10 Reasons Being Organized is Good for You

It actually is. I hear all the naysayers right now: it’s a waste of time! You’re over-complicating things! Organizing makes you anal!
Here’s my favourite (it’s something an ex once said to me): “What’s the point? You’re just organizing for the sake of organizing!”
Well…yeah. That’s kind of the point. Because (say it with me now) organizing is good for you.
Don’t believe me? Here’s some of the reasons why you should:
  • Being organized saves you time and stress getting out the door in the morning.
  • Being organized makes it easier to tidy up, which means you can have guests over without feeling embarrassed or apologizing for the mess
  • Being organized means you can let the dog-sitter/baby-sitter/housekeeper/assistant/house guest know where everything is (and they don’t have to call you in a panic!).
  • Being organized gives you more space to fill your home with the things you really like and want.
  • Being organized means you’ll finally find that thing you’ve been looking for (and saves you from looking for things in the future)
  • Being organized may be the key to finding motivation for that project that you’ve been meaning to take on for awhile.
  • Being organized means you can sail through the holidays with less stress.
  • Being organized saves you money because you’re not constantly replacing lost items, paying for quick fixes, or shopping in a panic.
  • Being organized means being more productive and getting your work done faster.
  • Being organized means you have more time for the people and things that you love.

I’ve found from experience that staying organized is one of the keys to maintain a balanced, more productive lifestyle. I’m trying to figure out the best way to organize my life here, or click here for some of the best methods for managing your time. For more ways to keep it all together, click here.

How do you organize your life? Inquiring minds want to know. Tell us below or send pics of your beautifully organized stuff to keepingbusyb@gmail.com.

The Drop Zone

 

You don’t have to be a detective to figure out exactly what I’ve been up to when I first come in the door to my apartment. My shoes will be kicked off somewhere near the door; my keys will be on the nearest flat surface I can find. My purse gets stashed just about anywhere (which, believe me, can cause a great deal of panic if I don’t remember exactly where that is). No matter how clean I leave things, when I come back in everything inevitably looks like it’s been in a tornado. (You should see what it looks like when I try to get out the door in the morning- it’s like a tornado in reverse.)

There’s only one good explanation for why this happens to me and why it might sound familiar to you as well: I (we) don’t have a drop zone.

At least, I call it a drop zone. You could call it anything really: a mudroom, hallway, entryway, foyer, or nook in your house (that’s preferably near an entrance). Any place that acts as a transition area between your life indoors and your life outdoors is your “drop zone”. We have so much gear and equipment that play an integral part in our daily lives. Creating an area where we can store these things in ways that are useful and accessible to us is imperative to an organized, productive and stress-free day.

Here are some of the things that you may want to include in your own “drop zone” (when seasonally appropriate, of course):

  • keys (and a spare set, just in case)
  • leashes, treats, waste bags, or towels for pets
  • reusable grocery bags/tote bags and bins
  • sand toys/beach bags
  • gardening tools for quick access (i.e., gardening gloves, trowels, spades, pruning shears)
  • sunscreen, sunglasses and hats
  • lunchboxes/reusable food containers and water bottles
  • winter accessories (i.e, hats, gloves, scarves and mitts)
  • umbrellas and other rain gear
  • shoes and shoe repair accessories (i.e., extra laces, shoe polish, replacement heels, protective spray)
  • first-aid kit
  • bus passes, bus tokens, membership cards, spare change

Storage is not the sole purpose of a “drop zone”; it’s also place that can act as a “command central” for all of your errands and activities (especially if you’re the kind of person who needs visual cues as reminders). You could use it as a place to store your stuff in the morning if you need to get out of the door in a hurry. Other items you may want to leave as reminders could include dry-cleaning, mail, library books, or borrowed items that need returning. In the past when I have had a drop zone, I used it to leave myself lists of things I wanted to pack in my bag in the morning, or things I want to double-check before a weekend away.

Don’t take my word for it, though- here are some people out in the blogosphere that are totally rocking it:

I’m so jelly for Jennifer’s remodelled mudroom over at Style & the Suburbs.

I never knew I needed Dutch doors until I saw Rebecca’s mudroom on Boulevard West.

I love Teresa’s solution for transforming the narrow hallway in her home into something pretty and functional on Sweet Farmhouse Dreams.

Tina from Inspired Reality turned her tiny entryway into something really classy.

Becca at Embracing the Simplified has proof you don’t need a huge budget to create an organized entryway.

What changes have you made to your mudroom or entryway to make it more functional for you? I wanna know all of your secrets (with pictures please!). You can send them to keepingbusyb@gmail.com or comment below with the link to your blog so you can show off your mad organizing skills with everyone else.

Having problems getting out the door in the morning? I’ve got some solutions here to make your mornings more stress-free, and how to stress less when you’re running late. For more inspo on a drop zone that’s both fashionable and functional, check out my Pinterest to see what I’ve been digging up.

 

5 Organizing Dilemmas That Have Me Puzzled

KBB_organizing_dilemmasIn my social circle I am known as a “fixer”- people often come to me for advice when they’re struggling either personally or professionally (one of the many reasons I ended up getting into the freelance business).

So it’s pretty frustrating for me when I come across any organizing dilemma- as few and far between as they may be- because it challenges my belief that almost anything can be organized. I’m not one to strive for a perfectly organized home but I do believe in finding solutions that ease and comfort to your lifestyle. One of the keys to good organization is finding a place for everything in your home, but there are still a few challenges I face when organizing my home that I’m afraid to admit have me stumped.

1) Batteries- Storing a fresh pack seems like an easy enough task, but where do you store the dead ones that are waiting for disposal? (In Toronto, dead batteries must be dropped off to a facility to be recycled specially. There are drop-off containers in most stores where batteries are sold, like electronics and office supply stores.) How do you not mix up the two? I honestly can’t decide on the best place to store them.

2) Hangers- What do you do with hangers not in use in your closet? Seeing a closet of empty hangers drives me up the wall. I try to stash the ones that I’m not using on a shelf towards the back of my closet, but keeping up this practice requires a lot of maintenance and honestly makes me feel a little anal. (Stop nodding your head yes.)

3) Food storage containers- I’m sure the parents and lovers of leftovers everywhere have the same lament- how do you store them? Where do you store them? How on Earth do you keep track of the lids?!? There’s nothing worse than scooping up your food in a stray container only to find its missing the lid. Tell me this has happened to you, too.

4) Dirty cloths and rags- I try to use these as much as possible instead of paper towels, but I wish I had a dedicated separate place to store the soiled ones while they await laundering. With a tiny kitchen and no dedicated laundry space, however, this dream of a space for super dirty laundry seems like a dream that’s pie in the sky.

5) Photo negatives- This move to the digital age has allowed the sharing and storage of photos to become easier, but now that film has fallen out of favor I’m torn as to what to do with my old negatives. With (most) of the original photos in tact and scanned as a digital back-up to my computer, do I really need to keep these? Am I doing it out of nostalgia? Paranoia? Negatives are just another item on a long list of things I like to hoard.

There’s an old saying about shoemaker’s children not having any shoes, and the same can principles can be applied to an organizer’s home. Despite being able to tackle problems in other people’s home with ease, it can be difficult to gain insight into your own challenges when certain obstacles seem permanently stuck in your way. Is it lack of space? Awkward configurations? Maybe you’re like me and have trouble letting go, or could be the fear of making any change that prevents you from finding a solution. Either way, if your barriers are physical or mental, it’s comforting to know that even the most talented organizers (ahem) have their own unique hang-ups that can also be solved by a glance from a fresh pair of eyes.

KBwB-BFlower-50You’ve heard my organizing confessions; now I want to hear yours! Write to me at keepingbusyb[a]gmail.com or comment below and let me know what’s been on your mind. Or maybe you’ve got a solution to one of my dilemmas. In that case, you’re my new best friend.

Sometimes I talk about other ways I like to organize too. You can find them all here on the Busy section of my blog.