My new organised self.
Now do not let the title fool you or lull you into a false sense of security. This is NOT, I repeat, NOT a post with gloriously laid out photos of my perfect home adorned with stacked fashion books on a glass coffee table and shelving with morrocan print baskets housing my collection of vintage Vogue magazines.
You won’t see any white on white furniture arrangements here (hellooooo Toddlerhood!) and certainly you won’t find lipsticks lined up perfectly, by brand and then by shade, in tiered plastic Muji storage boxes. Nope.
What you will find on the other hand is plastic containers from the bargain stores, bad use of my new best friend my label maker and the occasional misplaced item in this organising picture/post fest.
But you will also find someone who is getting organised, slowly but surely and loving the process!
So if your still up for it after that very positive and enlightening introduction….let’s crack on!
I’m guessing if your reading this post you are into organizing or you want to be into organizing (or you just like nosing into people’s drawers. Like me!). Whether your an organising expert with a wardrobe to rival a Kardashians or you are an ‘unorganized chaos filled person who is desperately looking for inspiration’ to get some order into your life (or into your drawers at least). This is the post for you. I am most definitely the latter of those, or I was, or I still am….who knows. I’m working on it.
Basically I am a pretty clean person, I like to clean (not all the damn time though!!) but I hate HATE tidying!
Putting laundry away- Urgh, emptying the dishwasher- double Urgh– and organising paperwork- well I’m out the door- no no NOPE for that one.
That was until I found hope. And advice. And a new YouTube addiction to boot. Meet Do It On A Dime. The organiser extroidaire who I love love love. She is, as you would guess an organizing goddess. The Beyonce to my plastic storage bins, a Queen to my drawer partitioners. Ok I’ll stop now. It’s getting embarrassing.
Well I found her channel somehow and I am HOOKED. Not only does she give the best advice and tips, she is so nice and real! She doesn’t have a ‘Pinterest worthy magazine photo shoot style home’- she has a real home. A real organised home. And I wanted to learn her wisdom.
Her whole philosophy is that you don’t need to spend a fortune to organise your home. We’ve all been there- going to Home Sense or TKMaxx to buy 10 wicker bins costing over £50 and getting home and shoving stuff in them and thinking your done.
No. She’s about utilising stuff you’ve got, or shopping the dollar store. She ‘shops’ her own home to find stuff to use to organise and often uses things for a different purpose than they are intended (hello to using plastic shoe organisers to put kiddie snacks in your cupboards! And yes I have done this).
She is very much an advocate for purging your home and not holding on to things that you don’t need (even if you think you do), but equally she understands that we as folk are sentimental souls and that can be tough. She has a temporary place for things she thinks she may want to get rid of, to see if she misses them after a 6 months/ a year period and then if she doesn’t- she donates/sells.
She talks a lot about how the main reason for chaos in your home is that you do not want to put stuff away because it is a pain to put away. Chances are if your pan lids are stored behind 3 pots, 2 bottles of olive oil and a blender- your not going to put them away when you’ve used them. And that- that last part- resonated hard with me. In a good mind blowing organising extraordinaire that she is kinda way.
You see this is me, and my husband. We have a lot of stuff. And we do technically have space for it. But we buy more stuff, life stuff, and when you mix all those aspects together- having stuff, buying stuff and not storing it properly – it leads to chaos.
So I had to start the process of organising. And I say process because it is definitely that. I am nowhere near finished- but boy, the areas we have done (uh hum- sorry I have done- sorry Hubby!) have made a massive difference, truly to our daily lives. As dramatic as that sounds.
So I wanted to share some of the areas I have organized so far and some tips and tricks that I have learnt from the amazing Kathryn at Do It On A Dime.
Kitchen, Kitchen, Kitchen.
So I can set the scene, before I put my newly found organising skills to work these cupboards were jammed. Really. Quite often a can of chopped tomatoes would fly out the cupboard when you opened it and there was so much food we didn’t know we had. I got rid of 2 bin bags of out of date food/ old lids/ knackered plates/ old spoons etc.
Well this has been the game changer in so many ways. I can now see what we have, I know what to shop for, I waste less food and I can put my shopping away so much faster. Its also great for delegating cooking duties as there can be no more ‘well where is that?’, and its just made such a difference. And yes I am aware how dramatic that sounds, and clearly we are not talking world changing difference but a difference to me, every day, every time I cook/shop/make a cuppa so that is a life changer for me. And to boot- it was easy peasy.
Use baskets to create sections for each type of product. For example a pasta basket, a tea basket, a condiment basket.
Label them, you must MUST label them. even if its with a bit of paper sellotaped on. It makes such a difference.
And -big tip here- leave. some. room. for. more. stuff. Tres improrant. What is the point of neatly organised cupbouards if they are full to the brim. It will only mean when you go food shopping and put stuff away you will struggle to do so. You need somewhere to put it, or- you guessed it folks- It’ll get messy again! Genius!
Under The Stairs of Doom
We have an under stairs cupbouard that when we looked around the house before we brought it I was amazed at. Ohh the plans I had for that cupboard….Our old house had zero to zero storage so the idea I could put the vacumm away and hide the mop bucket was extremely exciting for me. (Sad life, I know.) Fast forward to being in our home for nearly 2 years and the much loved under the stair space was a tip, a ‘throw it in and shut the door fast, type tip’. Yes there was stuff stored in there, but you couldn’t get to anything easily and it was just a shit tip. Plain and simple.
So I decided to take action. I hop footed it to IKEA and went to town and have now created a unit which has labeleled sections with space for things we need access to easily (Toddler crafts/ handy tools/ dog food etc), but also sections to store my husbands work bags and nappy bags. We have coats hanging up and a bin at the other end with overflow Coscto purchases in. It generally feels very accessible and grown up. And joy of joys I can now access the vacumm with ease so there is no excuse for not hovering. Damn It!
Sometimes purchasing a unit is worth if it is going to be used a lot and it fits your space perfectly. The IKEA KALLAX unit we used it the perfect fit and I am so happy I got it.
Label. Label. Label. Its honestly helped me (and the rest of the family) so much in putting stuff back and finding stuff.
Create a space for anything that annoys you. For me that was my husbands work bag which used to be ‘stored’ on the dining room floor all week and in the hall on weekends. Now it has its own hatch, along with the nappy bag so bags are no longer cluttering our halls.
Don’t overfill larger spaces. The temptation for me was to add more storage but it so important to be able to get into the room. And plus there will always be those occasions when you need to hide the laundry basket in there when you have those unexpected family visits. Save some space.
Accept its not going to look totally neat. When you have coats hanging up, shoes in sections and hoovers and mops lined up, its not going to look Pinterest worthy. But does that really matter? Nope.
Make up galore.
I have a lot of makeup. A LOT. And as much as I could lie to you all and say I’m working on my addiction to lippies and bronzers, that would be a bare faced lie. So let me tell you how I contain my hoards of beauty and skincare items.
IKEA IKEA IKEA. These IKEA ALEX drawers are any beauty lovers dream. (Also great for paperwork!) I have had them for a while and I just had drawers with random items in, just mixed up and a mess.
But now I have drawers that are dedicated to certain items. Which means….shocker here folks– I know where stuff is! I emptied every drawer out and got rid of the old stuff (I mean some was soooo old!) and I used any containers I had to serperate the items that needed separating. I used old Birchox boxes and lids, and IKEA kitchen drawer organisers cut up. Anything I had in the house. I then put things in piles of types. Hair stuffs, lippies etc…. And I got my new best friend my label maker out and went to town!
I will add that I firmly belive that you will always have one drawer which is a bit of a mix match. I have one which has hair brushes and random hair products I don’t use a lot, but then sometimes I do. That type of thing. And its ok to accept that you will have that 1 drawer.
My vanity is for my every day products (yes I am aware that there are shit loads of them), and I again used monthly subscriptions boxes and old YSL/Chanel beauty gift boxes to separate items. I have an eyeshadow section, mascara, concealers, lipiners etc. And yes it doesnt look the prettiest but it works. And putting my face on in the morning as never been so organised.
Ive also got a ‘new stuff basket’ which I forgot to photograph. I wanted this for stuff I buy that I may be saving for something or that I want to photograph before I use. It is just a basket so nothing fancy there, but it does really help me as it shows my that I have LOTS of new purchases in it and kinda (I said kinda Hubby!) stops me buying too many more items. It also stops me from just piling new things on the bed or windowsills. It gives me a place to put stuff.
Overall I know that the perpect plastic see through make up storage numbers look a lot prettier than my mix match of boxes, but come on people- this is real life. My real life anyhow, and there is no way I desire to keep my makeup so neat in see through boxes. Also I don’t fancy polishing the things all the times! (Hello toddler hands!).
I am very happy that now I can see all the minis I have accumulated from all these subscription boxes and also see all my back up products. I’m finding now I can see stuff that I have and I am using items that I had forgot I even owned! And like I said before- my make up vanity is so much more organised for my every day makeup. I can find stuff and spend less time routing for my Bobbi Brown bronzer and more time on my winged liner!
The upside to using boxes that you already have is you get some space freed up from where you were storing the boxes. Bonus!
Again, as I mentioned before it is sometimes worth investing in some furniture to house your makeup if you have a lot. But a tip is to make sure there is room for when you add more items in the future. Otherwise you will end up in the same position with no room for things.
Don’t get too caught up on everything being lined up if you have lots of items, all my monthly subscription box goodies are just in the containers loose. This is now fine though as they are in sections. Body products, nail products, hair etc….
Inside our drawers.
Ooh kinky…ok enough now. Oh all the Lolz… So yes, our drawers. We have a large drawer unit in our bedroom and it is part my stuff, part my hubbies stuff and part junk storage. Or at least it was!
I invested in some IKEA HOFTA storage dividers which you can cut to fit any drawer size and they divide up your drawers into sections.
A tip I have picked up from my Do It On A Dime binge watching is the minimize your towel supply. This was scary to me as, well I’m not sure why to be honest, towels just seem like something you hang onto just incase. Well I purged them and we now have 2 large bath towels each, two small each, beach towel each, 8 hand towels (we have 3 bathrooms) and 1 or 2 floating towels. So I chucked some away and got to organising!
I also did my bra/pants and PJ drawer which was very needed as of late I was practically kicking it shut. So I did the same, got rid of the old and folded things nicely into sections and used these dividers. Lets just say finding my pants in the morning has never been so easy.
The junk drawers
We all have them, and like I said before its ok to have a few of them. So I used some dividers and some plastic bins from Morrions and Tesco to sort things by kinda type. Its not perfect but it is a hell of a lot better!
This is a constant work in progress as I keep buying stuff! Ha! (If only I was joking!)
Again I have a used monthly subscription boxes and they fit perfectly. I’ve also gone to town with the label maker, again because I’m obsessed. Only slight downfall with the boxes is that they card so will proably not stand the long test of time but so far, 6 months in they are ok.
I have a use every day skincare section and then my hubby has his aftershaves section and so on…. And then we have the other bathroom cabinet essintials sections.
Remember it is trial and error when dividing drawers, it took me a while to get my bra/pj drawer right as I made some sections too small etc…. That’s why those IKEA dividers are great as you can cut them to your desired size.
PURGE YOUR TOWELS. I bet you’ll be amazed at how many you have. I could still get rid of a few more. Plus the space it gives you is crazy. We gained a whole large drawer worth of space to fill with……well whatever we need to!
So to sum up I am rather proud of my efforts so far. I’ve done a few other areas but I forgot to take pics. I have done my scarfs and bed side table and a few more areas.
I think the biggest tip in organising is take it slow. Its a process. Do not tackle everything at once. Also purge as you go along. Get rid of stuff you don’t need and be ruthless.
A last tip would be to not worry about it looking perfect. As you can see from my pictures, mine do not look perfect. The products aren’t lined up and colour coordinated, the newest isn’t in front of the oldest and it isn’t it clear Perspex shelving.
But it is organised. The way I see it is, especially for makeup and skincare items is that I have so many items, and lots of mini items that it is very tricky to line them up and make them look pretty. BUT, and its a big BUT- who cares?? I truly don’t.
I am just so excited that I can now find my mini shampoos and I don’t have to fight to get my baked beans out the cupboard.
Lady Like Momma