Two households are about to become one. He is a neat freak, and everything in his apartment is boxed, labelled and neatly stored. You have a spare room that is your dumping ground. You can’t bear to throw anything out, so you put it under beds, pile it on floors in closets and stack boxes in corners. How can this be resolved?
Face the music
Experts say that you can’t reorganize efficiently without starting with some serious purging. Dig out everything from both apartments and have a night when you work together. Ruthlessly purge, purge, and purge. What you can’t live without, organize into category piles.
- If you have completed photo albums, buy shelving and get them out of boxes and on a shelf where you might actually take them down and enjoy them occasionally.
- If you have a brown envelope stuffed with old pictures of your grandparents and other family historical items, make a collage within a huge frame and hang it in a place of honour.
- If you have spare duvets and bed linens, pack them in air-tight bags. Air can be sucked out with a pump so they flatten to take up a quarter of the space.
- If you have a spare bedroom, take half of the space in the closet and build in shelving for boxed storage. Every box should be labelled. Leave the other half of the closet for out-of-season clothes.
- If you’ve collected holiday memorabilia intending to make scrapbooks, accept that this won’t happen. Keep a few great pictures from each holiday and ditch the rest.
- If you have dresses and suits you have not worn in three years, pass them on to a charity organization.
- If shoes are your biggest extravagance, keep only those you have worn in the past two years and chuck the rest.
- If you have kept clothes, hoping to lose that 15 pounds, get rid of them. If you ever lose the weight, you deserve to go shopping for new clothes.
The secret of getting organized and staying organized is that there is no secret! It is just common sense coupled with consistency.
- Never allow yourself to keep anything in a place that is ‘just for now’. Everything should find its permanent home immediately, and always be returned to its place.
- Be ruthless about throwing away everything that you don’t really need and never will use.
- Review your clothes closet after every season and give away those pieces that you know deep in your heart you never will wear again.