awesome tour of Marta's beautifully organized craft closet. I am always refreshed by how real and practical Marta is.
Loved this tip on keeping her desk (and her head) free of clutter:
i try to keep my computer desk free of clutter, with only the essentials on it. this way i can bring binders or books over and there is actually a spot for them to rest open. i like the good advice i read once about making a habit of clearing your desk off at the end of every work day to prepare for the next morning.
aren't those labels so darling with Marta's one-of-a-kind calligraphy?
I also love the way she uses her space and, where possible, the boxes/bins/organizers that she already has. Also love the way she infuses the space with personal flair and inspiration. Check out the whole post here.
From Sarah who never ceases to dazzle me with her creativity and resourcefulness. Love this lady!
Full tutorial (including links to free printable labels!) here.
For menu planning:
Full tutorial here.
All our electronic gadgets (iPods, cell phones, chargers, cords...) might make our lives simpler in some ways, but they sure have the potential to increase counter-top clutter! I love this simple pouch Sarah created to organize their electronics:
Full tutorial here.
Joan is a master at clean simplicity. Her space is never fussy or cluttered. I'd take her organizing advice any day! She wrote a post at her blog a while back about purging your home of the unnecessary and getting things in order.
Here's an excerpt:
1. Decide what area/closet/room of your home gives you the itchiest hives (ie: locate the most horrendous mess).
2. Find an activity/babysitter/something to keep your little ones (if you have children) occupied.
3. You might laugh at this one but...make sure you have a yummy drink near by and/or snack. Let's face it: no project is fun when you have a hungry tummy. (**editor's note: We love Joan for things like this - so honest and real. And fun!)
4.Turn on some soothing yet happy music.
5. Empty out the contents of chosen closet or whatever area you are working on...
Read the rest here. (Joan gives great tips on how to evaluate and decide what to toss and what to save.)
Rachael Bailey (also an organizational master, especially when it comes to time management and efficiency) had the following to say:
"My organizational system has two parts: sitting down to actually plan something out, and then writing it down. (I began doing this after noticing how stressed I would feel knowing that there were "things" I needed to do, but not having a clear picture or list of exactly what I needed to accomplish.) I have two places where I keep all the written parts; the first is a laminated sheet on my 'fridge that has all the tasks I need to do each day of the week. I instituted this about four years ago and it has been revolutionary; it helps me to spend a short time every day ensuring that our home functions smoothly without overloading everything onto one dreaded crisis cleaning day (a little more info about that here). Most importantly to me, this system prioritizes sit-down time with my children every day, which is something I found would often get lost in the rush of my mental to-do lists.
The second is an erasable whiteboard calendar I bought my freshman year at BYU, which has survived seven moves to become my organizational "best friend." I keep literally everything on this calendar: doctor's appointments, special classes, menu plans, playdates, carpool assignments, and family adventures. It tells me how far I need to run that day, if I have a bunch of grading coming up, or if somebody's coming to dinner. It seems like an obvious system as I'm writing this out, but it is what allows me to stay sane (and calm) while juggling my very different roles!"
Thanks a million to everyone who shared ideas. You've all inspired me! Little by little, I'm crossing things off my "get organized" list. I hope you are, too. The thing that's helped me most is to cut through the crappy excuses I make for myself. I was waiting for all kinds of things: my husband's help. A big window of time without the children. Better weather. More money. But then I realized that none of those things were ever going to align perfectly and there was plenty that I could do by myself, while the children played, in the rain, with no money. I just needed to start. This afternoon I took an hour and tackled the garage. The kids played outside, shoe-less and under-dressed. I didn't care. They were happy. I was busy. There was a post-Christmas-palooza in there that needed some serious attention. It felt so good to break boxes down, fill the recycle bin, rearrange the shelves and sweep everything out. We ate dinner later than usual. But it was all okay. It's invigorating to get things done, and contagious. Now that I've got the garage done, I want to move on to something else and keep the organizational train rolling steadily along.