Cool Budget Organizing Ideas Story

Sam Moon jewelry display bust, originally uploaded by espeedy123.

bust back

Happy New Year everybody! What better way to start 2009 than by getting organized? I wrote a fun story about organizing that ran in today’s Dallas Morning News.

I asked 6 experts to share how they would best spend $100 or less on organizing. The idea came to me after watching Oprah’s “Clean Up Your Messy House” series. I thought her guests, especially professional organizer Peter Walsh, were really great. But who has the kind of money it takes to Elfa-out your closet like they do on the show?!?!? I went to the Container Store to find out how they would reorganize my 5-by-5 foot closet, and the most basic product package totaled over $1,200.

So anyways, that’s when I started thinking budget ideas for the piece. I actually interviewed Peter Walsh on the phone, and he is as genuine, friendly and funny as he is on TV. His message was the most compelling — that in order to become organized it takes respecting what you own and letting go of what you don’t need. He was quite clear that it has nothing to do with buying boxes and shelves. It’s unfortunate that his part of the story got bumped to the bottom of the piece.

Of the other tips I thought professional stylist Gretchen Ratkovic had really great information. She likes mannequin display pieces for jewelry and accessories, like the one above from Sam Moon. It costs $3.95. She suggests adding a secondary hanging bar if you can, and also hanging things on wardrobe hangers, which allow for multiple pieces on a single hanger unit.

5 responses to “Cool Budget Organizing Ideas Story

  1. Pingback: ezineaerticles » Blog Archive » Cool Budget Organizing Ideas Story « erin covert * hands on

  2. I enjoyed your story. You stirred the ire of many commenters with the suggestion of using Goodwill to donate items. (really, it was Peter Walsh’s suggestion).

  3. Thanks for pointing out the comments at I had no idea that Mr. Walsh’s suggestion of Goodwill would be so controversial. To me, it seems like when you donate something, it’s ultimately out of your control what happens to it. No matter what, taking the time to get something to a Goodwill is a step above throwing it in the dump, and that’s where the moral obligation to consider the best place to donate something ends. Especially if it’s something as small as most household junk.

  4. I just started collecting mail weekly in an envelope that stays on or near the dining room table. It’s yellow, almost legal size that opens on the long side and has a velcro closure. Mail is dumped in daily and sorted at the end of the week when I pay bills and file. I can find the envelope easily, and important items don’t wonder off before I’m ready to make a decision about them.

  5. Mail just about buries me. I don’t think mine would fit in an envelope, so perhaps that’s the problem. I should unsubscribe to so many catalogs and magazines!

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