Sunday, April 29, 2012

Making Space Mondays, Linky Party #4

NAP and MAP is by far my favorite part of decluttering because I get to containerize!! I love containers. They are just the best. I could live in The Container Store, but I buy most of my containers at Dollar Tree. NAP and MAP stands for Needs A Place, Make A Place and is the final step in my decluttering cycle. We will be starting with the first of my decluttering acronyms next week and I hope you'll join me as we continue decluttering our homes.

When I'm working on this phase of decluttering I think toward one main goal--creating a vacuum. Vacuums are empty spaces that when opened up suck in the things around them. The vacuums I want to create in my home suck in a specific type of thing and hopefully when working right, continue to suck them in.

Let me explain when and how I create a vacuum with containers.

 First I identify an area that's been bugging me but that we use regularly like my son's dress-up toys above. He plays with them all the time, we've already taken them down to truly loved peices, and yet they always end up in such a mess. This is one area I want to create a "vacuum" for.

I  have to ask myself why the current system doesn't work. So, I've been watching for some time to see how they play with this set of toys and this is what I see. I see him digging in the white basket for a specific thing or set of things--like the sheild that goes with his transformer costume or the mask that goes with whatever. The smaller stuff shifts it's way to the bottom and to get to it they empty the entire basket onto the floor before finding it. So, I need to try something different and see if it works better.

I created 4 vacuums for Abram's dress up so that the smaller stuff will be easier to find and will hopefully be simple enough to put away. I emptied all of his dress-up onto the floor and assigned specific baskets the work of vacuuming specific types of stuff. (This is also how my children pick up their rooms, btw). So, a basket's empty...now I just pick up all the stuff that goes there from on the floor. I have the big laundry basket for dress up clothes and swords, a small basket for hats, one for masks, and one for other accessories. I only get as detailed as can possibly work. I tried just the laundry basket, but it just wasn't enough. This is the next level vacuum.
 While I was at it, I also organized his clothes in his closet with Abram's favorite color, orange. The hanging baskets are empty for a purpose. They are their own form of "vacuum". Those clothes that end up hanging all over chairs and bed-rails go here. I figured out a few years ago that the reason they were out was because they were in-between clean and dirty. We didn't want to hang them back up because they had already been worn--like a pair of jeans--but we didn't put them in a laundry basket because we could get another wear out of them. So, they ended up not having a place (NAP). These hanging baskets are assigned this task of "vacuuming" up these clothes. When I need a little extra in a small wash, that's where I go...to the hanging baskets.

I just bought these simple little orange baskets as drawer dividers. They are awesome! I found them at Dollar Tree and they fit perfect. The ones in the drawers hold undies, swim trunks, play shorts, and socks. The ones on the shelves hold things Abram looks for regularly. One is candy that I don't want to get lost in some corner but that he likes to keep in his room. Another is his money, wallet, and coins.
 "Vacuums" are sorta like the machines that we use for our floors, they don't work unless we run them, but when we do they work fast and pick up all our messes. Here is another area that I created places and 'vacuums' for things...this one in my kitchen. This is my baking pantry. It was a horrible mess, but I didn't get before pictures.
So, what area in your home needs a vacuum? Can you clear a place, put in a container and start sucking up the stuff that now belongs there? You'd be surprised how much clutter can be taken care of from around the house by just creating a place for a specific group of things. There's a familiar saying "Everything has a place, everything in it's place", but before everything can be in it's place, you have to create that place and tell that stuff where it goes.

BTW...Next week is the beginning of a new cycle of decluttering. Whoo! This will be the first time all the way through. Do y'all want to do a specific small room all the way through or work on something you've been putting off? Maybe we can all work on something together! If you have suggestions, please let me know.

Linking Up to A Bowl Full of Lemons
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