Can't Stop, Won't Stop... Organizing

Credits: Photo - Sarah G. Schmidt's iPhone, Styling - Sarah G. Schmidt, Location - Sarah G. Schmidt's new home


Typically I focus my shopping efforts on clothing and accessories. Due to a recent real estate sale, purchase and home relocation in my beloved community of Hillhurst, Calgary, I am focused on how best to organize my belongings. I tend to be a control nut so it's a very serious task for me. It’s one thing to put stuff where it fits but it’s next level to make it functionally beautiful.

The Toronto Star  notes that the average cost to move a three bedroom home in city is $3,000. That’s just the movers. That doesn’t account for packing supplies and certainly not any organizational gewgaws once you are in your new home. Moving is big business and competitive. That’s why there are endless moving companies in the city and many make over the $150 per hour mark. 

Although I prefer to spend my time at stores in the mall and street level boutiques uselessly lusting after summer sandals in the bleak winter, I am spending a lot of time at one particular store: Home Depot.

There is every kind of nail one would want (at least as far as I know), screws, screw drivers (the non-alcoholic kind) and enough tile to lay my own path home. Selection of material aside, they offer reasonable operating hours. 8am on a Sunday they are open. 9:30pm the Saturday night before, unfortunately not, but that’s a more sad share about my nightlife than a downfall on the Home Depot hours. While many fancy the tools and appliances inside, I’m all about the organizing supplies.

Do you need to store all the linens in your closet tidy? I say get a clear box. I have 4” by 8” for my face cloths; 12” by 12” for extra bed sheets and 8” by 12” by 8” deep for all those extra beauty and shower products. Nail polish gets it's own box as does razors, medical supplies and eye care.

My guests can access any toiletry item they may need while visiting just by looking in my labeled, multi-unit pull out shelves. But if one messes up my system the only place I’ll want to store you is 6 feet deep… in a labeled box.

My storage room is a point of pride. Need a drywall screw? It’s the third drawer down in the “wall hanging” section of the small toolkit. You’re welcome.  

Wondering where you football cleats are? They are second bin from the top marked, “Football.”

Lost a button? Check the sewing box and inside that box is a box of buttons. The threads and needles are in another box in that same bigger box. You may ask where I keep the box? Right next to the other boxes that hold clothes to be mended, of course. 

What gets my organizational juices going is that not only is my stuff nice and tidy in its place, but you can also see what’s in each of the boxes. A win-win. Those close to me know my affection for my label maker but even I am wondering its merit considering these simple, yet magical (to me) totes and boxes. But I can’t come to give it away. I named it and labeled it after all.

My organizing does not stop in the land of linen closets or storage. There are off-season coats that need the protection of garment bags. And my clothes deserve the good hangers. Not those useless wire ones from the dry cleaner. Show some respect. 

I have shoes that need a nice, shipshape place to call home. They have it bad enough outside, when they come home I want them to know I appreciate them. I’ll care for them and I love them.  

The possibilities are endless when it comes to getting things just right. I use 4”x8” boxes to sort my undergarments into sections. Further, everything is colour coded in the same order of the R-O-Y-G-B-I-V plus neutrals rainbow scheme. Not one to waste a lid, I then use the handy buddies to hold my sunglasses.

Small, square lids work great for tidying earrings and rings inside a shallow drawer. Of course, one can purchase the fancy Lucite ones, but I am a believer of stretching the budget where you can (because I’ll splurge on something else). It’s all a bit of a balancing act.

Maybe the biggest positive of moving, other than getting to live in a home you desire, is the opportunity to edit and purge. I gave away a full carload of clothes, shoes and other home donations away to worthy organizations. I am sure to sort it and get it to the right place because I believe everyone should get the chance to have a home. Even our inanimate objects.

If your closets need an overhaul, call me. 

What are your organizational hacks?