Married to the Empire

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Does Organization Cost Money?

I don't know about y'all, but I get a little frustrated at all the organizing advice out there. Women's magazines are rife with it at this time of year. Have you ever noticed how whenever there's an article about finding storage space in a small house, it almost always involves expensive custom built-ins? Oh, sure. I can have shelving under my stairs. If I had stairs. Or some drawers in my window seat. Oh yeah, I don't have a window seat.

The best one is always the fabulous closet system for the person who owns 3 dresses, 5 shirts, 2 pairs of pants, and a few pairs of shoes. And everything is tan. Why yes, things do look lovely and organized! And also sparse and unrealistic. If I had that few articles of clothing, I wouldn't need the fancy closet system! Besides, a girl needs some pink punching up her wardrobe. At least, this girl does. And I don't wear tan. Ever.

I read this article in The Dallas Morning News last week. Because it was marked as one of their money-saving articles, I (naively) thought it would be full of great advice. Actually, the first person interviewed did give good advice. He suggested trash bags and a full round of purging. My kind of organization! But then it was followed by someone who works for the Container Store (expensive) and was (of course) pushing their products.

And then, the stylist. Oh geez. Apparently, a good, inexpensive way to organize your accessories is to display them on busts and mannequin hands. Uh huh. Mannequin hands. There's a certain creep factor that goes along with that piece of advice. And calling fake hands a budget-friendly option for organization? That's just nuts.

I'm suddenly feeling downright cheap for having spent a measly $4 on the hanging shelves I put in my coat closet last week. I finally have easy access to my purses!

And the drawer organizers for my bathroom? The entire package was $7, and I still have a couple left over. Much cheaper than mannequin hands!


*carrie* said...

Funny--and true.

I really enjoy organizing, but sometimes I struggle with the fact that (as you said) we're often encouraged to buy more (bins, etc.) to get our stuff "under control." In addition, many people in the world don't even have enough stuff that they need to *organize,* and yet we put a lot of effort into it.

Beth said...

Mannequin hands? That would have creeped out my kids when they were younger (and I can't imagine the looks on my in-laws faces). Now the boys would probably love them, but they would hold Lego Star Wars people and not my jewelry. I guess someone needed a crazy new idea, emphasis on crazy!!

AnneK said...

Geez. If I get up in the middle of the night and see the mannequin heads, I will probably scream. A lot of my organization is with little baskets which I use to arrange things. These baskets are really cheap in thrift stores. I love 'em. Reading about your draw organization gave me an uncomfortable reminder about the state of mine. :(

A. said...

Yes, organization is PRICEY! Even been to The Container Store? Home Depot has decently priced big plastic bins, and Target puts them on clearance after the holidays. I once used those rods that hook onto the existing rod and give you two rods - only works for short garments. I also use wicker baskets, but be sure to line them first so sweaters and other delicate items won't snag.

r said...

Hehe, I actually did have two mannequins without heads that I used to store clothes on. By 'store' I mean a rotational display of some really great vintage dresses and fantastic costumes. They doubled as great Halloween decorations. Still, not exactly a practical organizational tip. You can only put so much clothes on them before they fall over under the weight. :P

LLMajer said...

Yes, I do find the organization advice very discouraging and silly in some cases. However, I think instead of mannequin hands, you could store items on Stormtrooper gloves and a Darth Vader helmet. Forgive me for being silly, I clearly need more coffee...
Have a good one!

ann said...

I am with you. It's nuts. If it helps you feel better, I just put up a hanging shelf thing in Ethan's closet for his shoes and soccer stuff. I love it! And I was just browsing the container store website for items for that kitchen counter space I blogged about...yikes. Forget that! I found some cute tins on the Ikea website that weren't too terribly pricey. But I think I'll hit Target/Walmart first.