Organizing Secrets: Organize Naked

NAKED! For the two-year old, it produces pure delight, squealing and running through the house.

For the modest pre-teen girl, it produces a shriek of anger and warning that you will die a slow a painful death, little brother, if you ever think about opening my bedroom door without knocking again.

For the middle-aged woman, it produces... well... *sigh*

Scary word, "naked." Raw, real, nothing hidden, everything exposed.

However, when you're organizing, naked is an amazing way to learn more about your home. (Emphasis on home... the home gets naked... )

Choose a room. Any room. Take everything off the walls. If you're able, strip down the bookcases, and remove furniture, if you have the space to do it.

Staring at a naked room, empty bookcase, bare closet or cabinets introduces fresh perspective that you rarely attain when plowing through your normal cleaning and sorting. When Stuff is always around, it's hard to separate from the Stuff and visualize anything different.

My husband and I tried this once with all our artwork. We stripped every wall of anything we'd hung -- photos, artwork, calendars, etc. We began selecting our absolute favorite pieces, setting aside the ones that didn't evoke much response any more. Then we chose where we wanted to emphasize our favorite art and photography, giving each favorite a new home where they were thoroughly enjoyed and viewed frequently, based on where we spent the most time in our house.

We shed half our wall art. Did you hear that? Half. And we were able to pass on some nice decor to a single friend who had just purchased a home and had naked walls. (There's that word again.)

So take it off. Take it all off. Start with the mantel of your fireplace (an over-decorated zone in many homes). Look at the coffee table, the buffet. Clear off the top of your dressers and bedside tables. See what you really use, really love, and only put those parts back.

Getting naked is a great organizing tool! (Wow, I really just said that...)

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