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Thursday, September 06, 2012

How I Organized My Entire House for Zero Dollars (Really!)

a blogger tells how she organized her house without spending any money

Maybe it's the kids going back to school, maybe it's just because I've reached my breaking point, or maybe it's because of no good reason, but the disorganization in my house has got to grow up and leave already. I am tired of it. I'm tired of not being able to find things. I'm tired of sighing when I see certain areas of my house. I'm just fed up.

When I've tried to organize my house before, it's gone like this (this may sound familiar to you--perhaps you have felt similarly?): I am motivated. I see beautiful pictures of organized spaces on Pinterest! Oooooo, so pretty. Wow, I want my house to look like that! I need containers! I need all the pretty containers! Must buy containers now! I need all the things! Wait, I have no money for containers! Sad face. I organize some things halfheartedly, maybe buy a few little pretty containers (I actually have about five times as many jars now, see picture above), but my money seems to have other priorities (new water heaters, piano lessons, um, thrift stores), and I think, sheesh, if I just had pretty containers, it would stay all pretty and organized and birds would sing outside my windows all day long and my children would never complain about doing their chores or putting away their toys and I would be soooo motivated to keep it nice. While it might be true that pretty spaces and pretty containers might keep me slightly more motivated, the problem is me.

I have a three drawer nightstand and I have probably tried four or five ways to keep the stuff in it organized, and it always ends up a mess. And what is the common denominator in this super-simple equation? Oh yes, me!

Now, I will say that the rest of my family is not very good about keeping my systems up and that is horribly discouraging, because I just want to yell at them. And rather than getting uptight and control-freaky about keeping my house clean (perfectionist here!), I tend to go to the other extreme and not care, to avoid the yelling that comes with the caring (to be clear, I am not a yeller. I probably yell maybe once a month, if that. I'm a pretty chill mom. I just hate to get frustrated, so I tend to the other extreme). Also, a horrible idea, the not caring.

So, I am starting today. I am going to organize my house, and I am going to do it for $0. That is right. NO money.

(Of course, I've always thought that was a silly notion, calling something like this free, because I bought these things at some point--the plastic bins and the boxes, and the jars, and the pretty boxes, and even the few pretty baskets I have. Even if I use cereal boxes, I bought the cereal--of course, that has the added benefit of getting to eat cereal! Yuuuuuummmmmmmm, cereal. Even cleaning supplies cost money. But, the point is, the goal is, not to spend any additional money, and so I am calling this free.)

Now, this might not be the prettiest make-over ever. It might, in fact, be ugly. But the ugly will all be hidden, and it will be free. Did I mention free?

And, so my first project, the master bathroom. Which, I will show you tomorrow, to kick off this thing. I will also give you my organizing philosophy (man, it is deep!). I will be coming back to this page to update as I go around my house, organizing all the things.

Part 2--Simple Rules (Well, More like Guidelines) to Create Organization that Sustains Itself and Organizing The Master Bathroom 
Part 3--Medicine and Cleaning Supplies Organization 
Part 4--Dealing with Those Pesky Sewing Patterns
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  1. I cannot wait to see because I have been feeling the exact same way! You always have the best ideas and I can't wait to steal, I mean use, these ones ;)

  2. So funny to read this as I am in the same predicament. My littlest just started kindy and that is my goal too. I have 7 hrs to kill.

  3. Oh yes, I can absolutely understand your situation. Me mayself is a mother of three children and I have to add my hubby to my kids. This sounds horrible from my side but he is the living coutic big kid here. I can't wait to see your progress and all your beautiful pictures. Last week I spend seven days for putting new colours on the walls in our boys bed room and this went more or less like I planned it. Had to leave all the cleaning behind and to do only one room between children, work, hubby and cooking.

    The best way to do things is to start and to do one step after another ;).

    Hugs from Germany, Natascha

  4. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto!

  5. Anyone who doesn't know you IRL doesn't get the added benefit of "hearing" you say this as they read.
    --Makes it even better!!

  6. Anonymous7:53 PM

    I use Costco milk boxes for my patterns.They're just the right size. Kids patterns in one, mine in one, men and accessory pasterns in another, etc.

  7. Oh my goodness, you just described my life. Going to cry now. (I'll organize when my youngest is in grade school... Five years from now).

  8. Oh my goodness, you just described my life. Going to cry now. (I'll organize when my youngest is in grade school... Five years from now).

  9. Yeah me too- I thought I was the only one.


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