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.  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 get things ready for spring planting. I’ll save those details for another post.

Organize This: From Chaos to Calm, One Week at a Time

Organizing people, places and things has always been a passion. My mom said she found me in her room organizing socks at the age of two. All embellishing aside, that story illustrates my interest from an early age.

About two months ago I decided to add a feature to my blog and polled all of you with suggested titles. I’ve combined the two most popular titles into one overly long title for now, but will plan some additional tweaking as time goes on.

Organizing Garden Tools

I’m going to kick off the feature with some garden tool organization. I’ve been using this system for three years now, with great success.

In the past I would make do with the odd bucket or two-dollar tool caddy, but as you know, when your hobby grows, so to do your tools. I headed to our local hardware store and put together a system for ten bucks.

For starters, I wanted to personalize my new tool organizer.  I have nothing against Husky who made this fabulous system, but you must admit they have a grouchy-looking logo.  Since I’m organized at heart, I used a jewelry finding full of hearts.  I covered the grumpy husky with a permanent marker, then attached the hearts with a safety-pin.  Now I can change out the bucket jewelry when the mood strikes.

Husky Bucket Jockey

I hid the logo with a jewelry finding (with apologies to Husky®)

I use the inner pockets to store my hand tools, including spades, pruning tools, and hand saws. My garden fork hangs from an outer pocket, originally intended for a drill. I cut an unused garden glove to cover the prongs so I don’t scrape my leg on the rough edges as I carry it from place to place.

Bucket Interior

Bucket interior

Gloved garden fork

Gloved garden fork

Drill holder doubles for tools and gloves

Drill holder doubles for tools and gloves

The Bucket Jockey includes a strap attached to the exterior. I don’t know its intended use, but I’ve re-purposed it for twine. One of the tricks I learned on a garden tour was to cut several lengths of twine ahead of time so you have them at the ready when you need them. I threaded several pre-cut lengths of twine through a couple of binder rings.  They’re attached near the ball of twine.

Strap and Hook

Strap and hook attachment

Garden Twine and binder ring

Pre-cut strands of garden twine attached with binder rings

strap holds garden twine

Strap holds garden twine

"Bucket Jockey ®" for garden tools

Organized and ready to garden

Now all my hand-held tools and garden accessories reside in one easy-to-access, portable system.

Your Turn

I would love to hear your ideas for future posts. What are your organizing interests or challenges?

If you want to make a request privately, you can write to me using my contact form.

Here are a few general ideas:

Home Office/Small business:

Efficient use of email

Managing paper flow

Effective filing


Improving layout and work flow

Shopping and meal planning

Dealing with ‘granny gear’


Organizing the holidays

Organizing gift-giving


Socks, socks and more socks

Where should I store the cat food?

Drowning in magazines


I’m looking forward to your comments, below.