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The Art of Organization
by Mel June 1st 2009, 07:04 AM

Article featured in Avatar - Volume 2, Issue 11 (May 2009).

The Art of Organization
By Strider (Nat)

When teens talk about organization it either sounds like a fatal disease or a goal that is so far out of the spectrum of possibility that it will never be reached. Some teens proudly exclaim, “I am organized!” as though labeling boxes and drawers has the same significance as finishing first in a marathon. Others use the ‘kick-things-in-a-pile-and-hope-they-never-need-to-find-them-again’ method. No matter which category you identify with, these are the top ‘dos and don’ts’ to get your room in ship shape condition this spring.

Do use a cupboard, dresser, or closet to keep your clothes organized in. Make sure that there are separate drawers or compartments to keep different articles of clothing in, such as a drawer for t-shirts and another for shorts. Use your organizer for clean clothes along with a basket that you can keep for dirty clothes.

Don’t pile your clothes haphazardly on your floor. If you have a system set up for putting them away, then it shouldn’t take a lot of time. It will save time in the future that you could spend doing more interesting things, and face it- the piles do make it difficult to get around or even remember you have a floor sometimes.

Do have a place set aside for papers. This can be a plastic bin, shelf, or even just a cardboard box. As long as you have one place for all of your extra bits of paper lying around, you won’t ever lose them. And if you want to get really fancy, you can have multiple bins for your different kinds of paper (blank, lined, coloured, scrap).

Don’t just toss your papers anywhere you see a spot. They are likely to get covered in a new layer of junk and never found again. Most of us aren’t archaeologists, after all.

Do have a spot for your school things (bag, books, homework). Go out and buy a pack of hooks from your nearest dollar or hardware store. That way you have a place to hang your bag, as well as anything else that might need to hang up (coats, belts, scarves). Have a spot on your desk or shelf reserved for your schoolwork and books.

Don’t fling your bag in one corner, your papers on top of junk on your desk, and your books on your bed. Chances are you won’t be able to find them among the rest of the mess, or you’ll end up losing your homework.

And no matter what, don't make this complicated! If you have a place for your clothes, papers, and school stuff, the rest of your room will sort itself out. If you think it will help, pick up a shelf or organizer that you can use to separate your things. It’s perfectly fine if you still have some junk leftoverno one is perfect! Remember that this is about making your room a little easier to navigate through, without making your life miserable.

Some tips from fellow TeenHelpers:

Kel - "If I can't find something a place I give it away. I have a couple junk drawers…I put all my winter clothes and other items in my basement for storage. Then I can have more room."

St. Vincent (Edna) - "I just cleaned out my bookshelf and stored 2 huge boxes of books I won't read anymore. I also cut down my wardrobe, cleaned and stored my winter clothes. Took some clothes to goodwill, and gave some to a family friend. I bought closet organizers from Ikea to manage my current wardrobe and then spent the rest of the money on shoes."

BrittneyNicole (Brittney) - "I'm definitely the most organized in my family. I have bins and boxes and labels for everything. When I'm bored, I organize."

moyshi239 - "For clothes I don't need, I donate them to salvation army. Why throw out a perfectly good piece of clothing when someone else can use it?"

Casey - "My room is my sanctuary… When I do clean it, it's very neat. Every bit of paper that I don't need goes in one or two boxes. Clothes go in the closet and drawers, organized by what they are-pants, shorts, short sleeve, no sleeve, long sleeve, etc. Books are organized by how much I like them, how often they are read, and by whether they are scholarly or for fun. Everything else is organized by color, type, what it is, or where ever I can stick it."

Last edited by Mel; April 4th 2010 at 08:20 AM.
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