Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



A Ten-Step Shortcut to an Organized Life

Gila Arnold

Let’s face it. Some of us are not the organized types. We send the kids to school in yesterday’s socks without flinching. We borrow eggs from the neighbor for the fifth time in a row without blushing. And all the advice we get seem geared towards women who actually will label those cabinets. For all those women out there hiding behind brave smiles of “No, really, I prefer the lived-in look,” as they shield the view from the inquisitive neighbor at the door, no more excuses: these tips can work for you to.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

#1: Use Visual Tricks

messy drawerFeeling overwhelmed by the huge pile of laundry waiting to be folded? Reach for the sheets and towels first. Got a counter full of clutter? Start by putting away the large pots and food items.

“Once the big things are cleared out of the way, your pile looks much smaller and more manageable,” advises Yehudis, a home organizer. “Towels and sheets take seconds to fold, but make a big dent in the laundry basket. By the time you’ve reached the bottom and get to those pesky socks, you’re already feeling close to the finish line.”

Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, a New York-based “apartment therapist,” uses color to create an illusion of calm and cohesiveness, even in an otherwise disorganized space. For example, pulling down mismatched bath towels and replacing them with color-coordinated ones gives the bathroom a put-together look. The same goes for linens in bedrooms, and dishes displayed in glass-front kitchen cabinets; choose the color that you have the most of, hide the rest, and your kitchen will suddenly look chic and coordinated.

And then there are the time-honored tips of straightening stray papers into neat piles and stuffing clutter into closets for that mad-dash straightening up when your mother-in-law announces an unexpected visit in five minutes.

 

Tip #2: The Garbage Can is Your Friend

Color-coded storage bins and decorative baskets aside, the only way to manage clutter is to get rid of it. Beware of baskets, says Yehudis. If used right, they can help separate, say, the incoming mail from the outgoing. But she warns that the tendency in the not-naturally-organized home is for baskets to become dumping grounds for loose buttons, small toys, and defunct keys. If the same basket of unpaired socks has been sitting around for a year, chances are they’re never going to find their mates and it’s time to chuck them. Be honest with yourself, and admit that you will most likely never repair that broken clock or fix the zipper of your jacket, and throw it out as soon as it breaks. 

 

 To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha. To sign up for a weekly subscription click here.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"