i find it helps to organize

I’ve turned over a new leaf.

The exact source of inspiration is difficult to pinpoint as the message came to me from multiple channels: You need to declutter. Organize your home, your life. Clear your space of everything but the essentials. Once this is complete, you will be more focused, centered.

It all started with the kitchen.

My kitchen, like my bedroom and my office and I suppose my entire house, is a sacred space. Eating and cooking are serious matters of business. Fresh, organic, nutrient-rich meals are what I like to see come out of my kitchen. I want the room to feel conducive to creativity and delicious food.

The clutter on the countertops and in the cupboards and drawers started to drive me crazy. Not sure how long they’d been bothering me, it could have been many months.

I felt trapped. And not only in the kitchen.

Trapped by my own stuff, and by my husband’s stuff, and by the stuff we share, and by the stuff that neither of us would claim as our own. When I moved in to this home two years ago, I moved my stuff in on top of his stuff. Too many dishes, too many clothes, too many pillows, too many suitcases, too much junk.

Like I said, it all started with the kitchen. I turned the junk drawer (yes, I will admit that I had one of these) into my tea drawer, displaying the plethora of teas from which my guests can choose. Herbal Philosophy to Zhena’s Gypsy Tea to Celestial Seasonings to Bigelow to Trader Joe’s to The Republic of Tea to World Market. I’m an equal opportunity tea lover. Each tea brand has something special and unique to offer, including Herbal Philosophy. (But I digress.)

Next, it was the toys. The junky plastic toys that are never used. And ugly. Two of my dearest friends were visiting when I enlisted their help to determine the fate of each toy. One by one. I couldn’t have done it as effectively by myself. (Remember the scene in Sex and the City, the movie, when the girls helped Carrie clean out her closet by rating each item of clothing? It was like that. Kinda.) Some toys were donated to the Goodwill, some toys were sent to children in Kenya (thanks to another dear friend), and some stayed. Quality over quantity.

The process of purging felt so good, I couldn’t stop. I moved on to the office (which required much assistance from my husband, who has been quite supportive of my new kick). The bathrooms. The stacks of magazines. The bedrooms. The linen closet.

My closet is next. For me, getting rid of clothes is harder than losing the baby weight. I wish I was kidding.

I’ve made two trips to donate items to the Goodwill and one trip to tent city, sent one box of stuff to Kenya, and deposited many items into the garbage and recycling.

I’m hooked. I went so far as to organize the desktop on my Mac and the blogs in my Google reader (folders!) and the subscriptions coming to my inbox (unsubscribe!). We are redoing the home office. Every single room is going to be better that it was before.

My home is becoming exactly what it should be: a sanctuary.

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by your material possessions, decluttering and redecorating is highly therapeutic and highly recommended.

What are your best organization tips, tricks, products? I could use all the help I can get.


  1. I am currently overwhelmed by my possessions as well, and have just started a ‘ten things’ project. The premise? I am getting rid of ten items a month for the month of December, they will either be gifted, donated or tossed. If it goes well I might keep going for as many months as it takes!


  2. I’ve been doing the exact same thing since the start of Novemeber, so far I’ve removed 15 bin bags – mostly to the charity shops, some to the bin and some recycling. There is still so much to do, I also did my desktop, inbox and google reader.

    It’s quite addtictive, especially if you start counting the bags. I have a target of 30 bags by the end of the year, there’s going to be a lot of paper and magazines recycled this weekend!


  3. I seem to move more times than I care to count, and those crazy pre-move purges seem to do the de-cluttering trick every few years or less! 🙂 I love the act of de-cluttering, it feels like a detox of your physical space, and the feeling after is wonderful.


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