If you live in a part of the world that observes the daylight savings time adjustment, there's a good chance that you set your clocks back one hour this past Sunday. How many times have you heard that we "get an extra hour" during the "fall back" portion of the daylight savings time change? Sure, the actual change in time happens at 2:00am, but it feels like you actually gain an hour in your day. But the big question every year is always "how are you going to spend your extra hour?" 

There are so many different and (arguably) useful ways you can make efficient use of the extra hour you've cheated out of the day. Some like to sleep through it, others prefer to watch an extra hour of television, while others take the opportunity to start a new project or craft. Heck, I've even heard someone say "I think I'll start to learn a new language." I'm not sure how far you can get in picking up a new alphabet in an hour, let along verb conjugation or vocabulary memorization, but hey, more power to them.

This year Wendy was dead set on making an efficient and effective use of our extra hour, in spite of my best efforts to sleep right through it. Quite honestly, nothing would have made me happier than to get an extra hour of zzz's this past weekend, but I have to hand it to Wendy, her ideas were far more practical and especially necessary given the items on our ever growing to-do list. So back to the big question of "how did we spend our extra hour?"

Wendy almost jumped out of bed on Sunday morning (or at least that's how I saw it when I was trying to keep my head buried under the covers), and she hit the ground running cleaning. Wendy started the day by packing up the Halloween decorations, and organizing her closet, her clothes, and pulling aside several bags of items to donate to charity. She was so inspiring (I think that's what you call it when she keeps saying "Come on, get out of bed, get a move on, stop just laying there, you've slept enough!") that I couldn't resist getting out of bed to start working on the same task. 

At the onset, it was organized chaos to say the least. My closet had gotten out of hand. Clothes were draped over the bars, other clothes piled on the floor, and my shoes hidden from view. 

Wendy's clothes in her closet were far better off than mine, but she was in the deep throws of the change over from summer to winter clothes, so there were plastic tubs of clothes all over the room and folded clothes piled up on the bed. 

That was the real reason I was "encouraged" from my slumber, as the clothes and Lulu were overtaking my sleeping area.

I started by removing everything that was ancillary from my closet and spreading it all over the room and making piles. That seemed like the most logical approach to this organization process.

My piles, combined with Wendy's piles, made super piles which made us feel like our clothes were taking over our entire room. As the oxygen felt like it was being squeezed from the room by the multiplying clothes, Lulu couldn't even feign interest in the whole task, and instead enjoyed the partially made bed.

The key to this little project was our ability to sort through all of our clothes and determine which items needed to be packed away for the winter, which needed to be taken out of storage (the areas above our closets), and which we simply didn't like or haven't worn in years and could be donated. I had my fair share of trying on shirts and then saying, "How does this look? Should I get rid of it?"

I sorted through all of my clothes and came up with quite a few that could be donated. Telltale signs that I hadn't worn something in a very long time? How about a 2008 Nationals schedule and receipt from late 2007. The receive was for lunch where I ordered a chicken sandwich. The last time I had worn this particular coat, I was still eating meat. Off to the donation pile it went.  

After digging through all of our clothes, Wendy and I compiled a pretty solid collection of clothes to donate. To be exact, we gathered up six shopping bags full of our old stuff that we'll dropping at a local charity.

Wendy packed all of her summer clothes neatly into their storage bins and we stowed them safely in the upper storage above the closet. 

Inevitably, when you clean things up and organize you run across items that make you pause and remember where you were when you picked something up. Wendy came across our Mardi-Gras masks from our 2011 trip to New Orleans, and decided to try them on for the camera. Now she wants to make sure we throw a party sometime where we can wear these masks.

I thinned out all of my clothes in the closet, hung everything where they needed to go, and got everything sorted out and put back in place in my closet. Here's my closet's "after" photo. 

In case you're observant and wondering, yes, those are all pairs of jeans hanging along the bottom bar in my closet. I'm a bit of a jeans hoarder, and this is how I can store them all. It's totally overkill and a little nuts, but there's little I do in life that isn't "totally overkill and a little nuts."

Wendy kept working on her clothes and getting everything in her closets and drawers tidy and nicely organized. Check out just how lovely and wonderful her winter sweaters looked all nestled in their beds.

Unfortunately, I'm a horrible photographer and neglected to take pictures of Wendy's cleaned closets. I was so fixated on my own closet, I became an insensitive and selfish husband and focused only on my efforts. I'll make it up Wendy and all of you on the Internet and get some photos up a little later. Until then, you can curse my name, I will understand.

All told, our extra hour in the day allowed us to knock out a necessary but often neglected task in our home. We were able to collect items for donation, clean out our closets and drawers, and determine clothes we need to purchase to round out our winter wardrobes. Perhaps I need to focus a little more on nicer clothes for work than purchasing more jeans? Just an idea I'm throwing out there.

Now we can appreciate our closets and drawers in all of their clean and pristine glory...without clothes spilling all over the place.

What sort of things did you do with your extra hour? Did you knock out any small tasks? Or perhaps you kicked off some big projects? If you had intended to do something but never got around to it, what sort of thing did you fail to get moving on?

Comments 19


11/5/2012 at 10:14 AM
Oh those neat and organized closets are making me so jealous. Maybe I'll use Veteran's Day to tackle the same project in my house. I used my extra hour to SLEEP. I think I deserved it after running a half marathon on Saturday :)
Just wait until I actually get Wendy's closet photos up. She's much better about organization that I am.

A half marathon eh? Well done! What a perfect scheduling date for a race like that given the extra sleep. Someone was thinking.
11/5/2012 at 10:40 AM
Not really the extra hour, but I spent 2+ hours with my hands in the dirt weeding a stretch of ground. It was overgrown with weeds and crabgrass that I had killed by covering with a trash bag and now needed removal for the soon installation of fig trees!
Fig trees you say? Pay no attention if you see people rummaging around in your yard when they start to ripen up. Pay no attention at all.
11/6/2012 at 11:06 AM
If you have a place for one, I am sure that I could spare one ... we don't need 10 of them around the house! It could go in a pot (and be stored inside over winter) or next to a south facing wall for a little extra heat.

11/5/2012 at 10:46 AM
Mike is a pants hoarder - although not nearly to the extent that you seem to be?! I think he has 6 pairs of jeans and 11 pairs of dress pants.
I think "Jeans hoarder" may be an appropriate title for me. I think I own like four or five pairs of dress pants, but I've gone crazy on the jeans. I think I'm up to 21.
11/5/2012 at 11:30 AM
We worked on project closet as well. Ahh the joy of an organized closet ;)
You guys have definitely put in a good effort to give yourself a nicely organized closet, it's looking great!

We're planing on sharing how we got to where we are on the closet makeover, and I think you might enjoy those posts.

Anyone who hasn't seen Kristen's closet updates, you can see it here: www.storefrontlife.com/master-bedroom-closet-part-2/
Kelly C.
11/5/2012 at 8:54 PM
Omygosh, you had Mike Holmes come to your house? So jealous & I wish I could watch the episode!
11/5/2012 at 9:14 PM
Haha yeah Mike Holmes saved us from our leaky home! The episode is called Moisture Madness and it was aired in the US as well, so you might be able to find it streaming on hgtv.com .

Thanks for the kind words Alex! I'm looking forward to your posts, I always like the how to's and the behind the scenes!
Spring Altman
11/5/2012 at 1:34 PM
My husband and I used our extra hour to early vote in the swing state of Ohio.
It was about an hour wait but worth it to have it done.
Good idea! I'm sure we're going to see loooong lines tomorrow morning.
Karin K
11/5/2012 at 6:46 PM
Sigh. I need to do this in four bedrooms and a linen closet. This post is the kick in the butt I needed. Plus, I'm also reminded that I need quarter round in my hallway. Don't you guys want to do a givaway offering up your personal services? Haha....
Great idea, Karin! We'll be there in...2014? Right after our master bathroom and storm windows are done. :-) We're hopeless when it comes to time management.
Threadbndr (Karla)
11/7/2012 at 12:16 PM
Well, I spent that hour (and many more) helping my son and sister install a new sliding glass door between her kitchen and back deck. Ah the joys of 1970s tract construction - we had to replace a chunk of rotted out subfloor once we got the old door out. But the new door is safer - it locks properly. And it has internal blinds and we had a great time trashing the old, nasty vertical blinds.

Only problem is that we get to do it again this coming weekend on the tenant's side (she owns a duplex).

I'm so glad that her tenants are pretty handy people, too. It took both my son, the husband half of the tenants and one of the neighbors to lift the new door into place. Those suckers are HEAVY.

The neighbor is taking one of the old doors to put into his shop shed and the other one is going to the Habitat ReStore along with the old light fixtures that JC took down to put up ceiling fans when we redid both the kid's bedrooms at his house.

I REALLY want to get back to my place after helping my son and sister with their houses almost every weekend this fall.
They're so lucky to have such a willing and skilled family member! Those kinds of projects are so unpredictable. Until you get the old (fill in the blank) out, you never quite know what you're dealing with.

Good luck this weekend and I hope you get back to your project list soon. :-)
michelle o
11/7/2012 at 10:26 PM
Good thing Wendy "hoards" shopping bags, or you would have had nothing to put your stuff in for charity! :)

Looks great. Can't wait to read more about how you built your closets
Hahahaha! My thoughts exactly, Michelle! (I may have pointed that out a time or two during our sorting efforts.) :-)
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