Recently, a friend of mine posted about participating in a 31 day organizing challenge. I got super excited. That's something I can get behind. I love me some organizing.
But then it dawned on me.
There's not a room in my house that needs a 31 day organizational overhaul.
So, instead I thought I might share some of my top tips for how I stay organized and keep Puff, Bimmer, and The Bungalow in check.
#1 - If you don't need it or won't use it, DON'T BUY IT
This is soooo hard sometimes, but it is really the key. It helps that I'm not a shopper though. I don't make a habit of shopping for the sake of shopping. I make lists for the grocery, Target, outlet malls, etc. Sure, I deviate from it sometimes, but only for things I may have forgotten or things I know we will use. The hardest for me is decorating. Thank God we don't live near a West Elm.
#2 - Don't be afraid to PURGE
We make at least 4 or 5 big trips to Goodwill each year. It amazes me we can even come up with that much stuff to donate. If we don't wear it for a year (minus the time I was pregnant) then it's gone. If it doesn't fit right, gets stretched out, gets a stain... it's gone. I'm also not afraid to get rid of gifts. There is no guilt here. (Sorry to anyone who has ever gotten me a crappy gift!) I try to return things when I can, then I look at options to regift, and then I finally donate if there's just no other option. There's no point in keeping two of the same toy when I can return one of them and use that money to go toward formula!
# 3 - Be realistic, you can't organize EVERYTHING
Trust me, I wish I could organize everything in perfect color-coded, size order. But it's just not gonna happen. My toy storage is a great example. I just have a few baskets and the toys are just thrown in there... pieces may not even be in the same basket that go together. But you know what? They're put away and not all over the floor, so that's a win for me. Yet, my photos are an example in the opposite direction. I don't print them anymore, but I have boxes and albums that take up 2 bookshelves. They're overly anal in their organization.
#4 - Find an plan that works for YOU
My clothes aren't color coded, but they're arranged by type (dresses, pants, sweaters, etc.). The baby's clothes are in drawers, not on hangers with their coordinating pieces. Yet, we have drawer dividers to keep like items together. Our Tupperware is haphazardly strewn, but it's in a dedicated cabinet. Essentially, everything has a place. That way when it's out of place, we know where to put it back! Putting things back isn't necessarily a daily priority for some things (ex: mail may stay on the counter for a few days) but it is a priority elsewhere (ex: baby toys are put away before bed every night). Be smart with what you buy (ex: our master bed has drawers under it for additional storage) and know your strengths & weaknesses and what level of chaos you can tolerate.