I recently attended a short seminar on green organizing, through Ecowomen. Marin Rose, owner of Functional Fashionable, gave some quick tips on how to get organized and how to be green while doing it.
Most of her tips were straightforward – don’t just purge, recycle, reuse, or repurpose what you purge – but I found the overall message to be a much needed reminder. I used to live in a small studio apartment where clutter was not an option. If anything was out of place or unorganized, it showed, as soon as you walked in the door. Now, I live in a larger apartment that I share and it’s so much easier to collect clutter. There are things stuffed away in places I didn’t know could hold stuff.
It’s not that I’m not the same highly organized, creatively storing person. It’s just that it’s not as much of a priority because it doesn’t show. My partner likes to buy things in bulk, and rather than fight him on it, we compromise and buy some things in bulk. Marin’s gentle reminders that you should know what you need, when you need it, and how much of it you really need are very welcomed (although not so much by my partner…)
This session also came on the tail of a weekend spent cleaning out my closet and deciding what I could repurpose and what would be better served going to Goodwill. I feel the need to re-organize, I feel the need to do some ‘spring cleaning.’ It’s the perfect time do some serious cleaning out.
Now that I’ve gotten that wonderful reminder to use things around the house to organize and really get rid of what is un-needed, here are some things I’ve done around my house:
1. I use old egg cartons to organize my jewelry drawer. The egg side is great for earring and necklaces, and the top side is great for chunky bracelets.
2. Rather than stuff take out menus into a drawer, I cut up a graham cracker box, painted it, and turned it into a take out menu holder (yes we get enough to warrant using a box. Don’t judge me!)
3. I had an old toothbrush holder – just a simple cup one. I washed out really well, and now it holds my makeup brushes.
But I think the key to all this organizing and cleaning out, is to change the way we think about what we have and what we need. Clearly, if we need reminders to clean out our closets and re-organize our lives, we have too much stuff. And we have too much stuff because of our consumer culture. Break the cycle and repurpose what you have instead! It’ll be more fun than spending hours at a store and dragging bags of stuff home. I promise.