Saturday, January 21, 2012

Looking For Advice

If you are an Organized Wannabe like me, then catalogs from loverly companies like The Container Store and Ikea feed your addiction.  Even the weekly Target ad in January, when all their “Time to Get It Together” stuff is on sale, works in a pinch.

I’ve spent money on containerizing and labeling the kids’ toys and items I need to store, like clothes for the youngest to grow into or which bins have Christmas decorations versus camping stuff in our cellar.  I’ve read every magazine and book about how to find that balance of having an organized home but not having it feel like a sterile prison cell.  I’ve watched “Hoarders” (amazing how many of them have neat piles of things, even though they are blocking exits) and “Storage Wars” (featuring people who’ve had so much stuff they’ve had to rent more space, and then have run out of money to pay for the rental fees).

Here’s what I’ve gleaned from all that research:
  • Get rid of stuff.  Or save things.
  • Have multiples of everything in every room, like mini-offices.  Or get rid of multiple items.
  • Buy pretty containers to store your extra stuff.  Or repurpose what you have on hand.
  • Use a simple folder system.  Or an intricate one.  Or don’t use a folder system - use binders, or an expanding accordian file.
  • Scan all your paper.  Or store all your paper.
  • Save all your tax returns.  Or throw out all but the last seven years of returns.  Or three, depending on what returns you filed.
  • Use an electronic planner.  Or a paper planner.  Since there’s so few of either to choose from, that should be easy, right (yes, that was typed with extreme sarcasm – any one item that has its own aisle at Staples deserves it).
  • Put all your important documents in a safety deposit box at your bank.  Or in a fireproof box in your house. 
Confusing, right?  I was spending more time trying to figure out which advice, which route, would lead me to the Organized Home of my dreams than doing the actual decluttering and organizing that would get me to Nirvana.  So I stopped trying to follow all the conflicting expert opinions, take some time, and find out what really will work for ME.  Because last time I checked, none of those experts have stormed my house to do it for me.  Where the hell is Peter Walsh when I need him?
Is there one organizational expert whose advice works better for you than the others?  And how does their advice work for you?

No comments: