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Time to Organize!

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Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla: Here is one of my favorite money-saving tips: Organize the stuff you have, and be amazed at all the stuff you have! If your stuff is organized, you're not buying another pair of black tights because you can't find the ones you know your daughter has somewhere. You can actually put your hands on the fancy soaps you bought on sale for hostess gifts ....

woman holding dress
The problem is that organizing is a slippery slope. You start out with all the holiday stuff and where to put it. Unless you happen to live in one of those Bizarro World households with empty drawers and cabinets, you'll need to do some purging and organizing before the new stuff can come in. Don't let things sit in piles on your floor for too long -- that's how it starts with the hoarders. (I watch those shows, so I know!)

It's the kids' stuff that puts you over the edge. My system starts with the youngest child. First, I do a quick sweep through the clothes. I pull out a whole outfit that fits them and then measure everything against that outfit. Anything too small goes into a labeled bin to pass on to friends and relatives. Now the new holiday clothes come in. Next are the toys. My youngest told me this year that she was done with dolls; that made space for the new bead set and art supplies she got for Christmas. Last are the books. All of our board books got boxed up for a friend, and that freed up a whole shelf on the bookcase.

During our organizing, we came across a couple of brand-new items. I'm an unapologetic regifter, so they will come in handy later. When I move on to the next-oldest child, I pass down all clothes and toys that are appropriate. Something that doesn't quite fit gets put on an upper shelf in the closet, and that's the first place I check when they start growing out of things.

Organizing is pretty much instant gratification. Don't feel like you need a huge block of time -- a little a day goes a long way. My kids help me organize their stuff, and a half-hour later, I usually leave them curled up with a book they didn't know they had. It's definitely a win-win!

8 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous December 30, 2010, 4:40 PM

AlexisAnne January 1, 2011, 9:57 AM

Definitely a slippery slope! I needed to re-organize my entire house to put all of our gifts away, but I like your strategies.
Here’s what I do (roughly)

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