52 Weeks: #14 Does your system need a change?

If you are new to 52 Weeks of Organizing, catch up here!

Happy Friday!  Thanks to everyone who linked up last week.  You gals are really getting things done, whoot!  So proud of all of you!  Although I have to tell you I nearly died when I visited Allysgrandma’s site and read this:

“I think I am going to quit the challenge.  It is not helping, I see no results, it is making my life more stressful, the other participants are uninspiring……”

Um, gulp.  Thankfully I kept reading and this is what came next:


Oh my word, whew!  She sure got me good 🙂

So when we first moved into our new home I set up the back of my office door, using 3M Command hooks, as a Nintendo DS holding station.  In other words when the DS’s weren’t in use that is where they were to live (I don’t like the kids to keep them in their rooms).   This is what worked for us in the old house.   However, as you can see from the back of my office door, this system clearly wasn’t working for us now.

Empty! Nope not working out so good.  The 5th step in the organizing PROCESS is to evaluate the system.  Is it working?  Is it being maintained?  What can be modified?  Well I definitely needed to modify something here.  Where were the DS’s ending up?  In the living room.  On the floor.  I got tired of nagging them to hang them up in the office so sometimes you just have to stop fighting it and come up with another solution.   That solution for me is a DS basket right in the living room that they can just throw everything into.

And it’s working!  DS’s are getting put away and even though I’d prefer them out of sight in my office, this has turned out to be a great compromise and compromises are important.  You avoid a lot of struggles that way, trust me!  It’s a small thing but boy does it make a difference to my piece of mind.  Yet, it initially took me awhile to even figure out how much time I was wasting being annoyed by the system that wasn’t working.  This is why it’s so important to stop once and awhile and evaluate how things are working in all areas of your home.  To ask ourselves how can we make this different so everyone wins.

Don’t just keep doing the same things, expecting different results.

It rarely happens.  At least not before you pull all your hair out anyway 🙂

Alright friends, time to get cracking.  Little bit by little bit.  You are doing great!!  If you are just joining us, you can find a complete list of all the 52 Weeks of Organizing posts here.  Jump on in and start organizing, it’s never too late!


  1. Have you got a system that needs some evaluation?
  2. Pay attention to the areas that annoy you the most.  What can you tweak to make it work?  Who might you need to compromise with?
  3. What was your organizing highlight from last week?

Please feel free to share your organizing journey and encourage one another in the comments. You are also invited to link up to the linky below with any posts related to your 52 weeks of organizing participation or to a post of an organizing nature that you feel will help and encourage others in their quest to get organized. Please remember to link back to here though so we can reach out to as many people as possible in need of some inspiration.

One other thing to consider: by including your link below you, you are giving me permission to use parts of your post including pictures as a spotlight in future 52 Weeks of Organizing posts. Proper credit and links will of course be provided. If you are not okay with this please do not link up. Thanks!

Filed under: 52 Weeks of Organizing, Kid Stuff


27 Responses to 52 Weeks: #14 Does your system need a change?

  1. 2
    Karyn says

    Hi Laura YES! Many of my systems need a change – thats the whole problem. Some of them need a system to start with! I’m working on that – thanks for helping to clarify my thinking and for inspiring me with your website. love, Karyn

  2. 3
    Living the Balanced Life says

    I have done great with organizing my closet, but still struggling in the paper department. My kkitchen table and desk are a mess! I have got to set up a system for storage, and then a system for processing, and it has to be something that works for me! I will look thru the archives here to see what I can find!
    More about Living a Balanced Life

  3. 4
    The Bearded Iris says

    Hi Laura! Yes, I definitely have systems that need to be evaluated and changed. The first one that comes to mind is my recipe PILE. At one time I had a huge binder, but it was so big that it was unwieldy. I wasn’t putting recipes back and it ended up as a pile. Then I put everything in an accordian file. But you know what? Same problem… messy pile. (Dang, I’m lazy!!!) So now I am rethinking both of these bombs and trying to revise the binder system so that it will work. I’ll keep you posted!

    My organizing highlight this week? My kitchen drawers!!! I feel like I’m finally getting it. This project was fast, fun, and freeing! Best part, I’ve put together a beautiful basket of extra kitchen stuff to donate to a battered women’s shelter. And I’m hosting a party tomorrow and have asked all my guests to bring something to add to the basket. We are decluttering for a higher cause! Love that!!! Thanks for the continued support and inspiration. xoxox!

  4. 5
    Tiffany says

    I’ve been so busy over the last few months that I didn’t have the time or energy to really deep clean my apartment. Since my student teaching finished up last Friday, I have all of the free time in the world to do what I want. I figured it was time to clean and organize to make my life easier in the fall when I get a teaching job. I started a new blog this week that is tracking my journey of cleaning/organizing/purging.

    Thanks for the link up!

    Tiffany @ The Nest Effect


  5. 6
    Enjoy Birth says

    System changes has been what has helped me the most during this challenge. I have done 2 major overhauls of things that were not working for me.

    Tupperware Drawer http://enjoybirth.com/blog/2011/01/28/tupperware-bowls-pans/ The cabinet they were in did NOT work, for 6 years before I moved it and I love it now!

    Game Closet – http://enjoybirth.com/blog/2011/03/04/52-week-organizing-games-and-linens/ Another area which was not working for putting games away and getting out with ease. I did a weird thing and moved half into the bathroom and it works much better now.

    I am so happy with these new systems. I am now looking around trying to figure out which other systems need to be changed.

  6. 7
    stacy says

    i am also thinking of changing up a few things to make them work better for me. the toys are just killing me!!

  7. 8
    Tiffany A. says

    Currently, I’m in the process of evaluating my filing system. It hasn’t worked at all — proven by the 2 unsorted file boxes full of random papers and mail. Papers pile up, and in an effort to tidy my desk quickly, I toss them into a box, promising myself to sort them A.S.A.P. I finally rented a movie last night (as you suggested) and began tackling the boxes. Honestly, it’s not so bad.

    Back to evaluating my filing system. I’d paid my sister to organize my files a few years ago, and she did a great job — for her. However, her system does not make sense to me, which is why I don’t use it. For example, there is one file titled “Exercise”. Exercise is a huge part of my life, so I need several files for this: Rock Climbing, Running, Yoga, etc. In addition, I no longer need certain files, i.e. “Ballroom Dancing”.

    So I am going to re-do all my files in a way that pertains to my life – NOW. And I’m actually excited about it!!!

  8. 9
    Heather says

    1. Have you got a system that needs some evaluation?
    My jewelery. I love that they are visible on the mirror, but you get what you pay for when you buy an, “As Seen On TV” product. The blingee system doesn’t stick so great! 🙁
    2. Pay attention to the areas that annoy you the most. What can you tweak to make it work? Who might you need to compromise with?
    Currently my room annoys me the most. I need to stop the shoving and closing the door and procrastinating. I need to be more mindful myself. It is nobody’s fault but my own.
    3. What was your organizing highlight from last week?
    I didn’t do a whole lot this past week, but I am really proud of the baking cabinet that I linkied up this week. It is an area that gets used frequently and when something fell on my head, I realized it was time to stop putting it off.

  9. 10
    Martha (MM) says

    My organizing highlight was finally getting my laundry room done!
    Thanks for hosting Laura 🙂

  10. 11
    Megan says

    My highlight was last night when I cleaned out those books next to my dresser. Some of those have been there since the dresser has been there. There were 2 teaching books from when I taught 5 years ago, and of course a decluttering magazine from ’05. Oh the shame. Anyway, since I’m rarely buying anything anymore and even more rarely books, I think it might stay that way. Yea!

    Pitfalls, my kitchen desk, It fills up with mail and toys in need of batteries almost as soon as it is cleared.

    The DS thing in your post made me laugh (esp. the picture of the empty hooks in the closet). I loved that one. I toss lots of stuff like that into baskets. I usually make a label, (handwritten, nothing fancy). My kids don’t ever seem to know what the basket is for if I tell them, but if I slap a label on it…voila! Works for husbands too.

  11. 12
    Lisa says

    Oh so true!! I wanted “cubbies” for our shoes at the back door. My Mom bought me [nice of her–it was a gift] what i DIDN’T want–a bench with a few cubbies. Junk mail, school stuff, lunch bags, cats all land there. The one I wanted fit just at the end of the counter–this one doesn’t. Result: Entry way I hate with a cubbie system inadequate to our needs and a bench that means more clutter. At least the shoes land NEAR it I guess, but it hogs all the space by the door because it doesn’t fit the way the one I wanted did. Ok, there, I’ve put it in print that I’m a spoiled, ungrateful child of almost 50 who blames it all on MOM-lol……….. Not sure what I’m going to do about this, but it does have to get “fixed” or I’ll go nuts!

    • 12.1
      Laura says

      LOL…yes you’ve got to fix it or you will be constantly annoyed by it each and every day. Can’t wait to hear what you come up with!

  12. 13
    Ruth Hill says

    I am so glad to be back on track! So glad to be in this challenge again.

  13. 14
    Handy Man, Crafty Woman says

    Oh yes! I’ve organized our kitchen about 4 times since we moved in here (5 years ago, lol!). However, there were a few sections that were just NOT working for me, that I fixed up recently. I just posted about it. Very small changes that took less than 30 minutes, but so worthwhile!


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