Tag Archives: organization

Yearly purging project: version 2013

For the third year running, I’ve been a-purging. The first year I made this an intentional New Years project was 2011, when I purged 111 things. It was so liberating and practical and awesome that I repeated the experience in 2012, purging 112 things. This year, though I haven’t reached 113 things, we purged a solid 76, with some hefty bags that made their way from the back closet to Salvation Army. Here’s a pile of the first wave of items:

Clothing was a big one, but I also threw away some old make up, got rid of CD’s from high school that I haven’t listened to in years, and books that I never plan on re-reading (i.e. The Jungle–most depressing book EVER).

Are any of you doing some out-with-the-old this year?

It’s a great feeling. In fact, have you ever noticed that the high of freeing yourself from possessions you don’t need is kind of similar to the high you can get from shopping? Hunh. (There’s probably some smart psychological explanation for that . . . anyone?)

I’ve been thinking it would be a really cool project to involve Alice in every January (and any future siblings of hers–yes, I have the baby crazies and want them ALL. ALL THE BABIES). The goal could be to get rid of at least as many things as they were given for Christmas, and more if possible. Teaching her that letting go is a healthy part of life is an important lesson, especially following on the heels of a holiday that has frankly become quite materialistic–and no matter how we choose to “do Christmas” in our household, some of that will inevitably leak in.

Of course, for now she can’t quite get a handle on purging given that she has just recently figured out that her hands are part of her body. But in years to come, once her motor skills are a little more established, we’ll revisit the idea.

Bins, bins, bins, bins, bins!

Sometimes I just break into a song. It goes “bins, bins, bins, bins, bins!” (to whatever tune comes to mind)

I love bins so much.

And I’ve been mentioning them so often that I decided they finally deserved a post of their own.

There are many kinds: bins with lids, or without. Small bins that fit inside drawers in many configurations. Large bins destined to house piles of toys. Bins that are just a box, or bins with compartments inside them. Bins that fit into shelving, on top of shelving, of any color or texture imaginable. Canvas or cloth bins for a casual look, woven bins or wood bins or sleek bins for offices, bathrooms, or livingrooms. Bins lined with fabric, collapsible bins, stackable bins.

I knew I wanted to look into buying bins for our new place, because at our old place there were random piles or groupings of things that just had no home. For example, our stash of batteries, battery chargers, other chargers, and random computer and printer paraphenalia. That stuff just refused to look pretty, or be stacked, or live in harmony with anything around it . . . which is why we needed a bin to stash it in.

Voilà! Le bin.

And we wanted a bin for some old computer games that had been living with our DVD’s, which is now on top of the bookcase next to a matching bin!

And a bin for my socks, which had been living in an overflowing orange bag. And a bin for my husband’s ties, which had been kicked out of a drawer that the wash cloths had moved into (those darn wash cloths! Always trying to edge in on something good).

I didn’t take pictures of these because I didn’t want to shock any innocent viewers, but I now also have a series of bins that keep my underwear drawers organized. Full length stockings and capri-length stockings can now live separated by bins. Assorted removable bra straps that end up kicking around in confusion now live in their own little compartment, next to a bin of nursing pads.

A bin houses my belts, which would otherwise take over the whole drawer in their snakey, twining disarray!

Anyway, bins, bins, bins, bins, bins!

At Ikea they had a whole section of the store that was probably twice the size of our apartment, completely devoted to bins. I bought many, and they are my all-time favorite organizational device.

Fair warning to all: they’re a nightmare to shop for because you need the right dimensions for whatever shelf they’re going on, the right color for the room you’re coordinating them with, and the right size for the stuff you have in mind–but once you’ve found the right one, the result is bliss.

My jewelry used to live tangled in a small, ugly, plastic drawer thingy. I could never find what I needed. Now my jewelry lives in two stacked, compartmentalized bins that live in a drawer!

It still may look a little tangled to your perfectionists, but let me assure you that it is NOTHING near the mess that it used to be. For example, bracelets have their own compartment! Wheeeee! My silver earrings are separate from my gold earrings. I’m telling you, it’s a revolution in here. In the past few weeks, I’ve been wearing jewelry that had previously been buried at the bottom of the heap . . . for years. Thank you, bins.

Next item: Thornfield CD’s that I keep in stock used to live in a plastic Gap bag–until I bought a bin for them that fits perfectly on our CD/DVD shelf!

(by the way, have you bought our album and EP yet? If not, get yourself over to iTunes and support an awesome folk band!)

More bins for Alice’s things–big turquoise bins for diapers and wipes and such! (these are actually from a later shopping trip to Target)

Bins for the changing table/ex-butcher’s block . . .

These above pictures are from the chaos period of her room–now the bins are looking much more wieldly.

Hurrah for order!

There’s a bin for random stuff my husband keeps in our bedroom like his headphones for late night listening, or matches to light candles and set a romantic mood . . .

. . . a bin for extra toilet paper in the hall bathroom . . .

. . . bins for assorted winterwear that fit nicely under our shoe bench by the entryway . . .

. . . bins!

Have you caught the bug yet??