Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Clear plastic totes.


Growing up, I was always that child who had a really clean, organized room. In fact, sometimes, I used to intentionally make it messy so that I could clean it up. I liked having everything in it's place. I could say that I got that from my dad, who has been called "Felix" a time or two, but my mom is every bit as organized and particular as my dad is.

Several years ago, someone got wind that I was a fairly organized person, and so she asked me if I would teach a class to a group of women at church. I gathered up all of my organizational tips and had a really good time sharing my thoughts and ideas of what had worked for me. I have taught that same class a number of times since, but the last time I taught (within the last year), a comment was made by a gal who said, "You know, you can get all of this information online."

(Well ... okay, way to burst my bubble little missy! I guess technology will now shut out the verbal sharing of ideas that once existed amongst us women when I began my sharing some 20 plus years ago.)

Just before my divorce, I was chatting with some friends and was asked if I would consider helping one of them get her house organized. I needed the extra money and said, Sure. Hence, that is when I became a professional organizer. (I can claim that title since I was paid for the job, right ... isn't that the rule?)

I had quite a few people hire me after that and the very first thing I did with them, after we accessed the situation, was to go buy plastic totes. I have my favorite brand and style (70 gallon, Sterilite, latch handles, stacking) but not every store carries them. ShopKo does (are they still in business?) and Target does. They do come in lots of different sizes, but boy, those 70 gallons sure hold a lot of stuff! And they aren't so big that you can't lift them when full. (The picture above is my Christmas stuff ... most of it anyway ... less the wreaths and trees ... and the tote full of lights ... and the boxes that hold my Nativites ... and the little random things that don't always get set out ... Okay, I can admit, I have a LOT of Christmas stuff!)

I buy the clear totes for obvious reasons ... I can see what's in them. That works so well at holiday time. If it's Halloween, I know which ones have costumes in them and which ones have the decorations so I don't need to open each one. I have adult costumes in one, and children's costumes in another. It works really well at Christmastime too - if I know that I won't be using that particular themed tree that year, the tote and those decorations stays downstairs.

I can also admit that the expression, "Do as I say, not as I do" sometimes applies to me here. I am not always the most organized person and I do have my piles that need serious attention. I have had to let some of that go since I am single and work full time - but I keep on trying. In fact, it has been a goal of mine for a long time to have every room completely organized at the same time. It's a pretty lofty goal, but I would one day like to lay in my bed at night, knowing that every drawer, every closet, every corner of my house (including the garage) was completely organized. Even if just for a little while.

It could happen.


  1. it could totally happen...recruit your children. (but not me) JUST KIDDING! i can help. ;) i bet i'll never have as many totes as you. sad sigh.

  2. i need to buy some bins and get more organized myself! great post!
    and thanks for your sweet comment on my blog! i just think McCall is the greatest and I'm so glad we're friends!
    p.s. LOVE your blog too! :)