Happy 2013! Are you ready for some organization?!

I don’t know what it is, but I have been really in the mood to organize the past few days.  I think it’s the fact that I’m not teaching & I always take a few weeks off from my business during the holidays so that I can feel like a normal person for a few weeks out of the year.  🙂  Here are some of the projects I’ve tackled so far:

1.  Vanity in my room.  I have a cute little built in vanity in my room that has become kind of a catch all.  There was a plastic crate underneath filled with files, so I couldn’t put a chair there.  On top, thanks to my friend, Jean Ann the Jewelry Lady, I had two jewelry boxes OVERFLOWING with beautiful jewelry.  Not to mention all of Ryan’s junk.  SO, I made this fun little jewelry holder to hang in my closet, cleaned out those files, and cleared off the top of my desk.  Now I have a nice little workspace!  Loving it!

(Basically, I took a linen towel that I got at Handy Andy for $1 and used white tulle & seam binding to make pockets.  Clear vinyl would be sturdier, but this was VERY inexpensive & works for me!)

2.  Drawers in my night stands.  What is it with me & junk?  lol  We have two beautiful nightstands that have two giant drawers inside the cabinet & a smaller drawer on top.  I have books in there, swimsuits, things the kids have made for us, journals.  It’s pretty ridiculous.  Well, we are planning to sell our bedroom set to make more room & pay off a credit card (yahoo!), so I decided to set an intention to clear out those nightstands.  So far, I’ve cleared out three of the four big drawers & re-organized my dresser.  Unbelievable!

3.  The closet in the garage.  On Thursday night, we discovered that the washing machine was leaking everywhere in the garage.  (yep, old house= no laundry room)  We thought there was a small clog in the washing machine drain…and then when we woke up on Friday morning we found otherwise.  I had to wait all day for the plumbers to arrive, so I figured it would be a great time to clean up the garage a little bit.  In this little closet in the garage, I keep all my business stuff, as well as some other things (Christmas tins, canning jars, swimming stuff…)  This is what it looked like (and it was driving me NUTS!!!):

So I used some plastic crates I had to make shelves to clear out that ridiculous plastic drawer system, hung up some nails for the tennis rackets, and voila! You can also find this cool plastic pails provider that has tons of different options.

I am so excited to say that, in the process, I also cleared off a shelf in the hall closet in the house where more business stuff was hibernating.  (guess what else is on the organizing list?!)  It took me about two hours to finish this closet.

4.  The Boys’ room.  So, tonight I decided to spend a few hours cleaning out the boys’ closets.  We used to have a nice bookshelf with canvas containers to hold all their little toys.  But in this house, there is NO space for a bookshelf.  So we have two tiny closets and a giant window seat bench that always look like a tornado swept through.  Two hours later–toys are tamed, closets& bench look amazing.  And I feel great!  (I totally forget to take before & afters in my enthusiasm!)

What are the keys of organizing?  For me, the first thing is to keep it simple!  I didn’t do anything fancy–just used what I had (like the plastic crates to make shelves!).  It can be tempting to go out and spend a fortune on organizing equipment, but if you look around, you might find some unexpected uses for the things you have.

Second, I am not afraid to PURGE!  I admit, I tend to be a bit (ha!) of a packrat.  But if I haven’t used something in over a year, I throw it out, give it away, or sell it.  There’s a cool local group on facebook where moms sell their stuff to other moms, craigslist style, and I have a GIANT pile of stuff that is going on there in the next week or so!  Hopefully, I’ll make some extra cash as I make extra space in my house!

Third, you don’t have to organize your whole house at once.  Just tackle the areas that are driving you crazy.  If you have just an hour or two a day, you can get a lot done over time.  In fact, there is an organizing party going on over at A Bowl Full of Lemons.  If you feel like you need some company, she’s giving everyone a challenge each week.  If you post your before & after pictures, you might even win a prize!

 

A Bowl Full of Lemons

I don’t know about you, but it always helps me stay motivated when I’m working with a friend.  If you are feeling disorganized, take some time at the beginning of 2013 to get things in order in your home!  Let me know what projects you’re tackling!

Karen

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