Putting things back......

Second... They put things back. Whenever an item has been removed from its assigned home, it is used for whatever reason and then immediately returned to its home when no longer in use. There are no temporary holding places. It's just put back where it belongs, right away."

Easier said than done, right?! As suggested in item #1, start putting the things back that you have organized a place for. I'm sure many of you have places that are established for certain items that you can start training yourself and others to put things back. There's a fun little thing you can do....in the most used place, like the drawer where the scissors or tape or pencils are, hide a little treat in that place. When you see a family member using that item, you can secretly say, "I bet when you put that back where it goes, you'll find a little treat." It's amazing what success you will have. You can even leave yourself a little treat...like chocolate. Great things for kids, if you're not into a sugary reward, nickels, dimes, coupon for a walk with mom or dad, etc....

I use to think that the "staircase basket" was a ingenious idea....well, after 19 years of having kids in my house, I've finally realized that the "staircase basket" has a built in feature. The minute you place an item in the basket to be taken upstairs , it turns invisible to the passer by. Yep, invisible, and the only one that can see it is you. And you end up putting everything away upstairs. Unless your basket is always invisible and you don't take it upstairs either. That is called temporary storage that ends up becoming permanent.

Start now by putting back the items you know where they go. It takes 22 days to make a habit. Surely you have 22 things to put back in those 22 days. I know I do! Good luck!

Image courtesy of Google Images....


A Place for EVERTHING...........

A designated place for everything is the key to having order in your home or office. It also cuts down on the questions, "Where is the...?" or "Where does this go?". It takes some simple steps to start finding a place for everything.

First, observe where it is that you use those items.

Second, start to establish a place for those items. Clear out the space and only put what you want in that place. You may place a container or box in that place for storing those items. Start with a temporary container, you always find more than you thought that you had for that place. As an organizer, I see too many of my clients purchasing organizing containers before they really have established what it is they will be containerizing and where it will go once containerized. Just think how much time and money you will save when going to Target, or the Container Store to purchase the containers that you need after you've established what it is that you will need!

Third, and the most difficult, gather those items that you're starting a "home" for. Ask yourself if you need 5 of those vegetable peelers, 8 of those pink erasers. etc.... get the idea? The hardest part of getting organized is to eliminate the clutter in the areas where you want to have a specific place for specific items.

Fourth, label the container. If it's a temporary box, label the box with a marker, if it’s a plastic container, put a piece of painter's tape on the box and write on the tape. (Painter’s tape works great for temporary labels. It peels off safely leaving no residue)

Fifth, introduce your family members or those using those items to the labeled “home”. Encourage them to return the items to that established place. It may take a while, but they will soon realize that in the future they’ll be able to find what they’re looking for.

Sixth, re-evaluate, time is the test, it may not happen overnight. If it takes more time, then perhaps you need to re-evaluate the place, if you have placed a lid on the container, it may be time consuming for the returnee to put the items away, the location height may not fit all the users. Re-evaluate. Remember the more steps it takes to put something away, the less successful it will be, especially when children are involved, or husbands.

Last but not least….a successful place! Measure the area and size you need and purchase a permanent container for those items. Be creative and make it fun and easy to dust or clean at a later time.


As soon as my family enters our home from the garage, there is the coat rack/cubby shelf. This is a great place to hang keys, place library books that need to be returned, outgoing mail, coats and a camera. Shoes are left in the garage, in case you were wondering. In the winter, hats and mittens are placed in some of the cubbies.

The piano room can be a place for chaos, music books left on the floor, on top of the piano, papers falling behind the piano. I placed a decorative file basket with each child's name on a hanging file folder for them to place their music books and papers in. After a few times of loosing books or sheet music, they have learned not to leave their music lying around.

The pantry is a place that can get quite chaotic when the family members are making lunches before school, grabbing a quick snack, etc... Easy labeled containerizing is the key. It also helps the beginning cook to distinguish the baking soda from the powdered sugar.

You can find cute labels at studio JK.

The room where everyone hangs out...usually where the television or the gaming center is, right?! In this room you can find DVD's, old VHS tapes, video game discs, and if you are lucky, the remotes. I've found it helpful to have a place, such as a drawer to store the video games. When the drawer is opened, the video games are in plain view. I have old VHS tapes, the ones the kids still like to watch and reminisce about their childhood, and I have placed those in a basket nook where it isn't used as often and not in the way.

And believe it or not, we can usually find the remotes in this room, in the prized box that one of my children made in a woodworking class. It's not my first choice, but when I said in my "out loud" voice, "Hum, I wonder what we can put the remotes in?". My daughter, proudly brought the box from her room and said, "This will work great, Mom!". Perhaps the ownership makes this a successful place for the remotes, because we know how difficult it is to find the remotes when needed.

There are many ideas and what may work for Martha Stewart, may not work for you. We're lucky that in this day and age,organizing containers come in so many shapes, materials, styles, and colors to make organizing your home fun. Be creative and put your personality into the organized home!


Okay, that's great for Organized People....

My next posts will be how to start thinking like an organized person, giving ideas for each rule....if you are an organized person reading my blog, I invite you to also add your ideas on how you accomplish being an "organized person".
Every journey starts with a single step..... Baby Steps Bob! ("What About Bob?" movie starring Bill Murray)


The 7 Habits of Very Organized People

Have you ever wondered how some people could be so very organized, when you're struggling on a daily basis just to get your home looking halfway presentable and to get at least a few items checked off of your To Do list?

Most organized people follow a few simple rules. Here are the 7 habits of very organized people.

1. They have a place for everything. Every item they have has a consistent, assigned home. The home for books is on the book shelf. The home for toys is in the toy room on the toy shelves. The home for blank greeting cards is in the greeting card organizer in the office.

2. They put things back. Whenever an item has been removed from its assigned home, it is used for whatever reason and then immediately returned to its home when no longer in use. There are no temporary holding places. It's just put back where it belongs, right away.

3. They write things down. Organized people make lists and notes, and keep these in one consistent place such as a planner, notebook or calendar. They don't try to remember things in their heads. They let the pen and paper (or the computer) work for them. They reference their lists and notes on a daily basis. Many use the Get Organized Now! Easy Organizer as a tool:http://www.getorganizednow.com/ezorganizer.html

4. They don't allow papers to pile up. Papers to file are filed each day, not left to grow into mountains. Mail is opened over the recycle container so papers not needed don't even have a chance to multiply. Kids permission slips are signed right away and sent back to school with the kids. Bills are tucked into a bill paying system until bill paying day, and paid bill statements are filed away that day. Magazines are read within a week or two and then recycled or donated.

5. They don't procrastinate. When something has to be done, organized people schedule time to do it and then they keep that scheduled appointment. They know that the more they delay, the more likely deadlines will be missed or opportunities will pass.

6. They set goals and assign deadlines. They know if they want to get things done, they need to know exactly what they want the end result to be and by what date. They review these goals often and set aside time each day to work on achieving them. They review what they've accomplished and never forget to reap the rewards.

7. They only keep what they use and/or they enjoy. They can't stand anything taking up space that doesn't have a useful or pleasurable purpose in their lives. They're big believers in simplicity. They breathe easier knowing they've lightened their loads and can move easily without having to climb over boxes and piles of clutter.

Credit to: Maria Garcia with Get Organized Now!