When people find out that I am a professional organizer/organizing consultant, they often make comments like: "Your home must be perfect" or "You must have everything labeled perfectly". While I would never hesitate to let a surprise visitor inside my home; I am often busy like you and I share my home with a husband, two children and a 70 pound shedding dog. Perfection is not the goal. Having a clean, livable home where we can find stuff is.
The fact of the matter is that maintaining organization takes a little time and a little effort. For the most part, with daily tidying up things stay fairly organized in my home. There are those areas that get messy and need some attention from time to time.
My latest mini-project (that took all of 5 minutes) was the area where I keep shopping bags and grocery bags. Let me preface this by saying that, yes, I do employ reusable bags often, but not always. In our home we reuse a lot of stuff, including shopping bags, grocery bags and plastic bags.
The "bag shelf" had become completely overrun with bags, packing paper and even a few kids' toys shoved in at random. To organize this area, I took everything off the shelf. Note, that I didn't try to organize the whole room, just one shelf. This is important. Then I sorted the bags into two categories: grocery bags and all other bags (i.e. shopping bags and reusable bags). All the rumpled bags were put into recycling and kids' toys returned to their proper home. Here is the result:
This is not fancy or even labeled. It is just a shelf where I can go to when I need a bag.
During this process, I came up with a lot more grocery bags than you see here. If you have an over abundance of grocery bags, like I did, check with your local food pantry to see if they can reuse them. Faith in Action took my extra grocery bags. Here are two volunteers stocking the shelves at the Dexter, Michigan location, which is currently in need of crackers for the food pantry. They also have a facility in Chelsea, Michigan.
In addition to the blog, I also publish a free e-newsletter that is distributed on the 1st of every month. Sign up today to receive the October edition, where I will provide tips on what to do with all those receipts.