Monday, June 6, 2011


So we blog a lot about having a cute, stylish space, but that doesn't amount to anything if it's a big ol pig-sty!! (I would know). Your house has to be cute but ALSO functional, with proper places for all our crap, and getting rid of crap we don't need. My girl, ERIN is a pro at organizing and started a facebook page with awesome tips that she implements to keep her place tidy & free of junk and how to save some extra cash doin it! Check her out...

ABOUT Organize w/ Erin
My motto: “Save money, Save time, Save ur sanity.
I like to be organized, I like things clean, and I don't like to toss my money around. This page is a collection of tips and ideas for those who want a clean/modest lifestyle...but still want a life.”

Organizing Your Life
I didn’t realize it until just a few years ago, but I have ALWAYS had a thing w/ downsizing and organizing things. My dolls had to be in one place, stuffed animals in another. Posters w/ similar pictures were grouped together on my walls. I liked to collect stuffed animals and knick-knacks of turtles, seals, frogs, and bunnies…but a month or so before my 14th birthday I was like “Oh man, this is too much. I have to downsize and pick which is my favorite. B/c I should only have one.” So I put a lot of thought into it, came to the conclusion that frogs were the best, and informed my mother of my decision. Lol.

Now that I’m in my late 20’s, I am so glad that I have these habits b/c I realize how valuable they are in a busy world. But the great thing is that you too can be organized, thrifty, and just overall awesome. Oooh.

It’s pretty much all about routine, really. Think about it: You know church will always be on Sunday. You know your college science class is every other weekday. You know garbage is collected early on Thursdays. So, this rule can not only be applied to household routines, but to how your life is run.

(Random RANT: I have to say, one of my biggest peeves is when I see two half empty containers in the fridge w/ the same content! I’ll easily take at least 15 minutes to transfer over remaining ranch or to combine 3 half-consumed boxes of cereal. Don’t waste your space! AAAAUGH!)

First I am going to just give some examples from my personal life. Then I will list a couple of vital items in my life, and then I will get into overall tips that may work for you and your family. J

Just like our scheduled Garbage Day, it’s without question that I change over bath towels every Friday morning. I bathe our dog on Mondays. Whenever I log in some time for either of my online jobs, I immediately wright the IN/OUT time on a large desk calendar right next to my computer and then later type them up. Coupons go in the ‘junk drawer’, and once my hubby gets home from work, I transfer them over to a mini-organizer in the glove compartment of our car. (This is also where I keep store points/value cards that I rarely use.) There is only one spot for receipts to go, but everyone in the house must know and do the same! And for Pete’s sake, if I have to spend more than 10 seconds trying to get a pen to work, I throw it away!

Now. As far as what I have GOT to have:
1.    my planner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2.    labels (computer labels or the ones you type out on a machine)
3.    a decent filing cabinet (phone/auto/insurance/medical/pet records and receipts)
4.    manilla folders for sub-categories within the filing cabinet
5.    an assortment of different sized binders (ones w/ a clear front/back are preferred, but take what you can get)

6.    labeled files for everything on my computer-Huge! I have tons of sub-categories. (PHOTOS: 2011: Washington Trip 12/11/ etc)
7.    a filing system for all of my cards (Christmas/Birthday/Just Because…)
8.    Large CD cases for my DVDs, computer software installation CDs, and CDs/DVDs with burned photos or information on them

Now obviously everyone works differently and everyone is going to have different needs depending on where they are living and where they actually are in life. Just check out the list and see if any of them may work for you, your space, and your budget.

I would so, so, sooo encourage you to look into purchasing a simple planner for you to use on a regular basis. And no, I am not a fan of the whole electronic thing. How silly is it that I won’t know what is going on that day if I forgot to plug in my handheld device? Psssh.  Plus I have discovered that it really does become a kind of journal as well. :) 

Several months ago I was hired by a young woman (thanks Craigslist!) w/ 3 kids, was going to school full time to become a nurse and was just overall overwhelmed. She had moved recently and simply didn’t have the time to put things away and get the house in working order. I was soooo happy that she understood and was willing to get rid of anything that wasn’t being used. Even if it works great, it doesn’t matter if you haven’t touched it in 2 years, yes? We tackled one room at a time, making 4 piles:

1.    Throw away
2.    Goodwill
3.    Keep
4.    Belongs in another room

After less than 20 hours we had not only purged her small home of tons of useless STUFF, but she then had the energy and the space to organize what she was going to keep. We took a trip to the dollar store and Target and I was able to help her see that there are ‘hidden’ spaces everywhere where items can be stored: Casters to raise the bed for space, stack/buy shelving that goes upwards and not sideways, small containers to separate a variety of body/health/cleaning items that could go under the bathroom sink, the baby’s crib, or at the top of their closet, designated cupboards in the kitchen for pasta, breakfast items, baby foods, etc. And I made her buy a Dust Buster! lol

It will take time, but just take it slow. It’s about conquering little thing and going from there.

The folling examples are from my current FB page:
If you have multiple appliances in the kitchen that do the same thing, it's time to downsize. Do you really need a shredder, a Magic Bullet, a blender, and a hand-held mixer?
I recently got rid of an ice-cream maker and a wine cooling unit b/c…well, they weren’t being used more than a couple times a year. I actually have plenty of space for them, but it doesn’t matter! I sold them on Craigslist and was done w/ them.
Most of the time, I don't believe in purchasing something if it doesn't serve more than 1 purpose. ie: Why spray a nice smelling spray when you could disinfect at the same time? I only purchase disinfectant sprays, which are used weekly and are also kept in all bathrooms.
Take one day a week to make a bunch of your own "100 calorie" snacks and save a bunch of moolah. Usually 'snack size' baggies work well. I make mine with: pretzels, dried fruit, animal cookies, mini cookies, almonds, small granola bars. Try to have a mix of treats AND healthy choices. :)
Always keep a lighter or matches w/ both ur candle supply as well as those birthday candles! Make it easy on yourself. (but don’t forget to have a flashlight or two on hand as well.)
Did you know that if you have all of your batteries facing the same direction that they will last longer? I purchased a batter holder/case from CVS for just $10-and batteries of all sizes were included! I LOVE it.
I always keep a small notepad and pen by my bed. Most nights i make a TO DO list before bed so i don't have a million things running through my head when im attempting to sleep!
I can't stress this one enough: label all of your power cords! it's such a relief to know which plug is the printer, shredder, computer, camera charger, heater, etc! use masking tape or computer labels or invest in a label maker for a more streamlined look. they last MUCH longer and are easy to read.

I would be excited and thrilled if you took the time to join and regularly check out my page on Facebook:

I am always trying to help out, and am even more receptive to questions, comments, and tips! 
I know you can conquer the clutter. And if you are ever feeling overwhelmed or like you aren’t progressing like you wanted, just watch 10 minutes of the Hoarders show. Lol.

-Erin Fair Lamberte

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