{inspired} To Get Organized

organizing tips that really work! - The Mango Memoirs   themangomemoirs.com

Yet again, I am surrounded by heaps and heaps of stuff. Didn’t I just clean this room? And I’m not talking like I cleaned it at the beginning of the week. I mean, didn’t I clean it this morning? How in the world is everything spilling out around me again? All I can say is that once upon a time, I was organized. And then I entered junior high, and I’m pretty sure I haven’t felt all together organized since.

This feeling of not ever being quite all the way organized is something I want to overcome this year. My Pete was incredibly organized when I met him. Well, that may be an understatement. The first time I was hanging out at his house before we were dating was for a big Friday night dinner he used to have with a group of about 30 random people every other week. (It’s true. He would start talking to the guy who sold him his phone and invite him over for dinner along with the guy he met at the gym and a few other people from church and others from work. I met some cool people at those dinners.) Anyway, he asked me to grab something out of his linen closet, and when I did, I was shocked. Was this not supposed to be a single guy’s bachelor pad? Apparently I was mistaken because on each shelf, he had bottles of cleaning solution lined up so each label was clearly visible, pencils perfectly resting side-by-side, and tubes of Chapstick organized by height. He eventually threw in the towel on converting me to sublime organization. Over time we accumulated more stuff and had a couple kids and now I’m pretty sure he believes it’s an absolutely hopeless concept. But it’s not!

I am beyond tired of spending 30 minutes looking for something that I’m pretty sure I saw somewhere yesterday. I don’t want to continue to cover my dining room table with piles of incoming mail because I don’t have a system of what to do with it after it gets opened. And I am over feeling anxious when peeking into a closet or a room because of its chaotic state. I know there is help to be found, and I want it now.

In search of some organization inspiration over the weekend, I went right to the expert ideas on Pinterest, as I usually do. I’ve been gathering ideas for a few months and pinning them in my Organize & Simplify board, but I took it further and went from site to site to actually learn how to do some of the tips. I was specifically looking for ideas that might actually be do-able. (I know I’m not the only one who sees most of the stuff on Pinterest and thinks, “There’s no way I have time or money for that!”) I found some really great ideas! So, here are a few of the tips and tricks I’ve found that I’ve either already tried with success or that I think are realistic in my house. Maybe they will work in yours, too!


1. Command Center: I created a command center in the corner of our kitchen last spring. It’s been tremendously helpful for quickly filing important papers that will later be transferred to our large filing cabinet. It’s also a place I can put mail as it comes in instead of leaving it on the table.


from Lovely Crafty Home

2. Kids’ Toys: This is another tip I’ve tried, though I’d like to organize even more of the crafts and toys like this.

kids toys

from A Bowl Full of Lemons


3. Pantry: I recently went through my pantry with a few red, wire baskets I found in the dollar section at Target. It just feels good to open it up and know exactly where everything is and actually be able to see it all.


from Better Homes and Gardens


4. Shoe organizer: I love these clear shoe organizers for sorting in a small space. I have two hanging on doors in our basement. One is filled with my office stuff and the other is filled with Ella’s crafty stuff. I’ve used them for a couple years. Super helpful!


source unknown


5. Linen closet: Clear bins and baskets have transformed our linen closet. I don’t have ours labeled, but perhaps that day will come.


from Ask Anna

6. Car trash: I am awful when it comes to keeping my car clean. I can blame it on the kids, but it’s way more my fault than theirs. A few months ago I tried this little trick and have managed to keep the garbage on the floor to a minimum! I empty it at the gas station when I’m filling up. It’s a cereal container and I use a plastic produce bag inside.

Car Recycling

from Better Homes and Gardens

7. Tips & Motivation: Organization Junkie is FILLED with organizational tips. I feel super motivated when I visit her site. I’m hoping to actually work through her 52 Weeks of Organizing.


from Organization Junkie


There are times I get super motivated to clean & organize, but sometimes, by the time I get the kids in bed, the feeling has left. Because of that, I’m determined to work on getting organized a little bit every week either during naps or while Ella’s at school. I do LOVE being organized, but sometimes it’s a challenge!

Do you feel organized? What’s your favorite organizational tip? Leave a comment below! Your ideas might really help this house of mine!

A Little R & R linky party!

Also linked at A Group Look


14 Responses to {inspired} To Get Organized

  1. Johanna says:

    I know the feeling… In comparison to me you seem super organized though! My mom is visiting from Germany (for 2 1/2 months!), so she’s happy and eager to help šŸ™‚ I’m lucky because I must be one of the most unorganized people that exist.
    Have a great day!

  2. I absolutely love organizing & getting rid of things- it’s such a freeing feeling! I need to get a better system for organizing Ruby’s toys. Something that has worked in the past for us is putting some of her toys out of site so that when she plays everything doesn’t get drug out. Then when she’d especially bored, we can bring out a toy or two that was put away & it’s like she has a whole new appreciation for it. I need to get back into doing this more often!

    • I love the feeling that comes with getting organized! We do the toy rotations, too. So glad someone mentioned the process to me when Ella was a baby. I always know when I need to put more things away when I get overwhelmed when it all gets pulled out. Ella gets so excited to see her “new” toys!

  3. Laura says:

    I’d seen that you linked to me so hopped on over to check it out and wanted to say all the best on your organizational journey!! So glad my site is able to help you in some way.

    Happy Organizing!

  4. Jen says:

    My favorite organizational tip: Move every year or two! It’s been working well for me. šŸ˜‰

    • Absolutely! We moved every year for the first 3 or 4 years of being married. It certainly encourages clearing things out! Honestly, I’m also looking forward to our big move (sometime in 2016) when we can get rid of most of our things. It was refreshing having so little last year in Kenya. šŸ™‚

  5. Meredith says:

    I’m totally going to try that cereal container/trash can for my car. I try really hard to keep it clean, but every now and then straw wrappers and lost french fries can pile up. {Can you TELL we like Sonic?:)} Thanks for all these tips. Also, I’m so glad you found me through a comment I left, and that you took the time to come leave a sweet comment on my blog, too! I am now following you.

    Hugs from Oklahoma,

  6. Lauren says:

    Great tips! I also struggle with keeping things organized. I love organization and feeling like things are in order, but for some reason I always feel like we have too much ‘stuff!’ It may be time for me to reorganize and take a few bags of ‘stuff’ to good will!

  7. BG says:

    I’m loving flylady.net. She breaks the house down into zones and spends time in each zone every month. I was SO EXCITED in January when we got to the living room because my living room looked better than it had in a couple of years AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WEEK. There’s a task for each day M-F while you’re in a particular zone plus a 15 minute declutter daily. I finally have some space in my closet after taking bags and bags of things I “might” fit back into one day or “might” need or wear. It’s freeing to just have what actually fits and gets worn. My car was a disaster several weeks ago — recycling, goodwill stuff, you name it. On Monday, I put some grocery bags and cleaning supplies in the car and cleaned the driver’s area. Tues was front passenger, Wed and Thurs back seat and Friday trunk. Friday before work (I work evening shift) I used the shop vac in the car, and it looked GREAT. I bought a little trash bag with a velcro bottom several years ago at a car wash place. It was still in my trunk! LOL So it’s in use now. Any time I stop for gas, I empty it.

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