Wednesday, April 30, 2008

How to Know When It's Time to Clean Out Your Closet

Just in case you have ever wondered if there was a fool-proof way to know that it's time to clean out your closet and/or update your wardrobe, I have provided this guideline below:
  • You're sorting through your clothes closet, reorganizing some purses and articles of clothing
  • Your 5 year old is by your side "helping" you
  • You come across a skirt you haven't worn in quite a few years
  • With a critical eye, you debate whether to keep it or donate
  • Your 5 year old asks you if that was the skirt you wore when you were a grandma

Yes, this is a sure sign that this article of clothing is ready to go to Goodwill.

For the record, after a quick glance in the mirror to see if I had any extra gray hair or wrinkles, I assured my daughter that I have NEVER been a grandma. I'm taking the donation box to Goodwill right after I'm done playing BINGO.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Take 5 Friday Challenge

Last week we worked on clearing out some trash. I challenged you to quickly go from room to room and toss at least one large bag full of trash. This week, let's take it one step further and see if we can't fill a box (or large bag) of useful items that can be donated to a good cause. In honor of Earth Week, let's recycle our unwanted things and let someone else put them to good use, instead of cluttering our homes.

By all means, if you still have LOTS more to toss, you may want to challenge yourself to get another bag or two together, but while you're at it, why not keep a look out for those things that can be passed on to someone who needs them?

Report back here on Friday to share your successes (or hangups!) Remember, this should be a quick sort process. If you have to think on something too long, it's ok to set it aside...for now!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Take 5 Friday - Takin' Out the Trash

Well, it's Friday. How did you do with this week's challenge? Some of you have already commented that you found more than you thought you would or that it felt very "freeing" to remove that bag (or two) from your home. Some of you found trash and things to donate and you get bonus points! (If we were giving points, in which case you'd get double! But since we're not, you'll just have to settle for my sincere congratulations!)

Even as organized as I try to be I was easily able to come up with most of a large bag of "throw aways" and some more items to add to my garage sale pile. Yippee! So, how did you do? Feel free to post your comments here and/or use the Mr. Linky to link back to your own post about Take 5 Friday.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Take 5 Friday Challenge

OK, I know that I'm throwing this challenge out there kind of late in the game. But I have faith in all of you. YOU can accomplish this's so easy, yet many of us just look past it everyday. We overlook this so often that we become oblivious to it.

I'm talking about the things laying around our homes that are obviously destined for the trash bin but somehow don't seem to make it there for one reason or another. I want you to take a LARGE garbage bag and spend 5 or 10 minutes going room to room tossing stuff that is obvious trash.

This may sound simple, but trust me, you'll find more than you think. Your goal is to fill up your bag. This may seem more like cleaning than organizing, but think of it this way, you don't want to waste your precious time organizing things that need to be thrown out anyway. So think of this as a first step.

Come back here and let us know if you met your goal. Were you able to get just one bag full? Two? More?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Yes, I'm Still Here

You know that it's getting bad when your readers begin to leave comments on your blog like, "Are you ever coming back?" Yes! I'm alive! I'm back! I'm ready to BLOG! And I have missed you all so much! I have to share my last week and a half...I didn't intend to be MIA for this long. Maybe a day or two tops, but I even missed my own Take 5 Friday post for cryin' out loud!

My husband and I dove head-on into a home improvement project that turned into about ten. First, we tore up all of our carpet in our living room and the vinyl from the kitchen. Then, we proceeded to put my knees and legs through sheer torture as we installed wood laminate flooring. While my husband is used to this type of work on a daily basis (he owns his own handyman/home improvement business), even he felt the wear and tear of an extra long weekend and late nights moving furniture and laying flooring.

Because I was the "low man on the totem pole" I had the all important task of prying out staples from the sub floor. (Next time I get to be the boss!) Well, they do say the basis for any good job is in the prep work, so I guess I can take most of the credit for the floors turning out as nice as they did.

I think the hardest part was just finding space to temporarily house things. Even though I thought I planned it all very well, I still felt like my life was in turmoil as we moved our belongings from room to room. Most of the time we had rain or threats of it, so we couldn't really take advantage of using outdoor space to move things. Although, our stove was on the back deck for a few days so I did manage to get out of cooking! At least there was that welcome break.

Well, we finally got everything back to rights and I could take a breather in my new, wonderful space...until...da, da, dum...he decides he has this past weekend free, too. So, we might as well get started on the floors in the lower level. Sure! Why not. I'm finally beginning to move my legs freely again. No sense in letting them get back into their pre-stretched state. Then I'd have to go through all that pain again.

Next, it's painting and carpeting in the upstairs and tile in the baths. So, if I go missing for several days, come find me. Chances are I'll be stripping wallpaper and pulling out more staples. If you want, I can put you to work, but you'll have to start, you know, at the bottom.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Take 5 Friday - Always Be Prepared

This week's Take 5 Friday challenge we took a cue from the Boy Scout's..."Always be prepared." It seems no matter how organized I am, there are just some days that I never know what to expect. It never fails, when I'm in a really big rush, that's when someone will inevitably lose a button on their pants. Or discover a small rip in the seam of their favorite shirt that they just had to wear because they already had it all planned out with Friends A and B. So, this week I decided to plan ahead as much as I could for these little un-planned morning mishaps.

I found an unused small basket to serve as my emergency mend-it kit. I filled it with various sized buttons. You know all those spare buttons that come with new clothes...this is a great place to store them. Then, I threaded two needles; one with black and one with white thread and knotted the ends. I stuck the needles through a small slip of paper so they wouldn't get lost. I added a small pair of scissors, some safety pins and voila! Now, I'm ready to sew on a button or fix a small hole in a moments notice...that's sew easy!

What about you? Were you able to come up with a 5 or 10 minute project that can help you be better prepared for the little things life throws at you? Share your Take 5 Friday project with us. If you're new to Take 5 Friday, please read the guidelines about posting. Thanks for joining us!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Take 5 Friday Challenge

This week's Take 5 Friday challenge will follow the Boy Scout motto--"Always be prepared". But, I'm leaving this week open to your imaginations. OK. I'll give you a few ideas to get you started.

You can prepare a "breakfast center" with bowls, spoons, cereal, etc. on a tray for quick and easy breakfasts. You can finally get around to putting together that first aid kit you've been meaning to do the day you brought your child home from the ER with 6 stitches. You could prepare for a less stressful morning routine by helping your children lay out their clothes for the rest of the week. You get the idea.

So...let's get started then post back here on Friday with your successes (or failures so we all don't repeat the same mistake!)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Organization is Like a Brand New Purse

I was enjoying an afternoon this weekend with a group of ladies, learning some new scrapbooking techniques, when I was able to see first hand how most people view organization. One of the women, whom I had only met a few times before, was actually leery to sit next to the "organizing queen". I don't know, maybe she thought I would secretly be grading her workspace or something. I really hope I don't come across as that rigid and structured!

At one point in the various conversations, the subject came up again, so I said, "Will this make you feel better? Just look at my purse!" Then I whipped open my oversized bag to reveal its contents, happily "dumped" into my new purchase. See, I just bought it last week and I was so thrilled when I got my new bargain home, I just threw everything into it with no rhyme or reason. Not to mention that it doesn't really have enough inside pockets to actually organize anything, so I really don't have much choice about how things go in there. Not the most logical purchase on my part, but apparently I wasn't shopping with that side of my brain that day.

Anyway...she let out a squeal of joy and a sigh of relief, saying that did make her feel much better about sitting next to me. (I was hoping it was just my charming personality not the fact that I, too was capable of being messy.) I thought how funny it was that little 'ol me could strike fear and intimidation into people!

"And it doesn't bother you that your purse is a mess?" she asked. And the truth of the matter is, no, it doesn't. Eventually it might, when the newness of my shiny, black, patent (fake) leather, oversized-so-my-butt-looks-smaller-bag wears off (yep, it's a proven fashion illusion). But right now, I'm still basking in my 70% off purchase that I will happily spend a few extra moments rummaging through it to find my keys.

Organization is kind of like that new purse. You know you desperately want and need it but sometimes it seems just out of reach, like when the object of your infatuation is still marked at $99.99 and your budget is less than half that. If you are patient, it will usually go on sale. Just like if you're diligent and patiently work at it, organization will eventually come. It likely took you awhile to get disorganized, it won't get undone overnight. Have patience.

Sometimes you need to try something a little different. Don't be afraid to shake things up a bit. When I came home with my new purchase, my husband thought it was a little too garish, but I've gotten more compliments on that bag, and I like it. Sometimes with organization you have to think outside the box. Conventional solutions may not work for you. You're the one who has to live with it day in and day out. What worked for Suzy Homemaker down the street may not work for you.

And just like with my purse, good things happen when you let people take a peek into your home or life. It shows you're not afraid to be you. It puts people at ease, lets them know you're human. It lets others know you're someone who can accept them for who they are, messy purse and all.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Take 5 Friday - Returning Next Week

For all you Take 5 Friday readers and participants, Take 5 Friday is "taking 5" this week. I'm going to be MIA the rest of the week and it will be difficult to post and/or respond to you. Rest assured it will return next week for your reading pleasure! Thanks for your support!

Copyright 2007, Christine Rice

You are welcome to use any of the information or articles from my blog for your own newsletters or ezines, just be sure to add the following copyright notation:

Christine Rice, Professional Organizer and owner of Organize It Today helps people discover "organizational enlightenment" with the help of her newest book, A Life Less Cluttered: Expert Secrets to Your Own Organizing Epiphany. Visit her website at to find out more about her services and products.