How Do You Organize Your STUFF?

jll0306August 17, 2006

The cabinets under the our bathroom and kitchen sinks are always filled with assorted bottles, cleaners, sprays, etc. They start out almost bare, but you know what happens over time. It had gotten to be a real pain to find things in there.

I collected some boxes of different sizes, cut the top flaps off and covered them with contact paper, co-ordinated to match the shelf paper. Now my "stuff" is segregated by type, and it is easy to slide a box out to get something, without knocking everything else over that is in front of it.

And the first look, when I open the door almost convinces me that I really am an organized person. (NOT!)

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We installed various organizers from the Container Store in our older kitchen cabinets. There's a two-level pullout basket under the sink for cleaning supplies, baskets that attach to the inside of cabinet doors for baggies/foil/plastic wrap, slideout recycling/garbage containers, pot lid holders, etc.

The really sturdy organizers are pricey, but less expensive than new cabinets. We also installed Elfa door organizers in our very shallow pantry (9" deep) to make the most of the space.

When we first moved in, I wanted to remodel the kitchen, but now that we've installed all of the organizers, I feel like the old cabinets work just fine.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 1:15PM
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Why is it???? I've only been in this house 5 years and stuff is falling out of my cupboards and closets. My mission in Jan. (need time to work up to it) is attack ruthlessly each closet. I do the boxes under the sink but have added and not discarded. This is my biggest fault...if you're going to add, you gotta discard!!!!!

georgeanne who is waiting (snicker) for 2007.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 1:37PM
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"if you're going to add, you gotta discard!!!!!"

Sigh. Yeah, I know, but...but I might someday NEED that half inch of All-Purpose Whiz-bang Magic Hair Treatment/Silver Polish that never worked the first time.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 9:20AM
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I don't keep much cleaning stuff. I use vinegar, nature' s miracle (for pets), bleach occassionally and baking soda. I don't have too many rags etc. Everything fits into one caddy under my kitchen sink. I just carry it to the bathroom.
Our bathroom was renovated with no perminent cabinetry, so I bought an old 50's kitchen larder with three shelves on top, one drawer and three shelves below. We make everything fit in here or we get rid of it. Daily use items sit on a small set of shelves beside the sink.
My hubby has more stuff to clean his car with than I have to clean a house (or two) with!!!

How do we keep organized, I just get rid of "stuff". Now, we are stuff people! Collectors...but we built in shelves and display areas and what I don't have room for I make decisions and edit. I grew up with parents who had closed in built in shelving in the basement and you could hide a lot of usless stuff in there. I decided I wasn't going to do that.

One of my best girlfriends is a professional organizer. She is very helpful with my hubby and gives him hints to try and get into the mindset of editing out uselsess stuff in life. I still haven't gotten him to edit paper clutter (he will hide piles, and doesn't even know he's doing it)...although now the "offical" paper clutter must be kept in a portable file or two working photo storage boxes and nowhere else. They get full, he must take the time to edit. Fear of random tossing of piles gets action :)


    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 12:59PM
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One way to be organized is to never buy cleaning supplies until you run out. That way there are no extra bottles cluttering up the space.

Now, if I would pratice what I preach!!


    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 1:17PM
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"Sigh. Yeah, I know, but...but I might someday NEED that half inch of All-Purpose Whiz-bang Magic Hair Treatment/Silver Polish that never worked the first time."

Oh yeah, been there, done that! lol! I tell myself it didn't work the first time because (fill in the blanks) . . . But I recently got ruthless and threw MOST of it out. Kept the lime green polish just in case . . . just in case what? It doesn't match anything except a thong I no longer wear. Ooops, need to ditch that too.

I like the idea of those pullout baskets. I think I'll get a few. Then I can't say it was WAY at the back so I didn't see it for all those umpteen years. : )


    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 5:08PM
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My problem is that every time I get motivated to throw something out, I need it for some random thing that came up! The only time I really get organized is when we have to move (as is the case now b/c our house is being renovated)!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 10:10PM
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A big problem with a lot of the "stuff" under people's bathroom and kitchen sinks is that it is toxic chemicals and should not be simply thrown out or dumped down the drain. There are hazardous-waste depots that will accept this kind of stuff.

I think the trick is to limit what comes in the house in the first place: find the one brand of each cleaning product, cosmetic, shampoo etc. that you really like and buy only that one, so that you don't get a collection of chemicals that you won't use. Easier said than done.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 10:26AM
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