Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Some Easy Organizing Tips I Didn't Figure Out Until Adulthood

I'll freely admit that I am your standard Type A. I like there to be a place for everything and I want everything in its place.

While that may make me laughable in the eyes of some people, I'll argue that my philosophy just plain makes life easier. Unfortunately, I didn't figure that out until I was midway through my 20s, so I did spend some of my adult years kind of floundering around wondering why everything I had to do took so darn long.

Here's the new me:


When I'm organized - when life is organized - I'm just happier and more centered. Not that accidents and chaos and 'what the hecks' don't happen, of course. It's just that when I have all my ducks in a row, dealing with those things is just a lot easier.

So I'm wondering: Are you feeling off kilter in your life? If so, maybe some of the little organizing tips I figured out late in life might help you like they helped me. Here are just some of them ...
  • Stashing a full jug of water near the cats' dishes - which are nowhere near a faucet. The poor things' water dishes would routinely dry out because carting them upstairs was a big pain in the butt. You can expand on this by putting like with like in different situations, which makes having to do things of all kinds exponentially easier.
  • Keeping work clothes separate from play clothes. My nicer tops and bottoms are hanging in the closet; everything else is stuffed (I'm sorry to say) into drawers. I even keep my work clothes sequestered in the wash so I can wash, dry, fold, and put away everything I need for work in sequence without having to dig through other laundry to find it.
  • Storing Tupperware containers with the lids on. As tempting as it is to nest food storage containers, that leads to a game I like to call "Digging for Lids". Which is not conducive to easy to navigate cabinets. I Freecycled a whole lot of Tupperware - basically everything that would no longer fit if every container was stacked with lids on - and still have more than enough. No more lost lids!
  • Cleaning up the kitchen before bed. Even just a little bit of a wipe helps things feel not so trashy the next morning. Yes, sometimes the dishes sit overnight. In fact, I am going home to a sink full of dishes in just a few minutes. But the counters are clean, as is the stove. Clutter won't be greeting me.
  • Carrying a notebook and writing things down. I'm already carrying a giant handbag wherever I go, and now that diapers aren't taking up valuable space, I have room for a biggish notebook. It's my to-do list. It's where I log hours when I'm working away from my home computer. It's what helps me keep track of appointments and social engagements. Without it, I'd be lost. Alternately, use a tablet. I just happen to like paper.
  • Laying out clothes and other things the night before. It seems so simple, so I don't know why it took me so long to figure out that taking 5 minutes to put out what I'd need the next day (like a ready to rock coffee maker) will save me 15 minutes or more of struggling to pick an outfit or find my phone.
That's all the little organization tips I can think of right now - what are some of your must-do organization tips?


  1. When things are cluttered or unorganized it makes me really frazzled and flustered. Once a tupperware loses its lid it gets tossed and I always take the time to set up my lunch, coffee, and outfit for the next day the night before. It really does make the mornings more seamless. I also keep a little basket by the foot of the stairs when you first walk in the house as a sort of catchall. We toss our keys, gloves, flyers, whatever in there so it doesn't clutter up the house.

    Great tips.

  2. Cleaning up the kitchen the night before and carrying the notebook around are two of my big ones. I love your one about not nesting tupperware. Totally.

  3. I actually do a lot of these - my work clothes are all hanging in the closet alone and my other clothes are stuffed into drawers, into hampers, more hampers...more hampers. lol Note to self: the pre-Cmas charity bags of clothing did not make a dent. I wash them separately too, store bowls with Clean kitchen before bed and before going anywhere. Hate coming home or waking up to a gross kitchen. Yep. I am anal. lol

  4. I'm big on the notebook too. Another thing I've done for years is plan the week's dinners on one day. It's annoying but then requires only 1 big shopping and then no thought for the rest of the week - I know what each day will bring (including nights of take out) and which nights I need to pick up a perishable/last minute item that couldn't be purchased in advance.

  5. We must be sisters from different misters because I am the same way. An organized life is a happy life!


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