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ASSIGNMENT #4: “Like Goes with Like”

Before we start going room-by-room, let’s talk about the concept of “Like Goes with Like.” It is this concept alone that truly has given my artsy, non-linear brain any organizational ability whatsoever. And it’s pretty darn simple.

If this ___ is like this ____, then they go together.

For example, I organize all of my holiday decorations and related items this way. If I have Christmas related books, movies, or hand towels, they go in the Christmas boxes. If I have Thanksgiving related project idea books, they go in the Thanksgiving boxes. Period. That way my bookcases and movies aren’t cluttered with the annual Christmas movie marathon videos or all-about-Thanksgiving books. Plus, anticipation and excitement builds as kids get old enough to remember certain items.

If you can carry this idea throughout your house when you organize, it will make your life so much easier. Why have towels in 20 places around the house? Have one location, and then you have only one stop when putting away laundry!

This concept pertains to large-scale moves as well. Most of what I am doing is setting our items up for the packers. And frankly, I am trying to set things up in such a way so that when we get all of these boxes again at the other end, things are easy to find and quicker to put away. (When you move every two years, the process of unpacking loses any sort of thrill.) So think about like goes with like.

Do a quick run-through of your house and put like with like. It doesn’t have to organized and pretty right now. Right now we are focusing on making sure “things that go together” actually “go” (in our move) together. Does that make sense?

One of the ways this pertains to me, especially during a move, is our books. We are voracious readers and our kids have their own mountainous collection of books as well. Books are stationed all over our house, and tend to end up scattered in many random places. This stinks when you arrive at your new location and even after packing 50 boxes, you can’t find someone’s favorite bedtime story book that they just can’t sleep without.

Before a move, I will go through all of our books and do a purge of anything I choose to donate, and then with a laundry basket collecting all the random books from the random places to group together. We have so many books that I can’t put all the books in one place anymore, that we end up with a “grown-up books” area and a “kids book area” and a “homeschool books area.”

What I have to remember; I am in the situation where we are only allowed a certain amount of weight. And books weigh. A LOT. Probably more than anything else in the house. So we have to purge, even though I regularly go through these and try to keep donating them. I should probably purge at least one more time before moving again, even if getting rid of any of books is like tearing off my arm.

The next step to apply this idea to everything else in our house. Toiletries (and stashes of extra), clothing, you name it.

Coming up next will be the living room! You’re going to start seeing real progress beginning very soon, I promise!

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