Organizing Everything: When Spring Fever Strikes

Nothing is safe when spring fever takes hold. I go into a cleaning frenzy. The men in the house are used to it by now. After all, I organize other people for a living. My family is not immune.

With my oldest son away at college, his room took a minimum of fuss. He’ll be home tomorrow for spring break, so I made a few adjustments to his room and that was that. I’m excited to have him home for a week.

My youngest son entered his teen years and forgot all about his tidy ways. We’ve tried to negotiate (keep my door closed, he says) but I still go in there to fetch laundry and to air out the house. Clutter makes me uncomfortable. I need to work on my boundaries and he needs to work on the tidy factor. We’re both a work in progress.

My husband usually dreads the annual closet sort, but this year was different. He recently lost almost twenty pounds, so he was happy to give away all the clothes that no longer fit. He looks and feels terrific. We’re on the same eating plan, but he’s lost almost twice the weight. Men. What a lucky metabolism.

organized closet husband

My husband’s side of the closet

organized closet

My side of the closet

Once I get going, I don’t want to stop. After sorting out the clothes in our shared closet, I got out the duster and the vacuum and cleaned the mysterious cobwebs at the top of the closet, and the shoe dust below.

When I say “shared closet” I should also add that Lindy likes to spend her big sleep of the day in our closet. I’m storing a scrap-booking cart for my sister in there.Β  Within days Lindy claimed it as her own. Oh my goodness though, all that fur.

Here’s what I did. I folded a small, soft blanket to the size of the cart, then attached it at the top using a trouser hanger. It makes the spot even cozier, while helping contain the fur. It’s easy to wash and put back as well. For added measure, I hung an old vinyl suit cover, the kind that comes free with a man’s suit, on the other side to minimize the flying fluff.

organized closet for cat

Lindy’s napping spot (my side of the closet)

lindy waiting

Lindy is wondering when she can have the closet back

I should probably vacuum in there more often, but there are five million things I’d rather do.

With the closets sorted, I moved on to my toiletries. I moved them into our bedroom to make more room for the boys in the hall bathroom they share.

bedroom organized toiletries

My crafting area also needed some TLC. It’s amazing the disarray one creates from making a single project. It’s all about experimenting. I’ll take out my acrylic stamps, then the stamp pads, paper and more paper, scissors, adhesive and on it goes. When I’m done, the piles in my limited space have accumulated.

organized ribbon

Craft Closet: Organized ribbon and Washi tape

organized crafts cutting tool sorter

Crafting tools and supplies

organized crafts and litter box-001 organized crafts and litter box-003 Years ago I converted the small closet in our home office into a personal crafting area, but it didn’t last long. Believe it or not, the place where I once sat now houses the cat’s litter box.

Please don’t judge.

organized cat box

Organizing the cat box

It’s a long story, but the abbreviated version is this: Slinky moved into the house but was afraid of all the other cats. This was the only place to put an out-of-the-way litter box. Soon the other two cats adopted this litter box, too. They no longer used the boxes in the bathrooms. I prefer cleaning one box over three, but I do miss the leg room. The cats run this place.

It feels great having the closets sorted, along with my crafting materials. I continue to store my crafting materials in the top half of the closet, while the kitty facilities remain below.

hiding the cat box

Hiding the cat box

It’s all about compromise, right?

I’ve been in a cleaning frenzy outdoors as we;;, getting things ready for spring planting. I’ll save those details for another post.

28 thoughts on “Organizing Everything: When Spring Fever Strikes

  1. I’m so impressed with anybody who keeps their crafting supplies in a wardrobe space. I’m complaining because I’ve lost half my craft room to a bed and I’m busy plotting ways of getting rid of the bed πŸ™‚ I’m doing my annual autumnal clean out. For some reason there are some thing I prefer to do at this time of the year. Some of them also get done in springtime, but some of them are definitely spring cleaning jobs that have migrated. Like closet clean-outs and tidys. Living room sort outs and clear outs and move abouts. Kitchen clean outs, clean ups and rearrangings ……….. I think I like the feeling of ‘cosying in’ for the winter and having everything ready for soup making and such like – and long evenings with movies or music and handcrafts. πŸ™‚ Sometimes I think it must be my favourite time of the year……. But I digress….

    I admire the way you have accommodated the kitties potty needs and kept it nicely private for them too. Potty cleaning simply becomes part of the routine I find – especially when it’s a puppy who likes to keep you fully informed and is very proud of all his offerings πŸ™‚ [It’s like living with a perpetual potty training baby]

    And you have also given over wardrobe space to Lindy! That is a very good idea to protect the bag and the walls and to try and contain the fur. So far Orlando has spared me this necessity. Your wardrobes do look clutter free and well organised. I wonder if we’d get special rates if the whole family banded together and brought you over for a week to organise everything …………. πŸ™‚

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    • Pauline, my services are free to friends and family and what a joy it would be to hang out while doing so. I’ve not seen your closets/wardrobes, but your place looks beautiful and organized to me. Like you, I enjoy clean outs at different times of the year. I used to do it at the start of the school year. The boys go through clothing and shoe sizes so quickly at that age, so we would start the year with the newest clothing size and pass on what no longer fit. The same with school supplies, as every teacher here would have some specific requirement.

      It’s hard to get mad at a puppy showing off his offerings, and probably hard not to laugh, too. Slinky has been leaving deposits in odd places of late, probably because she forgets where she is. Once under M’s desk which was really odd, and today near the back door on the door mat. I must say it’s a relief no longer having wall to wall carpet. All the messes are easy to clean up and that mats can be laundered.

      Our loving animals are worth every inconvenience, aren’t they, Pauline?

      Right now, Slinky is pain-free, has a good appetite, keeps her coat spotless and is back to sitting on my legs, so though she’s disoriented and doesn’t seem to know where she is, she’s not miserable either. I have no problem helping ease a suffering animal from this life, though it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. It’s doing right by them.

      So, not sure how we got from organizing to end of life issues but here we are. Sending you a loving embrace across the miles. Missing you. xo

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  2. Oh, Alys, I’m green with envy (no nod to St. Patty’s Day either πŸ˜ƒ) Everything looks so wonderful! My house, once fairly organized, is now a jumbled mess, thanks to a painting crew who took up residence on Monday to paint the entire inside and outside of my home. Dropcloths, dust, boxes, kitchen stuff in my bedroom, and dining room stuff
    In my basement, and no end in sight 😦

    On the plus side, I’ve become intimately familiar with our county dump, a local ministry has benefitted from quite a collection of our furniture, and I’ve consigned quite a few batches of items as well. All this in preparation of getting our house ready to sell. The past few months have been physically exhausting, and My hubby and I laugh that after all this work, we probably won’t want to sell. But it’s time to downsize. Now we just need one of the rental units we’re interested in to become available. And when one does, we’ll be ready πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you , Stacy. It’s a process I’ve always enjoyed.

      Oh my gosh, painting is perhaps the most disruptive thing in a home, topped only be redoing floors. Best of luck.

      I didn’t know you were planning a downsize. How exciting. When you say rental unit, is this something you plan to buy or are you giving up home-ownership entirely? I’m intrigued.

      I know it will all come together. I’ll be your trips out for photo excursions are a welcome break from the chaos at home. Best of luck.

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  3. You are so organized Alys – those transparent boxes and drawers look useful. I currently need to get my time organized – if I had it my way I would be out in the garden ALL day, but today I must get some housework done! Have a great weekend, and enjoy the time with your son next week!

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    • Thank you, Cathy. I love being organized and I enjoy the process of getting there as well. I like to come up with new and improved ways of doing things, with efficiency and aesthetics in mind. I’m sorry to hear you have a day of housework ahead. Just think how good you’ll feel when it’s done. I hope a full day in the garden is in your near future.

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  4. I’m also green with envy over your organization skills, early planting season (compared to ours) etc! We’ve been living in a mass of clutter since my husband started renovating the basement. It’s been a loooooong time and I can’t wait to get organized again. I can’t complain too much though as he’s building me a craft room in the basement where I’ll be able to spread out and close the doors on the mess πŸ™‚

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  5. Oy. All this just makes me feel like a disorganized slob! You’re doing so well! Once we get real spring weather, maybe the mood will strike me to do some deep cleaning. But it’s snowing right now . . .

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    • The weather definitely plays a part. The other part for me is that while recovering from foot surgery, I couldn’t do much of anything. So mobility combined with spring weather and a dollop of loving the process worked for me.

      You must not call yourself names, Kerry. Enjoy the last of the snow. We’ll be into heat waves before you know it.

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  6. I really admire how you get so much done. Goodness only knows what will happen when you retire. You’ll have to have a little poster with tear away phone numbers on the community board of our condo complex on the island πŸ˜‰ ❀
    It's so dear of you to ensure Lindy has a cozy spot to snooze. You've put so much loving care into it. We have lucky kitties. I wish every kitty in the world had homes like ours.
    Petals and Blossum seem to like to be in the family room, either on their perch or cozied on Jim's chair. Blossum especially, since that's where she sits when daddy's home. Always with him, she's so dedicated and in love. She chatters at him endlessly until he sits for the evening and she can climb into his lap πŸ˜€ They also snooze on a bench in the front entrance. The window there looks at the bird feeder. I think they'll sit and watch until they get sleepy. The removable acrylic is such a good idea. I know that litter gets out of the box so easily. I've seen them in action and it's like they're on a mission. Our litter box has a dome but they still manage to send it flying out the door, LOL. BTW, you have the most compact wardrobe I've ever seen, yet you look spectacular all the time. Not sure how you manage it. Gads! I thought mine was small. xo ❀

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    • I could say the exact same thing about you. What comes out of your craft room and the hours you spend at Urban is inspiring. And your garden and home are always in top top shape, too.

      I do like the idea of tear away organizing tabs. Aren’t you funny.

      Whenever I drive by an open garage with stuff piled to the rafters, I find myself doing a mental clear out. Good thing they don’t know.

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      • I do everything last minute but kick it into warp speed, ha!
        I will have to put my kitty cat sleep mask on you when we drive into our garage. I consider it Jim’s domain. If it looks a tad messy, it’s because he didn’t want me to get involved. AKA, spend any money on any nice looking organizational apparatus πŸ˜€

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          • I gotta let him have something, if it’s the ol’ dusty garage filled with recyclables and bins of who knows what, so be it. Have you heard that silly saying, “happy wife, happy life”? Well it’s too bad ‘husband’ is so hard to rhyme on because you know it’s actually the other way around right? πŸ˜€ High Five, girl power! I’m feeling a little rebellious tonight…hehe. xo

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            • We’ve turned Mike’s love of cables into a family joke. It helps when you can laugh about it. He now understands that I’m uncomfortable with the clutter, so he’s able to let go of the things that don’t serve a purpose while I’ve learned to honor the things that mean something to him, even if I don’t get it. I find proper homes for them (like his high school saxophone), and find ways to store things so we can access them more efficiently.

              Rebellion is good for the soul.

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  7. I definitely agree with the mantra “tidy house, tidy mind” – which is why my mind feels so cluttered! It’s a wonderful feeling when another small area is sorted out and organised properly, so I can only imagine how good you must have felt after this mammoth effort:)

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    • It’s true. Clutter is both a distraction and a time-waster as you spend time looking for something you’ve misplaced. Even visual clutter can feel overwhelming. We need space to breath and the ability to relax without competition from too many things. I’m at my most peaceful when the house is orderly. It allows me to relax.

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  8. I am late but glad I found it. Organizing has been on my mind a great deal and I wondered why I have let so much get away from me. Then I realized I have too many things from others in this space planned for just me. I’m overloaded and not sure how to fix it. So I just keep walking away. I’m ready for a dry, sunny day to inspire me to get going. I keep giving away more and more but more and more keeps finding it’s way through the door. I have souvenirs from Hawaii today. πŸ™‚ 😦 Good hearts in the right place but no space. Don’t you want to come visit Portland??? πŸ™‚

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  9. Wow, you are SUPER organized!!! I agree, clutter is very anxiety-inducing. I think it makes you lose motivation and focus. In a house like yours, I would have laser-focus! πŸ™‚ I like how you neatly organize your crafting supplies so you can actually find and USE what you have! πŸ™‚ Well done, my friend! When are you coming to Maryland and whipping my family into shape? πŸ˜‰ P.S. Congrats on hubby losing a lot of weight!!

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    • You make me smile, Serena. You don’t need my help *at all*. You’re quite amazing and inspiring. I would love a visit though, and hope to meet in person one day.

      And I think with all your hard work and effort, that you should treat yourself to that Nordstrom’s dress.

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  10. Pingback: Thursday’s Child | insearchofitall

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