that’s where we come in….

I found a great article today on MSN, by Martine Bury, that has some super ideas to incorporate into your life, whether you are living in 400 or 4,000 square feet:

1.  Be a ruthless curator.

• If you are a collector, visual vignettes are better displayed in odd numbers. And only display the items you truly love, otherwise the special items will get lost in the crowd. (Besides, all those knickknacks require one of my least favorite pastimes – dusting.)

• Keep similar pieces together, rather than scattering them about.

2.  Think like a chef.

• Store your most often-used items at eye level, and keep the rest either above, below, or behind.

• Place small items (such as spices) in a small box or plastic container to keep them together.  And get rid of any spices or condiments that are expired, stale, or flavorless.

• If you have extra wall space in your pantry or on the backside of cupboard doors, consider hanging hooks and a bulletin board for must-remember recipes.

3.  Get down to business.

• Go paperless and manage most of your finances with e-bills and online payments.

• Use a scanner to manage receipts, notes, photos, whatever.  This is a personal goal for me.  I have so many photo albums from my childhood through my early 30’s, until the digital age finally made its way into my life, that much of my closet and storage space is monopolized.  I plan to get a high quality scanner soon to digitally store all my old, beloved photos.  And for extra safety, I will store copies of my photo library in a virtual album like Flickr.

• Do your best to minimize your mail by cancelling unwanted magazine subscriptions, refusing junk mail, and contacting catalog companies to take your name off of mailing lists.

4.  Make a clothes call.  (This is my favorite, and something I try to do at least twice a year!)

• Get rid of unused, ill-fitting items. About this time last year, Tanille, Kara and I made an evening out of it by drinking wine and putting on a fashion show.  I left my sensitivity and they left their tact at the door, and they told me which of my clothes were unflattering, ugly and unfashionable.  Nearly half of my wardrobe was eliminated (who knew I was so unstylish).  But I felt so free and light at the end, and was able to return the favor to Tanille the following weekend. 

• Brighten up the space so you can see your clothes. Even if you don’t have a walk-in closet, you can make sure light adequately hits it from end to end.

• Make sure stacks of folded clothes are neatly separated and less than a foot tall.  Otherwise a recent purchase may get mistakenly shoved to the back, never to be found again.

• If you have ceilings higher than 7 feet (the standard for older trailers), place rods at various heights in order to maximize hanging space. A high bar at about eye level should do the trick for long garments. A lower bar at 42 inches works for shorter things.


5.  Take back the garage.  (Or the shed, or under the trailer, or wherever it is you store you stuff.)

• Much of your garage clutter is likely garbage.  Sort through it and get rid of the unused and unusable junk.

• Choose an organizing system that works for the space, whether it’s purchased shelving units or a custom-built setup.

• Place seasonal items and harmful chemicals and paint supplies on high shelves. Keep toys, gardening tools, and items you regularly need accessible.

• Set a date to complete unfinished projects (like that table you keep meaning to refinish), or discontinue the project and clear it out.  And be realistic.  You can always see if it’s worth it to have someone else finish the project.  Maybe your time is more valuable than your money right now.

You get the idea, but here is the full article.  Hopefully you’ve found something you can incorporate into your home.  I love these tips, and with the chilly/snowy/rainy weather, this is the perfect time of year to get some of these indoor projects done.

Happy organizing!!

Rebecca Knabe




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