Sunday, June 13, 2010

Giving Everything a Place: Starting Out

I am on a mission to find a place for everything that is currently in my house. I want to know where each and everything goes so I can put it away when when I want to. I will be re-purposing some things, creating new spaces, and getting rid of things that do not have a home.

My first step was to really think about how I use each space currently. I asked myself if the system is working for myself or family. Note that I said OR FAMILY, sometimes I dont like the way a certain system looks, but I can acknowledge that it works well for my family-specifically my husband. If it is working, there isnt a need to change the system, just maybe add a few changes to improve on what is already working. You dont have to conform to a 12 step program to be organized.

First up: the catch all cubbies that are right inside my front door.

Starting at the front door is a tip I got Emilie Barnes in her book 'More Hours in My Day.' I love to learn from organized people. Emilie Barnes has a number of great organizational ideas that work for me, and some that dont. I've learned it's OKAY if an organized person's ideas dont work for you, it doesnt mean that you arent or cant be organized.

Starting with the little closet at the front of the house gave me a chance to see some change quickly without having to tackle a big room. It gave me motivation to work on bigger areas.

The shoe cubbies before:

Like I said, I started SMALL. But, why tackle big things when you arent willing to do the small ones? I got this cubbie earlier this year when Charger spilled paint on the carpet. Remember that post? Well, this hides the stain and provides some much needed storage for my family.

The shoe cubbies after:

I labled each cubbie with a name and limited each person to only 2 or 3 pairs here at the door. This isnt where we keep nice shoes. This is the place to dump flip flops, clogs, and in the winter tennis shoes. This location places the shoes in easy reach for trips to play outside, grab the mail, dump the slop, etc. Our going to town/church shoes are kept in the family closet. I am not sure what I am going to do when Mini Cooper needs a cubbie, I'll think about that in the next few months.

The bins on top make a great place for storing outdoor items, but I wanted to make sure they didnt just become catch all. Remember, my goal is 'a place for everything.' So, I gave these bins a purpose. One holds seasonal accessories. In the summer, it holds sun hats, sunglasses, a blanket for sitting on the lawn, etc. In the winter it holds gloves and hats and scarfs, etc. The second bin currently holds swim wear. Suits and covers for each family member are here. Grandma has a pool and we are frequently going swimming on short notice.

I used some of my favorite scrap paper to make the tags along with some pretty yarn I had on hand. I am trying very hard not to buy things for this redo. The point is to streamline things...not buy more :).

I have since added a small basket on top of the shelves to hold items that are going out. Since it is right at the door, its the perfect place to store things that I dont want to forget the next time I leave. It works in theory, unless you forget to look the spot {which I did this week}.

And that's the first spot on the redo tour. Next up, the coat closet. God Bless!!


Aaron and Annette said...

Looks like a great start!! I love the tags for your storage bins (they look too cute!) and the idea of the basket at the top for things that are "going out". I have so many things that I forget to drop off or take to someone. Thanks for the idea! O and the coat closet's next...eek mine needs some TLC too! :) Happy organizing!

My Boys' Teacher said...

Ooooo...I like that! We just have a stack of shoe shelves by the back door. Having exactly enough spots for each member of the family and LABELING them could be a huge problem solver for me. One pair at a time my husband has transferred almost his entire shoe collection to the shelves and everyone else has to put theirs in a pile on the floor. Every couple of months I flip out and start yelling and he puts all but two pairs away. Your system would make it much more obvious to him when he had gotten out of control :)

Ticia said...

I'm slowly working on similar things..... It's a slow process.

Stuff On My Blog said...

I've been a declutter/organizing addict for a while now, and I love to solve a problem like this :D Excellent idea giving each person a limited amount space to put their shoes ... I find more pairs creep out to our shoe rack than I want to deal with. I totally NEED an 'out' basket like that too... I've got dvd's on top of the tv that have waited for over a week to go to the post office! lol

Autumn Living said...

It looks great and is practical too. You've got a great attitude when it comes to your redo-ing projects. I'm looking forward to seeing your progress.


Lindsay said...

oo looks great! You are totally motivating me to get started!! I am going to start small you were right on about doing the big things when I haven't done the little things!

No Ordinary Me said...

Wonderful. I love Emilie Barnes books.