Monday, April 12, 2010

Clear Out the Clutter

Organizing does not come naturally to me. In fact I am quite messy. Ask any of my former roommates. I was always the student with the locker that never closed. I would start out the year with folders and notebooks for each class and lots of good intentions to use them. By the end of the year I would avoid opening my locker at all because if I did everything would come tumbling out on top of me! How embarrassing to even share that (don't tell Phil). Being organized is the MOST important thing to him. I learned that at a marriage conference in the fall.I mean I knew that he was organized but it really is the most important thing to him. It's official and now I have no excuse to ignore it. What was the most important thing to me: Inspiring others. For the record, we are on completely opposite sides of the spectrum but it is pretty obvious and you probably already knew that about us?!

Anyways, it seems that almost every blog that I frequent recently has posts about living more simply/eliminating the clutter/organizing/managing the home etc. Maybe it is has to do with spring cleaning or maybe it is because there is a "simplicity" movement happening before our very eyes. I find it invigorating. So many in my generation are ready to ditch the "stuff" and focus energy and time on the things that really matter like family and relationships. I LOVE it and if anything can inspire me to get organized it is realizing that in this fast paced world TIME can be rediscovered.

In the process of packing I have actually found myself getting angry about all of our stuff. Packing for a move can bring out that emotion in people. And Like Dave Ramsey says it takes getting angry to take action and get motivated. We have moved multiple times since getting married and I find myself packing up some of the same things over and over and guess what? Some of it was packed up in Mishawaka and is still packed. That means that in four years those items where never needed. And it gets worse because since those items were packed away I didn't know they existed and they have been replaced with bright shiny new items! Because of my disorganization we have multiples and it disgusts me.

One of the trouble spots for us has been our gift wrap organization system or lack-there-of. When we opened all of our wonderful wedding gifts I saved a lot of the bows, tissue paper etc and stashed them all in a large storage tub. I thought that I would save us some money and reuse the good stuff. So 6 years later I have been using this same system where I stuff a bow into that box and close the lid. As this happens the bows in the bottom just keep getting more squashed and wrinkled. This week I finally went through our gift wrap box and threw all of this away:


And now my overgrown box of smashed bows looks like this:

I didn't take a before photo because it was just that embarrassing. But the after photo makes me want to sing! Look at all of that EXTRA space in there! I think that I can get used to this.

I have a love for grosgrain ribbon. I feel compelled to save every little (or large) cheery piece. Even a smallish piece tied on a gift bag can really be festive. I didn't even know what I had though because they were like spaghetti noodles in our box before. Now I have them separated in Ziploc bags for easy access.

So this was the tipping point for me. I took on a small organizing project and it was a success! Now on to bigger and better projects. And by the way I still have dreams where I forget my locker combination and have to go to the office and get it from the secretary. I don't even know if I had to do that in real life? So my disorganization is giving me nightmares...Help me! What should I tackle next? Do you have any ideas or tips for me as I am new at this?


Strobels said...

I am more in line with Phil on the organization style. When I am going through my closet or a drawer or anything in my house I always ask myself do I use it regularly and do I need it? I find it liberating to be free of clutter. With less material things in my life I can focus on more important things like God, Family, School, and Work. I wish you the best Alli on your clutter free journey and I hope it liberates you and give you more time and energy for the joys of your life.

Phoebe @ Cents to Get Debt Free said...

I have a love for ribbon, too! Currently I have it stashed everywhere {sshhh, don't tell anyone:)}. It took me getting angry with all of our stuff to attack it as well. I hid most of our clutter in baskets, drawers and closets--hopefully I don't go back!

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