Monthly Archives

September 2015

Must…. Buy…. Containers…. Or maybe not.

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When you’re setting out to organize, it’s easy to let your imagination run away with you and rush out to buy all the best organizing doo-hickeys and baskets and containers and everything else stores and magazines tell you you absolutely need in order to organize your space. But guess what, chances are you’ll spend a lot of money for stuff you don’t actually need. There are a couple of steps you can go through to avoid spending a lot of money or having to deal with returning a bunch of items once your done with your organizing project.

First, pull out everything you have in that room/space and sort it into piles (i.e. trash, donate, for friends, keep in space and put in storage). This will make a bigger mess, but it always looks worse (way worse) before it gets better (helpful hint so you don’t freak out when it happens). From there, notice what you already have lying around. Hopefully you just put a good amount into the trash, donate and for friends piles – what were those items held in? Is there anything you can group together (still keeping like with like) that will free up a container? Do you have a random basket tucked away in a closet that you just couldn’t part with, and until now haven’t had any reason to use but just knew one day you would? Chances are you already have storage bins and containers without having to go to the trouble of buying a lot more. I’m a big advocate of using what you have. I understand wanting spaces to look trendy with matching baskets and complimentary colors, but if you’re more concerned about being money-savvy, get creative and see what you have lying around your house… or in your basement… or attic… or closet… or under the bed…

And where does that go?

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Happy Monday! Man, I never knew how quickly a week could go until I had a deadline to meet each week. People who do daily blogs have my utmost respect!

So, for this blog I’m pulling from another person experience. Not personal as in ‘I’ve noticed this in myself so learn from my mistake’, but personal as in ‘I’ve noticed this about people around me so learn from their mistake’. Here it is – when you are done with something PUT IT AWAY RIGHT AWAY. I guarantee if you get in to this habit you are going to be amazed at how clean your house stays.

Done eating breakfast? Don’t leave the dish(es) in the sink where they will pile up and then just become overwhelming and not something you want to tackle after a long and exhausting day. Take the bowl and spoon directly to the dishwasher (assuming, of course, you have a dishwasher. If you don’t, keep a soap dispensing sponge brush handy and give that dirty dish a quick clean after using it).

All done making that amazing cup of coffee? As you drink it, take a minute to put away whatever you had to pull out to make it. Just came in from running an errand or picking the kids up from school? Put your keys, sunglasses, purse, wallet, shoes, and whatever else you brought in with you where they go. Get in this habit and your evening won’t entail cleaning up the messes that have accumulated around your house throughout the day.

Obviously we don’t always have time to put things away right away. On those days, put the dirty dishes or scissors or paperwork or tape or check book and calculator or whatever it is away as soon as you can.

*Bonus points if you have kids and start teaching them to do this with their toys, clothes, school items, etc. It will be a good reminder for you to do it as well.
**If you made time to take it out, take time to put it back.

Forget the counter top, I thought i had a table here….

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A few weeks ago I wrote about paperwork taking up precious counter space, but let’s be honest – for most people it’s not simply paperwork cluttering the counter tops and table tops, it’s life…. in every form it can take. Bills, pens, pencils, keys, homework, the newspaper, magazines, books, spare change, photographs, ticket stubs, fliers, coupons, random items we aren’t even sure how they got there or where they go and so much more that, yeah, it can get out of control very quickly.

But it’s also not just counter tops that can be collection points – ANY flat surface is a magnet for junk. So, on places where you don’t want clutter to collect, keep just one or 2 items so it’s obvious when something gets put down that doesn’t belong. And then be proactive and put that item away.

If the space just naturally has more than 1 or 2 items, keep a small basket or bowl or jar to keep the junk contained. Usually a space gets cluttered over time – this one small single item turns in to multiple items that turns in to a pile that gets bigger and then maybe another pile gets added to it and eventually you can’t even see the counter/desk/table top.

Believe it or not, keeping the items contained in something (as long as it’s not a large container) will actually make going through the items less overwhelming. When clutter gets out of hand is when the out of control feeling starts and our natural tendency is to push-off taking care of it until another day. To combat this, set aside a specific time each week to go through that collection bin/jar/bowl and deal with the items right away. Put them where they go.

Now, go look around your house and see what surface needs to be cleared.

To keep or not to keep, that is the question…

By | Guest Post, Weekly Tip | No Comments

It’s time for another guest post! I’m sticking with Laura from because I think she has great, practical advice that can help everyone with organizing. And she’s really nice too.

This is an excerpt from a blog post from WAAAAY back in 2012. It’s called ‘How to make decisions about your stuff when you hate to make decisions’. For the people who want to purge before they start organizing (which really should be everybody, let’s be honest), but have no idea how to go about that, Laura has 5 tips to help make the decision easier. Her 5th tip is asking a friend. She writes:

Friends see things that we might not and are coming from a viewpoint perhaps completely different than our own. This is helpful when we have alternate scenarios to choose from and can’t make up our minds on something. Whether it’s deciding if we should toss a sweater we’ve loved for perhaps far too long or the color of paint to choose for our walls, friends can be valuable resources. An honest friend that can gently say to me, why in the world would you ever keep that shirt, is a friend I want in my life forever. Just be careful not to ask too many friends for opinions at one time as you’ll only make things more complicated for yourself.

What are the other 4 ideas? Click the blog title and check them out.


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