calling getting organized a "new years resolution" just doesn't do it justice... i have been pondering, researching, and preparing myself mentally for months to finally buckle down and get organized. i have read every magazine that mentions organizing and have organized gurus, it's the best. i need all this help because i'm not the most organized person by nature. you know what i mean if you knew me in high school or ever saw my room!
but those days of disorganization and disarray are done! i want our little apartment to be a sanctuary in these troubled times. i want to walk through that drafty front door and feel peace, coziness, and calm and see beauty and cleanliness. we may still be able to hear E40 blasting through the window in our bedroom from the parking lot and the extremely loud yelling voices from outside penetrating through our walls, but once you are in you are safe from all that confusion and yuckiness.
so, first step to getting organized...
1. GET RID OF STUFF!
... this step is crucial, absolutely... might be the most important step. this stuff includes things you haven't used in years, knick-knacks, memoirs, random appliances you "might use someday," something with sentimental value that you never use, look at, or even remember until once every two years when you are trying to clean things out, etc... this is a problem because all this things do not have a place. everything in your house needs a home or it will end up on the floor, in the junk drawer, in the junk room, floating aimlessly, or stuffed in the closet or garage where it lays there lifelessly and without purpose, living a long, painful life until it's eventual death... when you finally realize it's time to move on.
so move on! "but it's that calendar i made for my extra credit project in pathophysiology that took me so long and i love it!" solution: take a picture of it, every page and angle if you'd like... and put it in a memories folder... where it can live forever! and throw it away. you will feel AMAZING.
clothes. if you do not LOVE it, get rid of it. that's my policy. [if you don't love it, don't even buy it in the first place... even if it's on sale!] i was going through my clothes and was having a hard time saying goodbye and sending them off to a thrift store of unknown origin so i gave them to a girl who i knew could use them. now my day is brightened every day i see her and know that my clothes will live on!
you have to be ruthless! you have to be strong! if you are feeling weak, watch an episode of hoarders and it should scare you so bad you will go throw away a fraction of your belongings (that's what i did).
don't be afraid to say no. "do you want these shoes? they don't fit me right..." well, i don't love them, but i might wear them sometime... "no thank you!" or "here honey, take these washcloths and old winter coat, you need all you can get when you're a newlywed" (good-hearted mother here with good intentions, who is also trying to rid herself of years of accumulated STUFF)... "those are nice, mom, but no thank you! we already have plenty of washcloths"
2. Buy boxes, shelves, bins, etc...
you will need supplies. everything needs somewhere to go, so buy a home for it! you can do this without spending too much, and it is ever so worth it. just make sure you think it through and find the most efficient system for you.
3. dedicate a day!
you will need at least a day of uninterrupted organizing to truly tackle the task. plan on it, make sure you will have everything you need, recruit your husband, and oh how lovely the results will be.
on new years day dan and renovated our second bedroom. we were starting to call it our hoarders room because it had gotten so bad. "i'm tired, we'll get to it later..." and "i'll unpack this suitcase tomorrow" and "just put it in here for now" all piled up and before we knew it we refused to even open the door out of sheer horror. that room was not being utilized or appreciated.
and now it is beautiful! we leave the door open and would be proud for a guest to see. i wish this was all i took. but i've learned being organized must be a daily activity. it must become second nature. and i really am working on it.... by the time i have kids i will probably have my own organizing show or blog or magazine. everyone needs a success story, right? i even bought a whiteboard calendar that has given us a whole new outlook on life... i won't get into that right now.
wow! who knew i could write so much about organization! i guess i knew i could, because it's been one of my most passionate subjects lately. i get giddy over bins and drawers and organizing units at target.
and thank you margi for the most beautiful bookshelf in existence!!! we couldn't love it more. how nerdy are we to get sooo excited about a bookshelf? mostly me that i literally would scream and yell "I LOVE IT!!!!!" everytime i saw it for the first two days.