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How Do I Organize My Life

Updated on February 3, 2014

At Peace With No Clutter

Sit, Relax, Enjoy With A Clean Fresh Mind
Sit, Relax, Enjoy With A Clean Fresh Mind

How Do I Get Organized

How do I get organized? The hardest part of organization is getting to the point where you can ask yourself, how can I stay organized? Depending on your circumstances, you may already be at the point where you are finding ways to stay organized.


If there is a lot of napkins, folded paper towels, plastic bags, toothpick on the floor, cloths in piles, garbage mail riddled everywhere, no sheets on your bed, no towel or toilet paper hanging in your bathroom and/or no soap on the sink, than congratulations for taking the first step and looking for help. You will have to start from the basics, when it all started.


First, find out why you live like this. Ask yourself, “Is it a person, place or thing?” Are you depressed, lonely? Did you loose someone close to you? is there a toxic person in your life that feels like clutter? Did you retire and lose will? Do you have a medical condition? Do you have too much on your plate? A spouse? As you can see, the problem could stem from one or multiple issues. Determine when you first started living like this. There is no easy answer. Everybody is uniquely different. But, once you get a handle on why and when and move toward a healing you will be able to move on to the next step. Whatever your reason get a handle on it and know that you can keep a lot of the things that are riddled between your feet and/or you can release it to your higher power and make a change to live cleaner by being and staying organized. Did you ever here the phrase, Cleanliness is next to Godliness?

I found that some people cannot dive into their clutter to get organized even when they know why they have been living with it. It is too overwhelming and they are incapable of staying on task and lack the capacity to organize. This task is a physical and emotional challenge, even if they know when and why it all started.

Find the treasures and display them with honor and respect in your home. So that every time you look at they the memory will bring joy into your life.


Organizing takes time and does not happen over night. It is a slow, tedious process. It doesn't have to take so long if you hire someone to go in and plow through your belongings, but most people can't handle that, they need time to absorb the transition, the change. Little by little is probably your best approach if you are doing it by yourself. If you can't, make sure you get help from someone you can trust, make sure they genuinely care. It might be better to use stranger's help as they will be more patient with you and your feelings, especially if your situation is out of control and everywhere you turn something is under your feet.

You would have to be the judge of that. Use the referral method to find someone. Using a helpful, caring person that will work with you is your best bet. This way you are involved and can take a mental note where everything has gone.


Everything you own should have a home. If nothing is behind you well than alright, you have been so good, just go forward, but if there is a threat, an obstacle a reaction is in order. My sister was not an organized person which in turn caused static in her relationship until someone finally knocked some sense into her and told her to just look back before she leaves an area and pick up the mess you made. She explained to me that all it takes is a few seconds of awareness. Doing this repetitively imbeds the rule within you. When you are walking out of the room, look back, if you see a trail, pick it up and take it with you. When you are getting out of your car, the bus or taxi cab look back. When you get off the toilet and finish your business look back, at the sink, just out of bed, after pouring yourself a coffee, when you are done with dinner, the list goes on and on, just pay attention to your surroundings and look back and take it with you. Who needs the fighting, the constant nagging from others? Respect the one your with. Just condition yourself to look back from the minute that can transpire to the overwhelming.

The more times you look back the easier it is to live your life without clutter. This life style has perks attached to it as well. You free your mind when it is time to rush along grabbing your keys, jacket, hat purse, etc. Your mind is clear, freed from the constant aggravation of constantly misplacing things and the time looking for it all. Looking back and putting away the things you left behind becomes a habit, a way of life. An important change in how you look at things. Remember, everything you own should have a home.

Turn your clutter into $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$


So, what do you do when you leave a room? Look back? Pick up your plops. Dishes, coat, cloths, shoes, perhaps? All your personal items should have a place, a home within your home. Stay focused in your travels and respect your family members. If you simply have to save it find a place for it right away. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to be clutter free if you remember and instill onto yourself that everything you own should have a home and should be put in its home right away in an organized manner. The rule of thumb is, as soon as you are done using it, reading it, eating it, clean it up, put it back, give it away, share.


Okay, let's reiterate: first, before you buy it or take it off someone else's hands, or pick it up from the side of the road, ask yourself the appropriate questions:

Do I really need this? Do I have a place for it? Do I already have it? Do I even want this? Why do I want this? Who might want this? Who might need this? Does it fit my collection? Will it fit me? Who can I give this to as a gift?

Once you get in the habit of asking the questions to yourself before you even consider acquiring it, you will have conditioned yourself to think first before obtaining it. If you're saving things for a rainy day and they start raining on your clean home than it is time to consider your options. One at a time, let’s go through your plops (clutter that came directly from you). It's question time again.

If you love to buy and have it to spend than do so, but think before you make that purchase and again ask yourself the questions. The answers will guide you into staying organize.


I have been in and out of homes for years now. Friends, clients, family members, they all have their story. No one is perfect not even the ones who can hire someone to do the work for them.

Once you get a handle on how it is done, addressing your sentimental connection to your possessions, you will be able to wake up each morning refreshed to start again weeding out the I don't want it any mores, between the I can use that.

For instance, here I am in someones home trying to clear out the clutter. I am swimming through my client's father's original, actual size, stained glass church window drawings. These drawings were used to create actual size stained glass windows for churches and other places, so cool, so many. What should I do with them all? The questions fill my mind, flowing through the question processing center, but before it reaches that area for decision making thoughts of the past over flow and pour out.

"I dabbled in stained glass years ago. I still have the grinder, cutters and some other stuff. Made a bird house, some butterfly suction window decorations for favors for a wedding and a lamp shade in which I gave away as a wedding gift. Maybe I will pick up where I left off and start doing stained glass again. I don't even know if they even use the material I used back than, I can still here the sound of the glass as I attempt to cut it tapping it ever so lightly with the base of the cutter. Ding, ding, clang."

"Will I pick up where I left off? Is this what I want to do now? Is this that important to me? Should I keep it just in case?

The hardest part about organizing is finding a home for the stuff you think is good enough to keep or that you might use. This can be a real challenge for your helper too. You must make a decision and commit yourself to the process and know that it will end earlier if you give in and release the possessions that really don't have purpose.


Get some empty crates or boxes, one for the stuff you are going to keep, one for giving to someone else and one for garbage. You can make piles too if the boxes just won't fit all the stuff.

First start with your storage areas, clean out your pantry, your cabinets and any other place that can house things you are going to keep. Just get all the stuff off your shelves and out of your cabinets. While you are at it wipe everything down and throw anything out that you don't want. Make a keep area and a Giveaway area. Remember, ask yourself the series of questions.

Do I really need this? Do I have a place for it? Do I already have it? Do I even want this? Why do I want this? Who might want this? Who might need this? Does it fit my collection? Will it fit me? Who can I give this to as a gift?

Second, pick up each thing and question yourself again and again and than put it in the appropriate box. Now realize that you will have clutter around you till all your storage areas have been used up. If you have more stuff than places to put it you must make a decision about it or go back to the stuff you have already decided to keep and rethink your decision. The questions will help at each step of the way.

Now the big stuff you decide to keep put on the shelves. Categorize everything and take a mental note of where you are putting everything. Get creative with your space. Catagorize everything: Dishes, Glasses, Coffee Cups, Containers, Pots, Cleaning supplies, Garbage bags, rags, hand towels, snacks, cooking supplies, Containers, Cook books, kitchen tools like mixer, juicer, etc. Have fun with it. Make a game out of it. Think, condition yourself to remember their new home, their new place that will always be there. By doing this you not only help yourself remember where everything is, you will help the others that live with you. Now if anyone has a problem with where you put something come to terms with their concern and develop a mutual place that both are comfortable with.


If you are tight with space, get creative with some of the things that are necessary to keep, like your dish towels. I used a holder with two double sided straps that originally housed a big serving plate that broke. Instead of folding the kitchen towels for a shelf, I roll the towels and rest them through the straps. Since I can hang this holder on the wall I save space in my drawers for other things. This worked so well I even got more creative in the bathroom. My theme is ocean so I picked up this macramé wall hanging,

incorporated an old purse with a chain strap and hung it on the wall in back of the toilet bowl. A great place for all my beach towels and it works with the theme.

Nine times out of ten, any dead space can make for a place to show off your collections. Of course, having a handy husband helps too. A little creative thinking can transform one wall into a home for your special possessions you just have to keep. I created a curio cabinet to house my antique collection and sentimental things from my past. Knowing the wall had open space behind it I utilized the dead space. I had to purchase the glass for the shelves and the glass door. This permanent curio was the best thing I ever created.

I utilize the dead space under the stairs by breaking out the wall, framing the opening and sheet rocking the back and side wall. This area has accommodated all my animals at one time or another. In fact one year I used it as a walk in Easter basket for my son. Right now it houses my dog kennel, her home inside her home. She loves it and often uses it on her own to get away from her barking family or hide when she is caught doing something bad. This is her retreat and it is out of sight, tucked away in what once was empty space.

A functional door was installed to hide the power box and a shelf that my husband made me years ago made its way on it to house my spices and essential oils. I used to use that shelf in my son's room when he was a baby. It was hung on the wall in his room and used for all his baby cloths and diapers above his changing table, so tiny.

We opened a wall in our laundry room between the studs and incorporated 4 shelves, for each one of us to house our basket for personal dirty laundry.

We have a half story second floor with two bedrooms. Neither room has flat walls from floor to ceiling. No room for a closet or dresser. In my son's room we created two cubbies one on each side of his room. Space that had no use turned into a toy box at first. While my son’s toys are girls nowadays the cubby houses his dirty laundry in baskets and his many different pair of shoes and boots. We use the pantry as a pantry/dressing room for my son.

I turned a closet into a office. A free wall in a hallway was converted into a storage area for food. A simple mantle on a fireplace can house many treasures.

I am a collector of boxes, just love them. They are everywhere in my home, a great alternative for storage in a small home with no cellar.

My cedar box retrieved from my mom's bedroom that once housed her wedding gown now is used for a coffee table in front of our couch and houses my Christmas houses for the village I display every year. How easy is that. No attic, no boxes no unwrapping. Just open the box and take them out.

An antique toy box of my husbands from years ago houses my sons paperwork from grade 1-12. I saved the very special things like his pictures, some reports, and his report cards.

A cedar box in my son's room houses his personal possessions. And the cedar cabinet in my bedroom houses many blankets, bedding and tablecloths.

Once you create the area for things than it becomes easier to stay organized because now everything has its place. The bottom line is if you want to or have to keep the stuff you have you have to have a place for it, soo it pays to get creative.


You are running a tight ship now. Your mind is free and most of your time is just that, yours. No more frustration, no more wars, just freedom to do what you want not what you have to. Remember, your life does not have to be dedicated picking up or cleaning up everyone’s mess. It’s hard enough watching over yourself. Everyone should be responsible for their own mess as long as they are able.

The cleaning lady doesn’t live there anymore. When she comes she does not touch personal belongings. She requests at the time of hire that personal belongings, including dishes be put away before she arrives. She cleans around them if they aren’t and sometimes charge extra.

Now that you are on the right track, cleaning is so much easier. Especially if everyone living in the household has done their chores. In my house, with plenty of direction, pointing out everyone's plops day in and day out, I holler our, PLOP TIME, I finally got my husband to remember garbage days on his own and he takes out the garbage at least one of those days. He also cleans the toilet the bathtub and the piled up kitchen utensils, on an as needed when I ask basis. He fixes everything he can and checks the oil in the vehicles. Still dreaming of the day when he just does it because he sees that its time but I can’t look a gift horse in the mouth now can I.

My son, now 21, brings in the wood, takes out the recycling, sweeps the floors, cleans his own room and laundry and periodically runs the vacuum up the stairs. He also shovels during snow season and does odd jobs on an as needed basis. I still have to remind him periodically to do the chores that don’t directly relate to him. (my wood box is empty as we speak).

Everyone is responsible for their own dishes. There has been a few times I had to enforce this one designating a place setting for each of us, putting our names on the bottom of each piece. This was a hassle at first for all of us but we soon we found out who the culprit was. This trained us all to wash our dishes after use. All the dishes are back in their home now, but if everyone starts slipping than out they come again.

My son takes a shower every day and some and uses up the towels leaving us scrambling for one when we need it. I finally put my foot down. I color coded the towels and made him responsible for keeping his clean and available. This is a new one. He is reusing his towels now. I had to hide all my towels and even told my husband to get him on board. One time my son hopped in the shower without his towel and asked my husband to find him one and my husband did, forgetting the strategy he brought him one of ours from the dryer and I quickly jumped in, tour it out of his hands and through him one of his used towels. What a laugh. It will work eventually with patience and persistence anything is possible. Yelling does not solve anything. It has taken me years to almost figure that one out. Taking action is the key. One thing my son knows about me is that when I say I am going to do if he does not follow through with something, it will be done. .

I do what's left over, including what they miss. I am responsible for the bills, which includes throwing out garbage mail, the vacuuming, dusting, spit shining, disinfecting, washing the floors, my husband and I's laundry and the shopping. I also do the the gardening, a relaxing chore for me. I have to say it has been easier to keep up with it all with help and support.

We share chores like cooking, washing the dog, sweeping the floor and picking up odds and ends at the supermarket..

A fresh start to a new beginning is staying organized and pitching in. If everyone living under the same roof did their 100% it would make for a happier household. The woman would feel free to be, the man would start getting what has been denied and the children would learn responsibility, hear more laughs in the household stemming from less argument and grow up more independent with a healthier attitude and continual piece of mind.


  1. Junk mail will take over your house if you let it. When you bring in the mail stand over the trash can like my father did and discard the garbage mail right away. If it has your name on it black it out or tear it up before heaving. Put your bills in one place. I use a box my son made me years ago when he was in boy scouts. I put the due on the top left hand corner and put them in order chronological order.
  2. Put the magazines and newspapers in one place for recycling. Find something you already have to store them in, if you don't have anything keep it on your mind next time you are out and about. Give the newspaper away to people that have fireplaces or wood stoves.
  3. Take note of your personal belongings at all time. Designate a hook for your coat. The minute you take it off put it home. Remember it has its own unique place.
  4. If you cannot use it you most likely don't need it unless you have the place to put it. If you are a collector, collect in style and display as if your possessions were in a show or on sale. The rule of thumb if it has been hanging around for more than a year out with it.
  5. Look back after you are done doing whatever it is you are done with. Check and make sure there is no garbage left behind, the seat on the toilet bowl is down and the toilet is flushed, the dinner plate made it to the sink and than to the rack and than back in the cabinet, the toothbrush drippings on the sink and mirror are cleaned up after you brush your teeth. The soiled laundry makes its way into the laundry room, the shoes get put back where they all congregate.I think you know by now the perks by being organized.
  6. Before you can sail all the way to an organized house 99.9% of the time you have to get the rest of your family on board. Have them read this or better yet organize a family meeting and have your kids read this out loud to all of you. Discuss it and make a commitment with each other to go forward with the ideas I have laid out for you. Together, you can make a difference. Praise each other by recognizing their efforts. You’ll be surprised how effective a little recognition gets you.


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