Tip #201: Box it up.
I just finished my morning shift of semi-present first-grade oversight and have since locked myself in the office to finish writing about organizing. When everything feels topsy-turvy, I seek comfort in organizing bedsheets. (This is not a joke, though perhaps it should be.) I’m hoping writing about it will be as meditative.
When we moved into this new apartment in September and started to unpack, we gained so much space generally, but lost most of our shelving. Specifically, we lost a closet of shelves where I’d previously kept tidy piles of linens and cloth diapers and also, apparently, a portion of my sanity.
The linen closet was a loss that we’d been more than happy to overlook (slash not something I’d even thought about), while hunting for a place to call our own*, but when we moved in and began to unpack, the missing shelves were quickly apparent. I did what any harried person might in the middle of a move and stuffed our sheets and towels into a clean laundry bag, shoved the whole mess into the bottom of a shelf-less closet, and moved along to more pressing concerns like building a desk for the office and instructing my children not to climb onto windowsills for sport.
Alas, if a neat linen closet can serve as a metaphor for my state of mind, the heaving bag of increasingly unfolded linens at the bottom of the closet started to serve as another. Enter upgraded banker’s boxes and drop-cloth satchels for a temporary storage solution that might just turn permanent.
I organized sheets and pillowcases into uniform cloth satchels (I’ve got Rose Pearlman to thank for these and the full instructions to give tomorrow) and stacked them into collapsible banker’s boxes with lids. Unlike crates, bankers boxes with lids can be stacked one on top of the next. This way we could take advantage of vertical space in a closet without needing to rush into a more permanent shelving solution.
The boxes themselves were gifts from Uashmama—makers of the same bags that we use to keep the kids’ clothes organized in their wardrobe. They’re made of a 100% cotton fiber derived from a part of the cotton fiber typically regarded as waste. They’re also collapsible, which means that they can be broken down and stored flat should the occasion arise. Right now they’re stacked in our closet, but they can also slide under the bed and would look just fine tucked neatly into a corner or on a shelf without a door. Right? Right.
* PS. For anyone who’s curious, there’s a story about our recent move in the New York Times today!