Buttoned Up Guru Ashleigh, an Imperfect Organization Pro

Those who can’t do, teach

I am going to be real with you. At work, I am very Buttoned Up and I can keep organized because it’s my number one priority. But when I come home from work, I could really care less about the state of my closet or my laundry. Looking reflectively at the psyche of this behavior, I think it’s because I feel so overwhelmed by the amount of work it takes to declutter it and then maintain it, that I just put it off until it’s a disaster zone.

But when I share my closet with my super organized boyfriend, it upsets him to have that messy space! He has put up with my lack of home organization for nearly 4 years but about every 4-5 months, he reaches a breaking point. And this time, it really wasn’t pretty as he explained that by keeping our closet in disarray, I was disrepecting him. Boy, that made me feel crummy, but it also made me realize that even though it wasn’t a priority for me, in order to be a team player in our home and in our relationship, I needed to at least attempt to do better.

So I imposed a “Dump Day” on my closet and drawers. For me, this was TORTURE, but I am writing this blog to let you know that it’s okay to be, what we at Buttoned Up like to call, “Imperfectly Organized”. It’s okay to not keep your closets in tip top shape everyday, but it is important to find tactics that work for you and your family to stop them from being overwhelming. Here is a Photo story of my 6 hour organizing spree and how I am maintaining it, to keep the peace in my house, and feel less overwhelmed with my laundry:

Here’s the beginning of the disaster. It was actually a little worse before the photo but I didn’t want to completely ruin my “Buttoned Up” credibility. 🙂

Here’s Brett’s side of the closet- Neat and Tidy

Now the fun begins, dumping EVERYTHING out of the closet and my drawers.

And there’s more:

I ran out of space in the bedroom so the anarchy spilled into the living room:

And so much more that even my cat, Breagan was Disgusted! His eyes say it all!

Finally we’re getting somewhere- Here’s everything I donated to the Homeless Shelter:

Here’s the final closet:

My cat Lilleigh’s impression of how I felt afterwords:

A reward night at the movies for the hard work. We’re making fun of the fact that people in LA wear their sunglasses inside:

So here’s how I am maintaining it:

1. I do laundry on Mondays and Thursdays. This keeps the dirty stuff from overflowing.

2. I fold, hang, and put away the clothes as soon as the dryer goes off. Otherwise I tend to leave clean laundry in the basket and end up having to rewash it.

3. If I get lazy and don’t want to it fold or clean up my shoes or whatever, I try to remind myself how happy it makes Brett when I upkeep my clothes and closet. If that doesn’t work, I find an incentive for myself to do it, whether it’s dessert or treating myself to a fun magazine.

This giant chore was a huge pain, but I also felt amazing when it was done. Especially when I witnessed the look of joy on Brett’s face when he saw it. His reaction was more excited then when he opened the Blu-ray player on Christmas Day! Not only that, but now that I don’t have to stress about a messy space and Brett getting on my case about it, I am much more relaxed when I get home from work!

While these tips for might not work for everyone, whether it’s the closet or filing cabinet, mail piles or finances, being organized is not a cookie cutter process. It’s different for every person and family and being Imperfectly Organized is A-Okay! Finding solutions to getting over the inertia of whatever road blocks there are will give you peace of mind and allow you more time for the things you really enjoy!