Jan 4, 2020

New Year Steps To Keeping Things Clean And Organized!

The holidays are gone. This house has been full of loved ones.  The decorations are taken down, the rooms seem really empty.  All of this brings to mind heavy cleaning and maybe, redecorating the spaces.

The first thing that comes to my mind is organizing spaces that haven't been gone through lately.  You know the bookshelves, cabinets, drawers, etc. I'm in the living room now with these thoughts.  Most rooms in the house could use some tuning up, some need overhauls.

Today talking about these things.


  • We all love to shop.  Aren't we blessed people?  We are!  
  • The clutter, mess, disarray, hoarding all come from having, wanting an excess of items.
  • Do we need them?  Only some!  Yet we continue to shop!
I wrote about this very subject not long ago and how it affects me: Simple Living How Hard Can It Be:  
Take a look at the post.  I hope it helps you as it has me.

I know each of you could probably give me a few pointers on how you organize and keep it that way.  I'd love for you to share the tips that have worked long term for you!

These are the things that have worked best for me long term.  I don't have my home in perfect order by any means, and one room has become storage for crafting supplies. (I'll go into that one later).  

What Works For Me:

Home organization is not a one, two, or even three times a year thing to do.  I have found the only successful way to keep things in order is to do some things often:

6 Easy Steps To An Organized Space

  • Clean Often
  • Purge When Needed
  • Straighten Area Frequently
  •  Find a permanent Storage Space For Each Item
  •  Take inventory Often
  • Replenish as needed, Only What Is Needed

That may sound like a hard thing to do, but doing it over time makes it becomes easier and second nature to you.

Once you get and keep one space in good working order, it is much easier to keep it that way.  Just pay attention and with a little upkeep, you are all set.

Open spaces need attention first of course


Cull-purge things you don't need, nor will use soon. Do not hang onto items for future use unless you have a defined goal and time for its use. Give away or sell items in good shape.  Trash those items that need to be trashed. I know we've all heard this numerous times, but it bears saying again.

7 Steps To Accomplishing And Keeping Areas Organized

  • Purge unneeded items, no ifs, and, or buts, just get rid of them.
  • Organize like items in the same location.  Have space for that particular item in the category. Only you know what your family will use.  Only you know many or how much of any given item will be needed for your family.
  • Plan for permanent space for all of the items you will need to be in place and accessible when needed. 
  • Keep that space for that item, do not deviate from the plan.  You will use that space for the intended purpose only.
  • Do those things in every storage situation and you'll be glad you did.
  • This manner makes it easy to replenish when items are low.
  • Important:  I will say this many times: Only buy the number of items that will fit into allocated location/storage.

If you no longer need a certain item or product then rejoice!  You get to store another item that you've been wanting.  That is a win-win situation!

Pantry, food cabinets need to be organized


Steps To Get And Keep Certain Areas Organized

  • I find it is particularly important in places such as a pantry, cabinets, the refrigerator, the freezer. a cleaning supply closet, health, and beauty supplies
  • These need to first become organized according to what you use, how often you need, etc. Store and label according to expiration dates and importance. I find a label maker is a good tool to use for quick labeling of dates and things.
  • Clean, take notice of product expirations in all areas including refrigerator and freezer.  Change your menu if you must to accommodate the expiring or wilting product.  Use what you must and when you must to prevent spoilage and loss.

Benefits To Having A Clean And Organized Kitchen

  • An organized kitchen saves energy, time, and money to be sure you will have less food waste in the long run.
  • Energy saved due to knowing where each food item is at a moment's notice.
  • Time saved is self-explanatory
  • Money saved:  You know where the needed item is how much of it you have.  You will be less apt to buy again items because you know you have them on hand!
  • Less Food/Product Waste because you will know what you have on hand and when it is to be used by. It is a lesson learned with time. It is amazing how little it takes to live really well.

I confess china, silver, and crystal are my weakness. I have more than I need, but have given away, or donated to good causes most of it. The rest have space for storage.



  • Major Cleaning, Clearing, Organizing spaces such a clothing, linen closets need overhauling at least twice a year and then upkeep is done periodically while using the items.
  • *Exception being clothing items that no longer fit should be given away, or sold if in good shape.  Holding onto things that no longer fit to use at a later time tie up much-needed space. Believe me, I've done that many times and never have I reached the goal of using again. Besides, things will not be in style most likely when and if you can wear them again.  I do keep a few sentimental items, like my babies' special outfits, my wedding dress, things like that. *
  • Same methods as talked about already in this post.  They work for the entire house.


* Notes I lost a lot of food products due to the mice infestation.  Living out in the middle of farmland can have a downside like having mice come in when the crops are harvested.  Every Fall they move in for a little snack or nesting material.  Also for twelve years, we had no weevils.  Last year they decided to devour all of our pantry goods. I found the best airtight containers I'll leave links below.*

  • Label Maker.  It sure does come in handy and make it easy for many projects.
  • Storage baskets and containers that may be needed for each project
  • Under the Bed Storage containers
  • Airtight Food Storage Container/Canisters
  • Cabinets, Shelves as needed for projects

Re-Purpose Things Or Think Of Different Spaces For More Storage

  • Short on space use cabinets, chests, trunks, with drawers to store but hide items.  Dual-purpose items work well in small spaces.
  • Short on space:  Go up if you can't go out.  Utilize the bare space in closets, or on walls for storage.  You'll be amazed at what can be done with just a little space.
  • Re-Purpose items as needed for your use.
  • My Grandmother's Wardrobe holds my towels, medicine, and makeup! 



  • Mail:  When you receive it, handle it!  Don't throw aside for it to build into one messy unorganized pile!  Have a spot for each thing Bills, Sales, even Sentimental Cards, Letters etc. Granted we don't have the paper mail of the past, but some still exist.  Junk throw away or shred immediately!
  • Things we print to save!  Be it recipes, how-tos, tutorials, instructions, all need to have a permanent home.  (When no longer needed Trash.)
  • Important records like Wills, Titles, Tax Returns, Receipts, etc. They definitely and what goes along with them, need a home for a few years.  Some forever.  Store in a safe place.
  • Be sure to Upkeep them as well!


My Thoughts & Tips That Have Definitely Helped Me

  • Scout the areas especially if you are working in them. Example:  Putting up laundry, please put away and straighten while doing this chore.
  • When using items, always return them to their place as quickly as possible.
  • If, by chance, you find yourself unable to clean, update, or put things in their assigned homes.  Do so as soon as possible. You must prevent throwing or putting items in another location because that could cause quite a mess in no time at all.  It will take twice as long to put away many stashed items into their proper place than to just put them up in the first place.
  • If something isn't working for you, then think about it and re-work your plan, so that it does work for you and your family.
  • Check storage areas frequently and clean, put in place any items out of place.
  • Keep track of as you go what items are low, and keeping a mental or written note as to when to purchase.
  • Don't think that just because you worked so hard to clean-clear-stock-admire your space that your job is ever finished.  Staying organized takes a lot of work at first and then little time to keep in order later.  As long as you keep watch on the areas from time to time it will last.
  • One problem may surface if you aren't careful.  You don't want to become obsessive about not having everything perfect!  Yes, too much organization can cause Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  None of us need that. 
  • ,

I apologize for the long post, guess what I did for a living is showing. I developed a plan and put it into action in a national retail location. It was definitely a lot of work, but with the help of wonderful team members, it was worth it! Sharing some of the things that I learned and have applied to our home. Hope this inspires and helps you as well!

Happy Organizing!

I'm off to purge the overload and upkeep the other spaces!


  1. This is such a great post, Dolly. My weakness is dishes and china and even silver. It's a disease, I think! lol I hope you have a great 2020.I am working this month on purging and 'letting go' of many things. I have way too much fabric, etc. and I am dreading going through that...and may end up keeping it all for the time being. lol
    Have a blessed Sunday- xo Diana

    1. Thank you!  I'm smiling about the fabric because it is how I think too! lol..Blessings to you too
      xo Dolly

  2. My biggest clutter were receipts, warranties a instruction books that come with appliances and tools. I bought a large notebook ringed binder and clear sleeves to put in it. Then I put each important paper in the sleeves. When I need to find something I just flip through the notebook to find it. I have a notebook for in house stuff and one or outdoor equipment and stuff.

    1. Lisa, what a great idea! I am going to copy you! I have mine in a drawer and that thing is overstuffed. It keeps jamming! Will remedy that, thanks to you! Happy Sunday!

    2. I added the paperwork because you sure reminded me of that! Thanks Lisa.