Friday, February 12, 2010


Some people (like me) are just natural organizers. I'm great at purging, list making, fitting 30 things into a box that looks like it can only hold 20 and decluttering. I hate nik-naks, always put things back where they go when I'm done using them and I can always find my keys in the morning (Keep looking, Honey, you'll find them eventually.). If this is you too, then I would love to hear your ideas.

Some other people are natural pack-rats, fly by the seat of their pants, figure if they never put anything away then they'll be able to find it easier and just know that they will find a use for those 739 baby food jars that are at the bottom of the closet. If this is you, then you've come to right place.


Are you thinking, "I don't have the time to get organized or I can’t afford to get organized or maybe even my disorganization doesn’t cause any problems in my life?"

1. Can you give me an hour a week? No, how about 30 minutes a week or even 15 minutes a day? Good, then I can show you how to get organized.

2. I am NOT one of those organizers that has matching canisters for all her spices, color coded files for her bills or a $2000 shelving system installed in the master closet and garage. I love containers and having things "matchy-matchy," but it can get very pricey and this is not a prerequisite to getting organized.

3. Be honest with yourself. If you can't fit your car in the garage, if you are constantly late leaving the house because you can't find your keys or the papers you need, if your closets are overflowing or if your basement or attic looks like a storage unit, then it IS causing a problem in your life.


There are tons of organizing web sites out there. Some of my favorites are:


I am constantly looking for new ideas. Some are too strict for me and some are too expensive, but I can always adapt the ideas to my life.

Organization is also not something that you do once and you NEVER have to do again. There are certain things I do on an ongoing basis or at a certain time of the year, like cleaning out my garage in the summer or picking up toys at the end of the day. It's also an ongoing process because I am married to a man (I love you, Richard!) that is not naturally organized. Even I have a junk drawer and a sewing room that is constant need of help, so this is not something you can expect to fix over night.

So, think about your life, pick and choose what will work for you and please leave me your own ideas or comments.

There's no time like the present. Here are some quick ideas of how to get started.

1. Make a TO DO list. This can help in many areas. A grocery list on your refrigerator will help you remember what you need and keep to a budget when you get to the store. In my house if it's not on the list, then I don't buy it. You don't know how many times my husband will say, "Honey, did you pick up any...." and my question to him is, "Honey, was it on the list. No, then I didn't get it." He writes things he wants on the grocery list much more now and asks this question much less now. I also have a TO DO list of what chores I want to get done on the weekend and things I need to accomplish at work. I don't try to clutter my brain trying to remember it all...I make a list. I don't necessarily accomplish it all, but it sure feels good when I can cross things off of it.

2. Tidy the kitchen before you go to bed. Wipe down the counter tops, dump the trash, set the coffee maker, run the dishwasher and do a quick sweep. This takes me about 15 minutes. It feels so good to wake up to a clean kitchen and makes me feel I am ready to start the day.

3. Before you go to bed, set out your clothes for the next day. How many times has your alarm gone off and you hit snooze and then 20 minutes later you are running around trying not to be late and then have to figure out what your going to wear? The more you can do before bed, makes the morning routine run that much smoother.

4. If you take something out, put it back. Not putting things away is the cause of a lot of clutter. Try it. Take one day and every time you take something out, put it away as soon as you are done using it. You'll be amazed at how much less clutter there is laying around at the end of the day.

5. Put one foot in front of the other....START. To get organized you have to start somewhere. Don't set yourself up for failure by trying to do too much at once. Start with one box, drawer or closet. If all you organize in one day is one drawer...well, that's one drawer you won't have to do tomorrow and it's more organized then you were yesterday.

Your last task for today is to find three empty boxes. No, it doesn't matter what color they are or even if they match. Next find a sharpie. Label the four boxes: Trash, Donate/Sell, and Put Away.

Can you guess where we are headed next....hmmmm? Don't panic...we'll do this together!


Richele said...

oh i am so in!

our home, and stuff, EXPLODED when we brought our babies home and i can't keep up.

my three boxes are labeled, and
i'm starting on my list next ...

Connie said...

Am I paranoid, or are you talking about ME here???? I'll tackle this stuff when I move into my house :-)

Jacksmom said...

Ahhh!!! I love you!!! I am soooo in. My house is so cluttered, there are too many toys and no storage space...I keep thinking, well, when I know we will not ever be able to get pregnant and have another one, I will get rid of all of the bins of clothes, toys...Hi, My name is Jen and my whole family is a bunch of packrats!!!