Organizing: Just Buckle Down and Do It
You are not a hoarder, but you need some organizing. All of us have stuff that is unnecessary, outdated, broken, unused or redundant. I recently tackled the closet in my spare bedroom. You know the one. It’s where you toss stuff that has no actual place. You toss last season’s clothing in there. It’s where you stack Christmas decorations. Some of us are lucky enough to have an attic where all this stuff belongs, but chances are that is an inconvenient trip up rickety stairs or on a ladder. Here in Hampton Roads, few of us are lucky enough to have a basement to help with our organizing.
Make Piles: Divide and Conquer
The bad news is that things will look worse for a while as you sort the stuff that you have. Make a pile for things to donate or sell at a yard sale. Stuff that still has life left in it but it no longer fits goes in this pile. You won’t make a lot of money at a yard sale, but If you haven’t used it in a year, or it just no longer suits you don’t keep it. Make another pile for trash. In this pile put things that are broken, ripped or worn out. Make a third pile for things to keep. Be ruthless. Organizing takes true grit!
After the yard sale, take the trip to Goodwill or the Salvation Army to deliver the donations. Maybe you will want to forego the yard sale. If you have enough items to donate, some charities will come and pick up your stuff. I like to donate to Samaritan House which is a charity that assists battered and homeless women and children. Make sure to get a receipt for your taxes. Take the trash to the dumpster or directly to the dump if there is that much.
Pile Number Three
Now you are left with the final pile: keepers. Everything you are keeping should be put in its permanent place. You may want to get new hangers for your closets. Eliminate those bent, metal hangers you got from the dry cleaner 15 years ago. Sturdy plastic hangers are available in most discount stores like Target or Walmart. When you use hangers that are all the same, your clothing will hang straighter and look more organized.
When I did this in every room in my house, it took about a month, but at the end I felt like a new person and my house looked squared away. I can now find things in my closet. I have a list of items I need to buy to fill in gaps now that I’m organized.
Editor’s Note: We originally published this article in June 2013. We have edited it for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.