Disregard anything I may have said about organizational charts and family cooperation.
I may as well have been smoking crack cocaine when I said that. Organizational charts are useless without a minimum level of family cooperation and family cooperation cannot be achieved with an organizational chart, no matter how much you spend on art supplies.
But that is water under a badly-engineered bridge.
The solution is bins.
I admit that in the past, I may have suggested that hooks and shelves were the answer. I was wrong. I know that now. Hooks and shelves only spread the problem to the walls. You cannot solve a problem by allowing it to expand into another dimension.
Please, just forget what I said about hooks and shelves.
Once or twice, I may have given the impression that wicker baskets in assorted shapes and sizes were the key, combining convenient storage with home decor. I wish to apologize for this.
In hindsight it is easy to see that the convenience of being able to toss loose toys or stuffed animals into an attractive wicker storage basket would be nothing compared to the convenience of being able to throw in assorted bits of trash, dirty laundry and puzzle pieces while claiming to have cleaned your room.
I can now say unequivocally that wicker baskets are not the key.
I should also mention that I am hereby revoking any endorsement I may have implied regarding storage bags and permanent markers in assorted colors. Permanent markers, I now realize, have too many drawbacks to be a useful part of any family organizational system.
I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, "Suburban, how can we trust you on the issue of bins, when you were so completely wrong about organizational charts, family cooperation, hooks, shelves, wicker baskets, storage bags AND permanent markers?"
I know. I know. I have not exactly earned your trust in this area. But when you think about it, who is more likely to have stumbled upon the actual Secret to Organized Family Life than someone who has spent the last dozen years failing to achieve it?
It's bins, trust me. Can 27 quarts of stackable storage capacity be wrong?
Of course not. There is a degree of intent required in the use of a plastic storage bin. No one is going to go to the trouble of pulling out a bin from its place in a tidy stack, removing the snap-on top and placing one-half of a pair of shoes inside, creating the conditions for a 7 a.m. missing footwear crisis. Hooks and shelves, on the other hand, practically guarantee this.
With a plastic storage bin system, such uncontained chaos will no longer make sense. It would be like leaving a lunchbox in the recycling bin or finding unwrapped cheese in your purse.
And that is no way to live. Trust me.
Reprised for your spring cleaning pleasure. You're welcome.
from the Home Storage archives: Uncontainable