Hello, My name is Andrea and …

I’m a Type A personality.
I’m a first born with all the classic first born traits {what? bossy? ME?? never}
I’m a control freak.
I crave order.

Which means I THRIVE in an organized house.

Lately I’ve been on a bit of an organizing spree, so the timing of Gussy’s Inspiration prompt {organizing} couldn’t have been better.

Here’s a few{and just a few lest this become the world’s longest post} of my thoughts, insights and inspiration for ORGANIZING 101. For what they’re worth …

Probably first and foremost above all else, everything should have a place. Make it a habit to put things {not people} in their place FIRST. Don’t start with a pile that moves and shuffles through the week. Just.put.it.away. And train your kiddos to put away before getting out.

Kitchen::

  • Organize your kitchen to maximize your energy. Dishes should go near the dishwasher. Baking supplies should be together in the area you bake. Spices should be in your prep area. Items you don’t use regularly can be stored elsewhere in your home if it means maximizing the kitchen space for everyday items.
  • If possible, load your dishwasher before bed and run it so it’s clean by morning. Unload first thing in the morning and then load as you go during the day. Do you DISDAIN unloading or loading or hand washing? Challenge yourself against the clock and you’d be surprised at how little time these tasks actually take if you.just.do.it!

Bedrooms::

  • Make your bed every morning. Seriously, I know, I know … but your bed is the biggest piece of your room, making it creates order for the rest of the room. Train your kiddos to make theirs … make it easy, nothing fancy. Pull up the covers, pull up the blankets & quilt and stack on the pillows. Again, it’s a less than 5 minute task that sets the tone for the rest of your day.
  • Keep a ‘donate’ basket near your bedroom or in your bedroom. This makes the ‘donate’ option ready and available instead of thinking you have to devote a whole day to purging your closet. 
  • Organize clothes by season {I do fall/winter and spring/summer}. Purge and donate as you start/end each season.

Bathrooms::

  • Keep toiletries you use daily right near the sink. Extra/bulk items can easily go in a closet or additional storage in the house for a later date when you need them. 
  • Throw away {or donate} things away that you haven’t used in 6-12 months {medicine, make-up, etc.}
  • Keep a set of cleaning supplies/rags under the sink {if possible} for quick ‘in-between’ cleanings. This is a huge time/sanity savor for me when I enter my son’s bubblegum toothpaste covered bathroom! 3 minutes later it’s clean and I’m not cringing or grumbling when I go to wash my hands.

Living Room::

  • I try to keep this room free from clutter as it’s the space we tend to ‘relax’ and I can’t relax if I’m surrounded by stacks and piles of to-do’s. Our little has a Lego table my husband built that ‘blends’ {if that is really possible} with our furniture and all of his Legos are housed under it. Other than that, all other toys are in his room and can be brought into the living room, but have to be put away at the end of the day by him, not me. Blankets are housed in a big basket so they aren’t thrown all over the place {or floor} and magazines/newspapers have a decorative basket as well.
source:: Garnet Hill

Entry way::

  • We don’t have a mud room, so our entry way is our ‘drop’ off location when we come in the door. Again, have a spot for everything.
  • My little has a spot to hang his backpack and jacket. Shoes are held in a basket underneath a bench. My purse sits on the bench and I have my ‘to-go’ basket which holds anything that needs to leave the house for the week {i.e. JoAnns ads/coupons; Tupperware to return to a friend; packages to be shipped; church supplies; etc.}. I love my ‘to-go’ basket!!
  • School papers, mail and other incoming paper get handled at my ‘mini Cent-Comm’ I have set up in our kitchen. Mail is sorted right away and shredded {shredder is in the kitchen}, recycled {recycling is in the kitchen} or placed in the pile to go upstairs to Cent-Comm. School papers are either recycled, placed on the fridge {weekly classroom update & spelling list} or placed in a school file in our pantry. This is also where I keep my planner so I can daily look at my to-do’s and the week as a whole every morning, afternoon and evening.

Phew … those are just a few of the basics I thought of as I went through the areas of my house.

Other great organizing resources::

Blogs –
I {Heart} Organizing
Simple Mom

Products::
Erin Condren Life Planner – I can’t say enough about this and keeping me on track with life and business to-do’s.

Containers, baskets and systems – IKEA, TJ Maxx/Home Goods, Target, The Container Store and office supply stores are great for finding containers, baskets and ‘systems’ to help you stay organized. But you can just as easily shop your own house for items to be re-purposed, use recycled boxes or shop the thrift store and still have a great organized house.

So tell me … are you organized or do you long to be organized? What’s your favorite organizing tip, website or product??

Comments

  1. Love this!!!!
    We are moving this week and I’m so looking forward to the fresh start. I will definitely be using these ideas to keep it up! Thanks

  2. I love this, Andrea! Your tips are great. :)

  3. I’m as organized as one can be with 5 kids under 10! :)

    I didn’t know they had a red & white polka dotted basket! Love it!

  4. I do so many of these things too and they are great. Running the dishwasher at night, keeping a constant donation bag, and I love my Erin Condren planner too!

  5. Some think I am a bit obsessed with organizing and cleaning, but it’s who I am. I am constantly finding new ideas to make both of these easier and more fun–on here, Pinterest, etc. Thanks for more inspiration!

  6. Thanks for these tips! They are great!

  7. Great tips! You are so right about how a game of beat the clock can make dishes more fun. I despise all parts of doing dishes, but I always challenge myself to see how much I can get done while I warm something up in the microwave or wait for coffee to brew. If I let myself, I really would spend more time thinking about how I don’t want to do the tasks than just doing them :)

  8. Ahhh, love it. It makes my heart happy. Want to come help me organize my scrap room? No? Really? I’ll let you reconsider…

    :) xoxo

  9. So excited for my organization overhaul over spring break! Love the idea of keeping the donate basket in the closet (closet purging has been a constant on my to do list for over a month now)!

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