Simple Organizing Tidbits to Eliminate Clutter

Here are some solutions to using items already in your home. Why do you think organizing stores and containers, of all sorts, have become so popular? When you “contain” items, instead of having them all over your flat surfaces (what some refer to as flat surface disease) you make your disorganized space look less cluttered – i.e., organized clutter. Inevitably any empty basket, bowl, dish, etc., will collect all kinds of stuff. That is why every container in your home should have a SPECIFIC purpose or theme.

Here are four handy home items we all usually have and ideas of what they can be used for to help you get organized:


A shoe box is a no-cost container to work with and see if this container approach will work for you. Contain all your old CD’s together, all your digital plugs, all your hair bands, and ribbons, the uses are limitless.

My favorite use is for containing all the paperwork that walks in the door. Stand the papers up vertically (FILE, DON’T PILE them in the box) and face them all in the same direction so that you can read the front of each.

shoebox charging stationNow you can quickly flip thru and find what you want. Go one step further and set up labeled manila file folders with the six to ten main Active (used on a regular basis each week) categories of paperwork you have.

Examples of typical Active file folders: Bills to pay, to do’s (which you also schedule on your calendar), pending (these are papers we are waiting for a response or action from someone else on – rebates, refunds, orders, etc.). One for each child in the family, one labeled for a particular project or activity you are involved in such as; scouts, church, PTO, book club, etc. Maybe there are many medical claims to keep track of. I reiterate that these files are for paperwork you deal with and receive and refer to on a regular weekly basis.

Now your paperwork is organized. Every time a piece of paper comes in you should now have a specific place/file for it. If you do not know what to do with it initially or you are running in and out, put the papers in the shoe box. The key – when the shoebox fills up you need to set aside time to weed, file, act on and eliminate what is no longer needed. By then you will also probably know what to do with the items in question too. It’s an excellent habit to weed thru all your paperwork once a week to keep on top of important matters. Do it the same day each week, and it will become a refreshing habit. Keep a trash bin by this area to declutter things even further.

Zip Lock Bags

They are the greatest invention to keep like things together, and they are clear so you can see what is in each bag. Use them to separate small toys or put a Lego set in each. Also, these are great to contain craft projects and all the pieces that go with. How about for jewelry, nail polish, puzzle pieces and batteries. I use them to separate out my medicines into categories and label each bag accordingly. A separate pocket for each of the following typical categories: first aid items, cold/sinus, cold/flu, all types of aspirin, cough remedies, stomach upset meds.

It’s easy to grab the bag needed and see what medicine options you have. It also keeps you prepared, by being more aware, or when you are running out of something and/or the expiration dates. In this way, you most likely will not have to run to the store when someone is sick

Checkbook Box Covers or the Egg Carton Bottoms

They are great containers to organize small object drawers like your jewelry drawer, hardware or the junk drawer. Yes, you are allowed to have one junk drawer in your kitchen. Remember to contain similar items in the same container. Earring pairs are easy to separate in egg cartons as are small nails, mollies, different types of screws. Small zip lock bags can be great in this area too for rubber bands or jewelry sets – i.e., matching earrings, necklace and/or bracelets together.

Break down these projects into small appointments with yourself. Then write them on your calendar just like you would a doctor’s appointment or lunch date. You’ll be amazed at how much you will accomplish in twenty planned /scheduled minutes of time. Even if these appointments with yourself happen only once or twice a week a great deal in your home will get organized, and there is no cash outlay involved.