Tuesday, August 31, 2010

ORGANIZATION INSPIRATION ~ Getting organized and keeping it that way

Last week we helped our daughter and family (Whitney, Reed and Tayvee) move into their new apartment in Boise. 
Since I had just read Martha Stewart Living's article (September, 2010) on her organized kitchen and reorganized our kitchen . . . I just had to tackle the kitchen.

 Martha's kitchen drawers

Do you spend more than 5 minutes looking for something? 
{I hate looking for something ~ it drives me crazy!}

Let me first say, I am not perfect, I am not totally organized, I have stuff out of its place, and this blog is for me too :). 

Here are some organization tips; some from Martha and some from me . . .

1) Decide what the space is used for and what you need when you're using the space. Think of it as work stations, i.e. cooking utensils and potholders by the stove, glasses by the sink, coffee by the coffee maker, office supplies in the desk, sewing supplies next to the sewing machine, etc.
[I had my gift wrapping supplies where I didn't wrap presents and would take everything to another room and then put it all back. I can't even guess how many steps I wasted over the years :).]
Organize the space the way you use it.

 2) Customize storage ~ decide what you want where and add organizing baskets or bins (for the kitchen, I purchased ours from Dollar Tree) and put like things together. There are so many great organization tools out there in today's market. Go shopping for ideas or repurpose what you have, i.e. a muffin tin for small items, jewelry or paperclips, etc. small baskets, jars or drawer dividers; for closets, hat boxes or photo boxes, bins for toys. Don't things look prettier in containers?

3) Give everything its space, or as Martha put it, "a place for everything". If you have a box for paints, keep them there; if paperclips go in a jar, that's where they stay . . . no roaming paperclips laying around the house :).

4) Be disciplined. Take time to put things back after using them. We all have times we leave stuff out, but don't let it go past a day if you're not using it. Don't be tempted to just "put it here for now and put it away later" . . . it probably won't get put back and when you need it, you won't know where to find it.

5) Stand back and look at what you've accomplished.

6) Have fun working more efficiently! Your kids will love it too!

Whitney's Kitchen
Aren't these cute little baskets? 
They are white plastic coated wire baskets from Dollar Tree.

Some of Our Kitchen

If the task of organizing seems overwhelming, simply break it down into small increments ~ tackle one drawer/cupboard a day, and purge what you don't need. You will feel a sense of accomplishment  when you see each drawer organized.

Top 6 Reasons to Stay Organized

(1) When you need it, you'll know where it is.
(2) You won't waste time looking for something you can't find.
(3) If someone wants to borrow something, you can have it in just a few minutes.
(4) It's easy to see your inventory and know when to add something to the shopping list.
(5) Save wasted steps getting your supplies together to complete a task.
(6) More time for doing what you love since you can work more efficiently.

I hope you find this info helpful. I wrote most of this article a few months ago, and Martha's magazine article inspired me to get going on our home organization.

Let me know what you think or what works for you.

~ Julie


  1. Dear Julie, The theory of what you write here is excellent - a place for everything, everything in its place - and for the most part, as I am quite a tidy person, this works well for me. Just occasionally I rebel against myself.

  2. Great ideas! Organizing always makes me feel better!~Patti

  3. I MUST get to my kitchen; it's driving me craaaazy! Thanks for the inspiration.


  4. All great advice. I have used the 'keep things where you use them' idea for quite some time now and it makes it much easier to replace items once you are finished with them. Thanks for sharing. Connie

  5. Ohhh, everything looks so neat & tidy. Your daughter is lucky to have such a helpful and organized Mum! Enjoy your day.

  6. EXCELLENT and very timely for me because I'm on a fall cleaning/organizing mission for the month of September. I have saved this post to a favorites folder on homemaking.

    Thanks so much for the great post!

  7. Those are some great tips! I have a DYMO label maker that I absolutely love, and use it to label my pantry items, in clear storage bins.

    My issue is that my 9 and 10 year old daughters are in charge of unloading the dishwasher- they rotate by week- and often times, I find things in "interesting" locations. LOL Oh well... Have to teach them a work ethic.

  8. I have to feel organized or I feel out of sorts! Great tips, leave it to Martha!!! Thanks for sharing all that great info! I'm sure your daughter appreciates your help. I love having my dishes displayed beautifully in my cupboards as well.


  9. Hi Julie!
    I saw this article too!
    The first thing I did was dump my kitchen towel drawer into a basket, 'roll' all the towels and put them in rows ... all the "junk drawer" stuff that migrated to this drawer is still in the basket ~ dealing with it soon!
    "A place for everything, and everything in it's place."
    Martha has a lot of storage... I need to streamline because there aren't enough places for everything!
    I love the way you organized your kitchen! It's perfect!
    Have a great weekend!

  10. thanks mom! i'm finally figuring out where everything is...almost had a break-down looking for the mixer today, but i found them!

  11. Great post!

    Where about are you in Washington?

    blessings and thanks for the visit's.

    barbara jean


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