Spring Cleaning and Organizing: Guest Post by Katie McCall

 I love learning other’s perspectives on organizing. Enjoy this guest post by ABC13 Weekend Anchor Katie McCall and her “take” on organizing. 

I came up with this blog while jogging at Memorial Park.  I love the fact that the park belongs to everyone.  You don’t need a membership.  Organizing is the same in that regard.  It is also a great “equalizer.”  Anyone can organize.  It doesn’t matter if you have 2 pairs of shoes or 20.  You can organize anything you have.  It costs you nothing, and, if you do purchase organizing items, there are very affordable ones, at places like Target, T.J. Maxx, and Marshalls Home Goods.  Organizing is universal.     

At the start of each season, I like to shift my clothing and shoes around, placing my most-worn items in one closet, and organizing the winter items for storage in a less-accessible place.   I ask myself helpful questions that Ellen Delap has taught to so many people:  Do I have a place for this?  How is that space working for these items?  If you can give everything a place, you are giving yourself a wonderful gift.  You won’t have to worry about “where to stick” your sweaters, for example, because you’ve identified a place where they will live, so you can always find them there.  I also love Ellen’s concept of honoring your things by giving them a place.  When you complete your organizing, you receive a no-cost gift to you, from you: the serenity of having a place for everything, and everything in its place.     

Tools that I enjoy are cheap, for the most part.  I like to use clear shoe boxes, or the box in which my shoes came, to get the most use of my vertical space.  I recommend stacking your shoes along one wall, or placing shelves from the floor to the ceiling in any area that works for you, and making that your shoes’ home.

Sweaters are a challenge, so I keep all of them, regardless of the season, in one chest of drawers.  All of my blazers go together, they are neighbors with my skirts.  I put pants and dresses together, one on either side of a closet.  You can improvise with portable racks, if your closets are small.   The Container Store and Target sell accessories that can give you more space, but are attractive. 

The bathroom closet and the cabinets under the sink can be a challenge.  So is the linen closet.  Here’s my simple solution for both areas.  Group things by category.  Grab some plastic bins or baskets that fit in that space (it helps to measure before you shop), and put everything that “goes together,” in a bin.  Example: pillow cases are in one bin, sheets are in another.  Sunscreen is in one bin, soaps and scrubs are in another.  Razors, replacement blades, pedicure and manicure tools all “live” together.  This can be done in 20 minutes per area.  You’ll never dig around in the darkness.  You just pull out a bin. 

Finally, a word about “white space.”  Ellen uses this word, and I love it.  By organizing your papers, filing them in filing cabinets by category, and by giving things like magazines an attractive basket or bin that you can also display on your shelves, you can significantly increase your “white space.”  It’s the space where there is nothing.  I find that it brings serenity and order to any area.  What a great gift! You might be surprised to see how organizing, which many people think of as “work,” can actually be fun, if you think of it as a time when you’re creating a space that you will enjoy for years to come.

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