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Organizing in 2012 – a look back

Well!  The holiday break has definitely come to an end.  My kids went back to school today and like always I had mixed emotions.  Bummed that the party is over and the regular routine will ensue – and also ready for the party to be over and for the regular routine to ensue.  I love having my kids and Kenny home with me all day but for the love!  I couldn’t get anything done!  Our house is such a mess.  Unpacked bags from traveling, boxes of Christmas decor still out, piles of laundry, new toys all over the place with nowhere to call home.  I made a tiny dent today but it’s going to take me a week to get back on top of things.  So while I’ve made my new 2013 “to organize” list (which I’ll share soon!) I have yet to actually organize anything.  Please tell me I’m not alone.  It will make me feel so much better.  :)
Before I embark on a complete organizing frenzy this week I decided to write a quick round up post that includes most of my organized spaces from 2012.  I know most of you have seen these posts before, but I need to do this for myself to remind me that #1 – Most of my 2012 list was checked off and completed and #2 – it took me a whole year to do it.  Pace yourself Erin.  Rome wasn’t built in a day…

I haven’t taken a recent pic of this list from last January, but aside from Kole’s room/closet everything has been checked off.  It helps so much to have a list!  Even though sometimes I stray away from it and come up with new spaces to organize, the list gives me direction and helps me focus in on what our main problem areas are.

Hopefully by sharing some of my organized spaces from 2012 it will inspire us all to kick it in gear this year and see what we can accomplish!  (Que the Rocky music in the background…)

Ahh..  the pantry.  Technically this makeover happened in 2011 but it was towards the end of that year so I’m including it in the round up anyway because it makes me happy.  This set up has worked so well for us.  Our pantry doesn’t always look this picture perfect, but it really is easy to keep organized because the baskets conceal so much and everything has a defined place.  That happens because I don’t mix things up in the kitchen that often.  Maybe that’s the secret to an organized pantry?  You have to be a boring cook.


In January  I found a solution for our crazy amount of stuffed animals (that my girls refuse to part with) and I shared my time management binder (recently updated to a time management notepad).  I also got the kids’ bath toys, hair accessories and cupboards under control.


In February we talked about jewelry solutions and I shared how I organize mine.  I also shared how I store cords and cards.  Then I ended the month by finally tackling our laundry room cabinets.


In March I cleaned out and organized the girls’ bookshelf and organized all of my bathroom drawers.
(**sidenote – the bookshelf is currently a mess thanks to my 2 year old sidekick, but I’m happy to report that the bathroom drawers are nice and in tact!  One out of two for the month of March – I’ll take it!)


In April I moved from the bathroom drawers to under the bathroom sink.  I also finally organized our master closet.  That was a time consuming project and one I was so happy to have checked off of my list!


Over the summer I posted about some of my favorite organizers.  I also created a craft cupboard in our kitchen to organize our craft supplies/school work.  I have to say that this is one of my favorite spaces ever.  My girls use this cupboard every single day.  I’ve hardly touched it myself and it still looks like this!  That is the sign of a true well organized space.  One that the kids can easily use and keep clean themselves.  So many of my spaces look great for a week or two but without my constant straightening  go back to being a mess.  That’s when it’s time to re-evaluate what is and isn’t working and come up with something better.  This craft cupboard is better.  :)

In August I shared some tips for organizing travel with kids and I finally came up with a solution for our morning outfit drama.  It was needed and way overdue!


In September I tackled Addison’s closet and sorted/organized the girls clothes.  (I do this 3-4 times a year so that it never takes too long.)


In October I went a little crazy with Martha Stewart office supplies and re-organized my home decor inspiration pics, my built-in binder, and all of our recipes.  
Things heated up with our new house in Nov/Dec so there wasn’t much time for organizing, but here are two more of my 2012 solutions that have really helped me stay organized…
My magazine rack that is always stuffed full of good reads.  Love this.  

And my favorite green file box/folders that I use to organize my kids school work until that magical day when I have time to scrapbook again.

Even though I’m sharing a lot of spaces today, this really is SO doable when you break things up and just do a little here and there.  Tackle one or two spots a month.  That is my goal for 2013.  I don’t have an hour or two at a time in my schedule right now so 15 minutes a day will have to do.  Eventually progress will be made and your home/life (because the two are very much correlated) will run more smoothly.  I’m ready to start now.

Que Rocky music in the background…

or any other music you like.  

But Rocky is playing in my head.  

Bring it on.  :)

xoxo, Erin
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20 thoughts on “Organizing in 2012 – a look back

  1. I have my list made. I have made some progress. However, I have been on the go and haven’t had time to check much off since last Thursday. . Hopefully, next week I will get in gear. Most of my spaces have stayed organized because, like you, I go in and straighten everything to keep it that way. I am going to go in and wipe down and clean a lot of spaces. The big job is my closet. ( I need to purge to make room for summer.) :) Then the dreaded garage.

    Have a great week.

  2. No Erin, you are not alone! My girls don’t go back til 7th Feb! (summer hols here) Today I’ve had to take many a deep breath as I’ve had to tip-toe over piles of toys and dress-ups scattered through every room but the bathroom! Thankfully mine are old enough to understand they should tidy up the last mess before they bring out new stuff, it’s just up to me to remind them! But like you, I’ll be sad to see them go back to school xx

  3. This is a MEGA post! i’ll have to come back and soak it all in. I have so much organizing to do and I have a feeling you’ll be helping me a lot!

  4. P.S. I think I need to borrow your craft cupboard idea, as my girls have a deep crafts drawer each which are always overflowing and never stay tidy so the resources in them hardly ever get used! Come to think of it, I have an end cupboard which holds platters and serving bowls we hardly ever use, so I feel some rearranging coming my way! I can’t remember what you do with all your kids’ artwork? Is there a tray for it in the cupboard?

  5. Erin- as always after Chtistmas there is an onslaught of organizing posts and “challenges” over the net and it always makes my heart race with excitement. I read one last week that started with “clear any clutter” – and looked around my house….ummmm….I didn’t even know where to start! 3 kids and way too many presents and family gatherings and one dying fast Christmas tree wasnt a good look. My kids went back to school last Thu so I am happy to report the clutter was tackled! You can do it!

    My favorite project of yours last year was your craft cabinet too! I told you I copied it to the letter- even pink bins- and it was a life changer for us. Seriously a genius system Erin, I mean it, you should win a craft cupboard award of the highest honor.

    I am looking forward to seeing your new house this year and maybe a couple project life posts! Have you been to BH site since yesterday?? Major awesomeness is coming!


  6. This post is just heaven :)

    It’s like you took everything I was thinking, said it better, and then included helpful pictures and links.

    Thanks for being such a total inspiration all the way over here in Italy!

  7. Love how you organize and label your girls’ clothes for the week. I am definitely implementing that system in our home too ~ starting this week!

  8. I have to say that I found your blog early last year and followed along for all of these projects and many of them inspired me to declutter my own house, so THANK YOU! I cant wait to see what kind of organization you inspire me to do this year. Plus, I am pregnant which for me means months of non-stop scrubbing and organizing lol, lucky me (seriously, I can’t get enough of it!!)

    Also looking forward to your fashion Fridays! Love me some designer jeans and cute shoes!


  9. I LOVE this post Erin! From being honest about the state of your house post-Christmas (mine’s still crazy too!) to showing all the amazing organizing projects you did last year. I especially love the pace you took and that you are reminding everyone to pace themselves and choose only a few projects each month. That’s much more realistic and achievable and so much less overwhelming. I started following you in the spring so I’m off to check out some of your early 2012 projects now :)

  10. Thanks everyone! I’m so glad this post and last years projects helped some of you. Fingers crossed I can tackle some new spaces to share this week. With three kids in the mix you never know what your day might look like! :)

  11. Hi Erin! Last year I read your post about the morning outfit issue and implemented your solution because we had the same issues. I want to say THANK YOU!!! That has cut all the morning drama and has shaved about 30 minutes off of our morning routine. Love your ideas!! Can’t wait to hear more organization ideas and to hear more about house progress!

    Happy New Year!


  12. I would be content to have just one of those pictures be taken in my house.

    Baby steps for me.

    This weekend we are on Operation Switch Avery’s Room to the Office and vise versa. Pray for me.


  13. I have searched high and low for a magazine rack/letter holder like the one on your wall. Would you mind sharing where you found that? Thanks so much!! :)

  14. Such sweet comments everyone! Thank you! They made my day. :)

    Katie and Sarah – I ordered the magazine rack from Ballard Designs. It was on-line under “office accessories.” I bought it a year ago so I’m not sure they have the exact same one, but if not I’m sure they have something similar. Hope that helps! :)

  15. This post makes me feel *so* much better about the state of my house… it’s taking a really long time to get the toys all sorted and put where they go. :) Glad to hear someone as organized and on top of it as you is also in the same boat. Whew!

  16. Hi Alisa!

    That happens to me sometimes too! I just take a break when it does. Sometimes the space I’m working on sits untouched and in a total mess for a few days until I find the energy (and time) to finish it up!

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