On the eve of our last day of the Pick 5 Challenge I wanted to talk about containerization. Now that you've started decluttering, learning what you love and use and getting rid of the rest the next step is natural.
Get it all organized, right?
Unfortunately it's not quite that easy. One of the steps many of us took when we tried to get organized without getting rid of anything was buying lots and lots of plastic containers and then sorting our stuff into them. That's where we ran into a problem- without getting rid of as much as possible, we were storing things that had no importance to us.
Now is the time to revisit "containerization" again. And for the purposes of this discussion a "container" could be a plastic bin, drawer, shelf, cubby, etc.
Here is my bathroom containerizing - all my hairdryer/curling iron/brushes in one bin. All my makeup, nail polish, contacts and misc in another. The final bin is all my medical supplies I just decluttered. Make sure to get rid of anything that is over it's expiration date or smells funny.
Containerization makes it easy to pull things out as you use them and put them away on a shelf .
So here it is in the most simple of terms - As you're decluttering, start to gather like things together. All your pens, check! Paper, check! Printer supplies, notebooks, yarn, needles, makeup, and more. Gather them into small piles. At the very least you might be surprised at how much of one thing you own.
Before you get started, this is a great time to cull a bunch of it. Give away as much as you can and only keep a few of each item. Next, grab a container that fits the pile that you have and organize it into it. Rinse and repeat. If the container you have is too big - put like things together. For example, all of your bill paying equipment or all of your stationary and writing supplies you need to write thank you's. Now here's the challenge- now that you've put it into containers, you need to commit to yourself that this is the most space that this item will take. You won't allow yourself to add more of this item until you give more away to make room.
Easy Peasy, right? :)
For an additional challenge, if you've already put your things into containers you're ready to take it to the next level. One of the things I find fun (and challenging!) is to take the container I have already have along with the space I've decided to commit to it and make it smaller For instance, I started with a really B-I-G container with yarn. Over time, I challenged myself to move to smaller and smaller containers as I gave away and sold most of it. Now I'm down to the stuff that I have a project for and it feels great.
Here are a few examples of my containerization, all my yarn in one bin, my spinning fiber in another, battlets in another, all my patterns into 1 more container and my needles organized in books
Here are a bin of fabric scraps and diaper fabric scraps. Once I run out of room in my bin I commit to giving the extras that don't fit away rather than grabbing a bigger bin.
Your mileage may vary. It's not about getting rid of the things you love but it's about figuring out where you have too much - Books? Fabric? Sewing Supplies? Cooking Implements? Clothes? Makeup? Whatever it is you need to set limits for yourself. It will help you save $$$ and space when you commit to not owning more than you can fit in your space.
Tomorrow is March 1st and the start of our next Simple Living Challenge - We're going to have a "Make a Meal-Plan" Challenge Month! Hope you'll join us!