You're Messy? Me Too (here's how to tackle that).
Is it just me, or does anyone else like to browse through organization porn?
It's a dream of mine to a) live in a house and b) one that has a pantry.
I guess some apartments and town homes also have pantries, but I've never had one, so I really cannot relate to owning one. But my fantasy's are filled with them. In our apartment, we have THREE drawers, that's it. Lots of cupboard space - I'm not complaining, but only three drawers. That's a lot of stuff to fit in three drawers. Cutlery, other kitchen gadgets and necessities, spices, wraps (from tin to saran, it's all in there!), dishcloths, tupperware, oven mitts etc.
Frankly, these drawers - sparing the one with cutlery - were a blemish on my otherwise, relatively, somewhat, sort-of organized home.
I'm going to show you my personal shame here, and you can totally judge me. My "after" is not worthy of being compared The Home Edit as shown above, but I hope it will help you realize that is something you CAN tackle if it feels overwhelming.
So, here we are, the drawer of doom:
And, while this "after" has no place being on Pinterest or any other social platform, in an effort to be "real" here is the actual after that cost me $6 and took about an hour to complete:
You also have a drawer like this? And you're whispering "help me!" into your phone while reading this? I'm here, don't worry. Lemme break it down for you.
Here's what you need to do to turn the drawer of gloom, into a drawer that is finely groomed:
- Take everything out. I mean everything. Wipe down the inside of the drawer, because that just makes everything feel and smell good.
- If it's a kitchen or a bathroom, check the expiry dates on spices, lotions, you name it. If it could possibly expire/something you put on your skin or in your mouth, then you need to check that those bad boys haven't made a turn for the worse! This step really helped me get rid of about 80% of my spices. It was something I didn't think too much about, and since you don't typically use most of your spices in large amounts other than those popular few, they had all expired, some of them YEARS ago. Terrible.
- Separate things that are still good into three piles; keep, donate and garbage. You know what I'm talking about, that pedicure kit you got as a secret Santa gift that you've never used, that brand new nail polish that's not quite your colour, thematic dish towels you got from someone that you would never actually use or hang in your kitchen. All of that needs to go. Sometimes you just need to get your Marie Kondo on and make the necessary cuts. This is a necessary evil that I do MANY times per year in my home. If you think you don't have much clutter, I dare you to rip everything out of a closet and say that again. You will be SHOCKED to find entire garbage bags of things you no longer need. If you're struggling to let go, think about someone else who doesn't have that thing. Could someone else be OVERJOYED by something you're "meh" about? Probably! Donate it, girlfriend!
- Go to the dollar store. If you are rich or if you have your mind set on making your pantry look like a contender for The Home Edit's blog (which I TOTALLY get, and am not joking about!), then by all means, go wherever you want. But if you're doing this because you literally cannot take the insanity that was/are your drawers, the dollar store is efficient and fits any price point. While I had big dreams of using those beautiful clear containers you see on Pinterest, once I found them on Amazon for $100 for a set of 4, I laughed myself all the way to my local Dollarama where I found these perfectly useful white containers, for $2 each. If I had been REALLY prepared, I would have measured the inside of my drawer, but I figured this medium size would work, and although I wish they were a bit taller and longer - they are fine and have turned my nightmare into something tolerable.
Stop berating yourself for being messy and start organizing your home to suit your natural habits. I believe this is the key to every organized persons home. If you always put the oven mitts in the third drawer, but your "home" for them is in the side cupboard....you know what I'm about to say.....change where that item lives.
In our place, one thing we NEVER did, was put our shoes away. The entry closet is right there, just tucked around the corner from the door, yet neither of us, EVER put our shoes away. It was this thing that I used to get so irritated with Mr. V (and myself) for not doing until one day when it all changed for me. If we can't/won't learn to put our shoes away, instead of making it a point of contention in our lives I'm just going to change place in which our shoes live.
So now, we have shoe storage in the closet for all of the shoes you need/have but don't wear that often (dress shoes, true running shoes, casual shoes etc) but we also have a cutesie little basket (I found it at HomeSense for $19.99!) that lives near the door that I throw our shoes into. Now, when Mr. V doesn't put his shoes away (which is every day) it's no biggie. I chuck them in the basket with the others, and I'm no longer annoyed, and we no longer have a pile-up of shoes at our door. Every now and then I go through the basket and refresh what our "most of the time shoes" are, and put ones we haven't worn in a while into the closet, but it's made my life better, my marriage better, AND my home look better.
So, if there is an annoying messy habit you have, instead of adding it to the list of your "habits" that you want to change, try changing the structure of your home to suit your natural habits. Our homes don't need to be places where we need to "flex" to fit. That's for our workplace ;)
Are you super organized? What tips would you give to others wanting to be more like you? Are you super messy? What is the first project you would like to tackle?