Monday, December 31, 2012

On the sixth day of Christmas ...

... I'm thinking about "order."  In many cultures, the new year brings a tradition of clearing out the old clutter and starting fresh. 
I have some systems of orderliness already in place in my life, and they're working pretty well for me so far.  You know all that holiday decor I was talking about the other day?  It's all kept in labelled containers in the garage storage area.  When any particular container gets too full, the rule is that I must discard something.  The amount of "stuff" I'm storing must not exceed the amount of storage space available. And that's really a pretty easy guideline to follow.  If I'm not using something, I don't need to waste space storing it. 
Another strategy that works for me is to keep things in a recognizeable order.  For example, my spice shelf in the kitchen is arranged alphabetically, so I can always find the ground ginger, or tell easily if I have two containers of fennel seed.

One more example of my attempt to stay orderly.  My "upstairs in the sewing room" fabric stash is sorted by color, and the pink tub is always the upper left on the shelf, blue is always shelf two/spot four, etc. The particular sequence isn't important to anyone except me, but I can always put my hands on the grays and blacks in an instant.  (I should observe though that I have lots more fabric stash than this, in other storage spots around the house.  For example my large 90-yard rolls of batting are kept hidden behind the shower curtain in the seldom-used hall bathroom.) 

So that's my orderliness strategy in summary: know where things are supposed to be and always put them there.  Be ruthless about staying ahead of clutter, discard it before it becomes overwhelming.  A little bit of ongoing maintenance effort is much better than a hoarding crisis intervention down the road!  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure :)   
Looking ahead:  My linen closet is due for decluttering and reorganizing.  There are enough hand towels and spare pillowcases in there to open a boarding school.  I'd also like to weed out the various bookcases around the house.  My scrap tubs could use some slimming down, too.
Looking back:  I read four books and only finished one quilt project during June.  Several groups of out-of-town guests came to visit.  Summer season was in full swing at the museum where I'm a docent.  Spent pleasant hours garage-sale-ing and sitting on the back porch.


1 comment:

Quilting by the Lake said...

Thanks for this post, Jeanne. It really helps to see how you organize. I have seasonal bins in the basement but just 4, one for each season. I arrange my spices alphabetically too! The fabric needs a better system however. I need to separate my colors into bins but then I have some fat quarter families that will stay together for awhile yet. How big are your color bins?