First, let me just say that I have noticed something here in blogging land. And that thing is this - most, if not all, of the bloggers are Type A, motivated, over-achievers who have always been great cooks, photographers, organizers, etc. Don't get me wrong, this is not an insult. Some of my favorite bloggers are those perfect overachievers that know whereof they speak. But I also like to read posts from ordinary folks, those who are not perfect and are just finding their way. Folks like me. Those bloggers make me feel like there is still hope for me. Hope that I will one day wake up and my house will be clean, the children will all have matching socks to wear, I will be able to find the school form that needs to be turned in that day, and there will be milk in the refrigerator for the baby's bottle. Oh yeah, I dream big.
Anyway - you get the point. I am an underachiever. And I am just starting out in my home organization journey. Much of what I will write about will be things that many of you have been doing or have known for years. But, there may still be one or two of you that have not yet made it even to my level. (You poor, poor souls.) It is for you two that I am writing this blog.
Okay, having reiterated my sheer cluelessness, I will now share with you my newest home organization epiphany. Boxes. Shoeboxes, plastic boxes, boxes with handles, boxes without handles. I don't care what type of box you use, just use them! My only requirement is that the box has a lid. I will get to this in a minute.
Boxes make corralling all of your little stuff a breeze. Before I discovered boxes, I didn't know what to do with my kids' miscellaneous STUFF. Bakugan, Pokemon, plastic animals, markers - where to put them all? Boxes, that's where! What about adult miscellaneous stuff? Light bulbs, batteries, toiletries? You guessed it! Boxes are great for several reasons. First of all, they allow you to group like collections and groups of things together. This one is pretty obvious. Secondly, they allow you to corrall items that are not easily corralled, and items that were once not stackable are now in a stackable container. This is my favorite aspect of boxes, and also why you need to have a lid for your box. Last, but not least, once you identify your like items and create a box for them, picking up becomes much easier because you already know where everything belongs.
I have found boxes to be most useful in my kids' bedrooms, but I am also using them in the linen closets, the dining room, my bedroom - once you get going you will want a box for everything.
My system for boxing items is simple:
1. Completely clean out an area.
2. Identify like groups of items
3. Determine what size box these items will need and create a box for them
4. Label the box
5. Find the best place to keep the box
My current favorite boxes are the Kassett boxes in white from Ikea
and the clear plastic storage boxes from the Container Store Both of these boxes come in a variety of sizes and shapes.
Now go forth and divide and box!