The Ultimate Guide to Simple Organizing

The Ultimate Guide to Simple Organizing via Clean Mama

I love to organize but I like to keep the process and solution simple and easy to maintain.  I’ve written a lot about organizing systems and processes over the past year – scroll down to see the categories and posts.  Make sure you pin the post for later!  Ready for 2015?  Don’t miss the new FREE calendar for January!

Methods and Systems:

Memorabilia and Collections:

Craft and Art Supply Storage:

Kids and Toys:

Bedrooms and Living Spaces:

Kitchen:

Bathroom: 

Paper Organization: 

Cleaning and Cleaning Supplies:

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Simple Tips for Organizing Bathrooms

8 Simple Tips for Organizing Bathrooms via Clean Mama The 2014 Start Here series has been a huge hit.  Every week, viagra buy we’ve tackled a small organizing task in our homes with the hopes of organizing our lives a little better.  As the year is nearing a close, troche every week in December I am highlighting an area in the home to work on.  This is a great time to finish up any missed tasks or take a couple minutes to get a specific area tidied up a bit.  This week take some time to straighten up areas in your BATHROOMS that need a little attention.  Here are some posts from this year to give you a little inspiration and help along the way.  Grab the FREE cleaning and organizing calendar for December to get you started!  Look for a BRAND NEW design for the 2015 FREE calendar and a new series!  Subscribe so you don’t miss a single post.

  • Bathroom counters can easily become a jumbled mess of supplies, order cosmetics and odds and ends. Clear off your bathroom counters for good with these tips.
  • Clean out the clutter and disorganization under your bathroom sink with these four tips.
  • Make your bathroom drawers easy to navigate when you implement an organization system that works.
  • Clear out the clutter in your bathroom shower with some quick and easy organizing tips.
  • Bathroom toiletries have a habit of multiplying and getting out of control in a hurry. Try out these simple suggestions to bring order to your toiletries.
  • You won’t believe what a difference it makes to go through your towels and linens in order to make more room in your linen closet.

Simple Organizing Systems that Work

Simple Organizing Systems that Work via Clean Mama

The 2014 Start Here series has been a huge hit.  Every week, we’ve tackled a small organizing task in our homes with the hopes of organizing our lives a little better.  As the year is nearing a close, every week in December I am highlighting an area in the home to work on.  This is a great time to finish up any missed tasks or take a couple minutes to get a specific area tidied up a bit.  This week take some time to straighten up any ORGANIZING SYSTEMS that need a little attention.  Here are some posts from this year to give you a little inspiration and help along the way.  Grab the FREE cleaning and organizing calendar for December to get you started!  Look for a BRAND NEW design for the 2015 FREE calendar and a new series!  Subscribe so you don’t miss a single post.

  • Organize your baking supplies, spices and herbs logically in order to find what you are looking for faster.
  • When is the last time you cleaned and organized your freezer? Utilize your space effectively to maximize your storage.
  • Photographs, whether paper or digital, can easily pile up and be incredibly unorganized. These methods will help you quickly make order of your pictures.
  • To keep or to toss? Sorting through memorabilia can be emotional and difficult. Implement these tips to help you go through things as painlessly as possible.
  • Create zones for your food storage to keep everything accessible and organized.
  • End the clutter trap under your bathroom sink with some simple organizational strategies.
  • Homework time can be a stressful time of searching for supplies and finding lost necessities. Create a homework station to get homework time started on the right foot.
  • Overcome the paper clutter with these 8 practical strategies to help you organize.
  • Create a simple homework caddy to contain all your school supplies and make homework time more manageable.
  • Toys chaos driving you crazy? Try this one simple tip to help toys find and keep their home.
  • Organize your purse so that it stays that way with this method.
  • DIY cleaners are not only better for your family but better on your pocketbook too. Assemble a DIY cleaner caddy to keep your supplies and ingredients at hand.
  • That space under kitchen sinks can easily become a jumble of cleaners, odds and ends and chaos. Try out these storage solutions to tidy up that space in a jiffy.
  • Do you know the secret to keeping mail off your counter? It’s not as tricky as you think!
  • Counter clutter driving you crazy? The tips will help make order of your chaos once and for all.
  • Create some craft storage that really works with minimal investment and maximum impact.
  • Eliminate your paper clutter with these simple solutions.
  • Try these tips for putting away your holiday decorations this year in an organized way.

Simple Tips for Organized Bedrooms & Living Spaces

 

Simple Tips for Organized Bedrooms and Living Spaces via Clean Mama

The 2014 Start Here series has been a huge hit.  Every week, we’ve tackled a small organizing task in our homes with the hopes of organizing our lives a little better.  As the year is nearing a close, every week in December I am highlighting an area in the home to work on.  This is a great time to finish up any missed tasks or take a couple minutes to get a specific area tidied up a bit.  This week take some time to straighten up any areas in your BEDROOMS AND LIVING AREAS that need a little attention.  Here are some posts from this year to give you a little inspiration and help along the way.

  • Your entryway and mudroom can set the tone for how you feel when you walk in to your home. These three steps to a clean and organized mudroom will start you off on the right foot.
  • It’s easy for closets to become a tangled mess of clothes and disorganization. Keep everyone’s clothes organized and closets clean with these five tips.
  • No more searching for random socks and missing undies with these three organizational suggestions.
  • These four steps to an organized nightstand will keep those things you want handy at your fingertips and all the unnecessary not.
  • When is the last time you went through your books? Consider purging your books and quickly tidy up your bookshelves with these tips.

 

Simple Tips for Organizing the Kitchen

 

Simple Tips for Organizing the Kitchen via Clean Mama

Today is the LAST DAY for the huge Black Friday – Cyber Monday sale in my shop – go to this post for more info!

The 2014 Start Here series has been a huge hit.  Every week, we’ve tackled a small organizing task in our homes with the hopes of organizing our lives a little better.  As the year is nearing a close, every week in December I am highlighting an area in the home to work on.  This is a great time to finish up any missed tasks or take a couple minutes to get a specific area tidied up a bit.  This week take some time to straighten up any areas in your KITCHEN that need a little attention.  Here are some posts from this year to give you a little inspiration and help along the way.  Grab the FREE cleaning and organizing calendar for December to get you started!  Look for a BRAND NEW design for the 2015 FREE calendar and a new series!  Subscribe so you don’t miss a single post.

  • If the clutter on your counters are driving you bonkers, it’s time to implement these tips on eliminating it for good!
  • Under the sink organization can be tricky, but not when you implement these four simple concepts.
  • Get ready for a flurry of baking with these three tips on how to organize baking supplies.
  • Time to tidy up your pantry so you can actually find things! Create zones and storage to make life easier with these tips.
  • Feel like you never can find big chunks of time to organize? Take 15 minutes out of your day and organize a kitchen drawer with these easy tips.
  • Tackle that mess of a junk drawer and create some order in only 15 minutes with these helpful suggestions.
  • Organize your kitchen drawers logically to minimize disorganization and maximize function.
  • Want to know the secret to keeping mail and paper clutter off the counter and in to some sort of a system? Check out these tips out for some advice.

 

5 Ideas for Organized Bedding

5 Ideas for Organized Bedding via Clean Mama

This week’s organizing focus is BEDDING.  You can find November’s FREE Cleaning and Organizing calendar here and December’s here.

Your challenge this week is to take a little time to sort and organize your bedding.  Regardless of your bedding storage,  take a couple minutes this week to organize the space.  Here are 5 tips for bedding storage and care to get you started.

  • Re-purpose or donate any linens or bedding that haven’t been used in the last year.  Do you really need 6 sets of sheets?  I keep one extra set for each bed and I find that this not only keeps the laundry down it also makes it easier for storage.
  • Take inventory for guests – do you have enough pillows, pillow cases, and bedding?  I figure 2 pillows per person on all of our beds and then make sure that I have extras for company as well.
  • With winter upon us, take blankets out of storage and wash if necessary.  Do you need additional blankets/quilts/comforters?  Or do you need to trim down what you have?  Now is a great time to assess the situation.
  • Use a basket or bin for overflow storage.  Contain your linens and linen closet items with a basket or two is a great way to keep the closet organized.  If your folding is a little haphazard (see above) or if you have too much stuff on your shelves, baskets are a great alternative.
  • Use a pillowcase to store your folded set of sheets.  Fold your fitted sheet into a small square, wrap your flat sheet around the fitted sheet, tuck one of your pillowcases in between the flat and fitted sheet, and then put that “package” into one of the pillowcases from the set.  This keeps the set together and looks much neater on the shelf.

What are your best bedding tips?  Share in the comments!

Start Here. FREE December 2014 FREE Cleaning + Organizing Calendar

start here logo

Happy (almost) December! If you’ve been working through the Start Here. calendar since January I hope you’ve met successes and made some oodles of progress in your home. If you’re new here, check out the first post in this series for a little more explanation.  Look for a BRAND NEW design for the 2015 FREE calendar and a new series!  Subscribe so you don’t miss a single post.

What’s behind the success of any clean and organized home?

Consistency and follow through.

This series Start Here. is a great place to start (and finish) because without starting something, you’ll never finish anything. Don’t get bogged down in the every day messiness that is life, you have to start somewhere to get anywhere and that’s what we’re doing today. If you are completely overwhelmed or just a little overwhelmed, start with a little bit every day – set your timer for 10-15 minutes and just do what you can on the list. It’ll get a little bit easier every day and every week – just keep at it and you’ll be making progress in no time!

Ready? We all have to start somewhere – let’s Start Here.

Here’s a little infographic that explains the cleaning and organizing schedule…

Start Here.  Cleaning + Organizing Calendar Infographic via Clean Mama

Want to join in on the fun? Grab a FREE cleaning and organizing calendar for December (this is free in my shop– if you prefer Googledocs, you can go here to grab it) and give it a go. Follow along all month for motivational posts and tips to keep up with the daily and weekly tasks.

December 2014 Clean + Organized Calendar via Clean Mama

Need a little more explanation? Go to this post to see more information on my cleaning and homekeeping routine. I’ve covered a lot of cleaning and organizing ground – you can go here to see all the posts in this series.  Through December I’ll be recapping the year and giving you a little time to get your home clean and tidy in a hurry!

The Streamlined Life Complete Kit via Clean Mama Printables

(If you like this calendar style, you’ll love The Streamlined Life Series in my shop!)  Rumor has it that I’m going to have a HUGE Black Friday sale – another reason to subscribe!

Have you joined the HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY? It’s a monthly subscription you’ll love – check it out!

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How to Organize Cookbooks for Better Menu Planning

How to Organize Cookbooks for Better Menu Planning via Clean Mama

This week’s organizing task is COOKBOOKS (November’s cleaning and organizing calendar is here).  Take a little time this week to sort and organize your cookbooks ahead of the busy holiday season.

I am a cookbook collector and I love to cook and bake.  When we were house shopping, I knew our house was meant to be when I saw the bookshelves around the refrigerator.  A cookbook collector’s dream, right?!

Group like cookbooks together via Clean Mama

Did you know that having a little order in your cookbooks can help you with meal planning?  (If you don’t have cookbooks to sort this week, you could sort out your Pinterest meal boards to help with your menu planning or you could work on a recipe binder.)

Use a cookbook holder via Clean Mama

HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR COOKBOOKS FOR BETTER MENU PLANNING AND SO YOU’LL USE THEM:

  • Only have cookbooks that you use or will use – gift or donate cookbooks you know longer use.
  • Group like cookbooks with like cookbooks – baking, desserts, family meals, holidays, by author, by type of cooking (paleo, make ahead, healthy, etc.)
  • Haven’t used a cookbook for awhile?  Plan your meals for a week from ONE cookbook – this is a great way to test out a new cookbook or to get out of a cooking rut.
  • Mark your favorite recipes with flags or Post-Its – if you look hard enough you’ll see lots of flags sticking out of my cookbooks. Makes it easy to be reminded of those favorite recipes and it’s easier to find the recipes.
  • Make notes in your cookbooks – don’t be afraid to add your changes to recipes.
  • PLAN your meals – I take a little time on Fridays to map out the meals for the next week.  Having a plan for meal planning is so helpful – it saves time AND money.  (Here’s my favorite menu planning kit in my shop.)
  • Keep a basket or container with a couple cookbooks you want to use in the coming week to keep them accessible.

Keep a basket or container with a couple cookbooks you want to use  to keep them accessible via Clean Mama

 

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3 Steps to a Clean and Organized Entryway or Mudroom

3 Steps to a Clean and Organized Entryway via Clean Mama

This week’s organizing task is the ENTRYWAY (November’s cleaning and organizing calendar is here). Take a little time this week to spiff up your entryway.   Before all the winter gear comes out, or use this as the perfect time to start with a few preemptive organizing systems and get that entryway ready for the busy season ahead.

If you have an entryway or a mudroom without designated places to put coats, shoes, purses, and other gear, go into that space and remove everything that you can.  Set it aside into 4 specific piles – keep, toss, donate, re-locate.  Looking at your space, determine the best way to help your family utilize this space.  Do you need to add hooks for coats?  A basket for backpacks?  A cute dish or hook for keys?  Recently I moved all our ‘sometimes’ shoes to our bedroom closet.  This was a simple game changer in the clutter department and our mudroom has so much more space.  I’d like to encourage you to find a game changing solution in your entryway or mudroom.  Once you’ve decided on how you’re going to arrange this space to minimize your clutter, put everything back where it belongs.  If you are changing up or adding a system (like a basket or bin), make sure you explain to other family members what your expectations are for the space.

  1. CLEAN –  empty and clean the space.  Wipe down any shelves, doors, handles, baseboards, etc.  Vacuum and wash the floors.
  2. ORGANIZE – group like items with like items, keep only what you need and use, and make sure that the clutter is gone.
  3. NEW SYSTEM – if something isn’t working, change it.  Put a new system in place – it can be as simple as a stick-on hook for a backpack.  Determine what isn’t working in your entryway or mudroom and change it.

With a little time and effort this week, you can make some big changes in your entryway or mudroom.  Short on time?  Choose the biggest issue and tackle it.  Maybe you need to get the winter gear out of storage and put it in a basket or bin for easy use.  Or maybe you’ve been neglecting the floor in your mudroom – vacuum and wash it this week.

What’s your biggest struggle in keeping your entryway or mudroom organized?  Have a great tip or solution to share?

 

A Simplified Week : Kitchen Towels

a simplified week

As part of Start Here. I post a weekly recap with a couple ideas (mostly simple and easy to implement) for the week’s focus and a few ideas from the web that I’ve enjoyed over the week. Did you grab November’s FREE cleaning and organizing calendar? Go here to grab it!

Kitchen Towels:

  • All it takes is a couple minutes to sort through and organize the piles of kitchen towels when you follow these suggestions from Clean Mama
  • Utilize underused space for storing your kitchen towels with this IKEA system. Inexpensive and it has some serious farmhouse style. Via Red Farm House
  • Looking to cut back on your paper towel consumption? Try your hand at making these reusable paper towels with this tutorial from Cat Eyed Kp

Something to Eat:

  • Check out these tips for decorating frosted cookies that not only look pretty but don’t take forever and a day to make from The Kitchn.

Something to Make:

  • How fun is this tutorial on how to make your own gift bags? Use your favorite paper for the perfect and affordable touch. Via One She Two She

Something For the Kids:

Simplify:

  • It’s always a struggle to really clean the exterior of the toilet well where who-knows-what tends to lurk. Kim from A Real Life Housewife has some great suggestions on Ask Anna for making this task easier and successful.

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Organize Your Kitchen Towels

Organize Your Kitchen Towels via Clean Mama

This week’s organizing task is KITCHEN TOWELS (October’s cleaning and organizing calendar is here and November’s cleaning and organizing calendar is here).  Organizing kitchen towels barely seems like an organizing task, but it will take a couple minutes and be a nice little accomplishment for your week.  I love simple and easy organizing tasks, don’t you?

  • Assess the situation.  What do you need to do to organize your kitchen towels?
  • Take your kitchen towels out of their drawer or storage and relocate any towels or rags that have seen better days – turn them into cleaning cloths, donate, or toss.
  • Group like towels with like towels and do the same with wash cloths and other kitchen-y towel goods.
  • Fold towels – I like to tri-fold my kitchen towels (bathroom too) it keeps them neat and tidy in the drawer and easy to put on a towel bar or over the sink.  I shared this tip on Instagram last week – go here to see follow along and see the simple how-to.
  • If keeping your towels in a drawer doesn’t work for you, figure out another method or place for your towels.  You can use a basket or other storage near your sink to keep them handy and decorative at the same time.

Simple Organization for Kitchen Towels via Clean Mama

CLEANING TIP: Every night this week wash dishes, load the dishwasher, clean up the kitchen, scrub your sink, and place a clean dish towel out.  This simple little routine is a great way to start end the day and get ready for the next.

Have you joined the HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY?  It’s a monthly subscription you’ll love – check it out!  (You can still join the digital subscription for November!

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A Simplified Week : Baking Supplies

a simplified week

As part of Start Here. I post a weekly recap with a couple ideas (mostly simple and easy to implement) for the week’s focus and a few ideas from the web that I’ve enjoyed over the week. Did you grab October’s FREE cleaning and organizing calendar? Go here to grab it!  (November will be out tomorrow.)  And don’t forget to enter the $100 Casabella giveaway!

Baking Supplies:

  • Get ready for your seasonal baking with these tips for organizing your baking supplies. Via Clean Mama
  • Lori Lange aka Recipe Girl shares all sorts of great ideas on just how to contain all the various supplies used in baking. I especially love her spice organization method. Via Tidy Mom
  • Create the perfect baking zone in your kitchen to help minimize disorganization and maximize your time. Via On Sutton Place

Something to Eat:

  • The perfect breakfast for a weekend morning or company, this baked french toast features pumpkin and spices to make for a delicious morning. Even better, make it the night before to pop in the oven in the morning! Via Two Peas and Their Pod

Something to Make:

  • Soften up your skin with one of these naturally scented, skin smoothing sugar scrubs. Makes for a great and unique gift. Via U-Create

Something For the Kids:

  • ‘Tis the season for colds, flu and all sorts of other germs. I highly, highly recommend putting together a sick kit for your kids (and you!) to minimize late night runs for the essentials when sickness strikes. Put in a couple fun books or activities to keep them entertained. Via Clean Mama

Simplify:

  • Simplify your dinner making routine by creating some frozen dinner kits.  It saves some serious time by prepping ahead while capitalizing on sales and time. Via Jessica Fisher on The Kitchn

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3 Ways to Organize Baking Supplies

Three Ways to Organize Baking Supplies via Clean Mama

This week’s organizing task is BAKING SUPPLIES (October’s cleaning and organizing calendar is here).  Now is a great time to take inventory of you baking supplies before the busy holiday season is upon us.  This week I’m sharing 3 ways that I organize my baking supplies and keep them organized.  Don’t make it too complicated, just take a little time this week to toss/relocate/organize any baking supplies that you have and make sure your solutions will be helpful when it comes time to do some baking.

ESTABLISH A BAKING ZONE – Keep baking supplies in the same general vicinity in your kitchen – I keep the mixer, spices, and baking supplies in the same area of the kitchen.  When it’s time to bake, I pull out the mixer, gather ingredients and tools and get started.

Baking Ingredients and Herbs and Spices via Clean Mama

Keep baking pans, baking sheets, and racks together as well – keeping these supplies handy makes baking so much easier.

Food Storage and Baking Pans via Clean Mama

Baking Sheets and Pans via Clean Mama

KEEP MEASURING CUPS AND SPOONS TOGETHER – I keep them together in their narrow drawer but you could keep them together in a drawer divider with other baking and cooking supplies.  Suggestion:  if you do a lot of cooking and baking, purchase a couple extra measuring spoon and cup sets.  I also have odd sized measuring cups (3/4 cup, 1 1/2 cup and 2 cup) and spoons (2 teaspoons, 1 1/2 teaspoons) – may seem odd, but it’s a time saver in the kitchen.

Measuring Cups and Spoons via Clean Mama

GROUP BAKING GOODS – I store other baking supplies and goods together in a large bin in the pantry.  Molasses, extra sugars, cane syrup, chocolate chips, baking chocolate, etc. is stored together keeping it easy to grab anything necessary for baking.Keep Baking Supplies Together in a Tray via Clean Mama

What do you do to keep your baking supplies organized?

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A Simplified Week : Freezer

a simplified week

As part of Start Here. I post a weekly recap with a couple ideas (mostly simple and easy to implement) for the week’s focus and a few ideas from the web that I’ve enjoyed over the week. Did you grab October’s FREE cleaning and organizing calendar? Go here to grab it!

Freezer:

  • Cleaning and organizing your freezer doesn’t need to be a daunting task when you follow this simple process from Clean Mama.
  • Wondering just how long and if something can be frozen? This free printable from the FDA is perfect for printing and referencing for when you are not quite sure how long something is good for.
  • These basic tips from The Kitchn are just what you may need if you are looking for a little freezer overhaul. I especially love some of the links that are included like choosing the right freezer containers and what not to freeze.

Something to Eat:

  • It is officially apple season around here which means all sorts of apple goodness are popping up in our baking. These Apple Pie Pancakes with Vanilla Maple Syrup are next up on our breakfast rotation. It’s all the flavors of apple pie without all the work! Via Averie Cooks

Something to Make:

  • With the holidays coming up and entertaining on the horizon, this tiered stand would be perfect with loading up with appetizers or little treats. All you need can easily be found at your local thrift store for a Pottery Barn-esque inspired piece. Via The Crafting Chicks

Something For the Kids:

  • My daughter is quite the little crafter and is always looking for a new project. This tutorial on how to knit makes it so much easier to learn the basic steps and stitches. It even includes video directions so you can see it in motion. Via Imagination Soup

Simplify:

  • Wanting to get on top of the cleaning in  your home with the help of a cute (and free!) printable? This daily checklist is perfect for adding some direction to your cleaning routine. Via Clean Mama

 

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How to Clean and Organize a Freezer

How to Clean & Organize a Freezer via Clean Mama

This week’s organizing task is the FREEZER (October’s cleaning and organizing calendar is here).  If you have an upright or separate freezer you can clean and organize that this week and/or the freezer that’s with your refrigerator.

Cleaning and organizing a freezer can seem daunting and pointless, but with a couple simple ideas you can whip your freezer into shape in no time.  (Need to clean your fridge too?  Here’s how to do that.)

Organizing a Freezer via Clean Mama

EMPTY FREEZER | Start by emptying out the freezer – work quickly so nothing thaws in this process.  Arrange items in groups (fruit, veggies, proteins, nuts, etc.) on your kitchen table or counters – this will keep it easy to return to the freezer organized.

WIPE CLEAN | If you need to defrost the freezer you can do that (put your food in coolers with ice), but this week is more about tidying up the freezer and organizing it.  Use a barely damp cloth and wipe up any spills and vacuum up crumbs with a hose  tool (make sure it’s clean).

TOSS | If you find something that probably should have been consumed a while ago, toss it.

TAKE INVENTORY | Jot down any meat or proteins that should be used up soon and plan your meals in the coming week or two using up those items.

ORGANIZE | Put everything away in groups that make sense – baking, meats, vegetables, fruits, meals, etc.

LABEL | Need to add a label to a shelf, drawer, or bin to ensure things are returned to their proper place?  Go ahead and do that right away.  I like using canning jars and plastic lids for storing foods in the freezer – they label easily, can be washed in the dishwasher, and look great.

Use Canning Jars With Plastic Lids for Freezer Storage via Clean Mama

Have a freezer to clean and organize this week?  Any great tips to share?

I cannot wait to introduce you to something that I’ve been working on for months and months!  It’s coming on Wednesday….

Overwhelmed? Find success in your homekeeping with my latest book, Simply Clean! Dismiss