October 31, 2011

{OrganizedHome} Day 31: Staying Organized


Today is the last day of my series 31 Days to an Organized Home, and I want to leave you with some tips to help you stay organized.  How do you keep those spots you've worked on looking tidy and functioning well? Here are some ideas:

  • One in, one out.  Come home with a new package of socks? Get rid of all the old ones with holes. Come home with new toys for the kids? Donate the old ones they don't play with.  Assuming you already own enough (or too many) things, you can stay on top of clutter by disposing of the old when you bring home the new.
  • Have a place for donations.  And visit the thrift store often to drop them off.  Things left sitting around the house waiting to be donated have a way of never actually getting donated.
  • Label things.  It keeps you accountable to your own organizing.  If you have a basket on the counter with no label, it will probably soon be holding some mail, a spare key, some legos and a loose button.  If it's labelled "mail", there's a good chance that you (and those you live with) will only put mail in it.
  • Have less stuff than you have room for. A great sale at the grocery store shouldn't throw your pantry into disarray. 
  • Don't lose sight of what organizing is really about. It's about allowing our homes to be what we need them to be: refuges, sanctuaries, venues for epic Wii bowling show-downs, and so much more! 

      If you're eager for more, here are some of my favorite books that deal with Organization and simplifying.

      Unclutter Your Life in One Week by Erin Rooney Doland

      This book is largely written for people who work in an office setting, but I love it anyways. I especially love that she has the reader identify their learning style (visual, auditory, tactile)  and then gives tips on how to organize your clothing accordingly!
      Favorite quote: "If you've never read the complete works of Shakespeare, and you never plan to read the complete works of Shakespeare, get rid of the complete works of Shakespeare."



       This is the kind of book you set out meaning to read and just end up drooling over the photos.  I have the hardcover edition, which would make a great coffee table book if it weren't for the fact that my kids are inclined to destroy anything I leave on the coffee table.
      Favorite part:  The very practical but pretty section on kitchen organization


      Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living

      Tsh Oxenreider (a.k.a.SimpleMom) has written a guide that really speaks to my passion for a simpler, more organized home.  This little handbook is a great resource for those who want to simplify, not just their homes, but their lives.
       Favorite quote: "But I wanted more...intentionality in my life.  More conviction. More certainty about the why behind the decisions I made as a home manager.  I didn't want life to happen to me; I wanted to happen to life."

       This series is over, but the tips aren't.  I intend to keep blogging regularly (but not every day...goodness no.) And I'm excited to talk about some things other than organizing (like parenting and baking and cleaning!)  So please keep visiting often and leaving your lovely comments!  And if you have something in particular you think I should blog about, connect with me on my facebook page and let me know!
      *This post contains affiliate links.  Click here to learn what that means.

      40 comments:

      1. That is so true about our "to be donated" box. It takes me way too long to actually donate it. Thanks for the tips. Looking forward to reading about other topics too!

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      2. Thanks for a great 31 Days! I have enjoyed every post and have felt inspired to get more organised around here. Your family is blessed to have you take such good care of everything in your lives.

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      3. Thanks for such a helpful series. I know my home is looking better for it. I can't wait to hear all your other tips.

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      4. Enjoyed these 31 days! Though I have not achieved organization in all areas and in all things, your posts have truly been inspirational to tackle one thing at a time! You should see my desk! I can actually see the brown wood now. Next on my list...my closet. I might even get punchy and send you a picture when I get done. That will get me motivated.

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      5. Thank you so much! I loved the series. The length of posts and topics you used were so wonderful. Perfectly manageable ideas. Inspirational! Thanks for all your work.

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      6. Thank you for this great series! I've enjoyed following along with you each day. I featured your series/blog in my post today:
        http://www.coastalheartcountrysoul.com/2011/10/soul-searching-31day-challenge.html

        looking forward to keeping up with you "post-challenge" as well!

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      7. Thanks for a great series. Those books are keepers, too.

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      8. I love the quote about Shakespeare.
        So true.

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      9. Just spent the better part of an hour (or 2?) reading each and every entry in your 31 days of organizing. Awesome tips! So many favorites, I'll be coming back again and again to remember all the things I need to do. Thanks - this was GREAT!! new fan :)

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      10. One of my biggest challenges is my husband works an unusual shift (Tues-Sat, 5 a.m. to noon, sometimes later depending on workload). When he's not at work, he takes care of our son (10 1/2 months old). Often when I get home from work, the first thing I do is say "Hi" to them and often my husband is ready for a break. Before I know it, I cluttered the kitchen table AGAIN since my first instinct is to say "Hi" to my family and now I'm busy doing things for the kiddo while my husband takes a break. I'll check out that first book you mentioned because I need help. I get overwhelmed and then I want to give up.

        Jodi @ Make Three
        http://makethree.blogspot.com

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      11. I REALLY struggle with organization, and after reading your blog, I think I can accredit most of my problem to two things 1) everything doesn't have, nor has it ever had, a place in our home, 2) I have a tendency to be really lazy when it comes to putting stuff away!
        Thanks so much for all the great tips, i'm really starting to work on organizing our home, and this is without doubt, the most useful thing I've found so far!

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      12. Reading through these 31 days has been SO helpful. I am not naturally an organized person, so the detailed tips are invaluable to me. You had a lot of great ideas that I haven't heard before,and the permission to get rid of things was VERY liberating! Now, I'm off to purge and organize!!! :)

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      13. I have seen a link to your 31 Days series pop up on Pinterest several times over the last few weeks, and I'll be honest... I avoided it like the plague. Well, maybe not the plague... but I quickly moved on to the next pretty picture so I didn't have to look at the mess around me. I just finished reading through all the posts, and have a few good ideas that I think I can tackle soon.

        I would love to know if you have any tricks for getting your kids involved in keeping your home organized. I've tried chore packs and timers, and nothing seems to last very long (more my fault than theirs, I'm sure). Anyway, thanks for all the great ideas! :)

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      14. I stumbled across this blog through pintrest, and I just wanted you to know that you have sparked something inside me to redo my entire room. I started out pretty organized, but didn't have labels for stuff, and got lazy about it. I also just try on a ton of clothes in the morning and don't take time to put them back on the hanger, and they end up on the floor in my closet amongst other dirty clothes and I will end up washing something 3 times before I actually wear it. You bring up some really great ideas and inspiration. Thank you so much for being the first step in helping me on my way to a destressed uncluttered life!

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      15. I happened upon your blog through Pintrest and I started reading some of your posts. I quickly realized your blog was one I could really benefit from. I've looked at other blogs, I've tried other peoples "ideas" and nothing has clicked. But something happened while I was reading your posts and I thought, "I can sit here wishing my house was like this or I can actually get off the computer and do something about it!" I know it won't happen over night but I just wanted you to know that I have spent the last hour and a half PURGING my office! It's AMAZING and I feel so free. I threw away things that I've been hanging on to for years! And they weren't sentimental. They were things "I might use one day". Thank you for the inspiration. I have pinned your blog and bookmarked it! Just wanted you to know! :)

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      16. Thank you so much! Your 31 days are so inspiring to me

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      17. I found you through pinterest. After getting the babies to bed, I hopped in bed and just read every single one of your 31 days. I am SO inspired! This is exactly what I needed! I am definitely adding you to my blog list (ok I don't really have one except I'll book you in my favorites haha) I am so, so excited to whip my house into organized bliss!

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      18. Hi Kelly, I just discovered your site.
        It's a great place for tips and tricks! I like it a lot.

        I do a lot of uncluttering lately: I live in The Netherlands and started a 365-days project with the name; A cabinet a day.
        Each I reorganize and clean ONE cabinet, closet, drawer or basket. I am at day 68 and I it brought me a lot of good.

        If you want to take a look (I have to say it is in dutch, but the pictures are universal) here is the site-adres:
        www.eenkastjeperdag365.blogspot.com

        I am inspired by the books you mention (and the quotes!).

        Bye, Nelleke Petit

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      19. I put stuff I want to donate in the trunk of my car. Just out of the house immediately! We live less than a mile from a thrift store so when I'm out running errands it just takes a minute to swing by and donate whatever I've put in my trunk. I find removing it from the house as soon as I purge works best - for me at least! Thanks for the great blog & tips.
        I also found you via pinterest!

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      20. I really need to hire you! My entire house needs organizing and its so overwhelming. You have many, many great ideas I have to try out...one room at a time, thanks for sharing!

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      21. i'm a little behind, i just found you on pinterest. i'm curious to know how you organize your kids rooms, or play rooms... mainly toys! it's the bane of my existence. i have everything is the large plastic totes and i loath them, there has to be a cuter way.

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      22. Hi Kelly! Great tips! I featured your series on my blog today. I hope that's ok :) Thanks for sharing!

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      23. Thank you so much for posting this series. It has been a big inspiration.

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      24. Oh my goodness! You are my new hero! A coworker pinned your 31 days on Pinterest and I clicked through to find myself here. I've read your entire series in 2 lunch breaks! I'll be moving to a new home soon and you have managed to change my perspective from "Blah, blah, moving, ugh" to "I can't wait"! I've already started purging the junk that has been clogging up my current space for years - my grandmother's canisters sitting empty on the counter right next to the canisters I actually use, the mountain of toys my kids haven't touched in three years, the overflowing bookshelf that has moved with me from place to place since college (I haven't touched that Biology 101 textbook in 15 years... why do I still have it?), the endless piles of clothing my girls have been hoarding (dressers are overflowing, closets are overflowing, under-the-bed storage tubs are overflowing, baskets full of CLEAN laundry are overflowing, hampers full of DIRTY laundry are overflowing... sorry, girls, 50% of this has GOT to go). My plan is to have a truck (or two) dedicated to Goodwill donations on moving day, to rid my life of 50% of everything I own, to cut the clutter in half, and to teach my daughters that "more" doesn't mean "better".... and I can't wait! Thank you so much for sharing your time, your creativity, your brilliance, and your inspiration!

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      25. Wow Lynnette! Good for you!! I am so glad to have been able to encourage you. Enjoy your new home. :)

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      26. I have a 2 year old daughter, and with all the pieces that come with toys as kids get older, I find myself going nuts with all of them! I am Sooooooo happy I found your blog, I began my 31 days to my organized home this evening and I think I'll be organized well before my 31 days are up! Thanks for the great tips and pictures!

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      27. My donated and charity boxes sit around for rather too long before they see the light of day! This is a fabulous series and one that you feel that you can really make an attempt at following. I'm not especially untidy but I picked up some great tips anyway.

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      28. Thank you so much for this series! I found it on Pinterest this morning and read every post. I adore your craft closet! Thank you again, you have given me some really valuable tips. I will visit again and again as I clean and organize my home.

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      29. Like some others I found your blog through Pinterest. Great job on your blog! Your ideas were very creative! I've recently did a big decluttering while trying to sell the house and had been living for two months with people coming to the open home every week. I found living as if strangers are going to drop by and look at your house (including the cupboards!) to be a great way to stay organised! It was also interesting how much bigger the house felt, just by being tidy. Now that we found a new dream home, I'll be sure to use your ideas to keep my new house nice, tidy, and clutter free!

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      30. Just read through your entire series! This is wonderful! Thanks for all the tips and ideas! They will come in handy once I have my own place! For now, I'll have to do the best I can with my little dorm room. Thanks for the inspiration! :)

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      31. Thank you so much for this series! I'm a 16-year-old clean freak living in a house full of packrats. Reading this was so much fun! :) now I'm going to go organize my room, the one simple place in the house :)

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      32. ALL of your ideas are stellar. I'm going to start going through the 31 days tomorrow, then when we move in two months, I'll do it again. Thank you!

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      33. Loved this series! Thank you so much!

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      34. OMG I stayed up all night reading the complete guide! thank you so much because you filled my mind with GREAT ideas <3

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      35. I've slowly started getting organized, but some of your tips helped me do even more than before, thank you!! :D

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      36. I was so excited to come across your blog. I read all 31 days at in the same sitting! I love, love, love your ideas...and that they are so pretty too. Keep those ideas coming!

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      37. Thank you so much for your organizing tips!

        And I had to laugh, because I just put my "Complete Works of Shakespeare" in the donate bin a few days ago! :-)

        Blessings,
        Shannon

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      38. So shouldn't still be up right now. I read the first half of the series and then stopped for a purge break in my craft area. Then instead of just plugging in my phone, I read the other half. Thank you! If I can stay awake tomorrow, I hope to find some things their place AND label that place.

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      39. When is YOUR book coming out?! Honestly, I adore your blog and love all of your tips.

        I can't agree enough with your advice to have a designated area for donations. We have an area in the garage for this, conveniently located right by the door to the car. Another rule we have that goes along with this is NO LOOKING THROUGH THE PILE AGAIN BEFORE DONATING. That does us in every time if we fall for it.

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      40. I have, in the past 24 hours read this entire series. I love it! Moving into a house next month and I can't wait to implement your ideas!

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