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  Living on the run and leaving a trail
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I am currently serving with AmeriCorps and have relocated for this position and am living with an Aunt. This means I am not able to make this space all mine, therefore I leave the things I don't feel I immediately need at home. Not to mention, I will be back at school in the fall. My room at my aunt's has become a complete disaster, but my living stipend doesn't offer me the option of investing in organizational products. How do I avoid living out of my car and not cluttering every space I occupy on a very tight/ almost non- existent budget?
Posts: 1 | Registered: Apr 08, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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jc, Great question and congrats to you for making the choice to serve with AmeriCorps - you are helping people everyday and, more importantly, helping yourself further your future with your experiences, not to mention your resume.

But living in the situation you describe doesn't entitle you to be a slob or clutter every space you occupy during this challenging time! First, of all, pare it down to the absolute essentials as it sounds like you have done when you say you have left many things at home. But, give everything a second look. Do you REALLY need each item?

No need to pay for "organizational" products ~ the exact thing can be accomplished finding boxes for free and re-purposing them. They might not look as fancy as ones you buy but the use is the same and your room at your aunt's can be streamlined immediately with no clutter.

So, first, pare down. Second, find boxes and cut or design them into compartments of varying sizes. Smaller ones for cosmetics and personal items ~ medium size for papers and books ~ larger size for clothing. Stack them against one or two walls considering practical use - AND THEN, MOST IMPORTANTLY, USE THEM!

Never drop another item or piece of clothing on the bed, dresser or floor - instead put it away in the place it belongs in the wall of boxes you have created. Big Grin

It will take some discipline at first but it can be done and really doesn't take that much effort once you decide that you WANT a concise neat living area and are determined to achieve it. That part is up to you....

Since it's only for the summer, this should be a breeze BUT, if you find that some items are ones you want with you (not willing to leave back home) and yet you don't use them often, then designate the trunk of your car for them. Even if your room at your aunt's house is only an 8x10, you can organize it without any costs involved using the boxing method I've described.

It's really up to the person to devise a method to organize their belongings AND STICK WITH IT! All those pretty organizational products for sale? Guess what, they mean absolutely nothing unless the person involved does the work to sort, shelf and keep it up. This will be a learning experience for you outside of the AmeriCorps (if you are willing) that will be of great value throughout years to come! Good Luck! Cool
Posts: 6487 | Registered: Jan 01, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Idaho gave you some great advice that I wish I had taken during that phase of my life. I was a complete mess. One pile of clean clothing, one pile of dirty clothing. Books and papers in even more stacks. Most of my living took place on the floor or on my bed, which was seldom made. I know that it feels much better to be in control of your possessions. Give up a few hours of fun time and use them to organize as Idaho has suggested. If you keep up with your system, you will feel less harried and happier.

P.S. A great place to store things is under the bed. You can even raise the bed on risers (cheap at linen outlet places) to fit more underneath. The items stored there reduce the number of boxes stacked against the walls.
Posts: 1721 | Registered: Aug 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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does your aunt have access to costco or sam's club? visit with her and take advantage of the heavy duty boxes...

and have you checked with mom and dad or your aunt for comtainers they're not using? i'm sure they'd like to know you're not abusing your room that your aunt has offered you...

and don't forget your luggage! pack away the winter clothes (if it ever ends, lol) and hang stuff up... for instance i don't like to dry my bras so i put them on a hanger to dry and then they go into the closet...
Posts: 8479 | Location: se mi | Registered: Sep 25, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Not sure where I got them but I have plastic storage containers about 6 inches deep about 2 ft. wide x 2 1/2 ft. long and they are all under the bed. Shoes I love but don't wear mosty. Christmas decor, keepsakes, etc.

Yes your foot size goes up if you put on some weight. Yikes.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: real estate lady,
Posts: 9179 | Registered: Aug 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You need to pare down your stuff. Really think through what you are using, and what is just sitting around.

When all 4 of my kids went off to college I helped them pare down to just what they needed. They could fit their things in about three boxes. One box for their bedding, pillows, comforter, a few towels. One box for their clothing. One box for their "toys", meaning electronics, books, sporting gear, hair dryer etc.

If you limit yourself to just the minimum when you are moving a lot, then life is much easier. It is the whole "travel lightly" theory.

If you can get things down to three boxes, then even if you line up the open boxes against a wall, everything will be organized.
Posts: 7075 | Registered: Apr 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I agree with the advice thus far...edit and contain. A footlocker can serve multi purposes. Storage is the main purpose, but it can be utilized as furniture too...a stool or coffee table. It is a popular item for the college bound for these reasons plus it can also be locked. Invest in storage containers with lids and ID each one so that organization and ease of access are implemented. Also, anything with wheels makes it easier to move. Take advantage of vertical space and dead space (under beds, behind doors, under skirted tables, in corners, along ceiling line). Maximize closet space with components that extend too.
Posts: 18382 | Location: Right here, duh! ;) | Registered: Nov 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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