Sunday, February 12, 2012

Get Organized! Buy Things!

Boxes.  Labels.  Magazine files.  Tags.  Bins.  Dividers.  Folders.  Trays.

You need all this stuff to get organized, or so the ads would have you believe.  Sort, contain, label, and put everything back.  Yeah, it looks prettier, but is it really a solution?
I admit to falling for this myself sometimes.  The area under our sink was a disaster, and our improvements involved some purchases.  Another time, I sorted out a drawer and added a divided tray.  Well, guess what?  Both areas are a mess again, despite what we bought, and I doubt slapping a scallop-edged label on anything would have made any difference. 

So what is the key to staying organized?  In my opinion, having less stuff.

For instance, I always have to laugh when I see the ads for closet organizers.  I think, "Ha!  Who needs a fancy closet system when you only own eighteen articles of clothing?"  Well, who the heck is forcing us to have so many kinds of cleaning potions and office supplies?  Or toiletries.  Our linen closet is stuffed with shampoos, soaps, lotions, this, that, and the other along with the sheets and towels and myriad pillowcases we've accumulated. 

The No-Thing New project is helping us to get organized without spending a penny.  In addition to preventing new stuff from entering the house, the project is helping us deplete our stores of old stuff, by forcing us to use what we have.  Scrapbooking supplies have been pushed into service to create cards.  Odd, neglected bottles of shampoo have emerged from the dark recesses of the closet.  Dish towels are being used quite a bit more as our supply of paper towels dwindles. 

This was really not the intent of the No-Thing New project, but it's a cool bonus.  It has me thinking about how all these extra things made it into our house to begin with, and shopping for recreation is responsible for much of it.  Who can fault bringing home a nice dish towel or bar of soap?  They're such small, virtuous purchases.  True, but the last time I truly needed another dish towel was probably ten years ago--I have that many!

Is there anything you keep buying even though you have more than enough?

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