The Secret Key to an Organized Home

I’m lazy. There, I said it!

They say that “necessity is the mother of invention”, but my cleverest organizing ideas are born out of pure laziness. The truth is that the reason my home is so organized is because I’m just too darned lazy to live in clutter. I will literally spend hours organizing one cabinet in just such a manner as to never have to lift something up in order to get something else out. I clean out my closets very regularly because I figured out a long time ago that the less stuff I have, the greater percentage of that stuff can occupy the prime real estate in my home. The more stuff occupies prime real estate, the easier it is for me to find it and put it away. Laziness… the secret key to an organized home. Who knew?

I may have mentioned this before, but I am a huge Pinterest addict. I spend most of the time I save from not having to look for stuff and lift stuff on surfing Pinterest for new ideas on how to be even more organized and efficient. It’s pretty pathetic, I know, but I really enjoy seeing all the clever ideas people come up with for storing things in non-conventional, super-accessible ways. Using a cupcake stand to store tiny craft embellishments without having to open any containers… stuffed animals hung conveniently on the wall in a mounted planter where they won’t fall out easily and have to be picked up… pocket shoe organizers for holding the entire contents of a cabinet where you can see it all at once and not have to move anything…Brilliant!

But there’s danger lurking among the boards, too. In the pictures, the cabinets always look so nice and neat and orderly with their matching containers and coordinating labels. It can be a little intoxicating and make you forget yourself a little. Before you know it, the quest for efficiency can turn into a Martha Stewart Living nightmare.  I recently saw a photo that made me shiver. A professional organizer had helped someone organize their linen closet and attached beautiful labels indicating the sheet size to each sheet set using safety pins. Say what?!!  Oh, it looked gorgeous, but it failed the laziness test immediately. Who on earth is going to un-pin and re-pin those labels every time the sheets are used or put away?!!! Not me!

Never underestimate the power of the slightest inconvenience to prevent you from doing something you don’t want to do anyway. If your drawers and closets are too full, you won’t put things away, so you may as well just pile everything up on the tables and chairs instead, because that’s where they’re going to end up anyway.  Closet door broken? Sock drawer stuck? Can’t reach that top shelf? Maybe it isn’t such a coincidence that the things that live there never made it back home last time you finished using them. Take a good look at your biggest pain points and ask yourself why they are so painful. Dig deep down into your subconscious and identify the problem. Nine times out of ten, it’s because of some minor obstacle you’ve tolerated (or haven’t) for too long without even acknowledging its existence.

Let Martha keep her matching hang tags and adorable zippered pouches. She’s got a whole TV crew to put stuff away for her! Lazy works just fine for me. In fact, I’d even say “It’s a good thing”.

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4 thoughts on “The Secret Key to an Organized Home

  1. Hi Val, I couldn’t agree more with you on the linen cupboard! For me, I only ever keep two sets of bedlinen for each bed and my simple trick is to keep the sheets and quiltcover cover stored inside the matching pillowcase. In fact, I wish manufacturers would display the pillow uppermost in the plastic packaging instead of stuffing it inside yards of sheet. To me the first thing I want to check out when buying new bed linen is the pillow – how soft the texture, any seams or patterns that will leave weird marks on my face etc!
    Georgina, Asian Professional Organisers Singapore

  2. Thanks for the kick in the rear end Val. After fully outfitting our west-coast apartment from thrift shops and Craigslist, I just kept on going and finding many things I just had to have. They are by now filling the spaces behind cabinet doors and never getting used. Sooo, I’m gonna get those rascals out and have a sale…hoping to make enough to make one month’s college loan payment for my grand daughter. This is need-based and just good ol’ reality goin’ on here. Yes, she’s going to do most of the work since she’s still job searching and available.

    • Great idea, Peggy! This will not only help your granddaughter and you, but it will help the person who happens to need that item you are selling at a bargain price. Win-win-win! Now is the perfect time to divest yourself of unneeded items, when college kids are looking to outfit their own college “pads”. Good luck!

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