Let’s be honest: everyone is looking for simple, easy, and efficient these days. As a type A person with a self-identified organizational gift (not OCD — come on, clearly I don’t have that!), clutter doesn’t stand a chance in my house and clear bins are stacked by the dozens.
This wasn’t always the case, but I will never return to the dreaded cardboard moving boxes. As many people move and look for a move in ready home, I constantly keep a move out ready home.
My husband and I have been married for five years and we have moved four times. We started our marriage by packing our separate lives into boxes and loading up a storage unit. After several states and half-way across the world traveling (no really, we spent three months in Nepal), it was time to set up our first home together in another new state. We got ourselves a moving truck and showed up at the storage unit to stacks and stacks of cardboard boxes.
Now my organizational gift must have been temporarily misplaced when I packed up, and my husband’s military training AWOL, because all we had was a big mess of poorly labeled opaque boxes (feel the anxiety creeping in?!?!?!).
I had tactical plans of loading the moving truck strategically so it would be easy to unload, but undoubtedly that was not going to be an option. So, we just threw that junque (you know, fancy junk) onto the truck and got moving.
A few hours and several nursing stops later (oh yeah, surprise we had a newborn now too), we arrived at our first place. Good news: the organizational gifting reclaimed its post and the AWOL military standards had resumed. In fewer than 15 hours we set up our first apartment and no one would ever have know we had “just moved in.” I don’t mean we were kind of in or partially set up; I mean we were unpacked with art on the walls, curtains hung, tv mounted, dishes washed and put away, and the refrigerator stocked. When we have a mission, we make sure we complete it effectively and efficiently. After a good night’s rest, I made a declaration, “From now on, we will move in clear bins!!” My husband of less than a year at that point just chuckled, he must have thought I was kidding, but I was so serious.
Our budget was low, but my need for bins was not a preference, it was a need;
so I just bought one here and there and began transitioning anything we had in boxes to bins, clear bins. Our boxes of things that didn’t need to be unpacked were in a storage closet off our patio; out of sight, but not out of my mind!
Because of their location, Jeff never noticed the transition of items from boxes to bins, but it was happening (sigh, relief, anxiety leaving). Now I didn’t need to rely on a sharpie, sharpie, sharpie, sharpie label on a possibility of four different sides, I could see right in. In case I had several ill-assorted items in a box, I could tape a sticky note to the inside that could easily be removed and replaced if the contents changed without sharpie, sharpie, sharpie nonsense all over the place. When the job was completed the unit went from junky looking to the great stack of organized bins.
Now our track record for staying in one place was not great, so I knew better than to get complacent in the organizing. So I bought more clear bins; the deep small ones that would fit under the cabinets in the bathrooms and would simply need a lid in order to be ready to move; deep skinny ones that could be toted around the house with cleaners in them, but neatly stacked under the sink; long shallow ones that rolled easily under the bed to house seasonal clothes and shoes. You get the idea: clear bins of all shapes and sizes to keep all the contents of our home ready for moving.
We love new places and adventures and that usually goes hand-in-hand with moving. Since the switch to clear bins, everywhere for everything, we have moved twice more. It was so much easier, efficient, and simple. Everything in the attic, under sinks, and in closets essentially stays packed and is always ready for a lid and lift! We always hang curtains, pictures, and create a homey environment, but we are also fairly move out ready with our life organized strategically in clear bins.
Photo credit: Brittiny Edmonds, Show Me A Smile Photography