Since moving to a larger house this summer and spending the last three months learning the ropes of our new home base with more space to spread out, store things and lose things, I can’t help but call to mind wise words from Uncle Ben in Spiderman: “Remember, with great power, comes great responsibility.”
I don’t know if I’d call it “power,” but I do feel that making the most of my home is a privilege, and one that comes with the responsibility of creating some semblance of order, and not losing my stuff or my mind.
I love for my things to be organized and look good while doing it. Too much clutter drives me crazy, but bland and boring storage solutions drive me almost equally as crazy. So here are a few organizing tips and tricks that help keep me sane and that I actually enjoy looking at, too:
BOOKSHELVES & BASKETS
These two items can hold a lot of stuff, and be made to look cohesive and attractive in any room of your house. I tend to use the same type of basket in any given area, but have all different colors and textures of baskets (and bookshelves) throughout my house. They can hold books, cards, photos and crafting supplies:
A few more of my favorites uses……
Toys, extra bedding, shoes and bedside clutter (be gone!)
And of course, the old standard – the bathroom magazine basket.
Even though I have a home office space at our new house, where I find myself spending the lion’s share of my time doing desk work, filing, bill paying and computer time is at this 2×5 ft. (?) desk, in my kitchen. It is where bills and mail come in and are filed, where I write my grocery lists and scribble out way too many post-it notes each day. It’s where I even get FUN mail, and post it on this pretty linen board. This wall system from Pottery Barn is where I sort my mail (To File/To Respond), pin photos and cards, keep keys, checkbooks, stamps and envelopes. Knowing my needs and organizing accordingly has been key in crafting a space that is fun and functional. It’s where I usually write this blog, plan my PEPS meetings, and even chip away at a novel that’s been in the works forever. I love this space.
Did I mention FUN file folders (see above). I keep a lot more files in our actual home office, but invested in a dozen with fun designs that I actually want to look at and use every day. MY TIP: Let mail pile up for a week or two (not that I ever do this, ever), and sort what accumulates into piles like “banking,” “utilities,” “receipts,” etc… make your folders accordingly and keep them in the place where you’re actually most likely to receive and sort mail.
MEALS & KITCHEN:
Another place where I really try to make organizing fun is in the kitchen and with grocery shopping and meal planning. Some things that get me more excited about these everyday tasks include:
FUN SHOPPING LIST/TO DO LIST PAPER (so much more enjoyable than scribbling your grocery list on the back of an envelope!):
A CHALKBOARD MENU:
I also raided Fred Meyer for big baskets for my kitchen pantry, to keep stuff like aprons, paper plates, and seasonal cookie cutters out of sight.
A couple of years ago, one of my big “nesting” projects while pregnant was doing a complete organizational overhaul of my linen closet. I learned only two things are really needed for permanent bathroom storage sanity: a label maker and matching see-through bins. Gone are the days of digging through mounds of shampoo bottles to find a razor or a band aid. It’s the simple things like this that make me happy and keep my blood pressure in check.
Oh, and Aaron really appreciates these non-see-through cubbies in our bathroom (another Fred Meyer find) that keep my feminine “unmentionables” out of sight. Husbands everywhere, you’re welcome.
I hope this blog post has been of some entertainment, inspiration or motivation to other home-keepers out there! If you really get on board with this whole organizing thing – this blog and woman are so organized and fun it’s scary.
Oh and a shredder. Everyone needs a paper shredder at home. It just feels good to clear clutter and simultaneously operate a semi-power-tool.
Until next time,