Monday, June 6, 2016

Organization Gone Wrong

  Things that are supposed to help you get organized can sometimes lead to bigger problems. This is the story of how a bright idea to make more space became a black hole of clutter.

  Ah, organizing... That thing that's supposed to help you find things easier, clean up, and get rid of unneeded items. Right? This isn't that post about how to get organized. It's totally the one about what not to do. Please excuse the blurry photos from my dark bedroom, but believe me, you won't be seeing anything pretty anyways. So, let's just get to the aftermath of what I was left with when I decided to clean out my closet:

organizing, cleaning out the closet

  How did this happen to me? I used to consider myself a clean and organized person, but moving in with a spouse that constantly disrupts that order has caused me to slack off. I can't really pinpoint the exact reason... I think it's either because I'm so busy cleaning up after him that I ignore my own messes, or it's because I'm so focused on taking care of him that I forget to deal with the problems that pile up behind closed doors. Either way, by the time I'm done beating concrete out of clothes, vacuuming it off my floor, and wiping up anything else that needs dusted off, I'm too tired to remember that I have a pile of mending to do.

sweater, organizing, cleaning out the closet

  We've all probably seen thousands of tips and tricks for how to get rid of clutter, save space, and keep things in their place. There's one I saw a long time ago for saving space in the closet. It's simple! You just place soda can tabs (I've seen various other items used) on your hangers, and it adds a space to hang another hanger. Perfect for squeezing more clothes in there! But in my case, it's the worst thing I ever could have done.

  Let me say that we're still using this trick in The Other Half's closet, and it works great for him. The most of what he has in there are his work uniform shirts, then there's a few jackets and dress shirts. That does stay organized, for the most part. The big problem is my closet: The junk space. The mending pile. That evil place that things get tossed in, to never be seen again after being eaten by the notorious Organization Monster.

sweater, organizing, cleaning out the closet

    All of this mess got placed on my "stacked" hangers, and shoved behind the next thing. Then that thing got shoved behind the following thing. Hanging almost to the ground, some of it got knocked off the hangers and ended up piled on the floor. And again: None of it is stuff I wear. Ever. Although I have a closet full of garments that need mending or altering, I don't have many clothes to wear. I think that's what caused me to hoard these items in need of repair. When I realized I never open my closet door except to store something else in there, I decided it was time to clean it out. The plan is to put a hanging organizer... Ha ha, there's that word "organize", oh no! So anyways, I'm going to empty out my closet so I can put an organizer in there, and it's time to evaluate what should stay and what should go.

collar, mending, organizing, cleaning out the closet

  Some of the things in there are beyond repairing, at least with my lack of sewing skills. Ripped collars, broken zippers, and that sweater that I planned on darning are all too much work for me. I don't really have a strong desire to wear any of these things, so it's time for them to go. I got to work and in no time, I had a pile of garments that towered over my collection of wearable items.

hoodie, mending, organizing, cleaning out the closet

  So, here's the plan: I'm going to use the new hanging "organizer" for my sheets, so I can get them out of the cheap plastic drawer cart I have them in, which will also get that out of the way in my bedroom. I have a problem with spiders making their homes behind the cart, and now I've been finding them inside the drawers. Sorry spiders, I don't want to share my drawers -or my bed sheets- with you.

organizing, three-drawer cart, fabric scraps

  Even that cart is messy! The Other Half doesn't bother to pull things out nicely, so it's typical for stuff to be hanging out of drawers after he goes in for a blanket. Plus, there's some sheets in there that don't fit the bed. I think it's time to turn them into rags.

  So this should be simple, right? Just get rid of the stuff I don't need, and make space for the sheets in the closet. Well, some things are easy to throw in the rag pile or the "project" pile, but the thing that really tripped me up was all the hangers. Literally. I had a pile on the bed but they slipped off onto the floor, and I ended up tangled in them. Then they got tangled up in themselves. I untangled them, hung them up, and they fell all over the floor again. So, I got frustrated and took a break (we won't talk about kicking the pile of hangers across the room), which didn't help get it done.

hanging organizer, closet space, cleaning out the closet

  Have you ever stopped mid-project, whatever it is, and then walked back into the situation to realize you're buried deeper than you thought? After sorting, vacuuming spiders, and a few sneezing fits, I was done for the day. I was left with a very small pile of donations, a large pile of junk, and a ton of hangers.

  The good thing about the junk pile is that it won't go to waste. I love to cut up material for crocheting things like bags and rugs, and the yarn from that sweater could be salvaged. The problem with that is, none of the "junk" leaves my house. I got the closet cleaned out, the sheets in their organizer, and got rid of most of those hangers. But now I'm left with a laundry basket of "potential crochet material" that's really just more potential clutter. Will I find time to recycle it, or will it only end up taking the place of the cheap plastic cart in my bedroom? In hopes of saving it, I'm hanging on to it for now. I have a feeling that this mission to get reorganized could turn into a never-ending saga.

To be continued...


  1. For me I had to take a good hard look at what I could do versus what I would do and decide not to keep everything. It's not as easy as it sounds and I still have a couple of bags of old clothes that I could donate or turn into t-shirt yarn. Setting limits helps, like:
    -keep enough that fit's into this container
    -if it's not cut into yarn by X it's got to go
    -if it's still unused in so many months I've got one week to use it or lose it
    And then asking myself 'would I rather do this or...? and if the answer is 'or something' don't keep it. It was about realising that I simply can't do absolutely everything I might want to do and I have to choose how to spend the time I can spend on it all in this life time.
    You'll get there!

    1. I think it will be easier now that I have to look at the mess! I'm giving myself a bit of an extended deadline, since I'm burried in trying to finish other projects... But that's just a sign that I don't have enough time! As some of these rags aren't fit for donating, I'd love to be able to recycle them. I'm slowly adopting your "use it or lose it" method, so we'll see how it goes. My craft area is starting to look more like a hoarder's den!