Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dont wait, organize today


Sometimes it just happens. Without the planning and thinking and it being on a to do list. But usually it doesn't.

Today, it just happened. My daughter went over to the linen hutch and pulled out all the stuff, just like she does everyday. Its happened too many times, and so I decided I could get it organized while she played with all the stuff.

My linen/toiletries hutch is a necessity. Living in a 120 year old home with no linen closet means we got creative and we use this old tool hutch for linens.  Its from my husbands late great aunts home, and his family always gets a kick out of seeing us use it in this very non-traditional way.  We just cleaned it up and painted it, and I think its perfect.

We organize it by linens up top, toiletries in the bottom.

Steps to clean up your toiletries

1. Figure out where you keep everything, and if its in the correct spot

For me this was kind of huge. I had hair stuff in multiple places, so I could never really find everything I needed. We kept all the extras toiletries out in the hall, but we needed them in the bathroom. 

2. Make a mess and pull everything out and put it in piles of like items. Every family will be different but my piles were

1. Hair stuff I use everyday
2. Lotions
3. Extras supplies
4. Fancy stuff
5. Nail stuff
6. Random things we don't use often, but are not trash
7. Hair stuff to dye my hair
8. Baby stuff
9. Face stuff

My husband literally has no stuff.

Once I had it all in piles I had to decide what I actually needed in the bathroom, and what I could keep in the hutch. Maybe you can keep everything in one place? The point is to get all like things together so you can find everything easily and quickly.

3. Throw out all the stuff that's empty. There was a couple of things that were totally empty (embarrassing), and we didn't notice because we have so many items all over the place. I also took items out of containers, so I threw away a lot of packaging. And packaging takes up space I just dont have.

4. Donate. I'm a tryer. If I see something or hear about something, I'll buy it to try and hope that it works, because I'm always looking for that perfect product. So all the stuff that doesn't work for me, I put in a nice little bag and I'll bring it over to my moms and let her try it. I'm not really sure if shes a tryer or not, but everybody likes free stuff, and hey, maybe it could really work for her, right?


And here it is all organized.

Top Shelf left to right hair dye items, all lotions, and face stuff
On the bottom shelf, extras & items we don't use often.


When I organized the under sink area a couple months ago I tried to keep only items under there that I use everyday, but all my hair stuff was still in the hutch, and I just ended up running back and forth all the time. And when things are in multiple places I would inevitably go to the wrong place every time. Frustrating.

**With organizing its not a one time job. I usually find that I do it once, and realize a flaw in the system.  The idea is to fix it and then you'll really be organized**

PS...the big brown smudges are hair dye, because I'm messy and in a rush and imperfect I never wiped it down

Toilet paper in the back. Mouth wash. On the left all baby stuff for bath time. And in the white basket I have soaps, razors, my body spray and deodorant. Extra toothbrushes, cotton balls and ear swabs are in the plastic bag.

So far I'm really enjoying our new organization, sure it looks better, but it actually really works better too, and that's the whole point of organization.

I'll also say I didn't buy a bunch of new cool storage containers, I just made these spaces work better. Of course I want it to be pretty too, but I can always do that in time, at least for now we are organized.

 Don't wait until you can afford the right containers. You might never be able to.

Don't wait until you have more time. Theres never enough time. And think about all the time you'll save when things are where they should be.

Thanks for visiting!


  1. i love that hutch and what a great use of the shelving below!

  2. You are so right! Don't wait, just do it now!
    It feels so good when its over :)
    And I agree, organize first, pretty it up later!
    Sherry's Bees Nest

  3. Perfect rainy day to tackle the linen closet...let's see if my kids let me lol. Awesome job, it looks great!

  4. Hi Jen, I just found your nice blog and wanted to say thanks for the inspiration and tips for getting organized. I really need to do that myself in certain areas of my home. The hutch is very pretty, love the color. If you are interested, join my party called Your Cozy Home and add this or anything you wish. I'm sure my readers would like your blog.come if you can. -------

  5. I hear you about doing it right now! ;) I need to work on my linen closet now...yes, I am fortunate enough to have a closet. I absolutely love your hutch you use though!! It is so pretty.:) You did a great job organizing both. When I am organizing I love to use the acronym SPACE. Sort, purge, assign, containerize (always the most fun) and equalize. It's the equalizing that gets me. ;) I don't always keep up with it. =P

  6. Jen, I love your linen hutch; it doesn't look like anything I'd remotely use for tools! As a mom of a (much) older child, I wondered if you have thought about having so many bottles of chemicals in your daughter's reach. You might have under cabinet locks, but the stuff in baskets in the hutch scared me a little bit. Anyway, just a thought! I have really been enjoying your blog - I haven't missed a post, I don't think!

  7. I have been organizing and purging every single drawer and closet in this house this month! It feels SO good to have it all neat and tidy. I love your blue hutch! XO, Pinky

  8. Your picture caught my eye at French Country Cottage Link Party. I just took your home tour and love it! Your home is so charming!!! You did a great job decorating it. I also live in an old house, isn't it a challenge but great at the same time!?

  9. Thats an awesome hutch! I love the idea of using it for toiletries!

  10. Love your hutch and how you have used it- Thank you for sharing at Feathered Nest Friday!


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