Productivity

Episode #18: Tips for Home Organization

Listen to this episode 74 minutes

On today’s podcast, Mika dives into one of her favorite topics: how you can better organize your home.

While Russ is traveling this week, Mika has returned to have another solo discussion about one of her favorite topics.

For those who have listened to some of our earlier episodes, you would know that Mika used to run a business as a professional organizer. While she no longer professionally organizes, home organization is something she is incredibly passionate about.

On today’s show, Mika shares tons of practical tips about home organization. You’ll hear about the benefits of organizing, the challenges to becoming organized, and a room-by-room guide on how you can better organize your home.

In this episode, you will learn:

• How your world outside effects your inner clutter.
• Why it’s important to do things when they are right in front of you.
• Organization tips for parents.
• Some of our favorite products and supplies for organizing.

Mentioned in this episode:

RussPerry.co
MikaPerry.com
Sobr.com
DesignPickle.com
Russ Perry on Instagram
Mika Perry on Instagram
The Sober Entrepreneur by Russ Perry
TheSoberEntrepreneur.com
The Russ Perry Show
Episode #11: Investing In Yourself
Ikea
Ikea PRUTA Containers
Ikea HÖFTA Dividers
How I Use a “Week Start Checklist” to Organize My Week Ahead – MikaPerry.com
Museum Putty
Command Velcro Strips
The Container Store
Men’s Shoe Box
Clear Stackable Plastic Storage Bins
Water Hyacinth Baskets
OXO POP Containers
Marché Baskets
Tosca Baskets
Expandable Drawer Dividers
Linus Binz
Bisgo Stockholm 
Chalk Markers
Metallic Sharpies
Paper Source
Michaels
Etsy – Printed Labels
NEAT Method
Brother P-Touch Label Maker

Transcript:

Mika Perry: Hi, everyone. This is Mika. Welcome to Good To Be Home. Today’s episode is a solo episode, so today is just me

. Russ has been traveling, so I figured this is a great chance for me to hop on here by myself and talk about a topic that I’m super excited about, and that is home organization. Now, if you’ve listened to this podcast before, especially the business episodes, you might know that I used to be a professional organizer. Prior to that, however, I have always just loved organizing. It was something that was almost a hobby of mine, and I could do it all the time for hours. Never got tired of it. I just love it. And it’s been that way since I was little. I remember being in my room organizing, lining things up, organizing my closet by color, making sure the hangers were perfectly evenly spaced. I was an only child, guys, so, I had to find a way to entertain myself, but this was one of those avenues, and turned out well. I eventually turned it into a career, and it was one of those things where it’s like, find something that you’re passionate about and make that your job and a career, and that’s exactly what I did. I no longer organize professionally for clients, however, I still love to talk about it, to share it, to show examples, tips, ideas, through social media and now the podcast. So I’m really excited to be here today to talk to you about this.

Now, whether you feel like you are an organized person like me, or you come from the camp of, I’m super disorganized, I can never get my life together, I think the benefits of organization can apply to both parties and I think it’s attainable for everyone. The ways that you approach it might be a little bit different, but I believe it’s worth your while, if you wanna get your life together, to invest a little bit in organization, whether that’s with time, or a monetary investment, or both, it’s worth it. So some of the benefits to me of organization is a less cluttered mind. So I totally believe that your outer environment is a reflection of your inner environment, and vice versa, your inner environment is a reflection of what’s going on outside of you, so it’s very interconnected, and sometimes, I need my environment to be nice and calm, so that all the chaos inside of me of daily life, the schedule, and all the things you have to do, and all the things you’re thinking about, it helps at least to then start, almost like osmosis, like it’s calm around you, so it starts to affect me on the inside, emotionally and mentally.

Likewise, if you are working on yourself on the inside, let’s say, so kind of personal development, it’s gonna start showing outside of you, and this happened with Russ. When Russ started really investing in himself, and side note, investing in yourself is a past episode, so definitely check that out, then I noticed that he started to get a lot more regimented around himself, he started to go by lists, like, make lists and check ’em off, he started placing things in the same place every day, so his inner self reflected outwardly, and his environment became much more calm and orderly. So the benefit is that it’s creating that balance that you’re wanting to achieve through organization. Now, these are systems that you place in your life to make things run more efficiently and smoother, and another benefit is you just have to think less. So when you know where something goes, or where you can find something when you need it, that’s less thinking, and to me, the less I can think in one day, the better, for sure. Another benefit of organization, I think it’s a time-saver. So like I said, you can find things easily, you can put things away easier.

When I need to pick up and clean the house, I constantly am reminded how happy I am that I’m organized because of how quickly that process goes. When I need to do a quick 10-minute sweep of the house of picking things up: all the kids’ stuff, and my stuff, and just all the clutter that does happen from one day, it’s pretty amazing what comes into the home in one day when you have a family of five. When I know where to put those things, it goes so much faster, so I really appreciate that in my life, and I’m happy that I created systems to support that. There’s definitely challenges that I will 100% recognize in becoming organized; even for someone like me, where organization comes naturally and I enjoy it, there are definite challenges. I think the challenge for everyone is time.

Whether you’re a parent or not, whether you run your own business or not, life is just busy, and carving out the time to get organized can be challenging. What you have to do is you have to prioritize it. So that can be a challenge, you have to put it at the top of your list, but I guarantee you if you do that, you’re gonna get great benefits from that. Another challenge is, people just don’t know where to start, and I totally recognize that. I get that, it’s pretty daunting, and especially if you’re looking at a bomb of a room, and you think, where am I supposed to start here? That can definitely be a barrier to getting started. Another challenge that I find some people have is spatial reasoning, and this no fault or advantage anyone has over someone else, but everyone has different modalities of learning and taking in information and being able to apply information. I hope that makes sense, but, so like a visual learner, an auditory learner. If you can’t see the big picture of how something is gonna pan out in a space, that can probably be challenging. You can’t picture what kind of organization system is required there. For me, luckily, that’s something that I can do easily. Now, what I can’t do easily is math. I can’t take statistics and probability, and when people talk about number stuff, it kinda goes over my head and I get overwhelmed. So that’s why I understand the feeling of if someone’s overwhelmed by organization, I feel compassion for that feeling, because that would be like if someone threw me into a calculus class. I would be completely overwhelmed.

So we all have our strengths and weaknesses, and I want to share, whether you’re great at organizing or not, here are some things that have helped me in getting organized that I’ve used to help others get organized, and really quick things that I think you can implement and try out, regardless of how much time you have or how much time you don’t. I think visuals help when talking about organization. So if you ever want to find out more, or see kind of more of what I’m talking about in action in real life, go on my Instagram, I’m @MikaPerry, and start scrolling through, but go further down in the history, because having this account for my professional organizing work, I used to showcase it on the same account. I used to post a lot more organizational pictures and posts and ideas. So that’s a great way to get ideas yourself is to, I’m like doing the scroll with my hand right now as I talk, go down there and check it out, that’s a great visual for you. So in order to find out what you guys wanted to know about home organization, I polled my Instagram followers. So if you answered to that, thank you so, so much. You had a hand in creating this episode. So what you’re gonna hear going forward is a reflection of that.

So the main question I get is, how do you stay organized, how is your home cluttered free, and I’m gonna start with the very basics. One thing that I do consciously is that I pick things up and do things right when I think of ’em, right when it’s in front of my face. You may think this is the most simple basic pointer, but I think it can be challenging when you’re busy, and it definitely is for me. So when I’m running around with the kids, getting them to places, I have so many appointments and things to do, I just think okay well, I’ll do it later. Well, when that starts to compound over time, piles are gonna start to form, clutter is going to start to accumulate, because you will really never find that perfect time to address whatever that might be. So an example of this is today, I was getting out of my car after running errands, and I had dry cleaning in the car, and it was in the back and it was kind of annoying to, I had got the kids out, and to go back in there and grab it, and I thought, I’ll just do it later, but then I thought no, if I leave it, I won’t do it, I’ll end up doing it tomorrow, and it’s just more things being in places they don’t belong. So I grabbed that and brought it in. When I see anything around the house that could be picked off the floor to be put away where it belongs. I’m sure even if your home isn’t like perfectly organized, quote unquote, I’m sure you have homes for certain things, so when you see it not there, when it’s out of place, put it right back, and this is so basic, but I have found putting this at the front of my mind so helpful.

Something else that has been super helpful for me is having routines, really set specific routines, meaning, I have written this on paper before, I’ve put it on the side of my bed even, I have written blog posts about it, and we have done routine podcast episodes. So morning routines, nighttime routines, these are things you can find out specifically more about ours in our past episodes. But these routines help me have steps to take that I don’t have to think about, and these steps include organizational things. In the morning to start my day, at the night to clean things up, to wrap up the day, and also to get myself ready for the next day. Other small routines I have is, I mentioned the car, but I have almost like a rule for myself that every time I get out of the car, I take the trash, as much as I can put in my hands, protein bar wrappers, empty cups, anything I need to take out of the car, I try to do that right then and there every day. And I have a trashcan in our garage, and that makes it easier for me to throw the trash right then and there.

Another simple tip is a routine of how to get things from upstairs to downstairs. So we live in a two-story home, and I’ll be honest that I don’t always want to put away things by going up the stairs, going back down, going up, coming back down, so I have a basket at the foot of the stairs and it’s labeled going up, because typically things from upstairs, all the kids’ stuff is up there, ends up downstairs, not so much the downstairs stuff upstairs. So I have it at the foot of the stairs, and anything throughout the day that I need to take upstairs, I just toss in there, and then when I have the time, I grab the basket and I take it up and put everything where it belongs. So routines anticipate you being busy, and distracted, and frazzled, and so if you just follow these steps, even when you’re tired, even when you don’t wanna do it, you just go through the motions, you’ll come out the other side a little bit more put together, life’s a little bit more organized, and you feel good.

Another thing I make sure to do is to prepare ahead. The biggest example for me is a week start checklist. This is a blog post I have with specifics, including the actual checklist that you can print out, and it is a list of things that I do weekly to get organized for the week ahead. I call it a week start checklist, because I do it on the weekend to start the week. I don’t call it a weekend checklist. It’s not like, here’s how you wind down. It’s to like pump you up for the next week. These things include cleaning out my purse, cleaning out my wallet, going through the inbox on my desk, going through photos on my iPhone, menu planning. These are things that aren’t daily, but if I do these things every week, the clutter stays at bay, my life feels organized. So these are just some examples of routines and strategies and things I’ve implemented in my life to really keep the physical clutter at bay and the chaos of daily life a little bit more manageable.

So I do wanna address something here, and that is the idea of decluttering. So before I get into any of the organizing tips for spaces, like the kitchen, and the kids’ room, and the closet, let’s talk decluttering, ’cause that comes up every time you talk about organizing, clutter, decluttering, cleansing, editing. Obviously, I’m a huge fan of it. I think there needs to be a distinction though between minimalist or minimal and organized, because they’re two different things. Being a minimalist means you’re living with the bear necessities, and you’re making a conscious choice to live with little. I wouldn’t consider myself a minimalist. Maybe if there’s a word like essentialist, so I’m somewhere in between. But being organized, on the other hand, is having systems to have a place and a home for everything. That’s the difference between minimalist and being organized. And how that has to do with decluttering, is I think it gets confused on what you’re trying to accomplish. Are you trying to get rid of things that you don’t use? Are you trying to set up systems? So they’re two different things, and I think you absolutely need to clear the quote unquote clutter before you can really set up a good system.

So a question I got on decluttering is, how do you let go of things you no longer need or use? How do you get more simplified? So my answer to this is in that question. It says items you no longer need or use. Basically, if you don’t need it, if you don’t use it, get rid of it. Donate it, toss it. It’s only gonna take up physical space, mental space with it hanging around. You’re going to waste actual money in many cases by storing these things around, whether it’s the container that you use to store these things that you don’t really need, or you get a storage room even. So if you don’t need it or use it, let it go. Here’s one way you can think of it, is you’ve definitely heard people say, especially around spring cleaning, oh, it feels so good to declutter, I’m so happy. I went through my house, totally cleaned up, decluttered, it feels so good. You definitely hear people say that. You don’t often hear someone say, oh, it feels so good to hold on to things. Right? So you can kind of think of it that way, like it’s a positive thing, it feels good to everybody, but I also know that it can be scary for some people. And I say some people because I don’t share this fear, but I understand it. So I know some people are more inclined to have an attachment to physical things. Maybe there’s a memory tied to it, or you’re really worried that you’re going to need it down the road, so why get rid of it when you can use it when you need it in the future? I get that, but the benefits that you can have by letting it go, and then when you need it again, go out and buy it or borrow it. If you haven’t used it this long, chances are you’re not gonna need it in the immediate future. So I feel it’s totally worth it to declutter and get rid of as many things as you can. We’ve done that as we’ve moved. We’ve let go of things like furniture, mementos. We’ve decluttered and gotten rid of things that were like, yeah, this is great, but do we really love it, do really need it? No, and I have not missed any of ’em. It feels way better to have less. And so now we have a home that doesn’t feel cluttered, because we have a lot less than we used to.

One example that I saw in my client’s home, and also I’ve done, I’m totally guilty of this too, but an example of holding onto something and storing it and figuring out a system to store it just in case you need it down the road, is party decorations, like six Ninjago cups, or four unicorn tiaras, and Happy New Year plates. I get it, I’ve totally put them aside thinking I’m gonna need it someday, or next time this rolls around, but I feel like I’ve seen a lot of times that building up and taking up a whole cabinet in an office or craft room or garage, I’ve seen that more often than not, and really when it’s time to have that party again, whether it’s a birthday or Happy New Year, you’re going to usually go out and buy new things. A lot of times what you have left that could, even if you had another Ninjago party, you’re probably gonna need more than the six that were left over to have this party, so you need to go buy more anyway, and it might not match what you had before. Just to me, that just sounds like a headache, and I would rather just start fresh. Those parties happen once a year, so would you rather hold on to those six Ninjago cups for a year, or just be done with it, and then approach it again next year? Do you see what I’m saying?

One specific is do you declutter by room, like how often do you do it? I really declutter and go through things as I see needed. I don’t have a specific schedule for it. When I see that things are starting to pile up, it’s for two reasons: one is I’ve been busy, and I haven’t been dutiful in tackling things as I see it happening right then and there, so it’s piled up, or the systems that I have in place, or our needs have changed, and maybe that system needs to be reevaluated a little bit and tweaked, so I will kind of get rid of the excess to help that run a little smoother and see where I need to go with it. I think where you see clutter starting to build up is a great guide for you to figure out what the problems are in specific spaces that you need to address when you decide to get organized. So if you’re finding that mail is piling up, you know that you have a problem with your mail system, in whether how often you go through it, how it’s being handled from the mailbox to sorting through it, to being disposed of, or stored, or filed. If you’re finding that Barbies are everywhere, your system for Barbies is probably not working very well. If you’re finding that you are continuously buying an ingredient in your pantry, like a pasta, and then finding a half bag of it behind something else, the system there is that you’re not seeing everything that you need to see, so the clutter around your home can be great maps, roadmaps for the process of getting organized.

So let’s talk about the process. I love that the questions I got were like, where do you start? That’s a great question, where do you start? 1% nailed it on the head and they said, so do you organize first and then go buy the containers? The answer to that is yes, and that is absolutely key to good organizing, to organize and create a plan first and then go buy the containers. So a lot of the mistakes or challenges or when things just would not work out, before you know what you have in a space, how many of whatever that is you have, what the size of that space is, so dimensions, the area that you’re working with and have available, and what the purpose of that space is, what are the functions that it’s serving. If you don’t know those things and go buy the containers in hopes that they will get your organized, usually that just doesn’t work. You really need to have a plan first. So I do plan details, and here’s how you do it. This is the same steps I followed as a professional organizer, and it’s how I do my home, and how Russ does it too. If he has an area he needs to organize, he now does this. He knows first step is you take everything out of the space, wherever that is. If it’s a drawer, take everything out. If it’s a pantry, you take everything out. If it’s a closet, you take everything out. And the reason you do this is so that you can lay everything out, categorize it, sort it, and visually see everything that you have, and in doing so, you will see the excess, the random stuff, duplicates, you’ll be able to see that, you’ll get to cleanse that out, whether you donate something, you toss it, or maybe put it where it actually belongs. Maybe it should have been in a room upstairs instead. That happens, especially with kids. Like, oh, there’s that Barbie, there’s that toy car.

So when you do that, you have everything laid out, then you have categories, so you group like items, and then now you’re ready to put those back into the space. This is a great chance to wipe out the space too, especially in a pantry or a fridge, but even a closet too, take your little vacuum or something, or wipe the shelves and the hanging rods. Do a nice cleanse. So you put everything back, and this is where a little bit of thinking happens. You have to think about how you use the space. And this is where you can customize the space to your lifestyle. So think about what do you reach for the most often, and you wanna have that most accessible to you, so closest to the door, closest to where you’re reaching in from, and then the things you don’t use as often, maybe higher up or further back. Once you place items where you want them to be, and really there is no general rule for this. Again, think of your family’s needs, think of your needs, where you put breakables if you have kids. Do you want the kids to have access to, say, snacks? In my house, they can’t reach it, unless they get a stool, and they do do that sometimes, but I don’t want them accessing the snacks, because they will eat snacks all day long and be too full for dinner, so I have ’em high up. However, some families have it lower, and their kids are more disciplined than mine, and they can regulate and grab snacks not as often.

So anyway, where you place something is up to you and how you wanna do it, there’s no hard rule on that. Same in a kitchen, same in a closet. In a closet, if you love shoes, make that front and center. You’ll be really happy that you did. If you love working out. For me, I wear workout clothes all the time. You probably see me in my stories in my workout clothes and my hat and everything, so that has a prominent space in my closet. Whereas, someone who doesn’t have a lot of workout clothes, or that’s just not a priority, or maybe you know what, every day you have to put on a suit or a scrubs, you can hang those. Put those front and center in your closet. That’s gonna make it easier for you to use the space. Once you’ve decided where everything goes, you’re probably literally placing piles of things on shelves. Then you measure and count how many and how big that pile or grouping is, and the reason you do that is because then you know how big of a container, a bin, a basket, a divider, like a little section, you need to keep those things in place. So you take a measuring tape and measure it, depth, width, height, be sure to take that sometimes, and write it all down in a list, and then you take that piece of paper and go to the store. So the last thing you do is buy the product. Then you bring that back, and you implement it into the space, and I highly recommending labeling items, the reason being that this will help you know where to put things back, where to find things, and it will help other people using the space know where to put things back. It also creates an awesome, very purposeful look. So I highly recommend labeling.

So once you have the system in place, how do you maintain it? And I think a fear for some is that they’re not gonna be able to maintain this organization because they’re so disorganized. Well, if you have a good system, I truly believe you should be able to stay pretty organized, like it’s not gonna get out of control. That’s a sign of a good system in place. But you will have to maintain it. You do have to do a little bit of a cleanse, tweak labels here and there. You do have to adjust things as you go. It is unfair to think that one system will last forever in a space, because life changes, the things you bring in and out are gonna change, your needs are going to change. But if you have the basic system set up, you will be able to maintain that and just have small adjustments to make. You’ll be better off than from where you started. So I know a lot of you on this podcast listening are parents and it is a challenge to stay organized with kids, let me tell you. I have found that letting go of my perfectionist tendencies, which I have just done in general in life, I have really learned to not strive for perfection in every way, that’s stressful, and that’s not what life is all about. But you want things to be organized, I understand, because I feel that way. But in kid spaces, especially the playroom, I think it’s super important to have a good system there. That’s a place where everything does need to have a home.

That being said, it’s gonna get messy in there. Things are not gonna back where you want them to be, because you do not want to control your kids that much, I would hope not, but you want to let them play. And so here’s an area where I learned to let go a little bit and given myself and my kids some grace, and it feels a lot better when you give a little bit more breathing room for things to be a little bit chaotic still. However, definitely label bins, baskets. You can even label shelves in any space. You don’t have to buy a basket for it. You can just put a label on there and designate that shelf space for something. It’s so important in the playroom to have a home for everything. I think a playroom is a place that you are going to change the system and tweak it quite more often than others, because of the difference and quickness in which the kids grow out of things and want different things and start playing with other stuff, or you may add a new child that then comes into the mix. For our playroom we have a simple Ikea shelving type of unit, and we have two types of baskets, one along the top shelf, another one on the bottom, and they’re all labeled simply with things like Barbies, puzzles, music, food, kitchen, so like pots and pans, animals, what else, electronics, so like the play laptops and play iPhones and that type of stuff, little electronic games. What else do we have in there? We have LegosLegos, right? I don’t have Legos sorted by color. Would I love that, sure. But the way that kids play with it, or at least Reese, she doesn’t strategically build things, she’s very creative about it and just makes up her own things, and so it’s really helpful for her to just have one bin of all the Legos, and she just kind of thinks of ideas as she grabs the pieces and puts things together. And I am so impressed with what she comes up with, by the way.

So we have a playroom, that’s where all the toys go. It’s changed even just in the last year that we’ve lived here. We moved into this house a year ago. I had to set up systems everywhere, and that is super time-consuming, and I knew that going in, so I didn’t freak about it, I knew I would get there, and I really took it one room at a time, setting up systems. We are really lucky that we have a playroom in this house. It’s our first playroom that we’ve had, so the girls can have a room that is just designated for sleep, for reading, for getting ready, having their clothes there, and I’m really grateful for that. We came from a small apartment before this, really small, as a family of five, we were kind of on top of each other, and every place we’ve lived before that, the girls had their toys in their room, and I think I made it work. I created a shelving system in there with labeled clear bins. You can make it work, but I love having the playroom. So if you see pictures of the girls’ room, and there’s like no toys, that’s the reason why. So kids clothing. I don’t have a lot of seasonal clothing for them, because we live in Arizona, so winter clothes, we don’t have a lot, we’re not skiers, we don’t go to the mountains a lot, so I don’t have big puffy jackets and snow boots. We may some day and when that happens, I’ll tackle that. How I would do that is I would think of where I’m gonna store this, what container would fit in that, how many jackets am I gonna store, measure that out, go buy it and then implement it. Right now, we just have gloves and scarves and some hats, and so the girls have a basket in their room in the closet up high, because we don’t use it, that’s just labeled winter gloves. So if we end up going up to Northern Arizona, it’s cooler, we have just a few items there that we need. Clothes that the siblings grow out of and then it gets handed down, I do have a very simple system of just simply labeled tubs that when Reese grows out of them, I wash them, and then put ’em in this tub in that size, and then they’re there for when Paige becomes that size, and then now Paige is growing out of some sizes, like she just grew out of 2T, so I made a bin, labeled it 2T, and now that’s gonna go to someone, actually, I did send a few bins to a neighbor recently.

So it’s a really simply uncomplicated system. I think the thing that makes it most helpful is labels, to have bins ready with labels, with the sizes, ready to go. This ties in to a question I think I got the most of. So this is what you do with kids’ papers, like school papers, art, crafts, pictures, all the things they bring home from school and activities, and I wonder if the reason why I got a lot of questions on this is because in my Q & A episode that I did earlier, I got the question, what do you do with the kids’ papers and art and junk that they bring home from birthday parties, and I said, I throw it away. Now, that is true. For junk from birthday parties, and little knickknacks and little things, I let them play with it until they’re tired with it, and then I throw it away. I do not waste time and energy figuring out a storage solution for that stuff, and they just do not have a place in our playroom. But the artwork, I don’t throw it all away. I do keep some for the girls. So how I do that, how I decide what to keep is does it bring out an emotion in me when I look at it, or does it do that for my kids? Is it something that’s super special for them? So our oldest, Maddox, is 13, and through her elementary years, we have kept items from each school year, and the thing to think about when you’re storing kids stuff is that they will not know the difference between what you threw away and what you kept. They will only know what you kept, and they will be happy with it. So Maddy has a few memory boxes that we’ve consolidated into, that she made a long time ago, before I started the current system I have now for our girls going forward.

So I let her keep those old boxes, because she decorated and made them, but when she goes through that, she’s so joyful and happy of what she sees, and it doesn’t have to be this giant collection of items to go through to remind her of all the fun that she had. There is a little figurine of something she made of her German heritage, I made that with her in third grade, that she’s kept. There’s a mask, a papier-mache mask of her little face in fourth grade that we’ve kept. There’s a song she wrote called Penny Penny about a penny, in first grade that we’ve kept. So those are the things that we’ve kept, but I am not keeping like pages, paint, scribble things. I may keep one, and I always put the date and their age on the back of things I keep. That’s something I picked up from my mom, because I noticed she did that to the things that she kept from me. Great tip, Mom, because when you’re going through things, it’s so long ago that you just cannot remember when this happened, like, was it when they were in kindergarten, is it second, I don’t remember, and especially when you have more than one kid. So putting their name and the date on the back, or even just the year, is helpful. So they love having this to look at, you will too. You don’t need to have a boatload of stuff in order to retain memories. So my system is much like the bins of stored clothes, like hand-me-downs, is really simple clear labels. They’re actually right next to me right now, and they’re just labeled with the kids’ name and year, and that’s it, it’s just simple. I think when you try to complicate organization sometimes, you can’t maintain that. So when I have these art pieces or things that come in, so I’m trying to think of things recently that Paige and Reese have done. There’s one that has like Paige’s, oh, it’s from like the first week of school, the preschool, and it has her little face on it. That one’s going into the bin.

And so that along with other items are in my inbox, and I go through my inbox with that week start checklist every week, and then I put those items into their little bin for the year, and then call it a day, that’s it. I had tried, when Reese was born, I was nesting, I was all about organization. First I created a newborn binder with every single bit of information all filed in there, all of her ultrasounds and info from the hospital, and records, and all sorts of things, that’s in a binder, it’s really cute. But then I created that crate, you know, with like the file folders? You may have seen this back in Pinterest’s heyday, I don’t know if that’s still circulating, but it’s a crate, and you have the files, and each folder is a year. I started that with Reese, and I did it with Maddy too, and what I found is, especially in the earlier preschool years, the things that go into those file folders are bulky. They’re like art projects, you know? They’re not like papers that they write. So I felt that it started to get overstuffed when it shouldn’t be, it’s just the nature of the size of the items being stored, and I felt that it wasn’t great. So that’s why instead of making a file crate, I chose to do these bins, and these bins aren’t big. They’re actually from The Container Store. They’re the men’s size shoe boxes that they’re clear containers. I think that’s what they call ’em, clear-lidded containers. They have a billion sizes of ’em at the front of the store, not expensive. I’ve used them for a variety of things over the years, but for the girls, they have these boxes, it works.

Lastly for kids, do I involve the kids in organizing the house? Yes and no. I definitely clean up after them. I pick up after them, 100%, because it takes a long time for them to clean up, and sometimes I don’t want to argue with them. I’m gonna be so honest here, it’s just sometimes easier for me to pick everything up in two minutes, and it would’ve taken 20 minutes and arguments, and sometimes I’m just not up for that. But the times that I am up for that, I have tried the strategy of, I’m thinking of one thing that if you pick it up, you’re the winner, and it worked, because Reese loves winning, she’s super competitive. So I didn’t have a prize or anything, but that was enough of a motivation for her to pick up the playroom. I have recently created a chore board for this year. I’m gonna go into chores in a separate blog post, so if you’re interested, please check that out, but I did include picking up organizational items, packing for themselves in the morning, emptying things out, those types of chores are on all three of the girls’ chore boards, or responsibility boards for this year. So I think creating a system where they can be successful is super key in helping them develop habits of being organized and being orderly, and not so much so that it’s controlling, but just helping them learn that skill.

Okay, let’s move on to the kitchen. For a kitchen, I think a really important thing to remember is the flow of the kitchen and how you use it. Think of where your appliances are. So your refrigerator, your oven, your dishwasher, and then place items that go with that accordingly, like right next to it. Your utensils for cooking should be right by your stove top. Your plates, your everyday plates, and your forks and spoons and knives should be by the dishwasher and the sink. Dish towels should be nearby there too. You’d have to really think about your space, your kitchen, and then how you use it. Do you cook a lot, do you do a lot of takeout, and where the trash bag is, smoothies, coffee, your Tupperware, meal prep situation, where do you want that? Another tip to help you place things accordingly throughout your kitchen is to move the shelving inside cabinets. I know this sounds like a weird tip, but it’s something I saw often is that people just leave the shelves the way that they were installed and built, but a lot of ’em have adjustable shelving on the inside, and by taking the somewhat annoying step of taking the pegs out and moving them allows you to use that cabinet, like say, this would be the perfect place for mugs, or the perfect place for my tall water bottles, or this would be the perfect place for a smoothie bar with my protein powders and ingredients, but it’s just not fitting right and it’s not working out. By making adjustments to the shelving, it might fit and it might work, so try that out.

The pantry, I love panties. I just think they look so good when they’re organized, and there’s really fun ways you can organize it, and products, and when it’s on point, it is on point, and it looks so good. I think for pantries, taking things out of their original packaging really helps. I think when I’ve seen really disorganized pantries, it’s just half open boxes and bags, and a lot of boxes take up more space than they need to of the contents inside, like you open ’em up and you’re like, oh, these six bags of chips in here take up a lot less space than the box that it came in. So this is a place where investing in products is really great and really beneficial, and really creates an awesome system. So I’m talking about food storage containers, like the clear containers with tight lids that you can store anything from flour and sugar, to pastas and grains, to cereals, to crackers, to cookies, those kind of dry ingredients. It’s great because not only do they take up less space in many cases, you can actually see what’s inside. This applies to any space. If you see it, you’ll use it. If you can’t see it, you’ll forget you have it, and this is where the duplicates start happening. This is where things start to expire ’cause you forget about it. So when I talk about a pantry, a lot of times, people are really concerned about expiration. First of all, if you can’t see it, you’re gonna have, it’s incredible the amount of expired items I’ve found in pantries, so I get it, expiration date, you don’t want expired items in there. Chances are, you already have a bunch of expired items in your pantry.

That’s just the nature of that space until you have a good system in place. Once you do, if it’s something that you don’t use often, you can write down the expiration date on that food storage container with a chalk marker or a dry erase marker. I prefer chalk. That’ll help you know when it expires, and the reason you wanna do it with something you can erase is so next time you fill it up, you can put that new expiration date on it. For instructions on items like rice, where’s there’s a ratio, like a cooking ratio, or a pancake mix that you need to have the ratio for, you can also write that on the back of the container straight up in that chalk marker, or you can put like a chalk label on the back and write it in chalk marker there too. So that kind of erasable situation is really great for expiration and information on things that you take out of the original packaging. Now you may think, Mika, this is such an extra step, I don’t even have time to get organized, why do I have time to decant items into food storage containers and write expiration dates? It really takes that space to a next level. So if you’re interested in creating a space that inspires you to cook, inspires you to use the ingredients you have, looks beautiful, makes you feel calm, it’s worth it, and you’re not filling these containers every day, you just do it every once in a while.

I’m trying to think of like, I get a big thing of Kodiak Cake pancakes and it comes with like a ton, and I have a tall Oxo Pop container that I put it all in there, and that lasts for a while, and these are all very airtight. They’re BPA-free containers, and they keep things really well. Some people have said they don’t, they’re not airtight, do they really last, well, I think bags that are unopened, like chip bags unopened, and pretzel bags unopened, boxes of pasta with the lid half closed, cereal, that gets pretty stale quickly too, so it kinda goes both ways, you know? Another space in the kitchen is the junk drawer. So we all have it, right? I do too. I’m gonna reference my friend, Kati Kongi of Mead Method. She’s still a friend of mine, and we organized together, and she calls this the useful drawer. I think she came up with this term, but she calls it the useful drawer. So it shouldn’t be stuffed with junk, your goal is to make it useful. And everyone has this in the kitchen, because that is just where everyone congregates, it’s where you’re passing through the different activities of the flow of the day. So things like pens and keys and chap stick and Post-it notes and gift cards, candle lighters, oh gosh, paperclips, eyedrops, did I say scissors? So these are all items in this useful drawer. Thanks, Kati.

So the way that you create and organize a junk drawer is mapping it out by taking everything out, just like you would any other space, placing items, laying it all down in the drawer, and then measuring it out, and then taking those measurements to the store, coming back with inserts, dividers that fit that drawer, and then you place those pens and items, so you want to when you’re measuring, measure the length of your scissors, or if you’re gonna put a ruler in there, remember that. Measure your Post-its or your notepad you like, and count how many categories you need, and when you go to the store to get the dividers, I have sat down on the floor sometimes and laid out and then measured to make sure that it fits the drawer. So in regards to drawer organization, that’s how I do it oftentimes. Those organizers that come with different sections already prebuilt, those are great sometimes, and sometimes they don’t work. They work when they fit the drawer perfectly. They don’t work when they only take up 2/3 of the drawer, because then it leaves room around it for you to throw other things. So it’s super important to use the space wisely and fill it up, because empty space is just an open invitation for things to get thrown in.

One thing with drawers that I wanna mention is, I’ve said this before in some blog posts and in my Instagram, is there’s a thing called Museum Gel and Museum Putty. This is something I picked up from doing Neat method. You put them on the corners of your drawer inserts, and then they don’t slide around. And it’s crazy the difference it makes, because when you have those standalone drawer dividers, by making them stationary and fixed so they don’t slide around every time you open and close a drawer, even the big trays, you can do this with the big trays. I’ve actually used Command Velcro Strips for the big ones to keep ’em really in place, and it transforms it into a custom look. It’s pretty crazy. So I’m getting really excited about this, this transformation. I want you to try it, it’s pretty awesome. So another thing I love for drawers is bamboo spring-loaded dividers. Again, that creates a really customized look, so it looks like you have built-in custom dividers, but it actually isn’t. And then someone asked about how do I, I can’t keep a junk drawer organized in the long term. So this comes back to the topic of maintenance. Long term, if it’s getting all messy in like a week, your system is not working. You’re not considering categories that you are actually placing items in regularly in there, you didn’t make a space for it, or it’s not pieced together in a way that works for you, or maybe the drawer is not in the right spot in the kitchen or in your home, ’cause it might be maybe in your laundry room, or by your entrance, I don’t know. Remember that you’re not gonna have something be perfect forever, it is gonna get off key, so you will have to do a little bit of a cleanse. You do have to invest a little bit of time. But again, having that system will make that quick little cleanse, little tweaks, go much faster than how do you just have a drawer with no system and everything just thrown in there.

In a similar vein to this, talking about drawers, makeup, bathroom, so let’s chat makeup for a minute. So same kind of plan applies for your makeup drawer. I got a lot of questions about bathroom organization. This is a space that I feel like items can really build up. 20 different bottles of body lotion, hairsprays, a ton of perfumes, a bunch of different lipsticks. Beauty products, I love Sephora, I love Ulta, I love a good beauty product, but at the end of the day, I think it’s worthwhile to pare down on the items, because if you’re finding that your bathroom counters are never cleared off, if you open a drawer and it’s like so stressful in there, take a look at what you have, try taking everything out, categorizing it, and I think you’ll find that there’s a lot of things in there that you can get rid of. It’s really surprising. I did a bathroom cleanse in this past year, so we moved in, we had already done like a cleanse of what we brought in, I placed everything, everything was fine, but then like, I don’t know, six months later, maybe nine months later, I did a cleanse and I was like, whoa. There was these travel-size things, I didn’t know where they came from, almost empty bottles of lotion, even for someone like me, I was like, wow, I thought that I was on top of it, but it really does build up in there.

I would say definitely if you’re feeling a little stressy about your bathroom situation, take an evening to take everything out, categorize, sort, toss, put things back, and then when you wanna organize it, invest in some very simple products in neutral tones, nice and clean, I like to use acrylic in the bathroom, ’cause you can clean it and wipe it out. Invest in those and you will have a much better functioning and pretty bathroom. For a closet, a tip I have, if you want to instantly refresh your closet, is to organize everything by color. This is an area where if you are in a rush, you are putting things back not where it belongs, I get that, when you’re getting ready, things may be thrown on the floor, but a really cost-free way to revamp your closet is to group items by type and then organize things by color. And it’s pretty amazing what that does. Even in my closet, things will be out of place every now and then. I will admit that it’s pretty good, but I definitely put things back not where they belong in there, and when I do that, it starts to look a little eh, like not as streamlined, and as soon as I put it in rainbow order, so like ROYGBV, whites first, black at the end, and pink is like towards purple sometimes, that creates this very pretty look, so try that out. You can do it with stacks of T-shirts, you can do it vertically, you can do it horizontally, you can do it with your jewelry, you can do it with your socks, anything that is colored, you can put it in rainbow order and it looks great.

Another tip for the closet, if you haven’t invested in matching hangers, if everything is on plastic tube hangers, or the dry cleaning hangers, or some wooden hangers, and it’s all mismatched, it’s gonna look chaotic there. Just the thought of that right now makes me feel a little like, eww. So take matching hangers, implement that into your closet. I will give the warning that it does take time. It is an investment. A really great place to buy matching hangers, I found, is Costco. I love their velvet slimline hangers, and that’s a great space-saving solution, because they take up a lot less space. I do love a look of all wooden hangers, but it does take up a lot of space, ’cause those are much wider. So if you’re finding things are just really shoved and crammed in your closet, if you’ve done a cleanse and it’s still feeling that way, then invest in matching hangers, and you’re gonna be floored at how it looks. It’s crazy. Now, let’s talk about a few other spaces in the home. I mentioned paper earlier, mainly for the kid stuff, but mail, I got a question, would you have a mail station? What do you do with all the paper clutter? Our house, we don’t have a lot of paper clutter, and I think it’s because, Russ does too, we tackle the mail as it comes in on a daily basis, and throw a bunch away and keep a few, and then that goes into our inbox on our desk, and then we figure out what to do on a weekly basis, and either you do something with what you have, the paper, like you do a task related to it, you pay a bill, you sign your kid up for something, you respond to an invitation, and then you file it or you toss it, and that’s really helped, kept it at bay, and I think it’s really important to have one spot for that, and it’s okay for that spot to get a little thick and to pile up a little bit, but I would suggest a weekly routine.

Daily routine, I think can be overwhelming. I personally don’t have the time to go through it every single day, like, decide what to do with the paper clutter. I do have time to go through mail and weed through that every single day, but I don’t have time to act on all the paper. So I have one designated spot that it all goes to, and then with my week start checklist, that’s when I go through everything in that stack. Another space in our home that we have is the mudroom. This is the first mudroom we’ve ever had. It’s like a dream come true for me. For a family, I have just dreamed of having a space where everyone can hang up their backpacks, and put their keys and their water bottles and their lunches and just have a spot for the family for the things that they just drop off on the floor when they come in the door. So now we have designated spots for that, but I understand that not everyone can have a mudroom. This is our first one, we have not had one before, and in those spaces, like the apartment that we had, I picked a wall near the entrance, and had hooks, and baskets, and things were labeled, and like a valet tray, we have a little tray in our mudroom now, and that’s where Russ drops his keys, his sunglasses. I know you know what I’m talking about, but I find this extremely beneficial.

There isn’t one type of tray you need to use, it can be anything, but I will advise that you try to keep that tray small, because if you give someone wiggle room, they will take it, you know what I mean? So Russ’s tray is medium-sized, and he throws his keys there, and he’s really gotten into the routine of taking things out of his pockets and not throwing it all over the counter. He puts it in that valet tray. And I love a tray like that, whether it’s an inbox or that valet tray, because it’s not like a slot or something that you stick something in and then you can’t see it. You can see when that starts to get too full, so when Russ’s valet tray is looking like there’s a little mound there and it’s a pile, then I know that, okay, it’s time for you to go through that and see what you have in there, and chances are, he’ll find a lot of change or a wad of receipts, and so he’ll know he needs to address that. Laundry room, we’ve never really had a laundry room until now either, so as you can tell, I’m really enjoying this house that we’re in now. In the past, our laundry rooms were either like a little closet, or pretty small spaces, and in those, and now too, I make sure I just keep the essentials in the laundry room. I think it’s kind of like a larger junk drawer sometimes, where it’s like you kinda don’t know where to put certain things, so let’s just put it in the laundry room, or it might end up in the garage, or it might end up in that, if it’s big stuff, it might end up in that guest bedroom, or that spare bedroom, where things just get thrown in, and it becomes a storage closet, a storage room.

But anyway, back to the laundry room. So for the laundry, I don’t think there’s like a one-size-fits-all solution, because every laundry room is very different, and how you use it is different. Do you use powder detergent, liquid detergent? Are you keeping things like tools and batteries and tape in there like we do? We have a big drawer, and we kind of have that like home improvement little station there, and we also have light bulbs in there. I keep my candles and home fragrance items in the laundry room, it makes sense, because it’s like scents and fresh and clean, and that’s what the laundry room, the purpose is, so I have that in there, and I think simple solutions like baskets labeled. I like to use these white plastic ones in there because it echoes a fresh feeling. I think that’s really all you need. And I have brought in some decorative elements into the laundry room before, like fresh greenery I put. We have like a marble slab counter in our laundry room, and I put just a really simple greenery vase and a candle on that, and it was like, whoa, what happened to the laundry room, it looks so like, took it to the next level, and I loved that, so that’s something I wanna try to keep up, it’s just the last few times I’ve gotten greens or flowers, I didn’t get any for the laundry room, but I’m reminding myself now, I need to do that, ’cause it was really pretty and really nice. I think bathrooms and laundry rooms and bedrooms, really maybe every room, I think it’s important to set moods in there, make it fresh, make it feel the way you want a room to feel, whether that’s with scents or flowers, lighting, those things make a difference.

All right, so I mentioned that we lived in small spaces before, and I want to address that issue of when you don’t have a lot of space to work with, or you might have a very limited budget, and that’s totally fine. I absolutely believe you can get an organized space on a limited budget, but I will say that investing in a system does require product purchase usually, and it really is worthwhile. You don’t have to buy a lot. And actually, please don’t go buy a ton, because you don’t need that, but you do need to invest in some key dividers, bins, labels, containers. It really does help maintain that space, ’cause otherwise, it’s just a decluttering-cleansing situation, and then you’re back to where you were if you don’t have a system set up. That being said, there is lots of ways you can go with product selection that can fit your budget.

So I go to The Container Store because I know what’s there. I’m very familiar with the products there. I’m not affiliated in anyway with The Container Store, but I love that their products are reliably always there, and I know what they have in stock, and so when I’m working on a space, I know what they have so I can keep that in mind when I’m organizing. They have high-low pieces there. I’ll go into products specifically here in a minute, but there’s definitely budget options at The Container Store. They have the clear bins that I mentioned earlier, those are a great deal and they’re versatile, and can be used anywhere, and I love that it’s all clear, so you’re not dealing with different colors of lids, because I think over time, you buy Christmas-colored ones, and Halloween-colored ones, and pretty blue-lidded ones, and gray-lidded ones, you know what I’m talking about, they have it at Target and Home Depot and Costco, and then you go to HomeGoods and it’s like, ooh, look at this pretty whicker basket, and then, ooh, this pink one is really pretty. Now I’m starting to get too much into the product, but the point is there’s great budget items at The Container Store, it’s very simple, stay simple. Ikea has a simple clear one that you can use. Those are great too. I know Ikea has some great dividers too, and it’s been a long time since I’ve been to Ikea, but maybe check that out if you are on a budget, because they do have some organizing solutions there. I think if you’re gonna invest in containers and baskets and bins, you want to think neutral. So for me, when I was putting together all of our spaces, I took into consideration the colors around us in each room, and overall, I’m kind of a neutral person anyway, but if you get neutral bins and baskets and organizing solutions, it has longevity at that point, because then, no matter how you change your decor, it’ll likely coordinate with that, or if you’re gonna use those products, say you move, or you decide to go a different direction with a room, or move things around, they can be used in other spaces.

There’s a basket I’ll mention here, but, oh, I guess I’ll mention now, it’s the water hyacinth basket line from The Container Store. That’s super neutral and so basic, and comes in great shapes and sizes, and I have that in the playroom, I have ’em in the pantry, I’ve used them all different kinds of places, and then when I’m changing the playroom, I can put them somewhere else, and they really coordinate with a lot. So keep that in mind when you’re buying items, is let’s keep things super neutral and simple, and you’ll get a lot more use and bang for your buck that way. Okay, so for limited space, that’s where you have to get creative. I think under bed, under tables, baskets to the side of the coach, little areas of the home can be turned into organizational spots. Now, I am not a fan of finding every single place you can so that you can just store something. I think if you’re gonna put something in a place, it should be something that is used often enough so it’s deserving of a special spot like that. So what I mean by that is like a storage ottoman, I wouldn’t buy that so I can just toss whatever in there. I would store blankets for the living room in there, or I would store blocks, like that could be your block storage in a playroom, like a cute little ottoman that’s a storage unit as well. They’re big, they’re bulky, you can just dump it all in there when your kids are done playing with them.

There are also a lot of really good slim storage solutions as well, especially for the pantry. So in our last place, we did not have a walk-in pantry, it was this like cupboard, and so the width of it was very, very narrow, and at The Container Store they have really slim food storage containers that also stack on top of each other, and what was awesome about that one, it was very budget friendly, and I think about half of the cost of the ones I have now in our pantry. They surprisingly fit a good amount of, like the volume on this was pretty good, but I use that for cereals, for dry goods, for grains, crackers, it worked really, really well, so I really like those, so try to think of how you can use vertical space and stack things on top of each other, and be creative with your storage solution sizing. And if I didn’t mention it before, I think it’s super important to cleanse, declutter, figure out, do I really need this, if you’re dealing with a small space. The more you have in there, you’re just gonna get stressed out, so try to go through it, cleanse it, see what you can maybe do without. There’s somebody out there that probably could use it, or need it even, and it’s just sitting there for you, so consider that, and see if you can part ways, and give yourself some more breathing space in a tight space. Okay, one request was go-to Container Store faves, I also got tons of questions on what are your favorite products from any store, what are some of the tools you use, what labels do you like, so when you’re all done with decluttering, when you’re done with removing and putting things back, and coming up with a plan for a space, and you’re ready to go buy the products, here are some of my favorites.

First I mentioned, at The Container Store, they have water hyacinth baskets. That’s what they’re called. They’re like these woven baskets, and they’re great. I love the Oxo Pop containers for food storage. Those are pricey. For me in this new home, I had organized using these Oxo Pops so much for other clients that I said when we built this house, I was like, I want a pantry with these. So that was a priority for me to invest in, so that’s what I did, so I bought those and I love ’em. I have pastas, I have quinoa, rice, crackers, cereal, pancake mix is all in there. They come in different sizes, I really like ’em. Marche baskets are a type of a wire baskets that they have at The Container Store. This is all Container Store right now, by the way. So the wire baskets are great because you can see them, see through ’em really well, they have kind of a cool look, but they corral items really nicely and can be used in a variety of places. There’s one called the Tosca Basket. It’s like a white one with a bamboo handle. That one’s pricey, but it’s worth it in some spaces. Even just placing like three, and then having the rest be white wire baskets. There are these round ones at The Container Store, and then adding some bamboo, stackable, reach-in pantry things. I don’t know what they’re called, but that’s a great look too. Products are where you can kinda get designery and really make a space pretty. So bamboo inserts, I mentioned before. Those are great, they have ’em at The Container Store. They also have them on Amazon too. That one I feel comfortable getting on Amazon, because they are, it’s just that’s it. It’s an insert, it’s spring-loaded, so it’s customizable. I would not try to buy the really individual pieces to create a junk drawer for example, or your makeup drawer. There’s so much planning and moving around and reconfiguring and putting together a puzzle, that online I feel like, ah, I don’t know. It’s nice to do it in the store. That’s what I like about The Container Store too. It’s all there and you can play around and plan in store.

There’s a brand, I think it’s like Linus, but they’re called Binz with a Z at the end, Binz, and they’re clear plastic bins that you can use for the refrigerator, you can use them in the pantry. I use them for our vitamins in our little Mom center in our kitchen that has a bunch of different daily items. I love these paint cans they have there. They’re like 5.99, 7.99. You find them in like the gift section, where they have like gift boxes, but they’re these painter pales, and they’re see-through, and I love those for kids’ crayons, and markers, and pens, and pencils. They’re inexpensive and they’re not glass. I don’t like to use glass for kids. So you can find those at The Container Store. For the office, there’s a line called the Bigso Stockholm line, and it’s, I’m looking at ours right now, we have them in gray and navy, because our office is gray and navy, and they are great document boxes, magazine holders, in a variety of colors, but I always get either the dark gray, the light gray, the navy, because in my mind, navy’s kind of a neutral. They also have come out with like a light mint, a blush color, so those are great too. I think like the reds I might do in like a boys’ varsity sport type of room, but it’s pretty bright, so I would stay away from all those, but they have pattern ones, and I would just, I personally would not do that. It just gets visually cluttered. Tools. So these are like the labels and markers and label maker. The label maker I have, I have it right here, it’s the P-touch by Brother. This is kind of like the standard, maybe potentially the holy grail of label makers, ’cause you can buy the cartridge for this everywhere, including The Container Store, and Amazon, and like Office Depot, and I think maybe Target. But I love a label maker for specific areas. I think it gives a very industrial look, or a utilitarian kind of look, so I like to keep label maker labels in the garage, or for files for the home office, I think it works really well. Also it works well if you’re going to label the inside of a drawer.

I didn’t mention this in drawers, but if you label the actual shelves, and then if you label the drawer on the inside rim, if you have different sections, that’s a great way for everyone to know where to place something. I really like doing that. You can do that in a baby’s room, in a nursery, like onesies and shorts and pants and socks, like the inner, the lip of the drawer, you can put a label maker label on there. I love tags, like chalkboard tags. I love craft paper, tags, like brown ones. That gives a good look. Markers, I like to use chalkboard ones, which are dry erase permanent, white pen Sharpies, you can get on Amazon or any craft store. I like gold Sharpies, silver Sharpies, for certain spaces if you’re using those metals. I like to get my tags at paper stores, and Michaels too. Those are two really great places for tags, if you’re looking for that, and pens. You can get kind of fun and creative there, but you do have to test it out, because some don’t write smoothly, some tags absorb the marker. I could go on and on about labeling, but practice handwriting. If you’re not comfortable with handwriting, one tip is search on eBay, even Michaels have pre-printed stickers that you can stick on for example food storage bins and put like flour or sugar, even spice jars. I made my own with chalkboard label and a permanent white pen, our spices in our spice drawer, but they have pre-printed ones all over the internet. Go on Etsy, they have really cute ones, pretty ones. Those work great too if you’re not comfortable with handwriting everything, ’cause I understand that.

So we’ve gone over products, we’ve gone over different spaces. I love sharing the process of organizing with you. I hope you’ve taken some ideas from this episode, and are able to apply that to your own home. And like I mentioned, I am a huge believer in being organized and investing time into it. It really helps your mom life, your business life, because when your home is in order, that reflects in your business. That’s something Russ and I truly believe in. So if you’re an entrepreneur, take a look at how you can get organized in your life. It doesn’t have to be at your office. Getting organized at home, creating routines, having a set place for your items, just makes your life easier, and that’s what we’re here to help you with. Let’s make life easier.

Thank you for those that submitted questions for this episode on home organization, I so appreciate your input, you guys rock, and thank you to those who have taken the time to share our podcast with friends and family, who have left gracious and kind and really encouraging reviews on iTunes. Please continue to do that, if you find a moment in your busy day. It means a lot to us, it helps our audience grow, and I just thank you for being here with me today on another solo episode. It’s nighttime, I have this nice candle burning here. It’s just been really fun to spend this time with you. So if you ever have any questions on organizing, go to my website, MikaPerry.com, there’s a lot of past posts on this. Go to my Instagram, @MikaPerry. And then if you wanna catch any of the episodes on morning and evening routines, you can go on our website, GoodToBeHomePodcast.com. That’s all there. I can’t wait to be back with you with Russ next time for another episode. I hope you guys have a great day or evening, and I’ll see you guys soon, bye.

– Thanks for listening to this episode of Good To Be Home.

– And don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes and gives us a rating.

– See ya next time.