"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Thursday, April 12, 2007


My initial plan was to organize myself as I unpacked, basically to put everything away 'perfectly' as I unpacked. Working on the kitchen, I'm seeing how unrealistic that plan was.

Having lived in mild to total chaos for about seven years, I'm desperately craving a Martha Stewart-style house. I know that's not realistic, but believe that a compromise can be reached.

So, my revised plan is to put things where they should go, neatly, and to organize later. My yearly schedule includes reminders to 'organize/clean/declutter' three drawers/a closet/a shelf on a regular basis.

With that in mind, I've folded all my linens and put them away in the linen armoire, but in no order whatsoever. As for the kitchen, the tricky spot is the plastic containers (a classic problem, apparently). What I'm doing is matching containers to lids. Once I have a container with a lid, the lid goes into a basket and the container gets stacked with similar-shaped containers. Finding a lid won't always be easy, but I'll know for sure that there's a lid for whatever container I'm holding. (Personally, I believe that plastic container lids disappear to the same place as do lost socks....) This way, I can find everything in relatively short order and I'm not embarrassed to open the linen armoire or the kitchen cabinets.

Another thing I'm doing now that shops are so close by is to get my organizing items, like baskets, on an as needed basis, instead of listing them and buying everything at once. This means that a) the cost is spread out and b) I'm dealing with a trouble spot as it shows up. This might not sound frugal in that the items might not be on sale at the moment, but I think it's best to buy things you need than things you might need... Also, there is a huge scale of prices in organizing products. For example, I wanted a three drawer plastic tower to put in the upstairs hall closet to hold overflow bathroom products. I found a whole row of them, priced 19.99$ to 49.99$ until I found some simple, non 'design' ones for... 9.99$. Perhaps if the tower had been out in the open I would have been tempted to splurge on a 'nicer' one, but for the purposes of this exercise, the 9.99$ tower was perfect.

Another thing is to keep an open mind. On that same trip, I was looking for rectangular baskets into which I could store my dish towels, rags, and dish cloths. Normally, I would have these in a drawer in the kitchen, but drawer space is limited here. So, I thought of commandeering space in the pantry or out on an open shelf. I looked at baskets and couldn't believe the prices. The best bargains were for nested baskets, but I'm not crazy about those since I'm usually trying to get several baskets in the same size. Deciding that I wasn't ready to spend 20$ per basket, I resigned myself to getting a plastic bin, but I couldn't believe the prices for those, too! I wandered around the Canadian Tire some more and suddenly stumbled on two lone 'sea grass' baskets reduced to 6.49$ each from 13.99$ each! They weren't exactly the shape I'd wanted (rectangular with sloped sides rather than straight sides), but the size was suitable, they were much prettier than plastic bins, and they were a bargain! I snatched them up and haven't regretted it!

The Ikea unit I purchased in 'like new' used condition for 75$ instead of 125$ was also a great purchase. It fits in the other half of the upstairs closet and leaves me horizontal room for my laundry hamper, vertical room for my longer coats, and plenty of bin storage for hats, mitts, shoes, and all sorts of other odd bits.

Since I'm only renting this place, I'm trying to avoid buying things that will fit absolutely 'perfectly' into a specific place here but which will translate well to another home. So, I'm splurging on a lot of organizational products for the furniture I own and will be taking with me to Manitoba... something I should have done a long time ago!!!

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