It’s been a while since I posted something on organization. Every now and then I’ll share a tip I picked up on Pinterest or YouTube and pass the info along on my blog. After all, sharing is caring, right? A couple of years ago I stumbled upon Alejandra Costello’s YouTube channel and let me tell you, she is what I call an ‘organization guru’. While I doubt my house will ever look as clean, organized and tidy as hers, I can say that I’ve learned SO much about organizing and decluttering and just creating an effective streamlined environment where things are easy to find and easy to put away with no hassle.
For instance, take this tip on keeping your spices organized. Who would have thought that throwing a lazy Susan in your kitchen cupboard would make life a bit easier. It just never occurred to me that using this simple little gadget would not only organize my spices but also help declutter my cabinet all together. That’s what I call a win-win..lol!
Eventually we plan on re-doing our kitchen cabinets otherwise I’d totally line the inside with chalkboard contact paper so I could write down measurements and hang my measuring cups like you see Here. Not sure when we’ll do this but if it will take longer than expected to update our kitchen then I’ll probably cave and just do it now. Of course you will all be the first to know 🙂
For now here’s a picture of what the inside of my cupboard looks like. Sorry I didn’t think to take a before shot. But just picture all the spices strewn about and knocked over each other. It was a real cluttered mess. This way things are a tad bit easier to find. I keep my most often used spices on the outer edge of the lazy Susan for easier access. Just spin and win..hey that rhymes..lol!
Okay so I finally bit the bullet and downloaded this book to my kindle. I just couldn’t take it anymore and had to see what all the fuss was about this Marie Kondo person. To be honest the title of this book really didn’t grab me at all. I thought what’s so magical about tidying up? Just clean up your house and be done with it. Nothing magical about that. Oh how wrong I was. As Marie takes you through the steps of organizing, storing and ultimately decluttering your home, you can’t help but feel an awakening of sorts. My own process of cleaning and decluttering my home consisted of emptying out all dresser drawers completely and going through each article of clothing and selecting what stays and what goes. I smugly thought, phssshh, I could have written this book with my hands tied behind my back since some of the steps Marie explained sounded very familiar as I was already implementing them in my organizing routine. Anything I wanted to keep would get folded and put back in the drawer and anything I didn’t want would go in a pile designated Yard Sale. Whatever was leftover from the yard sale I’d load into my car and haul it off to the Goodwill. But Marie tackles clutter a lot differently than I do. One would think her primary goal in life is to empty out her clients homes and leave them with nothing more than a bed and the clothes on their backs. Not the case at all. She merely explains her rationale on why certain things need not hold a space in your home a minute longer than it should. Holding each piece of clothing, book or trinket in your hand and determining if the item sparks joy is the question you should ask yourself. If the answer is no, then it gets placed in the discard or donate pile. This goes for all the bedrooms, closets, bathrooms, kitchen, and cabinets in the home. While some of her reasoning on why some things should get discarded may seem a bit extreme, I totally get her point and simply can understand her passion for organization and having a clutter free, calm and peaceful home. Though I doubt I’ll be tossing out any articles of sentimental value anytime soon…lol!
Since reading this book I have to say it has completely changed how I view things in my home. I’ve held on to stacks of books for so long with the intent of one day getting around to reading them and the same with a few dresses that I bought and planned to hem (I’m really petite) but after several years I just never got around to it. The truth of the matter was that every time I saw those stacks of books on my shelf or those dresses hanging in my closet, I felt guilt and unhappiness and to be honest I always let out a big sigh because they were reminders of my perpetual problem with procrastinating and my lack of commitment to accomplishing things I said I would but never did. As I went through the books I found they no longer interested me and the dresses hanging in my closet were out of style and no longer something I wanted to wear. They didn’t spark joy. So I donated them to the Goodwill.
In closing, what I thought was a silly book (because of the title) and only purchased it out of curiosity after reading all the great reviews, I quickly swallowed my words and can honestly say that Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up was indeed life changing for me personally. While I have yet to finish my entire home by using her famous KonMari method of simplifying, organizing and storing, I did complete my bedroom and half of my kitchen. Still a work in progress but definitely going in the right direction thanks to this #1 New York Times Best Selling Japanese guide to decluttering. It has definitely earned a spot on my book shelf. Happy reading, ya’ll!
I grew up in a cluttered untidy home. My mom, God bless her heart, was and still is a wonderful, loving mother who doted on my brother and I when we were kids. She had her priorities straight and always made sure we had what we needed and always spent time playing with us or helping with homework. Keeping a clean house was not high on her list of priorities, and looking back, I’d say that was just fine with me because we built memories that lasted a lifetime and we still, till this day, often reminisce about those fun times when after dinner, we’d skipped the dishes and head outside to throw water balloons at each other.
I will say that as a teenager, I always kept my room tidy and organized where things were always put away in their proper place. I know, hard to believe a teenager can pull that off, right? but I was one of the rare few I guess. Now fast forward a few decades later and here I am now…a mom….with teenagers…..and rooms they can’t keep clean if their life depended on it. Granted I am sure there are other parents out there who deal with much worse like finding a sandwich stuck at the bottom of the inside of a backpack growing mold, or discovering a half eaten chocolate bar tossed in the corner of the closet only to be devoured by an army of ants. Thankfully I haven’t found any specimens growing in my daughter’s room but she is a big time clutter bug and somehow possesses the ability to turn a room, ANY room, upside down and into a tornado-like mess. If I was paid a dollar for every time I told her to pick up her room I’d be driving a BMW today! What can you expect from teenagers, right? They toss, their clothes on the bed instead of hanging them up in the closet or leave a crumpled up paper on the floor next to the waste basket where they intended to land it but missed, they keep several empty plastic water bottles tossed about the room, not to mention pencil shavings that somehow didn’t make it into the trash but instead look like they were sprinkled like fairy dust across the desk top, and then there’s the shoes, the shoes they kick off their feet and accurately land one under the dresser and the other on the complete opposite side of the room under the bed in a hard to reach spot where your arm is not long enough to reach. Sometimes I think they jump up high and do the splits in mid-air and let their shoes torpedo off into opposite directions . I can go on but I’m sure you get my drift.
I first got into home organization while I was browsing through youtube videos a couple of years ago. I came across Alejandra Costello’s Channel and let me tell you I have learned so much from her and even implemented some of her organizational tips an ideas in my home. She shops quite a bit at The Container Store where they have all things related to home organization. In a word the store is AWESOME! But a bit pricey for my taste. Not all of their stuff is pricey though, as I have purchased a few shelf organizers and stackable bins that fit perfectly under my bathroom sink and were within my price range at the time. I guess it depends what you’re looking for and how much you want to spend. I definitely keep The Container Store in the forefront of my mind whenever I am looking for something I can’t find elsewhere and when I can afford to splurge a little. Alejandra also shares videos on how to organize your home on a budget using Dollar Store items. With that said, if you are on a tight budget or just can’t justify paying $4.00 – $7.00 for medium or large size stackable bins, then you may want to check other stores and do some product/price comparison. For example the Dollar Tree has many organizational items such as bins, baskets, glass containers, etc. I found some bins that fit snugly under my kitchen sink where I can store extra sponges and basic kitchen cleaning stuff. The quality may not be as nice as the ones from The Container Store but they hold the same amount of stuff as the expensive ones do and are just as functional. Everything is a dollar each so you really can’t go wrong here. What can I say, I’m a frugal mom and I’ll save wherever I can. Another fun youtube channel I found that really opened my eyes to all the wonderful and great finds at the Dollar Tree is DoItOnaDime. Katherine is a mom who knows how to shop and find cool, I mean REALLY cool stuff at the Dollar Tree and posts videos on how she uses Dollar Tree items to decorate or organize her home on a budget. I’ve learned so much from watching these lovely ladies turn a messy cluttered space into a beautifully decorated and organized home.
Now here are some before and after pictures of how I organized the space under my bathroom sink. As you can see in the before picture, things were just strewn about before I categorized everything and put them in separate bins. By the way these are the bins I picked up from The Container Store. If I recall they were like $4 each. So all together I paid about $16 for them. Oh and the liner was just a $1 at the Dollar Store.
Here is the space under my kitchen sink. As you can see in the before shot everything was just tossed around. So I picked up these green bins from the Dollar Tree… four stackables, two basket containers, one glass jar for my baking soda, and two rolls of shelf liner. All for a whopping $9. The shelf liner wasn’t really necessary but I thought it was pretty and of course we want things in our home to look purrrdy, right?
Now back to my daughter’s room. Remember I mentioned earlier of how messy it can get. As you can see in this before picture the top of my daughter’s dresser was just a cluttered mess with no real order of things. After a visit to the Dollar Tree it was pretty easy to categorize her make-up, hair products and accessories and lotions in separate containers so she can just grab what she needs, use it then toss it back in the container. I picked up these wire baskets, glass jar containers and 2-tiered blue mini organizers with drawers (aren’t they the cutest?) for a grand total of $7.
It just makes sense doesn’t it? to shop more sensibly, more prudently, and to shop only within your means. Set a budget and stick to it. I keep all receipts and track all of our monthly spendings whether for groceries, eating out or entertainment. We have a set budget for each of these categories and we work really hard to not go beyond what we can afford.
Are you looking to de-clutter and organize your home and live more simply? if yes, then I hope you can check out Alejandra and Katherine’s youtube channels. They really have a wealth of information to share that has really made a difference in my life. Do you have any frugal tips you’d like to share? leave a comment. I’m all ears. 🙂