Friday, February 22, 2013

The 10% Solution

Spring cleaning season is coming soon. I have devised a "clear-the-clutter" system that works for me:

1. Identify one small thing that needs cleaning out, like a junk drawer or the hall closet.
2. Pull everything out and separate it into piles of like stuff (rubber bands all together, scarves with scarves, etc.).
3. Figure out what 10% of that stuff is (if you have 40 pairs of shoes, that's 4 pairs).
4. Donate the least used 10%.
5. Dust or wipe down the emptied drawer/closet/shelf, and put the remaining 90% back...neatly!

The "10% Solution" works for me because it's a serious percentage of the whole, but not so drastic that you'll be running out to the "giveaway" bags in your garage in the middle of the night, full of Organizer's Remorse.

Here's how I applied the 10% Solution to my front hall closet. It was a jumble of people coats and dog coats, umbrellas, scarves, and gloves:

Uhh, nice hanging-organizer thingie, Juli. But that's a not-so-nice mess dripping out of it:

A jumble of stuff on a dirty floor. Ugh:

I took everything out of the hanging-pockets organizer and tossed it all into a big basket:

Then I put like with like. With the gloves all together, I knew instantly I had to get rid of the lavender fingerless gloves, second from right. Even though I love the color and I knitted them myself, they are too small for me and I never wear them. Off they go:

Medium-sized scarves together. There's one in the pile I'm fond of, but only because I knit it from leftover yarn I used to knit a blanket for Lovely Daughter #1. I never wear the scarf (top one, in photo below):

Two shortie scarves, below. I love and wear them both, so they stay. (If the number of items in a category is small, I think it's okay not getting rid of any. Just aim for the overall amount to equal 10%.):

These are my scarves so big they are almost shawls. The burgundy plaid one belongs to The Hubby, so it stays until I can ask him about it. The grey silk one is lovely, but I wear so much grey that it doesn't give me that necessary "pop" of color. I'll offer it to Lovely Daughters #1 and #2. If they don't want it, then I'll donate it.

Speaking of mess, it is NOT redundant for me to have two lint rollers and a lint brush all in one closet. Not with three pugs in the house! So they all stay.

This is the pugs' life vest, necessary for playing in the pool, and my ugly-but-sensible, light-reflective jacket for walking the dogs at dusk. Both things are essential safety items. But I only use the life jacket a few times a year. So I'll relocate it to another closet that has more space:

Everyday terrycloth fingertip towels are a must, as the front hall closet is right next to the powder room:

I keep my vintage fingertip towels, and my paper versions, in this bin with a see-through window on a high shelf. They get put out in the powder room when company is expected:

Ack. This basket filled with dog coats and umbrellas needs a little look-through:

Ah-hah! A sheath to an umbrella I don't own any more (buh-bye!) and a holder thingie for my dogs' rain jacket. I never use it, so off it goes:

Everything back in place, and it's looking a bit better:

Here's the 10% that got the axe. Even though this is a really nice London Fog raincoat, I never wear it. I have another I always choose. Somebody shopping at the thrift store will probably be delighted with it:

A dog lifejacket to re-house elsewhere, and a few things to offer to family/friends, then off to Goodwill this 10% goes.

Hmm. I wonder what I'll choose to streamline next?

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