Amazing Containers!

organized cabinet desk office

The power of a container can not be underestimated. I realize this sounds like a lot of praise to give to a box or bin but you have no idea how amazing a container can be. Not everything you own needs to be put in a container but keep reading to learn why they are important if you want to keep your home organized.

organized home

Containers are multitasking heroes in our home! 

A container defines a home:: What that means is when you have a box for your picture hanging supplies or cup to hold pens, you know where those items go. No longer are they to be stored on top of a dining table or scattered in a cabinet but they go in that specific box or cup. Bonus points for labeling boxes that store loose parts.

Sets a limit::  When you have a drawer or bin for containing workout tops, you can see how many you have and hopefully avoid over shopping for them. Seeing is believing and knowledge is power. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “I had no idea I had so many X.” When you contain it, you set the limit for how many you need.

Communicates inventory:: This is similar to the limit but this is applicable for items that you are using up regularly, say baking ingredients or toilet paper. When you can see how much flour is in the container, you know how much you have. Ditto for a basket of toilet paper. A quick peruse of the pantry or cabinet prior to grocery shopping lets you know instantly whether you need to add those items to the list. This is so much less stressful that having to check multiple places or wonder while you’re shopping if you need to get these items. By the way, this is the #1 reason why people overbuy certain items: they don’t really know what they have and don’t want to risk running out.

Visual reminder of its home:: Try telling someone where to find something when you don’t know where it is yourself. The empty cup or labeled box do that for you. This is also super helpful in bathroom or office drawers where you have a lot of little things to keep track of. Seeing the empty space where the tape or floss were helps remind what goes there.

Makes it pretty:: Last and certainly not least is the visual aspect of organization, my personal favorite. What better way to make toilet paper look pretty than to put it in a pretty basket! Or you can place cotton swabs in an antique cream pitcher to add elegance in your bathroom. Clear bins with lids bring beauty to items stored away in closets. Express a little bit of your personality with brightly colored bins or monochromatic office supplies.

organized kitchen cabinets

We could all use a little more beauty in our lives so take this opportunity to find some in your home or office with the containers you choose!

If you’re looking for some ideas on creative, useful containers, please check out my boards on Pinterest. I’ve got whole boards devoted to baskets, kitchensclosets and even more so click on through to see what I recommend and use for containing things stylishly in your home!


Don’t be a prisoner to your belongings

Alcatraz jail cell. Don’t be a prisoner to your belongings.

Being organized is about having the things in your home, office, closet, etc. that you really need and enjoy within easy access and aesthetically pleasing.  One person’s organization is another person’s confusion or discomfort so as much as there are tools of the trade and specific steps I take clients through to achieve success, it is unique to the individual. Just buying the cute boxes and label maker do not an organized person make. You really have to figure out what do you need and what serves you. Get rid of objects that hold you back and keep you from being the person that most exemplifies you.

“Gee, Carrie, how do my things hold me back? Is my closet conspiring against me?” No, not actively; but what you hold on to in your home is an expression of who you are and your relationship with it is expressed subconsciously. Do you hang on to clothes that you are too small for you because you will wear them “someday” when you lose those 5-10 pounds? Do you keep arts or craft supplies because “someday” you are going to take up knitting, scrapbooking, decoupaging, or whatever? Do you keep a piece of furniture that you don’t like because some relative gave it to you and you’d feel guilty getting rid of it? Or, here is my favorite: I can’t get rid of this because I paid sooooo much money for it. Well, all of these negative thoughts are holding you captive as a person who doesn’t accomplish whatever goal you’ve set for yourself by keeping these things.

  1. Get rid of clothes that don’t fit. Only keep things that are one size either too small or too large for wiggle room and have the others altered or donate them. Think of how you are helping others by sharing what you have. Someone else needs that suit, sweater, shoes, and it will be in better use with them instead of sitting on your closet floor.
  2. Donate supplies that you aren’t using or don’t think you’ll be able to use (really use) in the next 3 months. I know Pinterest is full of great Halloween, Christmas, Hannukah, Birthday, and other ideas for crafts and home projects. By all means, pursue and create but put a reminder on your calendar and block the time to actually sit down and create these great masterpieces. If you can’t find the time in the next couple of months, then donate those supplies to a church, school, or some type of program that will use them now. If you are inspired later, you can gather those supplies again and move forward with renewed enthusiasm.
  3. Guilt is such a great motivator and usually it’s negative. If there is something in your home you don’t truly love or use, give it to someone who needs it. I personally have a hard time with this because I want to please people but, really, it does no good to keep things in your home for others. Is there someone you know who would enjoy that style of art or furniture or clothing? Can you think of someone who can make something of it? Maybe it would inspire a renaissance for someone’s artistic interpretation. Above all, it’s not serving you sitting in your home reminding you of how much you don’t like it. And that is making you cranky and resentful of the person that gave it to you.
  4. As far as hanging on to the expensive item? Well, the money is gone. Spent. Bye bye. Resolve to strongly consider the consequences before committing this crime again and get rid of the offending object. It’s just sitting there taunting you and filling you with buyer’s remorse. Let it lead a new life with a new person and bring them joy instead of you pain.

You’ve probably detected a theme here by now and it is the bedrock of Neatsmart’s   philosophy: purge what you do not need, keep what you love, make it all look pretty, and use it to its fullest. Life is too short to not have happy surroundings and your home is your haven. Let it restore you, not repulse you.

Happy organizing!