I’ve always struggled with organization. When the Mr. and I started living together, the struggle doubled. I’d institute some draconian measure to contain and categorize all of our belongings…and a month later everything would be back to chaos. When we found out we’d be adding another person to our household, I feared the worst.
But a funny thing happened when G came into our lives. A switch flipped. I’m not sure if it was the sleep deprivation, the mountains of laundry or the tidal waves of hormones, but I started to realize why I wanted to be organized. Sure, having my house look like something out of the pages of a Restoration Hardware catalog would be awesome, but that really wasn’t enough to convince me to put my clothes away at the end of the day.
It became really clear to me that unless my organization was functional, not just aesthetic, it was never going to stick. So I changed my approach.
Instead of drooling over an ad for California Closets and then being frustrated that I have too many colors of clothing that just don’t “mesh” well enough to make a “pretty” closet, I asked myself how I wanted my closet to work. I was spending too much time in the mornings sorting through clothing I didn’t really love. I couldn’t really see what I had because it was all jammed together and it was impossible to keep everything folded or on hangers.
With the mindset of wanting to be able to easily pick out an outfit without having to think too hard, it suddenly got really easy to get rid of several boxes of clothing. If I didn’t absolutely love a piece and have at least 2 other things I could wear it with, I didn’t need to hold on to it. Hanging and folding everything nicely is much easier with an appropriate amount of stuff in the space.
When I organized my pantry, instead of contact papering the shelves and color coordinating the boxes, I thought about how I used it. I was frustrated that I always had to get out a step ladder for the shelves above my head, so I put things in bins that I could slide out and look into. It certainly isn’t the prettiest pantry ever, but it functions beautifully. And I can always contact paper it later.
It’s still tough. It’s not always easy to figure out exactly what you want your space to do, but it’s a place to start. I’m going to keep working to make my spaces more functional, and once they’re functioning, then I’ll work on making them magazine pretty. I’ll keep sharing what works for me, and I hope you let me know about your successes too!