One organizing trick is to create "centers". Centers allow you to know where something is immediately because any given item should only be kept in one or maybe two spots. For example I bought a decorative box and put hanging file folders in it for mail. The folders were marked paid, save, and file. The decorative box blended very nicely with my brown and purple kitchen and allowed for all mail to be found in one of two locations, the mail center or the file cabinet. The mail center came in handy because for my family the mail usually didn't make it beyond the kitchen and always ended up piled on the kitchen table.
Another center that I spoke about in a previous blog was the master closet. I made sure that clothes are now found either in the closet or in the laundry room. I installed a collapsible rod in the laundry room for hanging clothes on hangers before taking them to the closet to be hung. So many times clothing would end up piled on the bed to "be put away later". When later never came, they would end up piled on the dresser, hanging on the bed post, or even worse, the floor. There is nothing worse than clean clothes piled on a floor! So to fix all of this, I installed a closet organizer with drawers for clothes. I removed the dressers and bed posts. Problem solved. You can go to any home improvement center for help to customize your closet. There are options that will fit just about any budget from well known names such as Closet Maid, Sauder and Rubbermaid, just to name a few of the less pricier name brands. A mid range closet organizer is shown in the picture. Click this link for pricing. If you do have a larger budget, I also found Easy Closets and their design program is wonderful!!! Ooo! And don't forget my absolute favorite... IKEA!!! If you have an IKEA near you, I suggest you go! Talk about a great closet at a great price!!!
I also purchased a phone message book that you can get from any business supply store. This kept all messages centrally located and easy to find when information or phone numbers were needed down the road. That actually came in handy more than once when we needed a phone number for someone we hadn't spoken to in months or needed particular information from a phone message left earlier in the year. You'd be surprised how this little tip avoided some stress in my life. And can you never seem to find a pen? Or the pen that you cleaverly attached to the message book come up missing? Stay tuned, because I will post later in the week about a fix I stole from my local public library. I'm not kidding.... I just swiped it!!!! Wait and see!!!
A fun place to create centers in under beds. I currently have three centers under my bed using Sterilite Under Bed Storage Boxes. One center holds all of my candles (from the millions of Partylite Candle Parties I attend every year... ok, slight exaggeration. Only slight), another center holds all of my sewing/knitting/crocheting supplies and the third center holds sweaters. I LOVE not searching for these items that only get used a couple times every year, but when I need them, I know just where to find them.
Storage ottomans are a great way to add functional decoration for centering. I have two. One is in my bedroom. It is brown wicker and I use it for sitting and inside the ottoman is my Bible study materials. I have a concordance, a Bible dictionary, my notebook, highlighters, pens, Bible study books and of course, my Bible. A more mobile alternative (because I love it when stuff is mobile) is a simple plastic crate that you can get from the same business supply store you got the phone message book from.
The second ottoman is located in my bathroom at the vanity. I use the ottoman to store my makeup and cleansing products. Of course I also sit on it to put on my makeup. My husband is grateful that my girly stuff doesn't clutter the bathroom counter.
The last center I want to talk about is actually something that I got for my birthday a while back. I do NOT recommend this be given to anyone you love as a gift unless you REALLY know them and know that they will love it. I REALLY loved it!!! But because I don't want anyone to get in trouble because of something I blogged about, I am keeping this post from the gift-giving category. Again folks.... this is NOT a gift idea!!! I received a janitors cart. I am able to keep all of my cleaning supplies in one place and more importantly.... mobile! I no longer have to go from one room to the next for this or that and, "oh, I need garbage bags!" or "let me grab the vacuum." Everything is right there and I clean until a room is done and then off to the next room. My cleaning time has been split in half. Seriously! That's what I call efficient! Another alternative to the cleaning cart is a modified apron. Many years ago I attended a Women's Bible Camp where we attended Bible studies throughout the summer on various topics. One of the topics was organization and cleaning. It was recommended to take a regular apron and add loops and pockets. Pockets are great for holding cleaning rags, unused garbage bags, cleaning brushes, etc. The loops are great for holding feather dusters or for hanging spray bottles. You get the picture. You can also make an apron from scratch. Here is a site that offers free apron patterns. Either way you go, having everything you need for cleaning in a central location saves time, energy and stress.
Creating centers in your home will certainly ground you simply by knowing where your stuff is and relieves stress which is the basic definition of "centering yourself". Who knew it was to be taken so literally??? :)