Getting My Nuts in Order.

I feel like a squirrel nesting for the winter. Getting all my nuts in order so to speak. Not sure why, but the temps drop and that powerful, must-have-order-before-winter feeling possesses my body.

Being organized is something I am and have always been passionate about, since as far back as my memory takes me.

I am your stereotypical anal organizer. When I was a little girl and all my siblings would be out running the neighborhood, I’d be inside organizing shoes or sorting something or other. Yes, I'm a freak. Home office stores have always been a place of refuge for me. I can’t quite explain it, but they give me that warm fuzzy feeling inside like a dog with a new bone or a food junkie in a new restaurant.

But then life happens. We become wives to messy husbands. Breed slobs for children. And then go about the business of mothering... We get something edible on the table for the hungry heathens. We become taxi drivers, shuffling children between activities. We match socks. We wipe tears. We live amidst chaos and dream of simplicity and order.

Long gone are the days of interests and passions. And sanity.

But when your coat closet becomes the fictional closet in all the movies- the one that jumps out at you upon opening, the dishes can wait. The children can scream. All hell can break loose. It's time to reclaim order.

And although I feel strongly that all homes should have mudrooms, particularly those that survive 4 seasons, we do not possess this feature in our home, much to my dismay. Our temporary home has become more of a permanent thing due to extenuating circumstances. We are trying to make due with the space we have- which was most definitely designed by a flawed man.

Tiny closets. No mudroom. What's a girl to do?

A new home? Unfortunately it's just not in the cards at the moment. So, I will resort to coveting my sisters' and plan B.

Plan B: Get hubs to fix the hanging coat rack in the closet for the 4th and hopefully last time so we can get the mound of clothes off the floor and open the closet door. Then make children purge. And in this instance, I mean clothing that is not worn.

I declare that my home will be a home free of hoarders. Having a home of order requires purging on a regular basis by all parties. It doesn't work well if you have one family member that just can't seem to let go of that one piece of paper or article of clothing for sentimental reasons. Yes, I'm a cold, heartless woman. Multiply that one thing times the number of whatever else it is they MUST have and then by the age they are and AHHHH.... it accumulates at an alarming rate.

This is one area where I won't budge. And I started the brainwashing when the kids were just wee little things. They have always been an active part of purging. As toddlers I would make up chants or tunes to make the process fun. And although it is not always easy, our home does not allow for excess of anything. Plus have you seen that Hoarders show yet? If not, you should. Nothing like a swift dose of repulsive indescribable disgustingness to get your butt on the purging bandwagon.

So, back to the chore at hand. Our closet. 4 people. 4 seasons. 4 pair of snowpants. 4 pair of boots. And entirely way too much of everything else. Busting at the seams.

So, I did what needed to be done. I called a family purge party to order. Hubs installed another hanging device. And remarkably enough, we were able to downsize by one entire large garbage bag.

The jackets are hung. Winter gear is under control. And I can once again shut the door.

Small containers with names for each person's favorite gloves and hats. (Labels removed for internet safty reasons.) Extra baskets on top for the extra winter gear. Boots in place. Coats and jackets have a home. Nothing mind blowing or beautiful. Basic. Functional. We still need to downsize coats, but for now...



Now I'm off to the next project on my ever growing list of organizing needs- my closet.

This is how much I got done on Friday.

All of that junk (from 1st photo) came out of that tiny closet! Can you believe it? We don't even have space in our home to alternate seasons. That white basket (from 3rd and 4th photo) holds all of the shoes I am parting with. It's true. And I emptied 2 baskets and one large garbage bag from that space. It was promptly dumped at goodwill. Plus one bag of garbage. Now I still have my skirts, dresses, drawers of hats and belts, and hub's clothes.

And yes, that tiny space is for the both of us. You can feel free to take pity on me any time now. Luckily I know a thing or two about utilizing space to the max. But geesh. It sure takes the fun out of shopping. Sigh.

I also am in desperate need of some jewelry organizing ideas. Preferably ones that hang. Hubs engineered some contraption that just isn't cutting it. He says I need to downsize. There are some things that need to be purged. But my necklaces? Um, I beg to differ. More on that later.

That's all I've got for now.

Other posts you may have missed...

Organizing Tips: Girl's Room

Organizing Tips: Home Office

Organizing Tips: Christmas


  1. It must be the season. My wife and I spent (wasted?) a perfectly beautiful day by staying INSIDE and picking up clutter, filing papers, and throwing away JUNK instead of walking in the park! Ours is a small house as well with no room for packrat syndrome. Your closets are light years ahead of ours. Good job!
    David/ Tropical Texana/ :0)

  2. Most houses DO seem to be designed by men... unmarried men! My husband has finally come around to understand how important closet space is. (I kicked him out of "my" closet and he has to use the spare room closet. Now he gets it.) ;) Our new house is great for that. But our "mudroom"? It's a laundry room that comes in from the garage and there's only room for one person at a time. Seriously. Then the coat closet is down the hall. Such a little thing, but it makes a bit of a deal in a 4-season region. I totally agree.

    Another thing: I'm also an organizer and purger. It seems the two just automatically go together. Have you ever seen one of those hoarders be organized? They might get more stuff in if it was organized!

  3. Ummm...awesome!
    We are extremely "compact" around here. Even the normal, reasonable amount of stuff seems like excess in our shoebox.
    You're right...regular purging is a necessity...and by the way...
    I SEE your small closets and no mud room...and I RAISE you ONE BATHROOM and 4 DRAWERS IN OUR WHOLE HOUSE...
    If I'm lyin' I'm dyin'!

  4. oh wow, you did a great job! Yeah, I hear you, I don't have room to organize for seasons, unless I put boxes up in the attic rafters, which is then too difficult for me to get to..and I we live in a 1950's home, my dh and I share a small closet, not even walk does help me keep down all the extra clothes, tho. I really need to organize my 3 girls' room, I hate even walking in it..

  5. Oh, I am SO into purging "stuff"! I don't like clutter, piles of stuff, or just feeling overwhelmed when I open a closet or cabinet. Doesn't it feel great?

    We certainly don't have the awesome changing of the seasons here that you do, but we do have umbrellas, wet socks, wet jackets, and dirty shoes. Ugh.

  6. Cleaning out feels great, I'm on the same kick this week, six lg black bags full last week with misc. large items that didn't fit into bags, today I cleaned out and filled 7 more black bags. My closets feel 20 pounds lighter :)

  7. Periodic checking and removal of Junk,Waste products will reduce the burden of cleaning up a big mess.

  8. Good job, Alicia! It's so nice to have things in their place. Sometimes it's just hard finding a place for them.

    I'd love some creative ideas for jewelry as well. I'll be watching for a post on that. =)

    Have a great Monday!

  9. Good morning Alicia. Being an avid organizer (organizing relaxes me) I loved reading this post. Very stereotypical anal! And I'm also searching for jewelry organizing ideas. Now I'm off to read our other organizing tip posts.

    BTW, thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement. They truly mean a lot to me. And I know you didn't ask but go see a doctor! Take care of yourself for your family and so you can run pain free :)

    Gotta love unsolicited advice LOL

  10. I struggle too with organization! We are still slowly finishing a home remodel and that includes adding little storage spots wherever we can make them. In the mean time I rely alot on rubbermaid buckets.

  11. Looks good. I spent friday night cleaning out our closet too. It isn't quite done, but I have 3 garbage bags of clothes to take to good will.

  12. This must have been the weekend to organize bc i did the exact same thing...your closet looks great by the way. Purging unnecessary things feels so good!

  13. Oh I do love a good purge....and it's spring here in NZ so just the right time to do a bit of spring cleaning of the cupboards and wardrobes me thinks...and I love the feeling of having de-cluttered, it's like the mind also rejoices at having less 'stuff' to think about!

    Awesome efforts with your purging ;-)

  14. I always get that must-have-order-before-winter feeling too! I guess it's because I know I'll be inside a lot more and I don't want to have to look at a cluttered house.
    Congrats on your purging. It's such a good feeling, isn't it? (sigh)

  15. I need to do this with our hall closet. I have no mud room (heck, i barely have a laundry room, you should see it). And our shoe baskets and clothes hooks never get used.