Friday, April 2, 2010

Show Us Your Life - Organizational Tips

Organizing ranks right up there with shopping and eating on my list of absolute favorite things to do, so I've been pretty pumped to write this post on "Organizational Tips" for Kelly's Korner today. 

But first, to be frank, I've been convicted recently that the #1 way to be organized is... TO HAVE LESS STUFF! 

When Jeff and I moved into our house almost two years ago, we absolutely LOVED the extra space - including the storage in the basement.  BUT, hindsight is 20/20.  Today, as much as I love our house and am thankful for it, I wish we had settled on something much smaller and simpler.  It seems the more SPACE you have, the more STUFF you naturally accumulate to fill it --- including tons of unneccessary junk in the basement. Our families and friends have given us SO much, and I'd be lying if I said I don't ADORE decorating - but sometimes I get so overwhelmed!  If I could do it all over again, we would get rid of a lot of the "extra" rooms and cut back to the bare necessities in furniture etc.  (P.S. I can only imagine how much harder this gets once you have children and all their toys/accessories/etc. I might go crazy.)

I am grateful for what we have been given right now, but I hope I will remember these thoughts when the time does come for us to make a move... (Remind me, ok?)

Anyways, that's not what we're talking about today...

Focusing on what we DO have, I thought I'd offer some organizational tips for...

This is the space just to the left of our front door.    When we first moved in, we had NO idea what would fill this (honestly, kind-of pointless) spot.  We found these two desks for $5 each at a local hotel sale, and since organization is important to me, we decided to turn this into an office/ front-door stop-point.  It has turned out to be one of my favorite rooms because of its bright color (Jeff painted this room for me as one of our very first projects- can you tell I use it a lot?), awesome natural lighting, and great view of the street.  (You can see someone else likes it too!)

Here are a few of the organizational features:

Everything (mail, to-dos, etc.) goes into this basket FIRST until we have time to deal with it.  You'll notice that I also keep our return address stamps, mailing stamps, etc. in here, so that it is all there and convenient.  This serves as a constant reminder about what "business" we need to deal with, and keeps it from being strewn all over the house. 

These $1 Ikea finds hold magazines after I am finished reading them.  I sort them by subscription and date and place them here.  Each month, when I get a new one, I remove the oldest and take it to school for crafts/collages/etc.  Believe it or not, I actually go back to these magazines often for recipe or decorating ideas.  Plus, I think they look kind-of cute there. :)

This matching basket holds my Bible, journal, study book, a pen, etc.  This is a great spot for a quiet time!!  (It has also become an "electronics" holder, complete with ipods and cords of all sorts.  A little "unorganized," but functional.)

Also in this room....

We have  this cute Anthropologie hook right next to the door to hold Addy's leash, our keys, etc.  I ONLY lose my keys when Jeff forgets to hang them up. :)

And... this awesome bench. I found this in my grandparents' basement a few years ago and Poppy re-painted it for me.  It is an antique toy-chest, but since we don't have that many toys around yet ;), we use it to hold random things like towels to clean up dirty dogs, re-usable grocery bags, frisbees, etc.  It is the perfect hiding spot!

Finally, I'll leave you with these two "Bonus Tips."

We keep a bulletin board in our kitchen with all of our invitations/etc.  (It's that stage of life for us --- we already have SIX weddings coming up in June and July alone!)  Not only do I like getting to look at everyone's cute pictures, but it keeps everything in one spot too!

And, I keep this handy little notepad on the fridge where I can write out our weekly schedule.  *My wonderful husband isn't the best at remembering things, so this has often been a life saver for us!  (He's tried to get me to use Google Calendar etc., but I'm a pen and paper kind-of gal!)

Ok, I hope I gave you some tips you might be able to use... Nothing too fancy, but they work for us! I'm off to do some "Spring Cleaning" and decorating.  (Come back later this week for pictures.)

Happy Organizing!!!


  1. Hi! I just stopped by from Kelly's Korner. Your entry is adorable! I love the wall color. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This post just motivated me to go home and get busy! I think I have told you this before but I am in love with your dog she is precious in your blog header! Now for one weird ? what is the paint color in the first picture?? I LOVE IT! Thanks for the ideas! Happy Easter!

  3. This is the 2nd time I have found your blog this week! This time via Kelly's Korner! Love, love, love that space! It's gorgeous! Have a fabulous Easter!

  4. LOVE your entry spot! And love the anthropologie thing to hang the leash... i need one of those! ;) I also have the catch-all for mail & to-do's & the bulletin board for all those wedding invites, but how do you keep it so nice looking?! Mine is overloaded mess! Might need a bigger bulletin board! ;)

    Great post!

  5. wow you really are organised...
    and everything you do/have is so cute and looks like its come from the pages of an interior design catalogue! :)
    thanks for the tips.

  6. Love the wall color. I'm also a bit obsessed with organization, so I loved seeing all of your neat tips! :)

  7. I love the entryway shelf. That's a nice touch.
    I love your tips.
    I have to be organized. We very busy and if I don't put appointments on the calendar well, it's not pretty.
    Today, I forgot that I had a doctor's appt on Wed. Ugh!
    Have a great weekend.

  8. I love what you did with the entryway, and love the color of your walls. Great organizing ideas.

  9. One of several posts that I have bookmarked to come back to...Great tips..
    Hope you will stop by and leave a comment....On Sunday night I will be drawing for

  10. Super great tips and I loved your photos!! Thanks for sharing!

  11. I am loving your blog and loving the color of your entry way even more!! Every room in my home has color EXCEPT the living area...this makes me want to paint today. :)

    Lovely blog.

  12. Your home looks beautiful. I agree that having less stuff is the #1 organization tip!

  13. oh stuff! my days seemed consumed with it. i try often to get rid of stuff - i mean it - i take bi-weekly trips to the good will but it somehow it seems like we are still overrun by it.

    your entryway is lovely. any chance you still know the nave of the color? it is fantastic and i'm looking to repaint my living room and dining room


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