Life has felt pretty heavy at times lately. It feels like if I'm not dealing with lingering effects of my health disaster earlier this year, recovering from COVID, or if we're not hearing polarizing arguments about masks or vaccines...we're hearing about massive destruction during both an earthquake and hurricane in Haiti, or the flooding in Tennessee. Don't forget how the U.S. left millions of innocent Afghans in a horrible political upheaval. Add in all the other local news stories I read every single night (shootings, bodies found, car wrecks) and things can feel pretty bleak. I can't control any of that....so I try to focus on what I can control and for me - that means organizing. Let's just say our house is pretty organized lately. Please note: I'm not trivializing the severity of any of the situations I mentioned above...I'm simply saying that organization is a way to channel the stress from all that and turn it into something positive for myself and my family. Also, I've provided links to the products I love and use. You can easily find these at other locations, but buying from the links may send a little income my way.
Here's how a working mom of three young boys makes this thing called organization happen. Think about a cabinet, closet or toybox you haven't been through lately. Go there and pull everything out of it. It's always good to just take everything out and sort as you go. I generally use 4 categories: Use A Lot, Use A Little, Wrong Spot and TRASH. After you get your location of choice emptied....wipe it down or dust it. Then start putting your items back in. I love trying to keep like items together in these nifty Sterilite plastic storage containers. These small ones with flip top lids are SO USEFUL. When I bought my first set of 12 I had no idea where I'd use them all. Well...I found out pretty quickly and the containers you see in this blog are from my SECOND set of 12. I also like these plastic bins with lids. I always buy see-through containers for obvious reasons and these seem to be a great size for holding more stuff - but they also fit onto most shelves. Don't forget to take your Wrong Spot items to the right spot (put them where they go) and get that TRASH in the TRASH!! It feels great!
Think about where your location is and what you use from it and where. For example....I hadn't organized the cabinets above our washer and dryer since moving into our home a year and a half ago. I had the detergent on the far side of the cabinet above the dryer.....so I moved it to right above the washer. Genius idea, right - bet you're glad you're reading this now! Try to give everything its own place and don't overcrowd it. If you can't make everything fit with those ideas in mind, you probably need to throw more stuff in the trash.
My next step is my favorite - labeling. I got this handy label maker as a Christmas present YEARS ago from my brother and his wife. It's so easy to use....label refills are easy to find and it just uses 6 AAA batteries OR you can charge it with a wall outlet. It's so great. You obviously don't HAVE to have a label maker....but it makes your organization work look that much neater. Whether you choose to use the label maker or not - make sure you clearly label what things are. I put all my Dyson Animal attachments in a bin...and labeled it. Extra towels and rags? Labeled. Extra kitchen supplies? Labeled. You get the idea.
My main point here is to help you realize...achieving peace of mind through organization can happen in less than an hour. You don't NEED the supplies I mentioned above (although they help make the job faster) but just taking 20 minutes to rearrange a closet can have amazing results. I keep a list on a wipe-off board in my kitchen of areas that need a little attention and try to cross one off the list every other day or so. You'd be amazed how quickly that list disappears. The peace of mind knowing things are in their place and look nice and neat isn't overrated. And while this crazy world around us isn't going to sort itself out anytime soon - at least my cabinets and closets in my home in little ol' Wichita, Kansas are (mostly) in order which helps me, and hopefully you, let it go.