Monday, November 13, 2006

Organization Challenge!

So I decided to join the 30-day Organization Challenge hosted by Laura at Organizing Junkie. My storage/laundry room is filled with boxes and clutter and I can never find anything I need very easily. It is a disaster. Sweet hubby keeps saying we are going to clean it up, but it never happens. So I figure if it's a competition that I might be more motivated to clean it up. OK, here's some pics of the war zone:

From the doorway:

The main mess:

And the laundry area:

Our main problem is we really need shelves in there but can't afford it right now. Any ideas on what else I can do?


Laura said...

Hi! Thanks for joining! You have an awesome space there. Thrift stores are a great place to find shelving/bookcases. I can't tell you how many bookcases I've found there for CHEAP! Can you purge out some of it? That is the least inexpensive of don't need shelves for stuff you don't have :) Good luck! Laura

Barb said...

Did you want me to be honest? Cuz I usually am.

It look like the first thing you need to do is sort through all those boxes. Sort things like this:

Stuff to put away
Stuff to keep (sealed in boxes)
Stuff to donate (Goodwill etc.)

I've used this system a lot & it really works. Tackle it when kids are in bed, so you can do it without "help" :)

Take the trash out, put boxes to donate in your trunk, put the "put away" stuff away.

Sort the rest (keep) into boxes and label them. You can get plastic shelving units at walmart for about $20 each. I know that can be a lot sometimes, but it's worth your sanity to have the stuff organized, right?

Hope this helps.

Mimo- JenK said...

They gave you some really good ideas. Thrift stores are a great idea too!
I organize like Barb does, it works really well. I also throw out (with the exception of holiday decorations) anything I haven't used within a year.

Kara said...

There's definitely a bunch of junk to throw away in there, I think half the pile is actually empty boxes! I need to organize it categories of stuff, like our food storage in one area, holiday stuff in another, etc. We honestly don't have a single dollar we can put towards shelving or I would :P In my head I imagine nice shelves with neatly stacked items and lots of room lol, and eventually we will get them, but for now I guess I'll have to work with stacked boxes :)

Thanks so much for all the advice!

Michelle said...

I do the same thing Barb does, it works really well. I bet if you took a few hours to work on it, it will look tons better! I can help you if you would like or I can watch the boys so you and your husband can work on it. Let me know. :)

Lara said...

My advice is to be ruthless when getting rid of things. You'll get rid of more the next time you re-organize so you may as well do it now! I watch it happen all the time.

Barb said...

I forgot to add.. the biggest part of this type of "disaster zone" is worrying about it so much because you don't know where to start.. so you don't start. (Been there, done that!)

So now you have an audience watching, waiting and cheering you on!

Since you can't afford shelves right now, let me tell you how I set up a kitchen area when we go camping :)

On a folding camp table, I turn the boxes so that the open side is facing out, then I stack the dishes, canned goods, etc. in them for easy access. You could do something similar.

After you've sorted through the boxes, put the closed ones on the bottom levels. Then on the top have others face outward and use them as shelves!

And be ruthless like Lazy said. "When in doubt, throw it out."

Kara said...

Michelle- you're welcome to watch the boys any time you want lol :D It is hard to do anything in there while holding the baby.

Barb- what a good idea for the box shelves!

We are getting started on it today hopefully.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking along the same line as the boxes. Or milk crates if you have them. Anything in your house that you have that you aren't using, shoe shelves, printer stands..anything. And of course, (some of you might cringe at this thought) but I have a best friend who isn't afraid to watch the dumpsters and curbs. I know. It's weird. But she has found some really nice things sitting by the dumpster waiting to be thrown away. (All those other people organizing their stuff and throwing out their extra bookcases - haha.) She's never actually dug IN one, only grabs stuff sitting on the curb. But seriously, use anything you can get your hands on even if it wasn't made for that purpose. I have a printer stand serving as a shoe stand in my closet, and it's about to become a tv stand. Whatever works.