Friday, February 10, 2012

Organizing Challenge: Getting Started

Getting ready for this challenge, I dutifully took my before picture on February 1.  And then I didn't get them posted until Feb 9 (Organizing is always a challenge!).  So of course, I didn't start on the project until Feb 9 either.

Why is it that I have to make a mess to get rid of a mess? 
Using Org Junkie's tools, I printed out the PROCESS system, the lists of planning and declutter questions, and "Org Junkie's Tips for Parting With Your Clothes" (all found in her post here).

P= Plan of Attack
Here are her planning questions as I answered them:  (My area for this challenge is master bedroom)
1.  What do I want the purpose of my room or area to be? 
Sleeping, dressing, storage for clothing and training gear
2. What do I need in or near the room to serve that purpose?  
A bed (duh), clothing/jewelry/etc. confined to this room only, my training gear to be confined to this room.
3. What can I remove from the room? 
Storage boxes, wooden desk, lots of unneeded stuff!
4. What problems do I see with the room? 
We are currently using it like a closet for all the stuff we had to move from the rest of the house to make room for our son.  Also, the room is small, the closet is small, and between my husband and I we have a lot of clothing and gear that we use.  And yeah, we keep a lot of stuff that we don't.  Specific organizational problems include my hair bands (currently hanging on a dresser post), my training books and magazines (currently in a box buried in a pile), and hubby's hats (see below).  
These are SOME of my husbands hats.  This was the tote on the bottom of the pile in the corner.  How often do you think these get worn???
5. What organizational tools might solve these problems? 
Getting rid of excess stuff.  Drawers or shelves for extra gear.
6. What habits need to change to solve the organizational problem? 
Keeping things that we no longer use but think we "should" keep.  Putting things back where they belong instead of in a pile to do later.
Pretty much all of this stuff has a home, it just needed to be put there.  
7. What kind of a budget do I have to create the organized room of my dreams?  
Well, the organized room of my dreams is actually in the house we will be moving to in a little over a year.  But I'm sick of fighting the dysfunctionality I have right now, plus I don't want to take this all with us!  Since our new space will have completely different storage and organizational solutions (as well as challenges), I hope to spend very little to nothing on the current space.
8. What kind of timeline is necessary to organize the room? 
There are only 3 weeks left in the challenge!
9. What is my plan of action? 
Either run away screaming or consume copious amounts of wine...what do you mean that won't work? Oh, well then I guess it will be to take it a section at a time, starting with  my clothing.
10. Who can I ask to help me with this? 
Hubby- both to watch Liam and to go through his stuff.

I understand the concept of removing things from the room rather than shuffling them around, but with a toddler, I need to be able to close the door to the piles I am sorting.  The master bedroom is the only room in the house where that is possible.  The first thing I did was put away items that were "in limbo", just waiting to be put in their actual homes.  The rest items are being removed to the bed for purging and sorting as I work on each section.
The nice pile of extra hangers from discarded clothing.
Liam's idea of "helping". 
O=Organize into piles
Piles include donate/toss/sell/keep/relocate.
So far I have found items to donate to four different charitable organizations, made a pile for a spring garage sale (my mom is having one), thrown away the volume of a large kitchen trash bag, and relocated  several things.  My biggest problem with this, and when I put the "in limbo" items away, was to not organize the locations I was relocating them to as well.  This is how I usually get derailed in my organizing efforts.  I have trouble focusing on just one project, instead working on several areas at once and making a mess too big to handle.  I am concentrating very hard on just putting things away, then returning to the task at hand.
"Skinny" clothes to go to Goodwill.
Another Goodwill pile.  And I haven't even touched my hubby's clothes!
Since I am trying not to spend any money on this project, I have been scavenging the rest of the house looking for organizational solutions.  So far I have relocated a bookshelf to be used for my training related reading material, two plastic drawer units from the basement, and some plastic food containers for use inside drawers.
The containers I scavenged from the basement.  Stay tuned for how I dress them up.  
I realized sometime yesterday that I didn't even think about taking pictures of the stuff under the bed.  There are a couple plastic containers under there.  One is my "stuff to keep" and I'm not sure what the other is, maybe Dave's "stuff to keep"?  So that adds a third very scary area in this room.  At least the stuff is in containers, and I hope that since (for the most part) I can't even tell you what's there, that I will be able to get rid of most of it.

I've made very good progress considering I've only been at it a couple days.  But, I spent a lot of time on each of these two days.  I hope to continue to hit it hard this weekend once Dave gets home and can do stuff with Liam.  I also hope to get him to go through some of his stuff AND get rid of some of it.  Wish me luck on that last one!


  1. skinny clothes lol have I done that before too

  2. great progress! keep it up!

    ps...good luck getting your man to help...that is a challenge for me too!