Last week I did a book review of Marie Kondo’s best-selling The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. This week I wanted to put one of her recommendations to the test. To energize your closet, she recommends taking 10 minutes to arrange your clothes from left to right in the order of heavy to light. This means longer and darker clothing should hang on the left and then work upward to lighter clothing on the right.Read more →
To understand what it takes to stay organized, it might be helpful to change the spelling of the word itself. The word “go” needs to be at the heart “organized.” To be truly organized, you need to be or-GO-nized.
I know the definition of organizing, but I haven’t found a satisfying word origin. 1375-1425, late Middle English from the Medieval Latin organizare- to contrive, arrange— is not doing it for me.Read more →
Ever buy an item only to discover you already had 6 of them buried in your closet? Chances are your closet needs some CPR. No, there’s no clever acronym here, but for a closet to serve you well, it needs to start breathing. Your closet needs clear passageways so Items can circulate in and out easily. All too often, a closet become a black hole. Matter goes in, but doesn’t come out. To convert your closet from a black hole into a valuable organizing tool requires a fundamental shift in thinking. You can no longer think of your closet a place to hide things, but as a place to FIND things. You need easy systems, so it’s obvious where to store something AND where to retrieve it. Easy in, easy out, just like healthy breathing. Now I’m not suggesting you need a giant pair of hands to pump oxygen into your closet, but a good place to start is with a good clear out. When your closet is completely clear it is much easier to rethink how you are using […]Read more →
I am often asked what furniture, closets, or shelves to buy and when I answer by saying “an answer to the question of systems must be preceded by an answer to the question of quantity,” I am given a look that says “Why are you making me eat my brussel sprouts before I eat my cake?” So be it. Let’s talk cake! If you compare clearing a cluttered room to baking a cake, then asking about furniture and shelves is like asking about the flavor of the frosting before you know the flavor of the cake. A cluttered room is a loose mess of ingredients. You can’t start by applying frosting to that mess. You need the structure of the cake. First you need to sort out the ingredients. Maybe you have more flour than you need for this cake. Maybe some of that flour has clumped up and needs tossing. Maybe you discover you don’t have as much sugar as you thought you did. Maybe you were planning on a chocolate frosting, but you discover these wonderful fresh strawberries […]Read more →
Originally from Matt Baier’s Organizing Works Newsletter, July 2008 TWO SIDES OF A COIN If you think of storage as a one-way street, disorganization is inevitable. Instead, I find it helpful to think of storage as a coin, where STORAGE is heads and RETRIEVAL is tails. Storage without retrieval is not a solution. It is solving one problem by creating another. In fact, the new problem is worse because when things are hidden away without any sort of exit strategy, the odds of ever dealing with them plummet. Most likely it won’t occur to us to deal with stashed items until we can stash no more. That’s usually when I get a call. Here are six typical areas where retrieval is lacking and ways to improve them. 1. Storage Closets. Having lived in many small city apartments, I know that sometimes you have nowhere else to store unused items than a closet. This, however, is not the time to throw up your hands and say you have no storage. It is the time to truly prioritize and use your limited […]Read more →