Thursday, October 27, 2011

Weekend of Organizing Part V:The Rest of the Story or "We're Livin' Small!!"

PART IV, Part III, Part II and Part I

For my Daily Top 3, scroll to the bottom, or just keep reading till you get there!

One of the biggest benefits of living in a small house is prioritizing STUFF. One of the biggest benefits of being stone broke for several years is learning how little you need to buy STUFF. I buy my work clothes based on two criteria (other than "it fits" and "it's machine washable")
  1. Is it appropriate?
  2. Is it on Clearance?

(I do keep a nice "professional" outfit for each season--updated as appropriate and generally timed to coincide with certain work events involving the folks at the top of the food chain so I don't repeat last year's outfit!)

So what does this have to do with organizing?
PLENTY! I have substantially fewer clothes than many full-time workers. My work place is business casual so I simplify with one pair of casual black shoes and one of brown--appropriate to the season. I keep three pairs of black pants, 3 of khaki and one or two "others" and have a selection of blouses, sweaters and "tops" to go with them. This frees closet space!!!

Photo credit:

How I simplified our bedrooms.
I threw out the dressers!!! Yes, you read that right! We are a dresser-free family. We had junky old dressers in our last few homes. I hated them. They always needed organizing and they collected junk like magnets. Other than my brilliant parenting moment of creating the "NO" drawer for clothing not acceptable at school, they were a disaster. When we came to this house I went to the new IKEA store for the first time. I highly recommend this to anyone who wonders if they can make the transition to a SMALLER home. IKEA tells you how "big" the sample space is--and that helped. What I loved was all the creative ways to keep the space neat. Today our closests (which do still need sorting and so still collect junk) are all organized with hanging clothes bags, wire drawer units and over-the-door-shoe bags.

Photo credit:

What I saw at IKEA was a vision of AFFORDABLE organization! Developed by people accustomed to living in much smaller spaces than Americans have. Lightening Bolt Moment!
Photo credit:
My son has ADHD and other organizational challenges, so I organized the two worst problems he faced every morning: Clean Socks and Clean Underwear. I also saved myself a couple of big hassles by organizing his dress shoes, "good" belt and ties. (And back in the day his Boy Scout uniform socks, belt, neckerchief and slide.) How did I accomplish this miracle?

Photo credit:
God's Gift to the Oranizationally-challenged: The Over-the-Door-Clear-Plastic-Shoe-Organizer-Bag!!

Although it's a FIGHT and a HALF to get him to put things away right, when he does put things away right (Which means I have stood there till he does!!!) he is ready on time for school, clean and smelling nice!

In my closet I have two similar bags--one for socks (formerly used for panty house back in the day when I wore suits and heels each day) and one packed away should I ever again need it for jewlery. Photo Credit

Without bulky furniture our bedrooms, although small, FEEL bigger. We don't miss the extra furniture or the junk that "grows" within it.

Here's what another Organizing blogger, "Organizing Your Way," had to say about the benefits of living in a smaller house.

Want to see what others are doing to Organize their homes this week? See all the posts at Organizing Junkie's 52 Weeks of Organizing

This is the last organizing post for now. I will be posting more again soon and will be posting on progress at doing my DAILY TOP 3: (I already plan my meals so that one isn't an issue any more!)

  1. Dishes done/kitchen clean
  2. Living room neat
  3. My bed made


Susan said...

You're really inspiring me with these posts! I'm not getting rid of my dresses (it's an antique I refinished as teen in 4-H), but right now I'm going up to do some bedroom down-sizing and clutter-busting. I TOTALLY relate to the need to stand there with a child until they do what you've asked ... ughh!!

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