April 29, 2007

Decluttering the Shed

My mom has a shed that is a catchall for everything she does not want in her immediate vicinity. Usually items are thrown into the shed haphazardly with no organization. Trying to find anything later on is impossible. I took about four hours one Saturday to clean out and organize the entire thing. You can now walk into it and see everything at first glance.

I put like items together in see-through bins with labels. All the magazines are stacked according to title and larger heavier items are on the floor while softer, lighter items are up high. Quite a lot of items that had not been used for years went to the thrift store.



April 19, 2007

Just Picture It

If you have an out-of-control collection, or items you just can't stand to part with and yet don't have any room for, just picture it!

Line up your items in a pleasing display, or put on the costumes you just have to get rid of and take a picture of them. Your computer can have a special folder for much loved, yet donated items that you have given away. You can also create a photo album full of photos of your cherished pieces.

I did this a few years ago with a t-shirt that I bought and had signed by the musician Chris Isaak. I love him, but the shirt never fit me and I dragged it around for years. Not to mention I couldn't wash it! I took a picture of it and to the thrift store it went.

I saw an episode of neat with Hellen Buttigieg where she took pictures of a teen's collection of a hundred well-loved stuffed animals that had to go. She put the animals in cute positions in the yard (two bears with their paws around each other) and in the bedroom and then shot them with a digital camera. She then created a small photo album just for those toys.

April 8, 2007

My Saturday Garage Job

Here is my garage before I tackled it last Saturday afternoon. It really doesn't look that bad since I wrestled with it about two years ago to get all the junk out in order for my husband and I to park our cars.

However, for my Spring cleaning jag, I decided to get rid of all the last bits of junk and get everything organized that had become disorganized over the winter. I was tired of having to step over everything just to grab a rake or a tool. I even cleaned out the toolbox!

First I moved everything out of the garage and into the driveway, throwing away trash or anything I knew for sure I was not going to keep. Any hazardous materials (oils, garden chemicals, etc) I put into a milk crate to be taken to a disposal place. I then only put back exactly what I was going to use and each item has it's designated zone.

Here's what it looked like after about 3 hours:

Not too much of a difference, but you can see that everything has it's own place now, and the floor is clutter free. All the chemicals are in their respective zone. There is a place for paint, a place for car products, a place for garden products and a box for garden games. The tools are all hung up and the sports gear are in their special corner.

A garage is a great place to tackle a decluttering job since it does not need to be perfect. It is a garage after all. I would love to have one of those custom garages with white walls and built in cabinets, but for now it just needs to be an organized place that stores motor oil and kayaks.