For years, my family and friends have commented on my need for organization. I literally become paralyzed if my home and office are not completely organized ~ everything has a place. I laughingly remember the story of my BFF, Allyson, asking me to come and organize the closets in her newly purchased home. While she unpacked boxes in other rooms, I joyously organized her clothes by style, color, season and so on. At the completion of my task, I beamed with pride at my work. Allyson, on the other hand, was completely overwhelmed by the sense of order. While she absolutely appreciated my time and effort, “It’s just too much,” she laughed. I’ve since come to realize that organization and order are relative to the person and their lifestyle.
Girlfriends that know me well (not Allyson ~ smile) often comment that they would love for me to visit their homes and help them get organized; that I should also consider turning this into some type of business. I’m not there yet, but who knows. In the meantime, I thought that I would share some organizing tips that I have come to swear by.
Start small. Don’t try to tackle every room in your home in one day, or one week. Whether a closet, dresser, medicine cabinet, or linen closet decide on what needs the most attention and begin there. This year, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to tackle a room a weekend. I organized one room each weekend, and voila, I finished in short order, without feeling overwhelmed.
Purging is key. My general rule is that if I haven’t used or looked at it in six months, I throw it away. This includes unnecessary paperwork, bills, and old make up. Of course, there are certain caveats to this ~ off-season clothes in storage , unexpired medicine, etc. ~ other than these items, get rid of it. [Note: I’ll post about closet organizing very soon.]
Everything has a place. Storage options are endless these days. Some functional, some fashionable, but yes, everything has a place. In my bathroom for example, I use storage baskets with handles to organize my numerous creams, potions, and lotions. Try using baskets to organize by the following categories: (1) Skin care products; (2) Nail polish, remover, files, etc.; (3) Vitamins; and (4) Hair products, accessories and styling tools.
With stores like TJMaxx and Home Goods, purchasing baskets is an inexpensive endeavor. These resemble what I use in my bathroom; but don’t forget about your own sense of aesthetics. Select baskets that reflect your personal style. I chose brown baskets to pick up the colors in my bathroom. (Even though no one sees them once I close my bathroom closet door.)
Baskets can also be used for other areas of you home. I keep a basket by my bed for all of my magazines. Instead of them piling up on the floor and sliding all over the place, they are neatly stacked and out-of-the-way.
But what about the mounds of paper that we accumulate and are unable to throw out ~ appliance warranties, user manuals, large purchase receipts, etc.? When I purchased my home one of the best gifts I received was the Home Improvement Guide and Document Organizer. Barnes & Noble describes it as two products in one, and it is! The first part of the guide contains over 100 pages of home improvement information, but it’s the second part that counts. It’s an accordion file that allows you to store all of those documents that tend to get stuffed in a drawer somewhere. The sections include paint, flooring, windows and doors, cabinetry and hard surfaces, tubs, toilets and sinks, lighting and lamps, appliances, electronics, exteriors, and miscellaneous. I use this to store receipts, manuals and warranties anytime I purchase a new appliance or pay for work performed in my home.
Now there are times that call more stylish storage; for example where you keep your keys and mail, “inspiration tears” from your favorite magazine, or other files. Here are some of my favorites.
These Horchow Desk Accessories can be used to hold keys and other small items that we tend to throw around our home.
I also love these Mariposa Desk Trays from Horchow to hold your keys.
Place mail in this cute box instead of cluttering surfaces in your house. When it’s full and the lid doesn’t close, you’ll know its time to purge.
Finally, many of us are now addicted to Pinterest ~ raises hand. I love using it to create personal inspiration boards to capture styles I love, as well as interior design and entertaining ideas. But as a lover of magazines, I also see styles, products and ideas of interest among the glossy pages. I love tearing out pictures of a lipstick I want purchase, a tote I’m coveting, or a chaise I want to price. Yes, I type these things into the notes section of my iPad or iPhone, but I need the picture. Saving pcitures can cuase clutter, were it not for these stylish file folders. Check your local papier for style selections.
Once you’ve organized your files. Consider storing them in a stylish file box.
Next week, I’ll post on some very non-traditional organizing tips. If you have questions about organizing in your home, or office, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy organizing!
The Pretty Domestic