Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 248: Mantra Monday - A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place

A Place for Everything, and Everything in its Place...
Beautiful!  Just Beautiful!  Anybody want to lend me a label-maker?? :)
I was a horribly messy child.  I kept my room in complete disarray and when ordered to clean, I often just piled everything together and threw it all away.  (My mother still hasn't recovered from the time I lost 3 weeks worth of school lunch tickets using this method on my desk at school!)  In contrast, my sister Hanna, has always loved being organized.  She collected school supplies as a child just for the pleasure of arranging things by color and size.  Sheesh!

Buy this book for your messiest kid friend!
I still frequently struggle to stay organized.  But at some point during college I turned a corner.  My messiness finally started interfering with my life in a way I couldn't tolerate.  I learned that -  in addition to keeping up with my assignments with less havoc - I even sleep better when my room is organized and things are put away.  (This, coming from a girl who frequently slept with books, laundry, and junk piled high on the other side of my bed. Come to think of it, perhaps my desire to be tidier was at least partially motivated by my desire to someday have a boyfriend who wanted to sleep over!)  Anyway, I know I'll never innately keep things tidy, but I've gotten to a point where I crave order like crack, and am willing to put in the time and work to achieve it.  

I can honestly say that the book, What To Do When Your Mom or Dad Says... CLEAN YOUR ROOM! changed my life.  It taught me some basic tips for organizing mess.  I actually brought it with me when I left for college.  (Okay... my mom tucked it into a suitcase for me to find... but it worked!)  My favorite tip: first, pile all your mess on your bed so you've got enough room to move around while you clean.  (Apparently it took me a few years to get past this first step!)

This is what my bathroom looked like the last
time I moved... well, before I organized it!  Oh boy.
Well, this week  I'm FINALLY moving out of my place in Los Angeles, completely.  Although my body has been in San Francisco for months, all of my furniture and plenty of my "stuff" stayed in L.A.. Hence, my motivational mantra is "A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place" in hopes that it will promote a smooth transition.  

One concern: how in the heck am I going to organize my vast-and-overwhelming makeup collection into "keep" and "toss" piles if I can't try everything on in front of a mirror??  I guess I can go with a sniff-test for things that aren't good anymore, but that will probably leave A LOT in the keep pile...  Any suggestions?  A time limit on the last time I used each item?  How about throw out anything over a certain number of months/years old???  How would you do this?  I really (really) should not bring it all to San Francisco...


P.S. - I know a lot of you were worried about this.... I'm happy to report that Michael aced his first time grocery-shopping with our shared grocery list!  Other than buying unsalted butter (yuk!) instead of salted, he left nothing out, and didn't come home with any extras (ahem, Fruity Pebbles and Cheez-its of days-gone-by).  Way to go Michael!  You rock!

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30 comments:

  1. If you haven't used it in the last month, bin it!

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  2. put it all in a big suitcase, take the suitcase, put it in a closet somewhere (after having taken out the stuff you need daily), look at it later - on some day dedicated to doing only that.

    That's the way I do it -
    I've got loads of bags and boxes with stuff I haven't thrown away yet ;)

    On the upside: when you unpack the suitcase, all the small packages will feel like little gifts. Yeay!

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  3. I just moved from a 2 bedroom 2 bath condo to a studio apartment so I know the meaning of a good house purging. Re: Make-up. If you haven't used it recently, toss it. I know you're on a budget diet but if you REALLY REALLY miss it, you can buy another one. There's such a joy in simplification. Same goes with clothes, but I use a different method. Each season all my hanging clothes go on white hangers. When I wear an item and it's done being cleaned I hang it back up on a blue hanger. At the end of the season the white hanger stuff gets donated (I may make an exception for a really nice designer piece or my really fancy dresses at the back of the closet). With folded clothes, pieces i've worn go on top, at the end of the season, bottom stuff gets donated. Besides, all these techniques make room for new things!!!

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  4. I am a clutter queen myself and I hate it! It has become my mission in life to overcome this affliction. When I'm organizing I ask myself how long has it been since I've used/worn this? If I'm in the closet and I run accross something that I didn't wear all season, it's gone. We tend to forget that make-up and lotions do go bad. If you haven't used em, toss it! Good luck!
    Tiffany

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  5. From the L'Oreal website...

    "The maximum number of months for which you can use a product after opening it is shown by a symbol with a number followed by the letter M on the pack."

    The symbol it refers to is a small picture of a tub.

    You will probably be surprised how many products are past their recommended age, so this might be a good way of deciding what to bin.

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  6. I would toss it all and buy all new as a reward for your year without mirrors. You may discover an all new you and completely new color palette if you toss everything. I kind of did the same thing when I took off weight. I kept one or two things just to know I achieved my goal but the reward was a new me, in new clothes, with a new style.

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  7. I agree with others here! Use a time based method. If the date isn't printed, toss things you've had more than 6 months. Have fun! It's a good CLEAN (haha) feeling in the end :)

    Laila

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  8. euhm...
    and what about all the waste you're generating by "just tossing" things out and "just buying" them new "if you really really miss it"?
    just because it's no longer in your closet doesn't mean it's gone... and you're going to buy the same thing again, after throwing it away?
    I think you should give it a good think first.
    Tossing and buying is not a very sensible option, in my opinion.

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  9. With the make-up, all of the creamy, liquidy, gel-y make-ups will have gone bad by the end of your year with out mirrors. As you go, check the dates, and if they are still good, you can have friends over to pick or choose, or see if you can donate them, some half way houses/shelters might have a use for them, or donate to some little kids you know to play dress up. As for the clothes, I go with the time based method, and of course the try it on method. If you find something you forgot you had. You don't need it anyway. Maud, I think the references to tossing, means eliminate from her life, not necessarily trashcan. Probably meaning donate. Though expired make up should meet trash can, as it can lead to infections.

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  10. I like the distributing and donating!

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  11. I actually think that it's good to try clothes on you think that you might want to get rid of NOT in front of a mirror. Because if you're in front of a mirror, sometimes you like the way you look and forget that the clothes are too tight, too low cut, too high cut or just too uncomfortable to wear day-to-day! And vice-versa, you might throw comfy old clothes away because you hate the way you look in them, but actually noone ever sees you in them anyway because you only wear them inside...
    Good luck!

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  12. Ew ew ew! Salted butter is so gross!! I think Michael made the right choice.

    On the organizational front: Pile all your liners, shadows, lipsticks, etc, into separate piles. Then toss the crusty mascara. (I know you've got some since I always keep mine too long too!) In each section look at what you wear constantly. Then at what you rarely wear. Unless you LOVE it, don't take it. And ziplock bags are awesome, so are fishing tackle or tool boxes. If you can fit the things you love into a good organizational system then why not keep a little bit more than you need. It's something you are obviously passionate about, so don't lose that! And on your first mirror day you can spend all day going though things and playing with makeup! Maybe check out some of the videos on you tube and take lots of pics.

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