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Living Light: How we Organize

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for His pleasure: Living Light: How we Organize

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has been moved to new address

Living Light: How we Organize

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
for His pleasure: Living Light: How we Organize

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Living Light: How we Organize

I don't love the process of organizing, but I love being organized.
It gets harder and harder the more kids you have, but more and more necessary.

You can only imagine how organized my mother is!

I've been getting the itch to finish organizing closets around here. I was trying to get the paint up and Shiloh's party done before I dove in deep.

With the Fall season coming on {technically} and with seasonal consignments at their peak, I've purchased some "new" clothing for the kids. I do this usually twice a year - at the end of summer and the beginning of spring.
Whenever I start accumulating new clothes, I almost always go through what I have and get rid of some items I already own. This keeps the amount of clothing we own under control.

I thought I would share a few tips on how I organize since several of you have asked how we keep our clothing items down to a minimum.

So if you, like me, are getting things in shape for the fall and want to get organized, let's get started!

You'll need...

*Permanent Marker
*Trash Bags
{or any other bags you don't mind getting rid of}
*Storage bins

1. Pick your battles.

I begin my organization by going to the scene of the crime. For us, that's our closets. I pick one a day these days so I won't get discouraged. Tackle only as much as your nap time or free time allows. I also usually have some other chore going on {like laundry or the dishwasher} so I feel as if I'm accomplishing more than just a closet with my time.

2. Assess the crime scene.

Decide what kind of organizing is needed. Do you have old clothes or toys that need to go? Do you have clothes that need to be added to your current stash? Do you need to have children present to try on clothing? This gives you an idea of what supplies to have on hand.

3. Gather weapons needed.

I've listed above the simple tools I work with. Decide - based upon the volume you're working with - how many of these items you'll need. I do suggest at least...

1. One bag for items too worn and going to Goodwill and...
2. One for items in good enough condition to consign.

{If you need additional info on seasonal consignments that are held nationally, or popular national consignment stores, send me an email. I would be glad to help!}

I also realize that if you are working with a strict budget, buying plastic storage bins may not be an option for you. That's ok! While I have slowly added to my collection over the years, there was a point where I was working with Huggies boxes. Don't let the excuse of not having "proper" supplies keep you from beating the demon of disorganization. You can start out using just plain cardboard boxes for your storage bins. Just separating and labeling items into groups is what is key here!

4. Separate the bad guys from the good guys.

I always have four piles: Keep, Throw away, Goodwill, Consign. I realize how subjective these piles can be. We all have different family structures and plans. Use common sense for the season of life you are in. When we moved from our 2,100 sf house to our 1,100 sf apartment, we began seriously assessing what was worth taking up space in our little home and what could better be put to use in someone else's. I got rid of almost all {aside from a couple sentimental items} of the girl's clothes that I had saved for a possible future baby girl. I knew I was having a boy in a month, the odds of me having a girl would not be for another 1.5 years at the least. Did I really want to tote baby girl clothes with me for that long when I could buy a season's worth for about $50 at thrift stores, yard sales, or consignment sales? Not worth it for me. You decide what's best for your family. I will say that these verses keep me in check...

  1. Matthew 6:19 - "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:"
  2. Matthew 6:20 - "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:"
5. Organize the good guys.
Once I see how much I'm keeping, I begin putting those items in the kids' drawers or my plastic storage bins and labeling.
I find that labeling keeps me more accountable and less likely to just throw stuff that doesn't belong into the bins when I'm in a hurry. You can go as fancy as these; you can type something up in Word on your computer, print on decorative paper, and tape on; or you can use leftover FedEx labels like me!

Then, arrange neatly in closet...

6. Put in jail or find a home.

Once you've got your bins neatly stacked in the closet, begin getting your donate, consign and trash piles out of the house as quickly as possible! My experience is that toddlers find great delight in pillaging through bags full of old toys and clothes lying around. And sentimental feelings arise when you see your child making that old shirt into a play hat. So, throw away your trash pile immediately. Make a run to Goodwill that day or the next {at the latest} to drop off your donation pile. And set up an appointment ASAP for the consign pile.

7. Reward good behavior.
Go to Starbucks and get an overpriced drink. Or a smoothie from McDonalds. Whatever makes you happy. :-)

We have a few firm rules around here.
1.) Don't store anything in the attic.
2.) Don't own more clothes for the season than can be fit into one standard storage bin.
3.) Don't keep stained or torn clothing for the next season or child to grow into.
4.) Don't keep broken or unplayed-with toys.
5.) If we have a yard sale or consign items where we have leftover unwanted items, we do not let them come back into the house. Give away!

It is important to me that our family is not in love with stuff. It takes discipline and an honest conversation with the Lord, but I think "living light" is so worth it!

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At August 19, 2011 at 10:07 PM , Blogger Caleb and Kirsten said...

So true!!! We are in the middle of going through closets and plastic drawers now in preparation for fall...just dropped off a big box to Goodwill and three big bags to the consignment store last weekend. :-) Now to go through my clothes and Caleb's clothes...

At September 28, 2011 at 9:11 AM , Blogger Hannah said...

Getting ready to start organizing! And just posted this on my facebook so others can reap the benefits! ;o)


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