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Beginners Guide to Organization for Life & Home

New Year = New Opportunities for change. I’m approaching 2018 with a fresh start – not only for my mental & physical health, but also my home. When I say change I don’t mean running out and purchasing a huge piece of furniture, instead I’m talking about all the little things that add up to make a big difference. Now that I’m thinking about it, all of these changes do affect my mental health in a positive way as well. If you missed any of my previous posts on my healthy lifestyle change and approach for 2018, click on the links below:

I knew I needed to begin working on organizing my home after looking for something in my designated “junk drawer” in my kitchen. Suffice it to say… I couldn’t find what I was looking for. Btw, this isn’t a big drawer. It’s just sooo crammed full of stuff that I find I dread opening it. I’m over it.. I can’t stand tucking things in drawers or behind closet doors any longer. I pride myself on being clean & neat, yet real life I’m not always that way. So this is my confession to you.. while some of the photos may appear like everything is perfect & organized in my home.. there is a lot behind my closed doors. ;)

While there are tons of ways to completely overhaul a complete room/space, (which I will be sharing in March while I overhaul my kitchen!) today I am dipping my toe into straightening up with baby steps and spaces –

  • Junk Drawer. Everyone has one… and like many others, mine was a complete mess. I’ve decided to change this drawer from a junk drawer to a planner drawer. (This will be cute and I will actually use it!!)
  • My Linen Closet. This space has lots of shelves & everything was crammed in… pillow cases, bedding, towels, and even pillow covers were “color-coded”. While I had good intentions when I moved in, this space has become a hot mess!
  • Guest Bedroom Closet. I had a built-in closet system from IKEA, however the cubbies weren’t being utilized properly. I just shoved things in them and some weren’t being used at all. What a waste of space! I’ve decided to set this space up properly for my guests.

Many of you know that Homegoods is one of my favorite go-to stores for projects like this. So when they asked if I would like to participate in a blogger organizing share I jumped at the chance. We are a perfect match. I have two Homegoods stores within 10 minutes of my house, which makes ‘dropping’ by even more convenient for me. As a matter of fact I’m there almost 2-3 times a week. (don’t tell Jeff!) They always have something I can’t live without… Right now the stores are filled with baskets, planners, organizers, desktop tools/accessories, etc. January is the time to pull yourself together after all. I’m always shocked by the prices at Homegoods because they are so reasonable, some of the planners that I recently purchased were just $6-10. It’s guilt-free organizing at it’s best. Makes me feel even better!

Junk Drawer

Before
Beginners Guide to Organization for Life & Home

Beginners Guide to Organization for Life & HomeSee why I call it my junk drawer? I think I have everything in this drawer but the kitchen sink. It’s become our catch-all for all things loose around the house. If there was ever anything messy on the counters I would always make sure to throw it in the drawer before anyone came over. Unfortunately, I also threw bills in there and they would get covered by other stuff. Not the best way to run your household finances!

Emptying this space was liberating. I decided to repurpose the drawer as a planner space. I’m not only organizing my new spaces but my life as well. My new planner will help me with this.

After

Beginners Guide to Organization for Life & HomeBeginners Guide to Organization for Life & Home

 Beginners Guide to Organization for Life & HomeCan you breathe easier just by looking at the “after” shot? I know I can…

Once I emptied the mess from my drawer, I found that most of what was in there – I didn’t need in the kitchen at all. We have a spot for bills elsewhere, I moved my reading glasses to my bedroom, and all the other miscellaneous items were moved to their proper spots within my home.

I decided that I wanted this space to not only be organized, but have a real purpose in my kitchen. I don’t have an office space for myself in my home, so I didn’t really know where to put my organizers/planners/etc. Actually, because I didn’t have a space for them before, I never really bothered with these items. Now the “junk drawer” has a new name and meaning. My life is more organized as a result and I’m feeling more motivated just by looking at it!

I find the majority of my office supplies and planners from Homegoods. My favorite planner in this drawer is my huge 2018 Kate Spade Planner that was just $16! The “Farmers Market” pad is also helpful because I’m always looking to make lists of items that I need at the grocery store or market. When I purchased all the items for this drawer I also made sure that everything was color coordinated. The flowers and pinks reflects me & my home perfectly!

Why I pick Physical Planners vs. Google Calendar:

  • Why. I actually have both and think everyone else should as well. Google calendars can only do so much – they don’t have a space where you can jot down your ideas/notes, they don’t provide a space for lists. I like to have it all in one place, vs the 3-4 different APPS you need on your phone. Just like how platforms like Instagram organise all of your pictures, based on the date, amount of likes (which can be increased using the best Instagram bot) or people tagged, Google Calendar organises your dates!
  • Beautify. Planners can have beautiful patterns and quotes that inspire on the front/inside. Love that! When I open my planner and it says to me, “Have a beautiful day!” then I instantly feel like I’m going to. Subliminal messages are great.
  • Remembering. Studies say that if you write something down then you are more apt to remember it. This is why I love to have a physical planner – to jot down my goals, appointments, and deadlines.
  • Organization. On a google calendar, everything mixes together and it’s hard to differentiate what’s important, etc. Especially when you have 100 things on your to-do list for the day, like me. I like to separate things using different colored pens, for different categories. I use red for important deadlines to pertain to the blog, I use blue for personal dates such as a lunch with a friend, and I use green for meal planning.

Beginners Guide to Organization for Life & HomeBeginners Guide to Organization for Life & HomeSome of my favorite accessories:

  • Monthly Planners.
  • Desk items: Tape, Scissors, etc (In a matching metal, pattern, or color.)
  • Weekly Meal Prepping Calendar. Helpful for knowing what to purchase for groceries/planning out what you’re eating each day to be healthier!
  • Drawer Dividers. I find these are useful to keep things separated and looking clean in a drawer.
  • Notepads. Everyone makes lists and I love to use a fun pattern when making one. I always keep a couple different kinds on hand to mix it up.
  • Pens. I have a billion of them… I’m into erasable pens more than anything. A mix of colors look way cuter in a planner.
  • Mini Erasable Calendar. I can’t have one of these because I personally don’t have an office space, but I see so many cute home offices that have adorable erasable calendars on the wall. I saw a few different kinds of mini erasable calendars at Homegoods the other day and they were so cute! You can also find organisational office supplies from sites like Office Monster, they have an incredibly wide range of these products.

Linen Closet

Before

Beginners Guide to Organization for Life & HomeWelcome to my messy linen closet! I cannot believe the amount of stuff that I pulled out of this space. I thought that I had downsized successfully when I moved into our new home this past year, but as you can see… I clearly fell short. Shutting the door has been difficult lately, time for a change.

As you probably know, I’m obsessed with pillows and pillow covers. This closet is where I keep the bulk of them. I thought I had organized them well at first because I took the time to color code them but the truth is, I only use about half of them. I plan on gifting quite a few of these to my sister and friends who are as pillow obsessed as I am. While it’s hard giving things away, it’s harder rifling through the closet to find a towel.

After

Beginners Guide to Organization for Life & HomeBeginners Guide to Organization for Life & Home

Beginners Guide to Organization for Life & HomeThe first thing that I did when approaching the closet was to remove everything and sort through it. I found that I still had king size sheets from my last bed along with some duvets and other bedding. (No need for that anymore – we downsized from a king to a queen!) I gave all of my older towels to a great local charity and purchased new towels/hand towels from Homegoods in my favorite pastels. Aren’t the designs beautiful? I love the palette.

The biggest decision for me was to decide whether to simply fold everything and lay it on the shelves, or place everything in baskets… While the baskets take up a little more space, they provide the more cohesive and aesthetically beautiful style that I crave. I was excited to find the right amount of the same baskets in the same size and I love that they keep everything separate and neat. The small baskets will keep me organized – I can only fit so much in them! In the larger bottom basket, I placed all of my pillow covers. I also found cute labels to describe everything that’s in each basket. These small baskets were only $7.99 from Homegoods – such a steal.

Beginners Guide to Organization for Life & HomeBaskets speak to me. I love their texture, shape and color. The baskets that I found not only match my floors beautifully, they give the space a much needed warmth and cozy feel. It was so easy to transform this space.. if you have a closet that is in need of change you should consider baskets too. All you need to do is take measurements then the fun search can begin. There are baskets in every shape, color and size nowadays that can fit all of your needs. Take a few hours out of your weekend to re-organize a closet that you’re neglecting – I promise you’ll feel so much more organized!

Guest Closet

Before

Beginners Guide to Organization for Life & HomeMy guest closet has a built-in that Jeff put together last year. I have left it bare for the most part, unless Emma is visiting, and I have been meaning to dress it up properly for my guests. I love welcoming my family and friends, and there is no better way than a warm and inviting closet space. Do you have a guest room? Have you done anything special for your guests on the bed or in the closet to make them feel welcome?

After

 Beginners Guide to Organization for Life & HomeBeginners Guide to Organization for Life & Home

 Beginners Guide to Organization for Life & HomeBeginners Guide to Organization for Life & Home

Beginners Guide to Organization for Life & HomeI decided that I wanted this space to be a spot where my guests can find an extra blanket, towels, and soaps. Having been in hotels my entire career as a flight attendant, I have to say that one of the things that I appreciate finding in the closet of anywhere I’m staying, is a plush robe. I like my guests to feel like they have everything they need without having to ask!

Like my linen closet, I’ve included baskets to help keep everything looking neat and orderly. They add the perfect amount of texture and color to the all-white interior. All of the towels, soaps, blankets, and baskets are from Homegoods along with the hangers.
Beginners Guide to Organization for Life & Home

I left the bottom two cubbies bare so that my guests have a place to put their shoes. I have included a little welcoming gift of slippers and a toiletry kit in each spot in the meantime.

Beginners Guide to Organization for Life & Home

To Wrap It Up

I hope that my small organizing methods will encourage you to tackle some of your least desired spots. The entire process took only a couple of days and it was so easy to do. I’m already feeling more on top of everything.

All the items I picked up at Homegoods:

  • Baskets. These were definitely the most important feature to my organizing success.
  • Labels. Always important to have the name of each item on the outside of baskets.
  • Planners. More on why I love these above.
  • Office Accessories. Who doesn’t love beautiful supplies?
  • Towels. Homegoods has gorgeous towels at great prices!
  • Soaps. Keeps everything smelling fresh throughout..
  • Blanket. Every guest loves a fresh blanket.

More Organized Spaces From Blogger Friends:

A few of my blogger friends have also joined me in tackling some of their organizing challenges. Simply click on each of their names to check them out… (posts go live in the morning)

Lizbeth
•Blog – Home And Fabulous
•Instagram: @Homeandfabulous
Oscar
•Instagram: @oscarbravohome
Ceres
Gloribel
• Instagram: @knowhowshedoesit
Cara
?•blog: Goldalamode
?•Instagram: @?Goldalamode
Tamara
•Instagram: @tlee79
Amy
•Instagram: @crazychicdesign
Ashley
•Instagram: @houseoffive
Emily
•Instagram: @Emilyeveryday
Summer
•Instagram: @SummerAdamsdesigns
Anita
•Blog: Anita Yokota
•Instagram: @anitayokota

Let me know in the comment section what you think of my little transformations! They might seem small, but to me they have made a huge difference in my home and my life. Have you organized lately? The new year is always a great time to start. You can do it! I love seeing the befores & afters, so you can always DM me on IG/e-mail me some pictures. :)

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to pin the photo below to share some of my tips with others :)

The best tips for Organizing those tricky small spaces like the Junk Drawer, Linen Closet, and Closet!

Another post you may like to read is my “10 Tips To Organize Your Fridge” post – I did a complete overhaul and you can do the same thing in only a couple short hours (Great weekend project!). Click here to read it 10 Tips To Organize Your Refrigerator

xo,
Kristy

Thoughts?

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49 thoughts on “Beginners Guide to Organization for Life & Home

  1. Oh wow! I love everything you did Kristy! Just gorgeous!! Everything looks so organized. I love the guest closet! Can I come and stay?

    Xoxo,
    Amy

  2. I love the guest room closet, I need to do this ASAP, my daughter always visits from out of state and the closet (this was her old room) still is full of things she left, now she’s pregnant and I want to create this, for when she visits. Wish me luck.

    1. You should Alice.. Emma loved how it’s looking too. She always needs a robe and so does my Mom. I have a little of everything in each basket which makes it fun for guests too. I also like including a welcome basket on the bed with waters and goodies. :)

  3. I am officially copying your linen close Kristy! Looks amazing. Now I need to hunt down a bunch of matching baskets. That’s always the hard part! :)

  4. Kristy, what beautiful organizational skills you have! I also believe in an organized junk drawer and my friends think I’m crazy haha! Your linen closet looks fabulous and your lucky guests are going to love the other closet so much! So thoughtful of you! Xoxo

  5. This makes me want to organize my house. My husband is a custom
    Cabinet maker so we have a ton of cabinets and storage in my house, all of which I’m sure can use some help! Thanks for the inspiration.

    I also go to the same Home Goods stores you go to and I’ve almost sworn off the closest one. Every time I go in there, while I love their stuff, the store is a complete disaster!!!! There is stuff everywhere. You can barely get carts through the aisles.

    1. Aww..It’s on and off isn’t it? I still hit all that I can because I have found a variety of everything at each of our local stores. You are so lucky that your husband is a cabinet maker! So great.. :) Thanks Stephanie! xx

  6. Totally luv, luv the linen closet makeover! It also gave me the idea to organize my dining room hutch where I keep holiday table linens…. A basket for Thanksgiving napkins/placemats and one for Christmas! Beautiful and inspiring….just like you & Emma! ?

    1. Hi Jane,
      Thank you so much for saying that! Yay I’m so glad to hear that it inspired you – hutches are a hard area to tackle but I believe in you! xx

  7. A great inspiration post. I think you have given me the extra push I need to tackle my messy areas. ( I have even more of a mess than you). I love Homegoods too. ?Thank you for sharing.

  8. That is so freaking amazing Kristi. I am beyond impressed. Great job! Everything you do turns out so fabulous!!! You are just so talented!!! ?

  9. Hi Kristy! You are the bomb diggity, ?????? ahmazing organizational skills. Love the baskets, do neat and tidy.
    I was busy today in my kitchen, cleaning my glass cupboards and organizing too! Feels so good, going to tackle my biggest junk drawer tomorrow, ugh
    Have a wonderful evening ?

    1. Hi Vicki,
      Thank you for commenting :) I love that you were organizing today too! Feels like right now is such a great time to tackle those untidy spaces… xx

  10. I really enjoyed this organizing post. It has really inspired me to do some closest and drawer cleaning. You did a fabulous job! BTW. Thank you for you inspiration on the blush color , I’m loving it and just finished painting my master bathroom. Blush and very light gray . I’m so glad I found your site! ?

  11. Oh my gosh I’m in LOVE with all your after photos! Everything looks great! I swear I have that exact drawer in my kitchen; I also have it on my list to tidy it but it always goes to the bottom as I can never face it! You have inspired me to go to our local store (we don’t have Homegoods in the UK but we have Home Bargains which I think is pretty similar!) as I noticed the other day they had loads of lovely storage ideas. So I’m going to get organised and tackle the drawer head on! Gorgeous post again Kristy, thanks. xx

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