Organizing is like cookies.
Some of us love chocolate chip and some of us swear by snickerdoodles. Some of us eat oatmeal raisin cookies and with each bite we wish more and more that the raisins were actually chocolate chips. The point is: we're all different. And when it comes to our organizational skills, the same is true.
Some people are born organizers. Their closets are color coded. Their homes stay clean. Everything has a place, and it stays in that place and that's that.
Some people save everything because, "One day I'm gonna find the perfect use for it! Just you wait..." We all have our strengths but not all of us have been blessed with the organizing gene.
Do you find yourself identifying more with the "One day I'm going to find the perfect use for it..." type of person? Never fear! As the saying goes, "Different strokes for different folks."
So, here are some different strokes for all of you different folks! 7 alternative ways to organize your home.
1. Make Old Clothes Into Something New
You will need: Scissors, Needle, thread.
Do you have old clothes that you never wear? Some people might say, "Get rid of them!" But what if those clothes are filled with fond memories?
The prom dress from your Senior year of High School
The outfit your newborn son was wearing when you brought him home from the hospital
Your favorite baseball cap that you still love even though it has a huge hole in it
It's not always easy to let something go - so why not turn it into something new?
Make an apron: Find some old clothes - with fun patterns on them - that you just CANNOT part with. (No judgement here) Cut them into squares and sew them together into a square. Then sew two long strips of fabric onto each side so that you can tie it around your waist. (Caution - this tutorial does not go into detail and therefore your apron might not be perfect) You can wear this apron while you go on your journey of organizing. Things could get messy...
Make a Baby Blanket or Just Keep Them: Old baby clothes can be especially hard to part with. Because of this, if you want to keep them you should probably just keep them. You never know when you'll want to reminisce about those wonderful, sleep deprived years that you spent with your babies, so If this is what you want to do, NO ONE should ever try to tell you different.
That being said, if you do want to repurpose your old baby clothes, here's an idea that will give them a new life: Cut out squares from the clothes and sew them together into a small blanket. This "baby blanket" can be given to a friend, a family member or a neighbor who has small children. This way, your baby clothes will still hold their sentimental value and you'll be giving a wonderful gift to another family.
2. Out of Sight Out of Mind
You will need: Colorful Plastic tubs
Let's face it - unless you're one of those super organized people, there's never quite enough closet space to hide all of the things we've accumulated over the years. Luckily for all of us that haven't been blessed with the organizing gene, Target exists. At Target, you can find all different shapes and sizes of colorful plastic tubs. Buy as many as you think you might need, and then start filling them with stuff that you just don't know what to do with. You could either throw stuff in the tub at random, or try to come up with a system. Maybe all of your papers go in one tub and all of your board games that have a few pieces missing go in another tub. Find a system that works for you and go for it!
Side note: Try choosing colors that coordinate with your home decor and your guests wont even notice that you have plastic tubs all over your house (Maybe). They might even think you hired an interior decorator - and if they ask you - just smile at them and wink.
3. How to Get Rid of Books
You will need: A pen and paper for writing notes
For many people, this is an impossible task. It's easy to form emotional attachments to books because they remind us of the certain time in our lives when we read them. Maybe you read it at the coffee shop across the street from your first apartment. Or maybe it's the book you were reading when you met your partner. Books hold fast to memories.
But - if your books are overflowing, and you need to cut down a bit, you might as well try to spread the joy to other people. Little free libraries are a wonderful way to do this. When getting rid of a good book, it helps to try to imagine someone else getting as much joy from it as you did. Imagine this person reading it at the coffee shop across the street from their first apartment or staying up late with the book in their hands, dreaming about their new crush. Imagine the book living on and getting to experience other people's lives. Maybe even write some notes and stick them between the pages of all of the books you decide to donate.
I hope this book finds you well.
I loved it.
I hope it has found a good home with you
And that you take it to lots of coffee shops."
4. The infamous Junk Drawer
You will need: Maybe some glue? Or whatever else you feel like crafting with
Oh, the infamous junk drawer. A place where many of us not dare venture for fear of getting lost within all of the junk and never being seen again. Do any of us even know what's in our junk drawers? Maybe - but probably not. Why not make all of this "junk" into something new?
I challenge you to make a craft out of only the stuff that is in your junk drawer!
Let's say you have: Rubber gloves, popsicle sticks, balloons, expired gift cards, extra shirt buttons, and a candle.
Melt the wax of the candle and pour it into the rubber glove. Let it harden and then cut the rubber glove off of the wax. The wax will now be in the shape of a hand. Glue the buttons onto the hand in the shape of a bracelet. Now you have a creepy wax hand that you can use as a halloween decoration.
You don't have to use all of the things in your junk drawer for this craft. Take the left over things and put them back into the junk drawer and forget about them again. Now you have more space in your junk drawer to add more junk in the future, and in a few months you can revisit the drawer and make a new craft with your new junk.
Encourage Your Kids or Spouse to Get in on the Fun
Show them your creepy junk-drawer-craft and warn them that you will start crafting with their stuff next if they don't start organizing.
5. Yard Sale
You will need: A table
What if I told you that you can turn your junk into a fun experience for you and your family? No, not by waving a magic wand. And no, not by using your imagination.
Set up a table in your front yard, gather up all of the things in your home that are simply taking up closet space, and hold a yard sale. To give you and your family some extra motivation, try using the money from your sales to do something fun together. It might not be much money, but every little bit can be helpful when put toward a family adventure!
Check out the exciting new mini golf spot Can Can Wonderland
Stay in a cabin at one of the beautiful Minnesota State Parks
Give money to a favorite charity.
6. Recycle Recycle Recycle
You will need: Access to the internet
Are you hanging on to all of that extra stuff because you don't want to see it taking up space in a landfill? Or maybe you're using that as an excuse not to organize? Help is out there!
Our landfills are overflowing with things that can still be put to use, and the Twin Cities Free Market is an organization dedicated to finding new homes and purposes for people's old junk and to keeping as much as they can out of our landfills. Once you create an account, you can post about items that you would like to give to a new home. You can even coordinate with other participants and organize a trade. One person's trash is another person's treasure.
7. Get Excited About Organizing
You will need: A 'can do' attitude
Sometimes, we have to trick ourselves. Now, you might be thinking, "How on earth do I trick myself? That's like someone trying to trick me but I can read their thoughts and control their actions because they're me..." Yea, yea, I hear you. But - the mind is a funny thing and sometimes we can trick ourselves into doing things that we might not necessarily do otherwise.
Try to start your organizing process with a fun task. For example - you might be an avid gardner. With Spring coming up, it's the perfect time to get all of your gardening things out from the basement or the closet that they have been living in all Winter and give them a good wash. Put them all in a drawer so that you know where to find them one it's time to start preparing your garden for the growing season. The whole time you do this you can dream about all of the colorful flowers and fresh vegetables in your near future.
The start is always the hardest part. Once you're on a roll, sometimes you just keep rolling, and then suddenly your whole house is organized. It's worth a shot.
When it comes to organizing, different ways work for different people. No matter how you decide to take on this crazy adventure - may you have tons of fun. Happy organizing!
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