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
I own 83 plastic bins.
And my house is a damn mess woman!
Posted by: Miss Britt | March 05, 2008 at 01:35 PM
La la la la la. (That is the sound of me singing with my fingers in my ears...)
Posted by: suburban kamikaze | March 05, 2008 at 01:58 PM
What I think is endearing -- hell, what is just downright adorable -- is your sunny, Midwestern optimism.
Oh. Wait. You are only IN the Midwest by main force. You're from Florida. So you're not optimistic, just deluded.
Good for the economy, though, all that bin buying.
Posted by: Robert K | March 06, 2008 at 06:28 AM
just wait until one of your kids comes home after seeing the proverbial environmental light (not that there's anything wrong with it, of course) and says: "mom, do you have any idea how you will be polluting the world with all those plastic bins?"
(not that this has happened to me, you know. i only have about 20 plastic bins.)
however, i have found this argument helpful, should you ever find yourself in that moment: "sweetheart , do you have any idea how you will be polluting the world with all those toys and crafts materials you seem to be hoarding in your room? i'll call off santa/chanukah and you can play with something more environmentally friendly. like tree bark."
Posted by: sher | March 07, 2008 at 11:36 AM
This, right here, "Hooks and shelves only spread the problem to the walls" is where I started laughing SO hard that the tears poured out. I'll have to re-read this once I can see clearly again.
Posted by: Mr Lady | March 10, 2008 at 09:46 PM
Does this mean I shouldn't be smoking crack cocaine? Because I keep mine in a bin.
Posted by: foolery | March 12, 2008 at 04:01 PM
Posted by: eurolush | March 24, 2010 at 11:46 AM
The answer is actually a 30 yard dumpster. It is amazing how the "youngsters" start taking care of their own belongings the minute the garbage man delivers that lovely, empty, heart warming dumpster. As it is large enough to drive a car into they know you mean business. And yes, I've done it
Posted by: Ruth | March 25, 2010 at 07:18 AM
Ruth is my new hero.
And my basement is full of bins that my kids think are full of the latest toys, should be promptly pulled over and spilled everywhere, only to be disregarded when it is determined that they contain books with no pictures.
Posted by: Forgotten | April 01, 2010 at 06:00 AM