Saturday, January 26, 2013

organize now challenge: post the third


Well, not exactly a taking down of, more of a sorting out. But I'll get to that in a minute.

Background info about my house:
  1. half of my house was built in the 1860's. ish. 
  2. the other half-ish of my house was built in the early-mid 1900's.
  3. people back in those days did not believe in closets.
When I stand in the doorway of my bedroom closet, I can extend my arm and touch the back of the closet. Without leaning. When I stand just inside my bedroom closet, I can extend my right arm, lean ever-so-slightly, and touch the far wall of the closet. Also, standing just inside my closet, I can stick my left elbow out and touch the left wall of the closet. 

Summary: There is not enough room in my closet to do the Hokey-Pokey. 

Additionally: About a third of my closet is taken up by a rather large box containing my wedding dress. I'm not ready to part with it just yet, and there is literally nowhere else to store it in my house. 

So there's that.  

In the closet, there's one bar on which garments can be hung, and a shelf above the bar. I keep my jeans folded nicely in a pile on the shelf, and a stack of bulky sweaters that are not well-suited for hanging in another pile. That's as useful as I can make the space.

sweaters, jeans, and my corset and chemise.
what, you don't keep your corset in the closet?
Fortunately, Jen's first tip for organizing a bedroom closet is to begin by pitching things, starting with the mess. Anything you haven't worn in over a year, things that are out of style, wrecked by your offspring, and that God-awful sweater your grandma gave you for Christmas this year.  

I had a Truly Horrific Pile on the floor of my closet, comprised mostly of random things I didn't want to put away. So I picked up the pile, checked to make sure my superty nice woolen socks were not hiding in it, and I pitched the whole thing. I stuffed the lot of it into a contractor bag and took it out to the curb. I didn't recycle it, I didn't give it away, I didn't box it up for the Salvation Army Thrift Store. I am not so good with sorting through things, it takes me forever, I look at every last item and think about it, and I have done this since childhood. In the future, when I'm not swamped with an ugly mess, I will take the time and use the brain power to divide and conquer, but that was just

Let me tell you: giving myself permission to let go of the stuff, and just straight-up purge it out of my world was really freeing. Really, really, wonderfully freeing. 

inside the closet door: double hook holding the bathrobe
and a hangar with my many scarves

Most of the tips about organizing the clothing inside the closet after emptying it out don't really apply to us.  I can count on one hand the number of button-down shirts owned by The Mister, and I have a small, but versatile Grown-Up Clothes wardrobe. For the majority of the year, my uniform consists of a long-sleeved t-shirt, layered with various sweaters or knee-length dresses. 

three jackets, six cardigans, two shirts
I think it is very clever of Jen to suggest hanging similar items together by color. I have included a photo of this despite the fact that most of my clothes are black, brown and grey, and the lighting is wretched and everything looks black. Very not exciting. Another tip is to purchase a battery-powered light and stick it to the wall of the closet, and I am seriously considering that.  She also recommends using a shoe rack or over-the-door shoe organizer, and I do that, except mine is in the kitchen, near the front door. If I had to go up to my room to put my shoes away every time I came in the house, my shoes would never end up in my bedroom closet. 

At the end of every weekly assignment in Organize Now! is a short checklist of things to keep the area organized. There's a once a month list, a 3-6 month list, and a once a year list. Maybe "list" is not the best word to use, it's more like a couple of bullet points for each time frame. I appreciate this kind of instruction, because it's the staying organized once I've got my act together that I'm really worried about.  

It's just about February, which means I've stuck to my guns for a month already. Now how long do you have to do something before it becomes a habit? Am I close? Are we there yet? Bueller?

Visit the other bloggers taking the Organize Now! Challenge:
Tapas Lifestyle
Mother Thyme
House of Grace
Michelle Murphy


  1. Fabulous Pamela! Your post is awesome! I love how real you are. I was laughing! I love how you right! Cheers :)!

    1. Thanks, Linda! I'm looking forward to catching up on everybody's progress this week.

  2. I like to use the over the door shoe pockets for more than shoes. I roll up socks, scarves and belts to tuck into the pockets. Very handy.

  3. 21 days of doing something should equal a new habit so you are on the right track but you have to keep the areas organized for longer! Lol great job. You could grab cubes or a sweater stacker to max your space on the tops shelf and makes it easier to pull something down.

  4. 21 days of doing something should equal a new habit so you are on the right track but you have to keep the areas organized for longer! Lol great job. You could grab cubes or a sweater stacker to max your space on the tops shelf and makes it easier to pull something down.

  5. Ugh, you're so right about lack of closet space in older homes. We have this issue and it drives me crazy. We actually turned what is supposed to be a nursery off our bedroom into a walk-in closet, otherwise we would be walking all over our clothes. Great job organizing! It always feels so great to have an organized space! :)


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