Organizing Mission in Philadelphia

Last week I traveled across the country to Philadelphia to visit my 103-year-old grandmother. She had recently moved into a new room in her assisted-living building, and the transition had been less than smooth. It occurred while she was hospitalized, so she returned to a new, smaller room full of things that family members had unpacked.

She has always been a meticulous housekeeper, and she was very distressed not knowing where her things were. I totally understand that frustration. I hate that at-odds feeling too so much that it motivates me to keep paperwork, food items and clothes organized. I reassured my grandmother that I’d organize her room for her.

Group like items together to make your closet work most efficiently

Her closet contained a mirror and picture from a previous resident, and her clothes were haphazardly hung. First I weeded out all the flimsy metal hangers from the dry cleaner and replaced most of them with sturdy plastic hangers from the nearby Dollar Tree (6 for $1, a good value). Then I grouped like items together: pants on the closet’s left side, shirts in the middle and jackets on the right. And because aides help her to dress, I labeled each section of the closet so its contents would remain organized. I gave the mirror and picture to a nurse to return to the owner’s family.

Then I did the same sort-and-group maneuver with the clothes in the armoire. I tossed unmatched socks. Underwear went into one drawer, pajamas into another. Scarves were collected and stacked on a high shelf along with pantyhose, which she rarely wears. The clothing she wears daily went into the most accessible drawers. And I labeled all the drawers.

Put items you rarely need on your highest and lowest shelves

The whole process took under two hours, and the result was an organized space with even more room than before. I know that having everything in its place gave my grandmother tremendous peace of mind, and seeing her happy made me happy too.


About organizesf

Professional organizer June Bell ( combats clutter and chaos with sage advice, tested techniques and good humor.
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3 Responses to Organizing Mission in Philadelphia

  1. Susan says:

    Ah… June. Not only are you a superior organizer, you are an awesome granddaughter as well!

  2. Sheila Bell says:

    A mission in meticulousness. Everything in its place, labeled and easy to find. Your visit to Gram was the highlight of her week. Thanks for all you did. Mom

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