I have a huge collection of organizing-related books, and I've decided it's time to give some of them away. They did a fine job of educating me over the years — but after many years as an organizer, I don't need them the way I did when starting out.
But as I clear these books out and move them along to new homes, I thought I'd share some of the wisdom they contain — starting with the gems I found in It's Here... Somewhere, by Alice Fulton and Pauline Hatch. This is an older book, published in 1985 and 1991, but many organizing ideas are pretty timeless.
Let's start with the authors' definition of clutter:
Clutter is the fish food sitting on the kitchen windowsill for the fish that have been dead for three months. ... Clutter is the stack of Better Homes and Gardens magazines, standing in the corner of some room, ... that you intend to go through someday, to cut out all of the "good stuff." ... Clutter is, indeed, all the things in your home that don't matter.While the book is full of good ideas for how to tackle the clutter and store the good stuff, I particularly loved this little suggestion:
There's nothing sacred about the length of a plunger handle. If yours has a long handle, saw four or five inches off; then it will fit nicely under any sink.And I really relate to this idea:
You may not really need a linen closet for extra bed linens. ... Keep only what is currently on the beds, plus an extra set laid flat between box spring and mattress.Those extra sheets are only intended as back-up for emergencies; normally you'd just launder the sheets and put them back on. The authors acknowledge that perhaps the sheets will wear out a bit quicker, but feel the space saving is worth it. And here's how they reply to a second concern:
"But that's boring. I like a variety of sheets." ...For my own home, I'm with Fulton and Hatch; my linen closet has become my pantry. If you don't need a pantry, the authors have many more suggestions on how a linen closet could be repurposed — as a sewing closet, an arts and crafts supplies center, a toy center, etc. But, of course, some people really do want the variety, and have the room to store more sheets — and keeping more sheets can be a fine choice, too. It's all about making conscious choices as to what serves you best!
We just can't relate. We'd rather have clear, uncluttered space than a variety of sheets. The choice is yours.