29 days a leaping

Leap Day — oh, it’s such the mysterious date on the calendar. Every four years it appears and gives us an extra 1,440 minutes. It’s a bonus day just hiding out in February. Sneaky, sneaky.

Geralin Thomas, long-time friend of Unclutterer and owner of Metropolitan Organizing in Cary, North Carolina, has an article up on the Fine Living Network website with suggestions for how to spend this day. One of her organization suggestions from the article is quite cool (pun intended):

Just Chill: If you scramble around, wasting time looking for your reading glasses, mobile phone, remote control or car keys on a regular basis, it’s probably because you don’t have a designated place for things. While this idea sounds crazy, it works! Get a cafeteria-style tray – the kind with separated compartments – and a label maker. Label the sections: Keys, Glasses, Wallet, etc. Before going to bed, put these items in their appropriate place and set the entire tray, contents and all, in the fridge.

Happy Leap Day!

22 Comments for “29 days a leaping”

  1. posted by urban bohemian on

    Sounds like a great idea, but perhaps the front entry table instead of the fridge? It’s already plenty cold outside, I don’t want to aid it by having overnight-chilled items all over my person underneath the layers too!

  2. posted by Rick on

    Who has room for a cafeteria style tray in the fridge? My fridge is not cluttered at all, but I’ve got FOOD in there, and a whole tray would take up a whole shelf. There’s got to be a better way…

  3. posted by Daniel on

    A cafeteria tray?? You’ve got to be joking. It doesn’t sound crazy, it sounds like what it is: ugly, space-hogging, and unsuited for the purpose. Sorry, Ms. Thomas, fine living that ain’t.

    Her mesh-bag laundry idea is equally repulsive. I’m sorry, but I like my clothes to come out clean, my washer not to be unevenly weighted, and my dryer to get the job done as quickly as possible rather than having to dry through a big clump of confined clothes.

    The only good part of her article is the admonition to get a labelmaker.

    If this is the sort of thing Leap Day brings us, I’m happy it only comes once every four years!

  4. posted by Sara on

    Yea, not really getting the fridge idea. Tray with labels – great idea. But why in the fridge? My iPod already has enough problems running in cold weather. I think on a table or counter should be plenty safe enough, unless you really feel you lose things enough that you will misplace and entire tray that was only set out the night before (and even I’m not that bad!)

  5. posted by Some Dude on

    Not only does that seem like a terrible idea for your washer and dryer, but doesn’t the concept of dumping the contents of the bags into the drawers without sorting go against the entire mission of this blog? How is this good living?

    I’ll take my socks sorted and paired, thank you.

  6. posted by Josh on

    Woah, I live in Cary NC!

    Anyway, the next leap-Friday doesn’t happen until 2036. We need to enjoy this one as much as possible!

    I think it’s a cool idea. Most people go to the fridge in the morning — or they should for water — and having my wallet in there will certainly stand out. I also tend to like cafeteria trays. I wanted to buy some to use instead of dishes but my wife nearly strangled me for suggesting it.

    -Josh

  7. posted by LoveandSalt on

    Doesn’t anybody think this is funny? Lighten up–it’s a day that probably doesn’t even exist anyway!

  8. posted by Michael on

    I’ll be spending this day working…because it’s a work day, like every other day of the week.

  9. posted by Jeff on

    I don’t get it . . . . Its Friday, I’m at work. When I get off, I’ll do what I do every Friday night (try to take over the world). What makes February 29th the day to freeze your ipod and cause your dryer to go crazy trying to dry clothes?

  10. posted by Mer on

    I live in Cary, too, and I’ve never heard of her. I don’t get her fridge idea either.

  11. posted by Emily Lauren on

    I think it would make my glasses fog up after I put them on… as if I’m not nerdy enough!!

    (Of course, I also can’t make it down the stairs without them, hardly, so I always know where they are…)

  12. posted by Shay on

    Yeah, seriously? “An extra day!” Golly, it’s a Friday. I work on Fridays. No one declared that Friday wouldn’t happen this week because we don’t normally get a Feb 29th… Anyway.

    I also think the fridge idea is a bit silly, but here’s what I do with all that stuff (in case it helps someone). I keep a small plastic Tupperware-style bin on the shelf in my coat closet where I keep keys, sunglasses, a garage door opener… plus anything I need to remember to bring with me on the way out the door next time I go. On the back of the door to the closet, I have an over-the-door hooks with my briefcase and purse on it. So when I’m ready to go in the morning, it’s one stop shopping – coat, purse, keys, and stuff for errands!

  13. posted by Beth on

    Isn’t more about getting into a routine on where to put things? Heck, you can have all the trays in the world but, if you are just throwing your keys on the kitchen counter or sticking them in your pocket, it still won’t help.

    So – when I get home –
    [1] Car keys on hook
    [2] Client keys in bin on counter
    [3] Cell phone in charging stand
    [4] Purse on dining room chair
    [5] Hang up coat

    Reverse on the way out the door in the morning.

    Doesn’t seem complicated?

  14. posted by Roger on

    Leap years are more interesting than every 4 years. The calculation of divisible by 4 does make it a leap year UNLESS the year is evenly divisible by 100. However 2000 was a leap year, the third test is if the year is evenly divisible by 400, then it IS a leap year. That is why 2000 was a leap year but 1900 was not.

    For us on salary we always look forward to February since there are fewer workdays for the same amount of pay. However leap years dilute that a bit.

    How about being born on 2/29? That would be fun.

  15. posted by Jon King on

    I like the “just chill” part… as in slow down… if you do you will probably remember where you put all this stuff.

  16. posted by Andamom on

    This is a repeat of similar organizers that uncluttered wrote about some months back. The real goal here is to put your stuff in one spot so that you know where to retrieve it when you need it.

    On the Leap Year thing — To many, it may seem like an extra day. However, it was just a normal day to me. Well there were some system problems at work because of the extra day — but happily our application wound up being okay. Then, I realized it was 1 extra day until I am paid and 1 extra day of waiting before Spring starts. You know that kind of stuff… but not just a random extra day to enjoy.

  17. posted by Kat on

    I’ve been keeping my keys, purse, and whatever else I always need on my way out together, and put them in that same place when I walk into my home, no matter where I lived.

    As for using the refrigerator for storage, I think Geralin Thomas presumes that most people open their refrigerator door before they go to work, whether to get a lunch made the night before, to grab a piece of fruit, a soda, a slice of cold pizza, cream, milk, juice or your ground coffee or beans (unless you don’t keep it in your refrigerator) to make coffee. I think the point of using the refrigerator for storage is just to get you in the habit of going to the same place to get what you need each day. Once it’s a habit, you could then choose a better place. I know that if I am terrified of forgetting something that will not fit in my purse or in the area where I keep my things, I just put it in my car, because I have to drive wherever I go. I think in that way, I’m using my car as Thomas suggests using one’s refrigerator. I like the refrigerator idea particularly for the summer months, since I live in a suburb of Phoenix, Ariz.

    One reader didn’t like the idea of a cafeteria tray, and to that I say don’t use one. Use something else instead. Since no one will see it but you and your significant other or family members, I don’t see why it would be so objectionable.

    By the way, thank you for this site, which I just stumbled upon today and wish I had found years and years ago since I have been trying to become less and less cluttered as the years go by.

    It’s nice to see that there are others out there who think like I do since whenever I tell someone I’m getting rid of more things or decluttering more than I have, they look at me like I’m insane.

    I plan to get my environment to the point where I have only a few things I truly love, including my golden retriever and whatever it is she needs. Everything else is clutter.

  18. posted by Marie on

    I feel bad for those people who have birthdays on Feb 29.

  19. posted by molly on

    My husband and I spend Leap Day celebrating our anniversary. It is a great day to get married because it cuts down on anniversary clutter since you really only need to celebrate once every four years! 😉

  20. posted by Thom on

    Yes there is a logic in putting your things in a designated spot where you know you’ll look. But it makes no sense at all to choose the FRIDGE.

    1. A well organised fridge won’t have room for a tray of stuff that doesn’t need to be chilled.
    2. It’s a waste of electricity to put warm things (which many of these items will be, having just been removed from or close to your body) in a fridge.
    3. Glasses will fog; some watches will be unhappy in the cold and *dampness* of a fridge and may well malfunction; leather doesn’t take kindly to cold and damp storage either.
    4. All these things will be chilly when you come to retrieve them – ugh.
    5. Assuming that you get dressed in your bedroom, and that these things go on your body or in your pockets when you get dressed, why would you want to have to go to the kitchen to retrieve them first?
    6. While it’s true that people often misplace such things, they tend to misplace them not overnight but during the day. So this really isn’t a solution for anything.

    Conclusion: kind of stupid and illogical and, if it’s meant to be funny, it’s failed.

    PS. Is someone perhaps confusing 29 February with 1 April?

  21. posted by Lauren on

    First, I absolutely LOVE my DVR (Tivo or whatever you call it in your neck of the woods)- it has spoiled ‘regular’ TV for my hubby and I.

    Second, some might have missed the message. Ms. Thomas recommended putting socks and underwear in laundry bags, not stuffing your jeans, towels, etc. like a sausage into one and then overwhelming your W&D…BTW- My hubby mentioned that his lacrosse team used to do something similar- each player would bag up their uniform in a labeled, mesh laundry bag and a team volunteer would take them home and wash.

    Also, ‘just chill’ seems like it was meant to
    1. drive the point home re: assigning things a home and, if you have to, be unconventional. She definitely got your attention.
    2. illustrate that what works for some doesn’t work for others i.e. the chronically disorganized or those with ADD, etc.

    Lighten up, people 🙂

  22. posted by Daniel on

    Lauren —
    What she said was to put all your white stuff in one bag and all your colored stuff in another bag, then “Throw the entire bag into the washer and dryer”. This is much more likely to cause malfunctions and inefficiencies than using many small bags with one uniform per bag. The suggestion about the fridge probably makes marginally more sense in climates (and seasons) where things are always warmer than you’d like.

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