If there's one thing I'd like you know about organizing (this week,) it's that even the professionals have to experiment. There is not necessarily just one way to organize something, and you may have to try a few techniques to find one that works.
Gather 'round, children, and let me tell you a story about my husband's drawers.
Not THOSE drawers, silly. The ones where he keeps his socks!
Dressing in the Dark
My husband gets kind of tired of not being able to find his socks in the dark. See, he gets up at the crack of dawn (before it, actually) because he likes to get stuff done in the morning before work. I, on the other hand, prefer to sleep through as much of the morning as I can. Since the chest of drawers that holds many of his clothes is in our bedroom, that means he's usually getting ready without any lights on so he doesn't wake me up. (He's sweet like that.)
The problem is that it's pretty much impossible to tell the difference between brown, navy and black when there isn't any light.
Sock Organizing Experiment
Over the years I have tried different methods of organizing his drawers so it's a little easier to grab socks that are at least in the right color family.
First, I switched from rolling to folding. His rolled socks were always getting all jumbled up in the drawer. Making this switch meant that I could line his socks up in nice rows by color. Plus it had the added benefit that I didn't have to roll socks, which I hate, and it extends the life of the elastic.
The next thing I tried was to arrange his sock drawer so that black socks were on one side with white in the middle, and blue & brown on the other side. This helped some, but from the look of his sock drawer, I could tell this still wasn't working that well for him.
My Latest Attempt
This past weekend I decided to try another drawer organizing experiment. Since we moved into our current apartment, his hanging clothes have taken up residence in the guest room closet. I decided that what I should do was swap his clothes from the chest of drawers with the linens in the armoire in the guest room. That way he'd have all of his clothes in the same room AND be able to turn the light on to find his socks. Genius!!
It didn't work.
While his clothes would all fit nicely into the armoire, too many of the linens just wouldn't work in the chest. OMG! I've got my own organizing business. Shouldn't I be able to knock out a simple sock drawer? Maybe I should give up.
Or maybe I could just go back to the drawing board.
One of my ideas was to move the furniture...swap the chest and the armoire completely. (I know it sounds pretty obvious, right?) But I listened to my dear hubby who did not want to move furniture around just so he could see his socks.
What I ultimately came up with was swapping some of the other clothes in the drawers. Instead of having all of his socks in one drawer, I divided them up. Black socks and Dallas Stars socks (he has a lot of these) in one drawer and white, brown and navy socks in another. That way he'd at least know in the dark that he wasn't going to end up wearing black socks with brown shoes.
Then another light bulb went off...
A small book light that we weren't using is now taking up residence on the chest. It's enough light that he can look inside the drawers, but not so much that I would have any awareness of it while I sleep.
Maybe one day we'll be able to get all fancy with something like this light strip for drawers from Ikea, but until then we'll work with what we have until we find a solution that sticks!
I know you don't really care about my husband's socks
The point I'm trying to make here is that you're sometimes (often) going to have to experiment to find a system that works. There's absolutely nothing wrong with some trial and error! It can be discouraging when it takes awhile to find a solution. You want to organize a thing once and be done with it! I just want you to know that even the professionals may have to try a few things before a solution sticks.
Do you have organizing experiments that you keep plugging away at? Share it in the comments and see if anyone else has ideas!