Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Getting Organization Out of the Gray Area

For days the sky has been gray. The kind of enveloping gray that leaves the hour non-descript, uncertain if it is late morning or afternoon. Along with the resolute gray and much like the last thawing piles of Christmas snow, memories of the holidays are melting into a murky pool of bygone memories. However, the new year is young, and the resolutions are fresh, so despite the dreariness of the late days of January I've decided to make the most of this mid-winter lull.

My decree for the new year? Organization. Not very original, I know. But with the unyielding weather outside, I've decided to clear the fog of disorganization. The theory is this: I will spend x amount of time getting organized, then all remaining time will be spent in a flurry of absolute productivity. Ambitious, yes--but it's worth a try.

Similarly, many a generally well-organized individual gets engaged and suddenly turns into a perplexed bride wondering where to begin planning. Often times a wedding also means a move to a new location, or learning to co-habitate. Enhancing your organizational skills can improve the efficiency of your wedding day decisions and help you merge a household full of two individuals belongings, plus the addition of wedding gifts.

The Plan: Since everything is all about the details (for me), and nothing gets done without a list, I will break down my organization into tasks by identifying the "problem areas". You can adapt by making your own list. For example, tangled electronic cords are wearisome in our house. They can be found clustered anywhere--and yet they remain unused and unidentified.

My first simple goal began with organizing the notorious pile of cords into a manageable spot. I started with a through search to pull all (unattached) electrical cords from various drawers, cabinets, and closets. Once I had a satisfying cluster of cords sitting in front of me, I untangled and labeled.

{BRIDES}: (If you are a new bride, choose an important task, such as "catering" and make a list of your ideals--such as menu, number of guest, price, etc.).

The Materials: I picked up an array of labels in various sizes and styles to have at hand, plus markers for labeling, of course. You may choose one color (I used black) or pick a punchy color that you love, just be sure it's easy to read.

{BRIDES}: (This is the part where you start compiling a list of caterers contact info.--or whatever category you have chosen for this task. Start by asking for references, then do some research online. Always check reviews.)

Storage: Once you have everything sorted and labeled (be sure to toss /donate any cords for discarded appliances or electronics), choose a bin and a spot to store your newly organized stash. If the cords are used often, you might choose to place them in a silverware tray with dividers and store them in a drawer in your office or main living area. If the majority of cords are "extras" for your current electronics, a basket stored on a closet shelf will work fine.

{BRIDES}: (Start calling the vendor for your chosen task. Make appointments to meet with your top vendors, then choose "the one"!).

Congratulations! You're on your way to a more clutter free New Year!

* markers, pens
* sticky labels, various sizes
* bins, basket, or drawer organizer