Moving Beyond that Organizational Crutch

I spotted this vintage valet for $20 not long after my husband mentioned he'd like to have one for our bedroom. This serendipitously thrifted piece of furniture, which rarely is so cleared off, is good-looking but has turned out to be a bit of an organizational crutch.

A crutch can take various forms, depending on the organizational issue — and we've all got 'em. The crutch might be your parents' basement that becomes a secondary storage facility or a basket that's intended for one thing but accumulates much more.

In the case of the valet, it's a place to leave clothes rather than putting them away in the closet or the dresser. For now it stays, because it's very hard to change someone else's habits. What I have removed is a chair that had become my own place to put clothes when I changed. I also have ditched a basket near my front door that was intended for leashes but was so big that it became a place to dump random things — magazines, old photocopies, notebooks — that I didn't really need. (I'll be replacing the basket with a smaller one.)

Here's how to get organized without a crutch:

Purge. This month has been a great reminder that I don't need so much stuff, and that it's so much easier to keep organized with less of it.

Commit to doing it now. For bigger projects, another great part of the January Cure is having the push to finally get going on projects. For day-to-day organization, it's also a great reminder to stay on top of things by putting clothes/dishes/toys away once you're done with them.

(Image: Kim Rinehimer)

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Kim has been sharing creative projects and ideas as a Contributor to Apartment Therapy since 2010. Her writing highlights stylish, budget-friendly solutions to common household problems. Kim is a fluent French speaker and a houseplant enthusiast.