Organizing the Hard to Organize

perfect is the enemy of mug. cup says good enough.

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Certain items and spaces lend themselves well to being organized. And, others are notoriously challenging. The truth is, any area can get and stay organized, but organizing shouldn’t take lots of time or be too fussy. Here are my recommendations on how to organize the hard to organize…

1. Fitted Sheets

I just cannot with fitted sheets. Solution to maintain neat and tidy? Contain sheets in a bin! Just do your best to do a quick fold or roll (nothing fancy), put them in a labeled bin, and move on with your day. Let good enough be enough. You’ll know where to find the sheets, and they will not look like an eyesore because they’re not even visible!

2. Swimsuits

Folding swimsuits into itty bitty units seems more trouble than it’s worth. Again, container to the rescue! All my swimsuits live in a bin on my closet shelf. I know where to find them, and they’re all contained. It works! And, a system that works is a good system.

3. Pantry Staples

Individual bags and packages of food loose on a shelf is a recipe (ha ha) for looking organized at a point in time, then getting messy as soon as the next grocery load arrives. I recommend 1 or a combination of the following: 1. Transfer food into a food storage container like an OXO, discarding the original packaging. OR 2. Contain boxes and bags of a certain category together in a large labeled basket or bin (snacks together, breakfast items together, etc).

4. Food Storage Containers

Find matches, discard the rest. Use drawer dividers like the below photo, or store with lids on. Why? Yes, you can fit fewer in a drawer, which I actually don’t mind, as it forces me to pare down. But, it solves the single biggest issue with food storage containers, which is not having bottoms and lids that match and/or not easily locating the pairs.

organized kitchen drawer

5. Shoes

Shoes, shoes everywhere! With a multi person household in a 4 season climate, you’ve got rain boots, snow boots, sandals, athletic shoes, water shoes and everything in between!

Storing shoes in a combination of places works well. As much as I’d like all the shoes to live in bedroom closets, it’s just more convenient to have a few of the most often worn pairs near the front door or in or near the garage.

Bedroom closets work great with shoe shelves and for containing the pairs not worn as often. By the doors, I prefer shoe shelves or baskets. The key is putting a limit on it. I give my kids 3 pairs each to be by the door, which is plenty. Why 3? It’s what we have space for, and it’s sufficient. It’s a daily process to run the extras upstairs (anything above and beyond 3), but it prevents the area by the garage from getting overcrowded.

6. Messy Drawers

Step 1: Purge. Step 2: Install drawer dividers or drawer organizers so that everything has a place in the space. The end. No need to overcomplicate it.

7. Any Other Spaces

There’s a repeatable formula that works no matter the space….pare down until you’re left with an amount that fits within your space, group like items together, contain, label. It sounds simple because it is! Simple doesn’t always mean easy. And, yes, you have to put in the work. But, there’s no need to overthink it. And sometimes, good enough is just right. When your space is edited down, the items are contained, you’re good to get on with the rest of your life.