It’s spring, and women’s magazines are bursting with their usual pieces on spring cleaning and, of course, getting organized. Most tips are either really self-evident, such as shred documents that contain financial information or your Social Security number and toss spices that have lost their aroma.
But there are always a few tips that make professional organizers shudder. Here are two from the April 27 issue of All You magazine:
“Gather all children’s books and put them back on the shelf.” That sounds fine to me. But here’s the kicker: “Alphabetize books by author’s name to create a miniature library.”
As if parents don’t have enough to do. Now they’re supposed to play librarian and arrange books alphabetically, only to have a sticky-fingered toddler yank them off the shelf? Don’t even bother. If you have young children, corral board books in a basket or bin so kids can easily find what they’re looking for and can help clean up. If your kids are older, there’s no reason they can’t replace books after they’re done reading them.
“Put plush pals in a large bin or upholstered storage ottoman.” No, no, no. Please don’t. Not unless you want your kids to forget about its contents. For children and adults, out of sight is out of mind. That’s why toy boxes are bad news too. If you must “containerize,” stick with clear plastic bins labeled with a photo of what goes inside so kids can clean up on their own.