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  • Writer's pictureJenny Wilson

There’s Organized then there’s ORGANIZED

The goal of any space in our homes is to house the things that serve us and bring us joy, while allowing us the room to do the stuff we want. We want to know what we have and its general location. There’s no need to actually label every single container. Just knowing that the thing you want is in that drawer over there is usually enough.


Sometimes we want to dig down a bit more and refine our spaces. And for good reason. It is very nice to be able to find the set of ¾” self-tapping screws without dumping out a dozen “screws-n-nails” buckets.

You watched me sort out my garage here. I stressed that we focus on the clear-the-big-messes tidy first, nitpicking later. Tidy time is not when we type sort our hammers. We do the drill down sorting later. Just like I did this week.

My cabinet and drawer set were fine. I knew where my T-shank blades were and could find my command hooks pretty quickly. But it was all a bit tangled and stuffed for my taste. I had two other sturdy drawer units idling away in a corner, ready to help sort and spread out my supplies.

As with any organizing project, I started by going through everything in my chosen area, deciding what to keep, toss, donate, and sorting it like-with-like as I went. I found 8 (EIGHT!) flashlights. Ask me if all of these were corroded beyond use? I found 7 (for real, SEVEN) tubes of caulk. Ask me how many were dried out, hard as rock? And I had another tube in the house. This is the benefit of storing our things in a more specific level. Now I know I don’t need to buy caulking for the next decade, but I do need to make sure there’s working flashlights somewhere else.

I really don’t like the idea of spending all the money on storage solutions. There are some that are very useful, but most people already have what they need knocking around their homes. I collect our food jars and they were great for sorting my screws and other tiny bits. Yes, dividing those up took a minute. Now I can pull a jar and know all the screws are the same, and I found the ever-elusive picture hangers. Why are they always disappearing? (because you dumped them in a quart jar of other metal things, Jenny)

Once I sorted everything, I used painter’s tape to label. I may go back and use my fancy label maker. For now, this works really well, and I didn’t worry about putting my dusty fingers on the blue tape as I would have with my bright white labels.

We want to have useable spaces and useful things around us. Most of us don’t want to spend an afternoon sorting through beads, or screws, or fabric scraps, but if we choose to, it can make our next project smoother, faster, and altogether more enjoyable.

When you are ready and able to invest in your future calm, you can hire me or any of the talented pro organizers listed with the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO) at

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