On Tuesday, V came over and I burst into tears as predicted. However, she was very sweet and even complementary. As she looked at my house she would say things like, "This is great." "What a good system you've started here." and "You've really worked at this haven't you?"
I have. I have read the books, I have watched the shows and I have purged and purged and I still can't seem to control THE STUFF. But I am on my way now and I'm pretty stoked about it.
Highlights from what I learned this week.
1. You can't organize a space until you have enough room to organize it in. Example: My bedroom. V told us, "You guys have done great things to maximize this space, but you need more room. We can't start to organize your room until you either have a second dresser or a wall unit." We opted for the second dresser. We found a great one on KSL in three days.
2. You need a lot of bins. A lot. I am now the proud owner of 16 large bins, 13 shoe box size and 9 in-between-those size bins. And that's just for starts. V would love it if I had 20, 20 and 15.
3. You need to label everything. EVERYTHING. Heck, I've even labeled my label maker box. (Grinning.) But suddenly the kids can put their clothes away because they know right where underwear, socks, shirts and pants go as well as those once-a-week things like scout shirts, Sunday clothes, and basketball jerseys.
V says, (you're going to hear this a lot) "Most people stop organizing at the labeling. They feel done and they want to move on. Don't do it. Finish the project. Label everything."
4. Your premium space is anywhere in your house that hits you from the crown of your head to the top of your hip. Put the stuff you need most IN THAT SPACE. So swimsuits, jerseys, etc. They get a low drawer in the dresser, not one of the top three. (The #2 space is from your hip to your knee. #3--I think--is from your knee to the floor and #4 is from the top of your head up.)
5. Organize where you use things. I have tried over and over to use my hall closet as a linen closet with no success. So when we're in the laundry room, V asks, "Where do you keep your sheets?"
"Here," I say gesturing to a jumbled mess in the bottom to shelves of a shelving unit in the laundry room.
"Great!" she says enthusiastically and completely undaunted, "Let's get some bins and sort them and label them."
I am, therefore, the proud owner of three sheet containers labeled Boys Sheets, Girls Sheets and King Sheets. (Actually it only says, "Girl Sheet" cuz I messed up in the label maker, but you get the idea.)
6. Follow the 80/20 rule. You know, you wear 20% of your clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc. 80% of the time. Get rid of (purge) the bottom 50% of what you don't use.
There's so much more, but I'll try to give you the highlight with after pictures. (Wink.)