Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Closet

First of all, a reality check—Operation Order Out of Chaos is now midway through the first week, and think it’s only fair and honest to report the truth and not present a one-sided view of the progress being made.
The plan was to schedule in exercise (3X week), organizational project (1X week), and writing (at least 3X week) in 2009. So, I came home from my weekend in Little Rock with my calendar all filled-in with the plan, only the week was missing a day—we didn’t come back until Monday. But in my eagerness, I scheduled Tuesday-Friday as though there were 5 days there. And I get so task-oriented, rather than other/people-oriented, that I can be inflexible at times. But here’s what happened yesterday:
PLAN: Church service (Theophany) 9-10:30 am; Coffee/early lunch with out-of-town friend, 10:30-12:30; Organize closet, 12:30-4:30; Exercise 4:30-5:30.

REALITY: Church service 9-10:30; Out-of-town friend stayed and visited with people at church until 12, so….. lunch with friend, 12:30-3:00 (yes, and it was a wonderful, rich visit… a “two martini” lunch, with 2 glasses of wine, actually) but I didn’t get home until 3:30, and in no shape to work out at the gym, so; 3:30-6:30, cleaned out and organized closet.

Not a bad day, huh? Except that I didn’t exercise, and I only have 2 “windows” for exercise left in the week. I can hear your exclamations: “What? You don’t even have a 9-5 job and you can’t exercise 3X week?” But it is the week after New Year’s and there are still people in town and I am a social creature and yes, this is going to be hard to stick with. Not to mention the fact that I HAVEN’T WRITTEN ANYTHING IN OVER 2 WEEKS and I’m craving writing. The first day this week that I’ve blocked out a big chunk of time to write is this coming Friday, and now I’m thinking I need to go to Jackson to see my mom in the nursing home on Friday. Now I’m sure this is way too much information and probably boring and I’ve lost most of my readers by now…. Unless you, too, can identify with the struggle, no matter what your responsibilities in life.

I was talking with a friend on the phone this morning, about these issues, and I told her that at 5:30 yesterday afternoon, while most of the guts of my closet were strewn all over my bed, I turned on the news and watched the awful stuff happening in the Gaza strip and I sat on the edge of the bed and wept and thought, “What’s the big deal about not keeping with my schedule?” It’s all relative, isn’t it? But do I not try to bring order where I am just because there’s chaos in another place?

So… here they are, the “after” pictures of the closet. Keep in mind that the shelves, which are half empty, are just waiting for things that are cluttering up other areas of the house to come and live there. I haven’t decided on next week’s organizational project… it’s such a domino affect, that I’m tempted to just keep going every day with the house stuff… but instead I’m going to continue to try for the schedule to work… for balance… exercise, organize, write.

My husband looked in the closet and saw this shoe rack and said, "Oh, did you buy a shoe rack to help you organize your shoes?"

The shoe rack has been there for years... covered up by loose shoes all over the floor in front of it and falling off it, etc.

I read that it helps to color-coordinate the clothes, so here are my slacks and jeans, the khakis, browns, blacks and denims nicely organized in groups, which does make it easier to find something when getting dressed quickly.

And the blouses, sweaters, and jackets are grouped, a little bit according to color, but mostly according to lengths, so the shorter pieces are hanging over the shoe rack and the longer items on the right end over more empty space. (Actually my 3 pair of boots are under the longer items, but I didn't get a picture of them.)
When I got finished I was able to get some sweaters out of my drawers, so the clothes on the chair and floor on that side of the room could actually fit in the drawers.... and I put some summer clothes in the guest room closet, which will be another project soon, since it's overflowing with older clothes that I didn't get rid of the last time I did this. Oh, and now the trunk of my car is full with a large box and 5 large trash sacks full of things for Goodwill, and I dragged 3 large trash bags out to the garbage. Oooooh, when I write that it sounds really bad to have that many bags of stuff to get rid of from a closet, doesn't it? But keep in mind, those shelves haven't been cleaned off since 2001. Oh, and some of the stuff came from the laundry room... yeah, I couldn't help myself... while packing up tote bags and hats I didn't want, I added some of both from the corner of the laundry room and voila! Another organized space in 15 minutes! (no photo... maybe later)
Stay tuned for Project #2 next week.... and I'll report back on Operation Order Out of Chaos! If any of you have tips, please leave a comment!

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