The Gift of Organization
I was recently brought in to help a local grandma, affectionately known to her grandchildren as MawMaw, organize her gift closet. MawMaw enjoys gift giving and shopping for a bargain. So, throughout the year whenever she shops, if she finds a good price on an item she thinks one of her loved ones would enjoy, out come the coupons and cash. The day we met, she was feeling overwhelmed and frustrated because she would purchase gifts for her family and friends, and place them in the gift closet. The problem was, her gift closet was so full, she would either forget what she had in there and buy something else for the intended recipient or she couldn’t find the gift amid all the bins, bags, and boxes.
So as she and I discussed her project, I asked her to think back to her kindergarten days. Remember when playtime was over and toys had to be put away? We were taught to put like things with like things – crayons in the crayon bin, balls in the ball bin, dolls with dolls – you get the picture. The same principal applies here. When working your organizing project, as you go through the sort and purge phase, be sure to put like items with like items. That way, when it comes time to containerize, you’ll know how many items in each category you need to store, making it easier to determine the size and quantity of containers needed for your project.
Tip from the organizer: Never purchase containers until after you’ve completed the sort and purge phase of your organizing project. If you purchase containers at the beginning of your project, you may end up with too many or with containers that are the wrong size. Excess and unusable containers then become part of the clutter and the one thing we don’t want is more clutter!
Well, I’m happy to say we got MawMaw’s gift closet organized and under control. We even set up a “Gifts” database on her computer in Microsoft Excel that enables her to keep track of her purchases. It includes a column for the gift (i.e. shirt, game, doll, etc.), bin number/location, and the intended recipient. This way, MawMaw can add to the list as she makes purchases, delete from the list as she gives gifts, sort the list if she needs to, and know what she has on hand at any given time.
If you have an organizing challenge in your home that you’d like to address, email me at Trish@ConquerClutter.net or call 301-452-4734.
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