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To-organize list and progress made

Alright friends.  You’ve heard it here before.  The first step towards having an organized home is making a list.  Go through your house room by room and make a list of each space that needs a makeover.  I just love a good makeover!  Makes me excited just thinking about one!  Be specific.  Putting it all on paper will help take away some of the overwhelmed feeling.  Then just tackle one drawer, cupboard, closet at a time.  That’s what I do anyway.  :)  Here is my “to-organize list” for 2013:
{Touch-up} (these are areas that are already organized but need a 20 minute straightening)
– garage
– pantry
– fridge
– closet – Kenny’s side of course :) 
– girls’ closets/drawers
– girls’ bookshelf
{Total makeover}
– create files for each of the kids (transfer kitchen drawer papers)
– clean out kitchen paper drawer
– DVD’s (new system!)
– closet under stairs (box up!)
– Halloween/fall decor (box up!)
– Christmas (box up!)
– re-organize playroom bins
– bookshelf in guest room (box books – make room for toys)
– scrapbook room (box up scrapbook supplies!)
– sort/organize kids’ recent school work (add new folders)
– re-organize Kole’s closet/drawers
– bunk bed storage (box up!)
So!  This might not look like a lot, but I have less than a year and I’m well aware that with my current schedule, time is limited.  I will be beyond thrilled if I can complete this list before the move.  I’ve managed to complete a few of my “touch-up” areas – spaces that are organized but needed a quick clean out.  Organized spaces always need a bit of re touching… or they don’t stay organized.  :)  
Here is what I’ve accomplished so far (nothing revolutionary, but progress is progress, right?)
I took our Christmas decor that I usually store in trunks throughout our house…

and I boxed it all up!  It’s ready for its new home.  But it will have to chill in the garage for a bit first.  :)
I have to add that I already have plans for how I’m going to store all of my holiday decor in the new house and I can’t wait!  I think I’m more excited to organize my new house than I am to actually live in it.  I know.  That’s not right, right?  :)

The stuffed animals/dolls moved into the trunks because I’m going to pack up most of the stuff in our closet under the stairs (where they were previously living when not played with).  The girls helped sort their toys and even though they refused to part with anything (because each toy is a beloved friend who is real with real feelings – thanks a lot Toy Story) they did agree to sending less played with toys to grandma’s house.  That was the only solution I could come up with after debates and tears.  (Sorry mom… you were saying you needed a few more stuffed animals right?)

This weekend I bought groceries and did a quick pantry clean out.  I didn’t take a recent picture, but aside from different things in the clear containers it looks the same as the picture from my original pantry organization post.  
Then I moved onto the fridge…
I pulled all of the food out.
Then I pulled all of the shelves out. 
Then I washed everything super clean.  That’s the trick.  
Don’t just wash things clean.  Wash them super clean.  
Then I put everything back where it belongs.  This is a pretty complicated system.  
Am I moving too fast?  ;)
I labeled our water bottles.

 And I washed and cut up all of the fruits/veggies so that they are ready to eat/serve.  

Then I patted myself on the back and went to give Kole a bath and didn’t take any after pics (the ones above are from an earlier post I did on fridge organization).  But, like the pantry, it looks pretty similar.

Like I said, nothing major, but at least I’ve checked off a few things on my list!  I’m in the middle of boxing up the bookshelf in our guest room and it is a MESS.  I can’t find more than 15 minutes at a time to work on it so it might just be a mess for a while.  Actually I have quite a few messes going on around here that I’m anxious to tackle.  Check out the current state of my scrapbook room (a.k.a Kole’s room):

Christmas wrapping station is still up, I’m going to have to sort though 10 layers just to see my desk, and there is a pile in the corner that is blocking the door so that I can’t even open it all the way.  
It’s driving me mad.  
But I have to be patient.  
All in good time.  :)
Have you started a list yet?  Any progress made? 
xoxo, Erin
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16 thoughts on “To-organize list and progress made

  1. Like you, I have been so busy. I actually did make a list on my dry erase board. I put it on the fridge. I crossed a few things off and then took it down because it was driving me crazy on the fridge…lol. I am doing pretty good. Like you said, I mainly just have to freshen things up. Surprisingly, things stayed really organized.I really want to paint the baseboards and doors, but it has been freezing cold and I thought I would wait until it warms up a bit.

    I bet you can’t wait to get into your new house and start decorating and organizing. My favorite part too.

    Have a great week,

  2. Love your blog Erin. It aleays cheers me uo and inspires me to organize someting!

    Our neighbours had a fire the other night. it has made me realize that clutter can be more than an annoyance, it can make a fire bigger than it needs to be. So thanks for reminding me to go through the house with my pem and paper! i have some piles that need to be taken care of stat!

    I am just writing about Dvd organization so i will come back and post the linl when it is done or email me at and i’ll give you the basics of my system. i can’t tell you how much easier it is to find a dvd and even better to keep the system up-to-date.


  3. 3I have a list but I like your idea of going room by room. I may need to make another list ; )

    You always make me want to go home and re-organize our things!!! ha!! I just did our DVDs too. So much better than the way we had them.

  4. Cathy – that totally sounds like something I would do! Ha! And I know – it has been freezing lately! Stay warm!

    Thanks everyone! I want to hear about how you’ve organized DVD’s! Can’t wait to do that.

  5. I love it! I started my list as well and crossed off some yesterday. One of the areas I want to reorganize is my DVDs but I’m unsure what my new system is going to be so I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

  6. Love making lists. I do it for everything! SO funny that you suggested going room by room, I did that and I came up with 2 full pages of crap that needs to be done. Makes me feel good when I can check off even the litte tasks though:) The fridge is lookin’ good! We have the same one! ;)

  7. You have inspired me to make that list. It is so helpful and happy :)! I remember my mom having a list and it was a celebration as it crossed off and eventually led to going out for ice cream. Love the toy story bit – oh so cute and true. Have a great day!

  8. Hi Erin,

    I have an organization tip for you! I noticed in your pic that you are labelling your moving boxes on the top. It makes it easy on you (and the movers) if you get a bunch of colored paper and color code the moving boxes according to the rooms in your new house. Items going in the kitchen get yellow, girls room gets pink, living room gets green, etc. Label the paper with the room and contents, too, and then tape to the side of the box. This helps because when boxes are stacked, you can still tell what’s inside a box without having to look at the label on top. It might be a good idea to tape 2 papers to each box, so 2 sides are covered.

    Maybe you already thought of this, but I wanted to share since your blogs always help me get more organized!

  9. You can also use colored labels (they don’t rip/pull off as easy) and colored sharpies. We pre-printed a bunch “kitchen” “lower bath” “master” etc and then just had to add the box #/ or main content label. We also had some pre-printed “open first” to make it easy to find the essentials (paper towels, plates, tp, kleenex, soap, sheets, etc. There were also several of these that were also labelled “car” – things we needed with us – moving agreement, closing papers, to-do list, extra keys, $, etc). Good luck organizing :)

  10. Mary Beth and JC – oh my word – those are great suggestions! Thank you so much! I was thinking about putting colors on boxes for specific rooms, but I never thought of labeling the side of the box OR using printed labels. I’m all over it! :) Thanks again! I really appreciate it!

  11. Hi Erin, yes Toy Story has a lot to answer for! I will make my list once the girls return to school in 3 weeks ;) But I have combined their 2 messy craft drawers into 1 craft cupboard and it works! So thankyou for that little gem :)They are using it daily, and I ended up doing a mini kitchen makeover which has improved some of my storage too. Looking forward to your ideas for DVDs. Thanks again xx

  12. Hi Erin!Love your blog and you are such an inspiration!Inspired by your wonderful blog I cleaned up my fridge and my pantry this week and can’t be any happier!Thanks and keep posting!P.S.I also bought the Crate and Barrel cutting board that you had suggested.In love with it!

  13. Hi Erin,
    I love to keep “to do” lists too and I keep one on my iPhone called “project list”. It’s full of things like on your list- not the dishes and laundry that need doing daily/weekly but things that only really need doing once.

    I like keeping it on my phone because I work outside of the home which means that, with travel time, I’m out of the house for 55+ hours a week. Having the list on my phone means I can still be working on my list by deciding on supplies, researching containers, reading about other peoples systems, choosing a plan of attack etc. It helps me still feel connected to home and that I’m making progress at home. And then when I *am* home and have a spare 10 minutes or hour, I can efficiently knock something off my list as its already planned out.

    Also, with cleaning the fridge- do it in the bath! It is a hundred times easier. I know that means going up/down stairs but trust me, it’s still easier. I’m not fishing for clicks, but i can show you how I do mine

    I also have to add, I don’t envy you one bit, having to pack up and move an entire house and family!!

  14. Thanks Julie and Desi! YEA!! So happy some of my suggestions/ideas have helped you. Your sweet comments made my day. :)

    Laura – great tips! And I know. SO not looking forward to the actual move. I get tired just thinking about it! :)

  15. You have me so motivated. And I love doing that with the fridge (OK I don’t love it while I’m doing it but I love that it looks like my fridge is new afterwards)-I can’t believe how much gets spilled and sticky.

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