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A New Year of Organized

January 21, 2011

As usual, the beginning of the year means that I’m going through a major organizational phase. I know it’s cheesy, new year and all, but I grab the opportunity when I feel it. Every year, I gain a few new good habits, and every year a few projects get finished or started around the house. Last year we reorganized our kitchen. It is much easier to find and use things and the organization has maintained through the year.

This year I decided to pull a bunch of books from the library to see if I could learn anything from the pros. The first book that arrived on the hold shelf was Unclutter your Life in One Week by Erin Rooney Doland of

It’s not that we are very cluttered, but I’m always looking for ways that we can simplify things. We have also been organizing and re-purposing my craft room which means that we are going through all of my craft supplies and figuring out what gets to stay and where it belongs. Not to mention a fair amount of stuff that is going out the door. Since I was going through all this research, I thought I would share what I did and didn’t like in the books that I’ve gone through.

Like any good Self-Help Book, there are a few mantras peppered throughout.

  • A place for Everything and Everything in its Place
  • Does this help me live a remarkable life?
  • One in, One out rule

Having just gone through and reorganized my knitting/spinning stash, I’m definitely feeling in the mood to keep these. There will be no yarn coming into this house for awhile. I’ve got some great projects that need to be finished up before I can dream of bringing in anything new.

There were several tips that I felt would be very helpful as we continued organizing.

Tips to Make Uncluttering Easier

  • With sentimental objects, touch them less. Touching creates a bond between us and the objects.
  • Take pictures of items that you want to remember but don’t want to keep.
  • Don’t keep things stored away. If you don’t want it out, it’s probably not worth keeping.
  • Get rid of things right away. Once you decide something is going, don’t let the bags/boxes of things sit around so that you may want to take things back out of the bags. (This is a big one for me. Bags of Clothes notoriously sit around our room.)
  • Towel Formula – (House Residents + Guest Bedrooms) x 2 = Sets of bath towels and washcloths
  • Kitchen – keep what you use. Avoid unitaskers. In fact the Unclutter website has some great Unitaskers every Wednesday.

Yarn Bin

Things that were Not for Me:

  • The Reception Station Routine: I don’t really want a “reception station” in my house and putting a shredder near the door doesn’t fix the junk mail problem. There are several easy things you can do to get rid of junk mail including opting out of credit card applications.
  • Bedroom: Nothing stimulating in the bedroom? Sorry, I do more than sleep in my bedroom (wink, wink) and we use that room for more than sleeping. We have a lot of open space in our bedroom, making it the best place to share yoga workouts.
  • The Chore Routine: I like the idea of the chore routine, but the times she slots out are minimum at best.  If you are only spending 45 minuets for dinner, cook, eat, and clean up, you must be pulling out frozen dinners or eating sandwiches every night. During the week we eat a lot of leftovers, but when we cook, it takes longer than that.
  • 7 Days, No Way: The most unfortunate thing about this book is that it sets you up for failure right away. There’s no way that you could get through the amount of organizing and change in 7 days.

Overall, a helpful book, when taken with a grain of salt.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. January 21, 2011 3:27 am

    There shall be designing of wall shelves this weekend. We shall conquer the scrapbooking supplies. We shall organize it on the beaches, in the hills, in the forests… wait, sorry, went a little Winston Churchill there. All those “shalls”…

  2. Jeralee permalink
    January 21, 2011 6:52 am

    You should invest in a DYMO labeler…. Love mine… Label everything. Food canisters, Sheet music collections & categories…. I love a good purge and organizing stuff.

    What a pretty stash of yarn you have there. :-)

    • violinjodie permalink*
      January 21, 2011 6:54 pm

      I always tease Anthony that he would go crazy with a labeler. I’ve been considering figuring out a way to label/organize the bins so I know exactly what’s in each one. However, sounds like a project I would spend hours doing, then never keep up on.

      • January 22, 2011 2:28 am

        Any of this that you have in ravelry, there’s always the “stored in” line in the stash entry. Doesn’t work for everything, but does work for yarn stash and it is easy to keep track of then.

  3. January 21, 2011 1:33 pm

    I’ve been reading that book too, and I have similar criticisms. I’m still on Tuesday, and I just read last night about office file organizing. And even though the book is written as if you can do this in 7 days, she freely states in there that you will likely organize files over a month or two.

    I go for the slow and steady method of organizing. And I like some of her ideas, but, for me, if it is too organized, I tend to lose steam and not keep up the method.

    • violinjodie permalink*
      January 21, 2011 6:58 pm

      The whole 7 days thing seems mostly like a title gimmick. I would have more respect if they had just left that out of the title altogether.

      Funny you and I were reading it at the same time. :) Leah, we often seem to be on the same kick!

  4. Taylor permalink
    February 3, 2011 4:30 pm

    I just found this company and I think some of their stuff is so cute and clever!

    And my label maker – it has been amazing to Sam and me how much easier it is to clean something up if the areas are labeled. People may laugh at my fridge, but we waste so much less food since we know where everything goes and few things get pushed into the back to languish…


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