Don’t Blame the Baskets!

Coming from a family of six children in a three bedroom house, clutter and limited space were inevitable. So when we all grew up and most of us were out of the house, what did my parents do? Put on an addition of course! They built a nice 20×20 family room with a closet. The problem which I’m sure you can identify with is that this extra closet became a catch-all for anything that didn’t have a home:  blankets, games, plastic chairs, shopping bags, etc. So my sister bought them a closet organizer to help solve the problem. When she came back 3 months later to see how it was working, my younger brother said, “I don’t think it works.” And he proceeded to show her the organizing rack, still in the box at the bottom of the heap!

This made me think how many times I hear people say, “This doesn’t work for me.” When in actuality it’s that they are not working with a system. Yes, there are some organizing gadgets, bins & boxes that work better than others for different people. But before you blame the basket, think about have you tried it? Have you developed a system, and then bought the container to work with your system? Most often people get the container first and that just goes against my whole organizing system! So here it is again:

C.P. R. – Categorize, purge, then re-arrange. During the re-arranging step you can contain your stuff. When it comes to paperwork you can use a wall mounted organizer with 3-4 pockets, a multi level “in-bin” that sits on your desk or colorful folders to separate each of your projects, just to name a few options. But pick the one that is most visually appealing to you, and put it in the right location. The trick is, when you have an In Bin – what I call the TO DO bin, you’ve got to take the time to sit down and DO! So many people let it pile up. It’s not going to get done by magic!

Just like if you use a step basket to store items that need to go up or down a level in your home. You have to make a routine of emptying the basket and getting all items back to their home space. Again, I’ve seen clients get the basket, fill it and then stop and say “It doesn’t work.” Imagine if you’re children told you their clothes hamper didn’t work – doesn’t that really just mean they are not taking the time to put dirty clothes in it? Seems silly but you’d be surprised how many adults give me this excuse.

Next time you hear yourself saying something doesn’t work – don’t blame the basket!

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