Hey, hey! So, a loooong time ago a former colleague of mine (hi, Jessica!) asked me to post about ways to get organized. I’m finally getting around to obliging because I was noticing the other day that our home is finally feeling like less of a hot mess. I think that’s because I’ve been diligently chipping away at all of the little messes around our house. The dumping grounds, the piles, the problem areas…I’ve addressed most of them by now. The garage is still a disaster, and there are a few things here and there that need addressed, but we’ve lived here for almost five years now and slowly but surely, we’re getting there.
When we moved into this house, we had surprisingly little in the way of furniture or furnishings, for that matter. But with 2 kids under the age of 4 at the time, it didn’t take long to start amassing “stuff,” and I had no where to put it. Then we started our kitchen reno, so that just exacerbated the issue. But now that the kids are older and our kitchen project is starting to wrap up…things are looking up.
Here is the key, in my opinion, to greatly improving your chances of staying organized: Have a place for everything and put everything in its place. Sounds like common sense, right? Yeah…it is…but, if you don’t have any stylish storage pieces it’s certainly not as inspiring to put anything away. So it helps, I think, to slowly invest in (or make) baskets, bins, and organizers that will urge you to use them.
Here are the ways I stay organized around our house…maybe they’ll give you some ideas.
This trash to treasure bar cart keeps all of my wine glasses handy (I like my wine) and they look pretty, too. Plus, it frees up my kitchen cupboards for other stuff.
Our styled bookcases store, well, our books, but also a set of nesting boxes that store all sorts of stuff like power cords, reference books that I don’t really want to display, and stationery.
Here’s how I keep power cords organized within one of those nesting boxes.
We store our remotes in this box I scored from Goodwill that sits on top of my DIY campaign-style tray table.
Game changer: This DIY charging station keeps our electronics charged and organized.
Another game changer: Our house isn’t big enough to dedicate a room to an office, so we carved a desk out of our guest room by removing the closet. Bam. I’m in there for hours every day instead of at the dining room table and it makes a world of difference in my state of mind because when I leave there, I leave work.
With my office on the second floor, we still find we need a place for school supplies and some various office-y stuff on the first floor, namely in the kitchen, where the kids do their homework. So this command center on the back of the basement door in the kitchen stores some of those supplies out of sight, and allows me to file mail immediately instead of running it upstairs.
These denim pocket organizers keep things handy above a little secretary in my office.
Our kitchen bookcase doesn’t hold cookbooks, surprisingly (see below). Because we installed open shelving in our kitchen, we sacrificed some cupboard space. So I needed a place for produce, dog treats, and a couple of other things that just didn’t have their own “spot.” Like take-out menus, for instance.
Here’s where we store cookbooks: on top of the fridge in a wire basket.
Oh, man, what would we do without this thing. My husband removed a small closet in a narrow space and replaced it with a small mudroom, complete with easy-access hooks and shelves for our coats, boots, and the girls’ backpacks. The baskets hold scarves, mittens, hats, and sunglasses, and we also keep our first aid kit (see below) here because it’s near the back door and the bathroom (where the kids typically enter when they come in from outside with scraped knees.)
I spray painted a first aid sign on the top of this garage sale enamelware box to store first aid supplies.
This chest of drawers in our foyer that really helps contain clutter. One drawer holds rags to wipe doggy paws and one holds library books that need returned, etc.
This pantry door chalkboard keeps reminders front and center and saves on paper!
I spray painted this metal toolbox to use as a desk caddy that holds paper clips, stamps, push pins, and other small office items in my office. Love it.
Oh, how I love not having to traipse down to the basement to hunt for wrapping supplies every time we have a birthday party. We dedicated a small amount of space in the one closet we have on our first floor and hung some pegboard to organize wrapping supplies.
This little Z Gallerie knock-off decorative box holds all the headphones that seem to find their way to our nightstands (due to all of the late night watching of Hulu and Netflix.)