comes after clutter control. I don't think clutter "should" be organized. I think clutter can be weeded out first and then we can organize what
is left. Sign up for FREE monthly Clutter Clearing Tips newsletter to stay on top of this process.
• Think like a professional organizer: Primary, secondary, and tertiary space and stuff.
Primary stuff goes in primary space. Secondary stuff goes in secondary space...Clutter arises when our secondary and tertiary
stuff clogs our primary space.
• Store items at the location where they are most frequently used. • Store
items by function--letter writing, bill paying, gift wrapping...Be able to perform tasks like these without having to run
all over your home to get what you need.
• Store "like items" together. Keep hats together, shoes together,
hobby items together...
• Match the storage container to the stuff. Is this category of stuff going to expand?
If this is such an obvious question, why are so many of us struggling to cram our stuff back into overflowing containers?
Plan for grow room.
• Match the storage item to its user. Make sure the container will work for a small child--can
they open and shut it, and manage the latch?
• Put storage
containers in the right locations. If a container isn't in a logical place to make using it become a new habit, it will be
a waste of money, effort, and space.
Organized cooking? Simple?
I can't cook.... That isn't quite true. I usually just don't like to cook. I am not a cooking expert. I try to find resources
and techniques to simplify this task. Since meal planning, preparation, and clean-up take a significant amount of time, energy,
and resources, it is obvious that any simplifying here can have a significant life impact. Simple cookbooks come in several
major categories helpful to recognize:
- Few-ingredient books for recipes that don't require a lot of ingredients.
- Cook-it-fast books for recipes that prepare and cook quickly.
- Crock-pot books to start dinner in the morning and come home to at night.
- Make-Ahead or Freezer books to have frozen dinners on hand when time is short.
- Make-A-Mix books to save money and time.
- Cooking technique books to learn cooking techniques to apply to whatever ingredients you happen to have on
hand. Other cooking thoughts:
- Take a "try before you buy"
approach with cookbooks. Check out a book from the library. Use it for awhile. See if you like the food and make sure the
author's pantry matches your own pantry before you are stuck with more cookbook or pantry clutter.
- Get rid of the "all or nothing" attitude. Recognize there are many options between a made-from-scratch
meal and a restaurant meal--fast food brought home and eaten with fruits or vegetables, frozen dinners or pizza take-out supplemented
with at-home beverages or side dishes...
even organizing containers, will NOT reduce your clutter, organize you, or simplify your life. In fact, a product (i.e. more
stuff) can actually increase your clutter--even if it is a great storage idea, cleaning tool, or whatever. CHOOSE CAREFULLY.
Think before you buy: Will I use it? Can I make this part of my cleaning, clutter control, or home organizing routine?
The "Mommy Tool"is a must-have: This is simply a small functional pocket knife. I don't
mean to leave dads out. A pocket knife, generally found at a hardware store or in the sporting goods section of a discount
store, is an excellent parenting tool to simplify a parent's life. It trims a loose thread, pulls out a sliver at the park,
or opens a package that just arrived in the mail.
Family Manager Planner--I call mine my "mommy
notebook." I changed the organizing tabs to fit my life, so I have categories like "Books to read," "Places
to go when I have a sitter," "Movies to rent," "Wish list for me," and wish lists for other family
& ORGANIZING BOOKS:
So many books and so little time. Sometimes I go to the library and "shop."
It doesn't cost any money but it does cost time. I consider it time well spent.
Here are some of my favorite books organized by "life area." Scroll down to
the categories that interest you and "shop" there:
- Find a few favorite clutter control, organizing,
and simple living books, and reread them every year or two to get motivated.
reference books. Borrow entertaining and inspirational books.
HOME ORGANIZING & CLUTTER CONTROL
Your Clutter with Feng Shui, Karen Kingston, New York: Broadway Books, 1999.
- Confessions of an Organized Housewife, Deniece Schofield, Cincinnati, OH: Writerâ€™s
Digest Books, 1982.
- Not for Packrats Only, Don Aslett,
New York: Plume, 1991.
- Pick Up Your Socks, And Other Skills
Growing Children Need! A Practical Guide to Raising Responsible Children, Crary, Elizabeth, & Casebolt, Pati (Parenting
Pr., Inc., 1990).
- Getting Organized, Stephanie Winston,
New York: Warner Books, 1991.
- Get Your Act Together,
Pam Young & Peggy Jones, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1993.
Complete Idiotâ€™s Guide to Organizing Your Life, Georgene Lockwood, New York: Alpha Books, 1996.
- Use What You Have Decorating, Lauri Ward, New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1998.
Cooking, Mimi Wilson & Mary Beth Lagerborg, Colorado Springs, Colorado: Word Books, 1992.
- Frozen Assets: How to cook for a day and eat for a month, Deborah Taylor-Hough, Beverly
Hills, CA: Champion Press, 1999.
- Recipes 1-2-3: Fabulous food
using only three ingredients, Rozanne Gold, NY: Viking, 1996.
Karine Eliason, Nevada Harward, Madeline Wetover, Tuscon, AZ: Fisher Books, 1995.
- Desperation Dinners, Beverly Mills & Alicia Ross, New York: Workman Publishing, 1997.
LAUNDRY AND WARDROBE
Womanâ€™s Guide to a Simpler Life, Andrea VanSteenhouse w/Doris A. Fuller, NY: Harmony Books, 1996.
- Looking Good-A comprehensive guide to wardrobe planning, color
& personal style..., Nancy Nix-Rice,Palmer Pb. 1996.
- Is There Life After Housework?, Don Aslett, Cincinnati,
OH: Writerâ€™s Digest Books, 1981, 1992.
Cleaning, Jeff Cambell & The Clean Team, New York: Dell Pub. Co., 1987.
- How to Avoid Housework, Paula Jhung, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.
- Your Money or Your Life, Joe
Dominguez & Vicki Robin, New York: Viking, 1992.
- The Tightward
Gazette I, II, & III, Amy Dacyczyn, a.k.a. The Frugal Zealot, New York: Villard Books, 1996.
- Shattering the Two-Income Myth, Andy Dappan, Brier, Washington: Brier Books,
- Mi$erly Moms, Jonni McCoy, Elkton, MD: Full Quart
Press, 1996. Two Incomes And Still Broke? Linda Kelly, New York: Random House, 1996
TIME AND PAPER MANAGEMENT
Down in a Speeded Up World, Adair Lara, Emeryville, CA: Conari Press, 1994.
- How to be Organized Inspite of Yourself, Sunny Schlenger, New York: Penguin Books, 1989.
- The Overwhelmed Personâ€™s Guide to Time Management, Ronni
Eisenberg w/Kate Kelly, New York: PLUME, 1997.
- How To Get
Control of Your Time and Your Life, Alan Lakein, New York: Peter H. Wyden, Inc., 1973.
- Time Management For Dummies, Jeffrey J. Mayer, Foster City, CA: IDG Books, 1995.
- Time Shifting--Creating More Time to Enjoy Your Life Stephan Rechtschaffen,
M.D., New York: Doubleday, 1996.
- File Donâ€™t
Pile, Pat Dorff, New York: St. Martinâ€™s Press, 1986. Taming the Paper Tiger, Barbara Hemphill,
Washington, D.C.: Kiplinger Books, 1992
LIFESTYLE & PHILOSOPHIES OF SIMPLE LIVING
- Creating A Charmed Life--Sensible,
Spiritual Secrets Every Busy Woman Should Know, Victoria Moran.
Simplicity: Toward A Way of Life that is Outwardly Simply & Inwardly Rich, Duane Elgin, New York: Quill, 1993.
Living The Simple Life, Elaine St. James, New York: Hyperion, 1996.
to Get Off the Fast Track and Live a Life Money Canâ€™t Buy, M.M. Kirsch, Los Angeles, CA: 1991.
- Balancing Act, Mary Ellen Ashcroft, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press,
- The Simple Living Guide, Janet Luhrs, New York:
Broadway Books, 1997.
- The Circle of Simplicity, Cecile
Andrews, New York: HarperCollins, 1997.
- Simple Living,
Frank Levering and Wanda Urbanska, New York: Viking, 1992.
& Simple, Sue Bender, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989.
From The Sea, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, New York: Pantheon Books, 1975.
Womanâ€™s Comfort Book, Jennifer Louden, SanFrancisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco, 1992.