Organization help to the rescue! Calling the Spring Cleaning Fairies.

Right at the end of February I got bit by the Spring Cleaning bug. It bit really hard. I cleaned out my guest room/storage closet/spider haven/hoarding nightmare, my actual closet, chest of drawers, and made a start on my personal library. I don’t know how I ended up with thousands of books, hundreds of which I’ve never read. This is not an exaggeration. About half of them are staying, but I’ve still got a huge bookshelf problem. I have a storage problem in general. My house has piles of stuff all over the floor. It kind of looks like we haven’t fully moved in yet. We’ve lived here for 8 years. My garage also has a bunch of old pictures that my grandmother gave me when she moved out of her house into her retirement castle that need new frames. I could go for one of those digital picture frames also, but these are genuine old photos. The silvering around the edges isn’t easy to see, and it certainly wouldn’t translate well to digital media.

But this whole spring cleaning thing has shown me that I’m really bad at organization. That’s how my spare bedroom ended up looking like it needed to be on an episode of Hoarders. Basically I’d just open up the door, chuck something in there, and then close the door again. It’s a really good thing we never have guests stay over or I’d have been in a real bind. So now I’m left with about 20 bags of stuff to donate, and that’s not counting the 10 or so bags of stuff that I’d been keeping around for no good reason. For example, about 4 years ago for Halloween I decided to make a Book Fairy costume out of an old textbook. I still had the tutu made out of rolled pages and the wings made out of more pages and the book binding. Those were glued to a clothes hanger that I’d bent into a vaguely wing-esque shape. The question I found myself asking when I saw this costume piled in the closet on top of the old beanbag chair that I never got rid of was “Why am I keeping this?” I certainly never intended to wear it again. And so I threw it away. I was an adult!

It’s not just my guest room closet that was chock full of junk, but my actual closet as well. Man, did I have some ugly purses back in the day. I either threw those out or donated them, too. Then I took a good long look at my clothes. With best intentions I read a lot of organizational blogs. I don’t usually put much effort into doing the things I read about in those blogs, but sometimes things just sink in. More than one of those blogs discussed how to weed out the stuff you don’t wear from your closet. The easy way is to turn all your clothes hangers backwards, and then after a year you get rid of the items on hangers that are still backwards. So next year on March 1st, I’ll hopefully be getting rid of a bunch of shirts. What I’ve noticed so far is that this hanger trick is actually making me wear things that I haven’t worn recently. I also got a bunch of drawer organizers to sort things like socks, belts and lingerie.

A different organizational blog that I read discusses what things to throw out. I took some of its advice and threw out all the clothes hangers that I got from stores or the drycleaners that don’t have metal hooks. You know the kind. I replaced them with fuzzy ones like these. An added benefit to the fact that they make my closet look more like it belongs to an adult is that now my clothes with wide necklines don’t fall off the hangers. That same blog discussed how to make your pantry/cupboard prettier while organizing it. It involves recycling your empty spaghetti and apple sauce jars, sanding the logos off the lids, drilling holes, and attaching nice little knobs to them. The pictures show jars of beans, maraconi, and other dry goods that don’t go bad quickly. If I had more time on my hands, I’d do that. As it is, I think I’ll just get some different sized containers and save time.

Speaking of saving time…If I’d vacuum more often, I’d save a bunch of time. I know it seems like it would take more time if I do it more often, but I think that’s the key to cleaning. That way I won’t have to do a deep clean every time I clean. I can simply clean a little at a time, not spend an eon doing it, and still not have to worry about all that dust everywhere. I’m going to put a reminder in my phone calendar so that I vacuum once a week. Let’s see how long that lasts. Why can’t the Spring Cleaning Fairies visit me to take care of it all?

Posted: Monday, March 14, 2016