Corraling in boxes.jpg

A friend dropped by to tell me about her summer plans to corral stuff. She is on a year-long project to rightsize her family home (with three teenagers) and to help downsize her parents from their 5-level split to a one-floor home. It’s been a heavy year of letting stuff go, and she wants a break this summer.  Yet she says her corralling of stuff will continue.

Her secret? Keep it SIMPLE. 

While growing up on a mixed farm of cattle and grain, she was very familiar with the concept of corralling. To GATHER TOGETHER. No longer corralling horses and cattle, she is now adept at using any rectangular container to gather similar stuff together (cords of devices, old magazines, unmatched socks, BBQ utensils, scattered garden tools, picnic supplies).

My friend cautions those who are on an organizing or downsizing venture to resist the urge to get organized by buying totes or other containers for organizing and storage.  Instead, she says: “Use what you have”. The bottoms of plastic kitchen containers with missing lids, old shoeboxes, large printer cartridge boxes, empty cereal boxes, Great Gran’s old square cookie tin. Her list goes on and on of readily found corralling containers already in her home. 

Once the organizing and downsizing is done, then go out and buy your totes and containers so you don’t end up with extras or waste money on containers you don’t need.  Only then do you know what you really need for storage.  She suggests that too often we enthusiastically head to a store to purchase containers of various sizes that we think we need to get organized.

Her other secret is STRAIGHT edges — squares and rectangles so they fit together. No round containers where space is wasted as you place them beside each other.

What square and rectangular containers do you have around your house that could be repurposed for corralling, organizing, and storage without acquiring more stuff?

Sounds too simple? It’s summer! Aim for simple.  Time to relax with just a little organizing and downsizing on the side!

Happy Summer Everyone!