For Functionality

“Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

Dearest Readers,

Today’s post focuses on the most well-known and well-appreciated aspect of organizing and the first part of this blog’s subtitle: “For functionality, beauty, and inner peace.” It seems like everyone everywhere is measuring their lives in terms of productivity – how little sleep they got, how much money they earned, how energized that yoga class made them feel. Sometimes I have to check in with myself and make sure I’m not overly focused on the productivity of my day, but more importantly the beauty and peace I shared with others.

But I’ve already written those posts on inner peace and beauty. Perhaps the reason we are so productivity-obsessed is because of what it affords us. If I wake up 30 minutes earlier each morning to work out, that’s 30 minutes I have in the evening to spend quality time with my husband. When I’m not pulling my hair out over my messy home, I’m able to enjoy making dinner and relaxing after work. Productivity is measured by increased functionality. And productivity for the sake of our passions – whether its our family, that side business ;), volunteering, or simply reading a book – is positive productivity.

What is the best way to achieve positive productivity, you ask? Organization! A place for everything and everything in its place works. Its my #1 mantra and has saved me so many valuable seconds which add up to minutes, hours, days of my precious life. I think I became an organizer because I believe just that – Life is precious. There are too many important things to enjoy in life aside from rifling through a messy filing cabinet. (I, however, would love to rifle through your messy filing cabinet! Email me at ellenorganizes@gmail.com right now!)

The simplest organizing investments can lead to hours of saved time in the future. Here are three things that you can do right now, depending on how much time you have on your hands:

1. If you have the evening: Tackle. That. Closet.

You know you’ve been meaning to. It’s the biggest organizational hurtle in your home, the fear is growing, and every time you have to get something out of it, you close the door quickly so nothing spills out. Put on some pump-up music. Maybe pour yourself a glass of wine (hey – it’s Wednesday). Open the door, let it spill out. Drag out everything – all the skeletons. Purge your life of anything you no longer recognize or can realistically see yourself using within one year or needing far into the future. Create categories and piles.

Then imagine your most ultimately organized closet in which you actually want to open it up and use its contents. Search pinterest for closet pinspiration! Purchase any shelving, hooks, bins, and/or drawer organizers you believe will be helpful (way worth the investment if you develop the habits they require) – use Amazon.com if you’re feeling lazy. Don’t let your organized categorized piles become an overwhelming mess while you wait for your items to arrive. When they do, set it up, keeping your pinspiration in mind, and give each category a new home! I wouldn’t know where anything in my closet was without labels – print some out, get creative with your fonts and colors. Voila!

2. If you have an hour: Get all up in that Pantry.

I have two tiny cabinets that are masquerading as my pantry. I have to organize them every month, and it never ceases to amaze me just how quickly they fall into disarray. Regular maintenance of some things is essential – and I guess for my household, its the pantry and fridge.

Immediately throw out any expired products. Grab a box, label it “Food Bank” and fill it with any non-perishable items you have no idea why you ever purchased because no one in your family will ever eat them. Small plastic trays are helpful as long as they fit in your cabinets, are labeled, and you develop the habits they require (spying a trend here?). Can organizers are life savers, as are utensil organizers, and this pan organizer that takes advantage of vertical space. I spotted this blog post yesterday that shows you how to DIY some inner-cabinet door organizers for plastic wrap, tin foil, and parchment paper. Lovely.

3. If you have 10 minutes: Dump your Makeup Bag.

Upend the thing. I don’t know about you, but mine gets covered in bronzer and eyeliner and deserves a good washing every season. At least wipe down the inside and throw away anything that’s broken or eye products you’ve had for more than 3 months to prevent eye infections (guilty as charged). Give your makeup brushes a good scrub down with warm water and baby shampoo or gentle face wash – commit to doing this regularly (experts say every week, I aim for every 2). Place them on a clean towel to dry. If you want to take this project further, consider purchasing some pretty acrylic cosmetic organizers like this one. I store my makeup brushes in a mason jar on a bathroom shelf, and it works gloriously.

I hope you find little ways to organize some meaningful functionality-turned-productivity-turned-quality-time-with-a-loved-one today!

Happy Organizing,

Ellen

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