Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Blessed at Home #14: Our Best Organizing Tips

Thank you for stopping by our 14th week of Blessed At Home.  We sure appreciate everyone who has visited and shared our articles on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Please visit the Contributor Page to read more about this excellent ministry from some of your favorite homemaking bloggers.

Today's featured contributor is Misty at Simply Helping Him.

Howdy! I'm Misty Leask: Princess of the King of Kings, Joe's Help Meet, Mother of 2 blessings, and a Texas cowgirl always. My passion is being the Help Meet God created me to be, just as He created Eve for Adam. I was placed by my husband's side, and there I will remain to help him in every way possible. Most often, you'll find me teaching my children, caring for our home, cooking/baking, gardening, or writing. 

Simply Helping Him was born as God directed my heart and hands to teach, encourage, and share what Help Meets were created to be. I know how difficult it can be to truly grasp and move forward with submission, obedience, and trusting God through it all. In "my" lil corner, I write about topics from marriage and Bible Studies, to Family Training and Family Fun Days. I'm also blessed to have several Help Meet Contributors share once a month about their passions as a Help Meet.  

Today we're sharing Our Best Organizing Tips.


What I really want to say is: Mothers, hold your children close and enjoy each little special moment. Being organized is good up to a point, but don't spend so much time trying to have a Pinterest-Perfect home and miss out on time spent enjoying your family. When you get older you will realize the importance of the memories and the love shared. A wise woman will realize this importance now.

Each decade of a woman's life brings on new and different changes. Each decade can be a happy and fulfilling time. I enjoy my quiet life and the few activities that I do each week are about all I can handle and still be able to stay rested and keep organized. I have times when I miss my children being little and living the busy life of a young homemaker. I am blessed to have many memories of the good times back then, and also am blessed to still be making wonderful memories with my grown children and their children.

Life is about change. Young woman who can listen and hear an older woman's experience will benefit knowing that we all go through phases in our life. Each phase can be wonderful if we do not make the mistake of wishing for something else. God certainly knew what he was doing when he created us. We will benefit in enjoying today's tasks because tomorrow will be here soon enough. Let's all live in such a way today that tomorrow we can reflect back with loving memories and no regrets. My Best Organizing Tip is, organize your priorities and the rest will fall in place!

My house is not always mopped, waxed or dusted, but I do like things organized. Even if it is what I call my "organized mess", I like to know where everything is.

My Best organizing Tips to share for middle-aged women are:
#1. Start off each day putting everything back where it goes; such as, discarded clothing, couch throws, grandkids' toys, etc.
#2. Fold and put away laundry as soon as it comes out of the dryer.
#3. Wash and put away dishes at least twice a day.
#4. Have a spot for bills and an errand list with the most important on top.
As I am writing this, I realize how easy my life is now that my children have grown and it is just my husband and I here. I am lucky to have grandchildren to keep me busy. Thank you Lord for blessing me. With that thought, I am on my way to bake cookies for library reports snack this afternoon. When I am done I will wash and put away the dishes!

Jennifer, Mama Economics

Anyone who knows me or who has read any of my blog posts, knows that I have a very type-A personality. I thrive on planning, order, and structure. When I started having children, I had to learn a whole new way of living. I'd much rather have my children than the cleanest most organized home, but there are some bonuses to preferring a systematic way of handling life. For my weekly contribution to Blessed at Home, I'd like to share about the heart of organization.

The scriptures tell us that even God prefers life to be handled with order and decency. Should order be achieved for the sake of serving God and our families? No, but the two should work harmoniously together. When our lives are organized, it allows us to think and work more effectively. We must first acknowledge and accept our need for organization and structure.

Second, organizing our homes must be a family effort. Mom cannot be the sole proprietor of keeping a home organized. Husbands and children play important roles for maintaining an organized home. Getting every family member involved as active participants makes organization easily achievable.
After acknowledging a need for an organized home and convincing family members of their vital role in keeping a home organized, the most important key to organization is STOP BUYING! Before I buy something I pray about it and wait for God's answer, no impulse buying for this family. You might be surprised at how God answers when you start praying about your spending habits. I often find that after a week or two I really didn't need the stuff I thought was essential. It's amazing how much of the clutter starts disappearing when you stop buying unnecessary products.

I have three main life-applicable practices that helps to keep our family organized:
  • Simplify, consolidate, and eliminate: This pertains mostly to the kitchen and bathroom, but it could easily be applied to any room. Many products can be combined to do the same job. Such as using one all-purpose cleaner or using a bar soap to wash and shave with. The mainstream media and marketing gurus have convinced us to use a different product for every task which promotes unnecessary, excessive spending. In reality, many homemade, non-toxic products can be used for multiple jobs and work just as well. Many utensils and tools can be consolidated; after all, how many brushes does one family need?
  • Baskets, totes, and uniformity: Loose objects go perfect in baskets and totes. My cabinets are organized with baskets holding an assortment of loose items, such as lids, canning supplies, toilet paper, essential oils, medicine, etc. My basket system is purely a time-saving necessity. Everything has a specific location which allows me to spend my time actually doing the tasks at hand as opposed to searching for the tools required. Uniformity works great too. When things are done a specific, simple way, children can easily learn to be willing participants to keeping their home organized. For instance, we have an array of different blocks. Each type of block is kept in a tote and all totes are stored in one specific location. Yes, they can play with the blocks, but when they are finished playing, they know where and how to put them away.
  • Purge: Before Christmas and all birthdays, toys are purged. My reasoning with the children is: to get new toys they must get rid of some of the old. We cannot keep every toy they receive. Any broken toys are thrown away immediately. We do not do battery operated toys, which eliminates a lot of toy options these days. Books and homeschooling materials are kept in one location and purged yearly too. As for clothes and shoes, we keep a pretty simple variety. The guys of the family wear pants year round. I keep four to five pairs of play pants, a couple 'going-to-town' pants, and about four pairs of church pants per child. The guys also wear collared shirts; four play and four good (equal amounts for long-sleeved and short-sleeved). Two pairs of night-clothes for each child and a weeks worth of socks and underclothes. The ladies of the house wear skirts/dresses and we have four church and four everyday outfits (equal amounts for summer and winter). Shoes are kind of iffy. Truthfully, each person has one good and one play, but somehow there are always seems to be strays that need to be put away in storage. :)
Organizing a home should not be a burdensome task, it should be done as an extension from a desire to create a peaceful home environment. From my personal experience, our home operates much better when everything is in its place. The heart of organization begins with Christ and ends with families joyfully working together to keep a home running in decency and in order.

With Love,

Misty, Simply Helping Him

My best tips are to have lists, planners, schedules and specific containers for all things---especially in kids rooms. 

The few items required for my organization are paper and pen for planning, Rubber Maids for organizing, and bookshelves! 

You can find more organization ideas from all the Help Meet Corner Contributors this week @ Simply Helping Him

Meghan, First Comes Love

Reduce-reuse-recycle. Seriously.

Reduce the amount of items that need to be organized. Clean out and give it away or sell it for a bit of extra cash. It’s a law of nature that fewer material goods equals easier organization. :)

Reuse items for a different purpose. Pinterest has a wealth of suggestions. Perhaps an under-used dresser can be placed in the dining room for table linens or homeschool supplies. A short bookshelf can be a bedside table. Or use some scrap fabric to sew pockets for the back of your dining chairs. {Someday I’m going to try this!}

Recycle jars and cans into attractive storage with fabric or scrapbook paper or paint. Or not…I love the look of a plain mason jar. And how did we ever get along without Mod Podge? School supplies, kitchen supplies, crafting supplies, sewing supplies, take-your-pick supplies can be stacked or stood upright. Arrange the jars or cans on trays or shelves in a convenient place.

Whatever you choose, make sure it suits your needs, your style, and your budget. Above all, remember that the end goal is not an organized home. Organization is simply a step in the end goal of a home that is focused on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Judith, WholeHearted Home

It seemed like each week I would have to organize my closet all over again trying to keep sanity in the middle of chaos. 

You probably are snickering because you can relate. Somehow all the unwanted (toys, clothes, books, and whatnots) end up in Mom's closet until they are: moved to the attic, a place is located to keep the item, or it is removed from the house either by way of a garbage can or it is thrifted. 

So how do you stay sane when entering  your closet?

Master Bedroom Closet Sanity Tips:

  • Throw out or give away: what you are not using. Be ruthless (yet be sure your husband agrees...like don't throw out HIS old shoes!! Ahem!!)
  • Downsize on belongings: we downsized the games (ruthlessly)
  • If you don't have a place to store it (and no longer use it): get rid of it!!
  • Find another place to keep items in your closet: we couldn't keep all our books in the garage attic (we tried) since they became damp. Instead we put them in the house attic in big plastic bins. We organized them according to topics. The house attic isn't as damp as the garage. It is amazing what kids will do to read a book...they will go to the attic and rummage. Maybe they thought it was fun?!
  • Organize in bite-sized nuggets of time: when you are short on money and time - don't hurry!!  All the greatest Pinterest and Organizing Junkie ideas will just frustrate and discourage you (but don't get me wrong...I just might head on over to both today!) Spend 15 minutes to an hour each week or month on your closet. Sometimes I just stood and looked at the closet until I had a light bulb moment. Coming up with a new location for something or a new way to store something doesn't come instantaneously anywhere else besides Pinterest. The best (and cheapest) ideas come over the course of 5 or 6 years, really!!

Here are some Transformational Ideas:

  • Stack-able plastic drawers: I have 4 -5  in my closet.  I actually didn't buy any for my closet. They became available as others didn't need them any longer. 
  • Use organizing baskets: I did buy most of these at Target.
  • Gradually move things to a more advantageous location: I have been gradually moving things out of my closet (desk supplies, craft supplies, school supplies, lol, books still on the shelves, you name it - it got moved).
  • I bought all the same sized hangers. No more sloppy clothes.

I don't totally have my closet organized the way I would like it but gradually it is getting there. Probably a closet will never be perfect. I don't know how but wrong stuff (junk??) always finds its way to MY closet (that I share with my husband).

Just don't get the idea that Pinteresting closets belong in your home. Your closet is an evolving thing that takes time, especially if you have moved within the last six years!!

Linking with:
Wisdom Wednesdays @Simply Helping Him
Winsome Wednesday @ My Daily Walk in His Grace
Whole-Hearted Home Wednesdays 
Encourage One Another @ Deep Roots at Home
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Homemaking Link Up @ Raising Homemakers
Inspire Me Wednesday @ MamaBuzz
What's Working Wednesday @ NextGen Homeschool 
Watcha Work-Up Wednesday 
Wednesday Link up at Adorned from Above
Home Link Up at Raising Arrows
Homemaking Party @ Hope In Every Season
Thursday Favorite Things @ Katherine's Corner
Strut Your Stuff Thursday @ Somewhat Simple
Thriving Thursday @ Serving Joyfully
Homeacre Hop 
Tutorials, Tips and Tidbits @ Stone Gable  
Think Tank Thursday @ Saving4Six 
Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home 
Inspiration Friday @ Dear Creatives
Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
Farm Girl Friday @ Let This Mind Be In You
Fit & Frugal Family Friday
Faithful Fridays
Ultimate Blog Linky Party
Show and Tell Saturday @ Be Different, Act Normal
Finding the Pretty & Delicious @ Your Homebased Mom
30 Min. Linkup @ 30 Days
Sharing Creative Ideas @ Made By Joey  
Motivate Me Monday 
Modest Monday @ The Modest Mom 
Living Proverbs 31
Make the Scene Monday @ Alderberry Hill 
Inspire Me Monday @ Create With Joy 
Better Mom Mondays
Marriage Monday
Manic Monday @ Cupcake-n-Bake
Mommy Mondays
Making Your Home Sing Monday
Inspire Mondays
Teach Me Tuesday @ Growing Home
Tutorial Tuesdays with Hope Studios
Character Corner
Women Helping Women @ Teaching What Is Good 
Domestically Divine @ Far Above Rubies
(Titus 2)s Days @ Time Warp Wife
Tending the Home Tuesday
Tuesday Link Up Party 


  1. Wonderful guest posts on organizing. Another idea for the closets. A few years ago those beautiful wood hangers were all the rage. I bought them. The trouble is while they are great for winter coats and suits, they are just too BIG. I changed to those thin velvet hangers last week and what a difference. My closet looks so much neater. Now I am looking to give away those wood hangers.

  2. Judith, You made me laugh...oh how I can relate! My daughter and granddaughter helped me with my closet a couple of years ago. Sarah was cheering as I was tossing stuff out! I think it is time to do it again. Although 6 years have not gone by yet! :)

  3. Thanks for sharing on the HomeAcre Hop. Please come back and see us this week: http://everythinghomewithcarol.com/the-self-sufficient-homemaker-hop-3/


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Mrs. Sarah Coller

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