This is the area where I personally struggle the most. Perhaps for this reason, it is the area that brings me the greatest satisfaction when I manage some success at it. My version of the Wondermom has EVERYTHING in her home perfectly organized: closets, kitchen cabinets, linen closets, and paperwork.
Every time we move, my favorite part of unpacking is organizing the library. Every book is categorized by genre and then arranged alphabetically by author’s last name. Because of all the time this entails, by the time I get to putting everything else away, I end up throwing things in drawers and closets wherever they will fit just to get it done.
It only took me seven moves before I figured out a system for getting the rest of the house the way I want it. The trick, which I’m sure most of you have heard before, is to break things down into smaller projects.
The other trick, the one I personally struggle with, is consistency. It doesn’t do you any good to spend hours organizing your pantry if you aren’t going to take the extra few seconds each time you get in it to put things back where they belong (and training the rest of your family to do the same).
Simple Steps to Organization
Because I am still a Wondermom Wannabe, I won’t try to convince you my house is in a constant state of perfect organization. But I promise that if you follow these simple steps, you can enjoy periods of perfection that will bring you a sense of accomplishment and brief feelings of serenity.
- Choose one room at a time to tackle.
- Within each room, break down the mission into smaller projects. For example, when I took on my kitchen, I decided on the following projects: tupperware cabinet, spice cabinet, refrigerator, freezer, and pantry.
- Allocate 15 minutes each day to work on one of the projects. You can spend more time on a project, if you have it, but mentally it is easier to talk yourself into 15 minutes of work than say, an hour. Do NOT switch back and forth between projects. If you start on the pantry, don’t move onto the refrigerator until the pantry is completely done.
- Bins and baskets are your friends. So are over-the-door shoe organizers which can be used to store and organize a lot more than just shoes. I use them in the bathroom to store hygiene and beauty products and tools; in the hall closet to store gloves, scarves, and hats; and in my daughter’s room to store toys. Both Wal-Mart and the dollar store have inexpensive plastic bins/totes that can be used in your pantry and under your kitchen and bathroom cabinets. The beauty of bins is that they allow you to be organized in a way that is easy for your family to use.
- If you aren’t concerned about being labelled obsessive/compulsive, label things once you have them organized. This will help your family members to know where to put items and for some reason, works to keep you motivated to stay organized. I cannot force myself to put anything else in the soup section of my pantry simply because the label designates it as the soup section.
- When you are in the habit of doing a little organizing each day, you will find that you get more efficient and can accomplish more with the same amount of time.