Web offers tips on untangling cluttered lives

January 31, 2000|By Bonnie Scott | Bonnie Scott,Knight Ridder/Tribune

I devoted a recent Saturday to cleaning out the old and bringing in the new. I boxed up last year's financial records, fashion mistakes and kitchenware impulses for donation. I bagged outgrown and worn-out toys, shoes, books and blue jeans.

Yet I feel a certain dread, knowing the illusion is temporary. Fortunately, I found a priceless resource at Organized Home (www. organizedhome.com), a realistic approach to getting and staying organized.

The Organized Home approach to closet clutter is the first realistic one I've tried. Women's closets tend to adhere to a 80/20 rule: Women wear 20 percent of their clothes 80 percent of the time. Organized Home suggests that I put all my clothes in a different closet. Over the next few months the pieces I wear can be laundered and put back in the original closet.

There are similar insightful ideas for managing kids' rooms, along with a a step-by-step guide to freezer cooking that I will try next weekend.

Cost savings are key elements. Before buying cartons, boxes and "closet systems," Organized Home suggests that we "organize first, measure second and buy last." An article titled "A tightwad's guide to getting organized" points out that getting organized is often confused with buying stuff. Getting organized is about doing some work and then being consistent about following up the initial action.

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