Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Organizing After Christmas

Many of my friends choose a word upon which to focus for the coming year. I haven't chosen any for this year, but 2016 was my year to organize. After a major move, homeschooling teenagers, figuring out state homeschool requirements, figuring out what colleges want, learning how to sew historically and filling my children's (and my own) wardrobe with the most proper attire in an expedient manner possible before they grew up and went to college consumed my time. Then they went to college and I finally had time to organize the piles that grew! During that time I got busy with exciting volunteer work and other projects and ran out of time. However I did manage to conquer quite a bit, some of which I've shared here and here. Although it was my goal to have everything conquered in a most organized style by the last day of 2016, some of my efforts need to be carried over into 2017.

One of the biggest projects ahead of me is the basement. I've never had a basement before. Although I'm not keen on basements, we have a rather nice one with large windows and a french door that overlooks the back yard from the ground level (as opposed to the tree top level that I am now used to from the main floor). Who knew I'd move into a tree house in Virginia?

Part of the basement organization that was needed was in the huge storage closet that contains all the autumn and Christmas decor, both of which my husband loves, but which has become too much for me to keep up with in my busy schedule. There was always a pile that never had a display space, mainly because we've had several homes due to military moves. I had plenty to do in the rest of the house, so I decided I'd save the closet for when I actually decorate for the seasons. After decorating for autumn, I took a left over pile of lovelies to the Salvation Army. I did the same after decorating for Christmas.

On Monday we took all the Christmas decor down and I asked that everything be put into the basement. This year I wanted to inspect each box and personally pack and label each one according to how we decorate. I also needed space (the basement) and time alone (where family members ask, "Why are you doing that? Don't you think it would be better....?") Also I wanted to get rid of the old cardboard boxes that are falling apart.

I bought a few more plastic boxes today. I completely reorganized everything. Each box is labeled. And I love it! My family helps with the tree but I usually do everything else. Now I can focus on this corner or that, because each box is organized for this corner or that.

My son moved all of the boxes in for me and neatly stacked them up in the sequence I requested. The boxes have always been neatly stacked. But now the items within the boxes are now categorized primarily by where they are displayed in the house. Usually I have every box opened up on the main floor that I peruse and grab a bit of things from here or there, then try to decide where to put things. We've been here 7 years and many display spots have been experimental. However I think I made my final decisions this year. Anyway it took me 2 weeks to do this this year, since I was so busy. This makes my husband nuts who'd prefer the boxes to either be conquered or stay in the basement until conquering time comes. I get that. Now I can easily pull only one box or two upstairs and focus on that. Much more manageable. Every time I tried to explain it to my husband he was dubious. But when he saw this when he came home from work, he gave me a thumbs up! I'm certain that it will work quite well next year!


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Here's a close up of the labels:


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I am thrilled that this is finally done. In years past everyone kindly conquered the "putting away" before I could inventory anything, so this year I made a point to let them know I really needed to inventory!

For one thing, because I took charge of the inventory, I found all the items that need to return to their display spots now that the holidays are over. I can't begin to count all the years I've looked in vain for the family photos, or the flower arrangement, or the books, or something that got lost in the process. Everything finally has a place. And part of the conquering came from simply buying a few more boxes. Last summer I invested in a few more boxes of hanging file folders and that made all the difference in organizing various piles of paperwork I've been moving here and there.

I still have a few more things to do in the basement. I'm really excited about finalizing all of this!  


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