Favorite Organizing Items

I've spent a lot of time telling you that you have too much crap and need to get rid of a good portion of it, so I thought I'd throw you a bone.  While there are no magic bullet organizing products to make you organized once and for all (besides tossing most of your crap), there are a few that can make life easier and more beautiful.  

1.  Matching Hangers - You're an adult.  It's time to donate the 143 mismatched hangers and buy 40 that match.  40!?!  Matching?!? Well, yeah, it's hard to use more than 40 items of clothing in a month, so, if you've recently joined the capsule wardrobe bandwagon, 40 should about do it. As for the matching - well, look at all the closets you've pinned on Pinterest.  They all have less than 40 items, the hangers match, and they look gorgeous. Case closed.  While I use the thick plastic ones from Bed, Bath & Beyond, the wood ones or the fuzzy ones from Amazon also look stellar. 

2.  Keepsake Boxes - You all probably know by know that I'm a sentimental softie, and generally encourage you to keep some keepsakes.  Kid's first shoes, a bracelet your grandfather gave you in kindergarten, the bar receipt from the first time you met/served drinks to your now husband (oh, is that just me?).  Anyway, if you're going to keep some mementos, at least give them a beautiful home

3.  Matching Food Containers - Now go check out those gorgeous kitchens you've pinned.  Chances are the food is in matching containers.  Right?  Please recycle those BPA laden, discolored, mis-matched, crusty old ones you've been holding on to. Please. I personally love cheap and easy ball jars, but French canning jars or anything glass and matchy matchy will work.

4.  Plastic Bins - These are still a favorite.  Simple, useful.  Because even if you don't have much crap, it still looks like a lot when it's spread out over all of your surfaces.  Group your like items together and contain them! :)

5.  The Ikea Kallax Unit - Or any of it's ilk now available from Target and other stores.  Basically it's a piece of furniture with 4, 8 or more cubes that can be used organize darn near anything.  This here is the craft cube, this is the sewing cube, the toy cube, the car wash cube.  Especially helpful for kids.  Or vinyl collectors. I keep my record collection in one. 

Questions to Ask

I suppose this is technically a guest post by my father.  

Years ago I asked him what questions he thought one should ask when deciding to keep or toss an item.  This is what he came up with:

1.   Do I need it or just want it?

2.   When's the last time I used it?

3.   Can I live without it (hint: if it's not food or water, the answer is yes).

4.   Does it have familial or personal value?

5.   Does it have historical or collector value?

6.   If it has historical or collector value, do I personally like it? Or should I sell it? Is it even worth anything?

7.   Do I really need 20 pairs of shoes? Do I wear them all?

8.   Can this be, or has it already been replaced by a newer version that works better?

9.   Does this item control me?  Who's the boss?

10.  I've had this item for 10 years, but never used it.  Will I ever use it?

11.   Am I happier when my things enclose upon me or when I can move freely with no clutter?

12.   When's the last time I looked through my 482 past issues of National Geographic?

13.   They've always liked this, but I can't stand it.  Would it make us all happy to give it to them?

14.   It's old and broken, but I'll fix it someday and find a place to put it.  Oh wait..I said that 15 years ago.  Maybe it's time for this to go?

15.   Do I need all of these 78 speed phonograph records that I've never listened to because I have nothing to play them on? Or should I sell them to the collector that said he'd buy them all?

16.   Do I worry about things I have, but never use?  I have enough worry without them. 

17.   If I had a dime for every time I went through these boxes looking for something, I'd be rich. Maybe it's time to pare down

18.  Someday I'll lose enough weight to wear these again.  Right.  Even it that happens, these probably won't be in style anyway. 

19.   Do an uncluttered mind and an uncluttered house have anything in common?


Next time you feel overwhelmed, ask yourself a few of these beauties.  Keep it simple, let it go. 

Morning Ritual

Rituals are grounding.  They give us a space to pause and reflect; a place to put our happy and sad emotions and every one in between.  

I start my mornings with a very simple ritual:

Reading a chapter in whatever book I'm devouring while sipping 1 cup of coffee out of my favorite mug. 

That's it. Nothing crazy, no chants, nothing mystical, no big time commitment. Just a pause before the day begins to ground myself in something that brings me great pleasure.  Something I can hold onto all day. Even if everything else turns to hell, This. Was. Good.

Stacked day after day, that's a lot of good to hang on to. Because I think we often run right past the good.  Good doesn't always make you stop and say "thank you" like bad makes you stop and say "why me".

If you have a morning ritual, share a picture with me on Facebook or Instagram.  

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