Even if you don't have any skeletons in the family closet, you may have an embarrassing mess - hats, coats, galoshes, tennis racquets and the like. And you've been promising yourself to put it all in order. Someday.
If you want to put off that task just a little longer, spend the time viewing the eminently practical "How to Organize Your Home" (35 minutes, $19.95), an independent video production by Stephanie Schur, founder of Space-Organizers, which has been straightening out homes and businesses since 1983.Schur is fearless as she plumbs the dark recesses of hall closets, basements, garages and the void beneath the bathroom sink. She knows where the clutter gathers and what to do about it.
The tape is a tour of the trouble spots in the typical home (typical for the middle-class suburbanite, that is). Starting at that bothersome hall closet, Schur shows her routine: she dumps all the articles out and puts them in piles by category, decides what should go where and then puts to work any of a number of boxes, bags and other organizing devices.
In a closet, for instance, she is apt to store seldom-used items in boxes - holiday decorations, photographs - and put them on a high shelf. If you lack a high shelf, she suggests making one. For holding gloves, caps and so on, she recommends baskets, and the back of the door accommodates those compartmentalized shoebags that are handy for many items other than shoes.
Each time Schur finishes up a space, an on-screen checklist summarizes the key improvements. These lists (there are separate ones for kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, linen closet and storage areas) should not be skipped because they sometimes provide tips not touched upon by Schur in her narration.
The tape is a fund of common sense and space-saving tricks. Maybe it's no great insight to realize you can store things under the bed, but have you thought of keeping reading matter under there? Books and magazines, which seem to multiply at bedside until they're sliding off the nightstands, can be quickly stowed out of sight in a box or basket.
If all this neatness sounds slightly compulsive, consider the true payoff - simplifying your household so you can enjoy more leisure time.
Schur is not a video or broadcast professional, but she is an experienced public speaker and the tape is well-produced. At the least, it may introduce you to organization products you hadn't known about (there are two plugs for the Lillian Vernon catalogue, one source of such products, as well as an acknowledgement to Rubbermaid, but no outright commercials).
"How to Organize Your Home" is available by mail from SpaceOrganizers, 774 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains, NY 10605. The $19.95 price (payable by check or money order - no credit cards) includes shipping.