52 Weeks: #18 Functional Vs. Fabulous

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

These weeks are just flying by aren’t they?  Do you ever see photos on blogs and in magazines of immaculate homes that are so completely organized it causes drooling of magnificent proportions?  Everything in it’s place, not a toy on the floor or a dirty dish on the counter?

And while we may sit and drool over these pictures, they do set up unrealistic expectations because no one can live like that 100% of the time.  Especially if you have kids, forget about it.  I always have to laugh because as soon as people hear what I do for a living they almost always say to me “wow your house must be immaculate”.  Umm that would be no.  Not only isn’t it immaculate 100% of the time but I also don’t have designer baskets in every nook and cranny, built in bookshelves in every room or top of the line furniture.

What is important to me though is functionality, way more so than how it might look.  The majority of my baskets are from the dollar store and my shelves from Walmart.  It works awesome but it’s no show home that is for sure.  I work with what I have and what I can afford.  I can’t tell you how excited I get when I find a functional + fabulous storage solution that doesn’t break the bank.  Now that’s a thrill!

If we are constantly looking through designer show home type magazines we can easily feel defeated in our efforts to do what we can.  Go for affordable functionality now and then if you want you can always upgrade later.

My old dollar store in BC, oh how I miss it!

I’m not giving you any specific assignment this week as I like to see what little thing each of you are working on off your own list.

I hope you all have a terrific weekend that has a little bit of time set aside in it for organizing! 🙂

Questions to ponder:

  1. Do you sometimes use limited funds as an excuse not to get organized?
  2. What’s on your list to organize this week?
  3. What one task do you notice yourself continually putting off?  Why do you think that is?

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


23 Responses to 52 Weeks: #18 Functional Vs. Fabulous

  1. 1
    Mary says

    Great points! Sometimes I have to repeat the mantra “my house is not a magazine and thats okay” over and over. Most of my organizational stuff comes from Walmart too! Of course, I live in the town of Walmart’s Headquarters, so I have a million amazing Walmart stores in close proximity at all times! Yeah, so most of my stuff comes from Walmart too! (Thanks for shopping there as it directly supports my community. 🙂

  2. 2
    kay says

    believe it or not, there was a time in my life when my house was so organized and clean you could actually eat off the floor of my bathroom. and i did have a child in the house. however, those days are long gone and my home is very lived in. for awhile it seemed that once i got one room taken care of, organizing and such, by the time i moved on to the next room the previous room was back in disarray. now i just keep moving and don’t look back. lol! my most recent project has been my craftroom; my son thought i called it my “crap”room and it stuck. i’m glad to say i can now see the floor. much has been donated to a local women’s shelter and plenty thrown away. i still have a lot to deal with in that room but i feel much better about myself with all that i have accomplised so far. you are a true motivator!

  3. 3
    Anne says

    Oh Laura! I’m so glad you wrote this post. I’ve been feeling completing overwhelmed these last couple of weeks, looking at some beautiful homes of some wonderful bloggers and if I even attempted to get my home like this, I’d be spending 24 hours of my day maintaining it.

    The number one job for me as a stay at home Mum is the care of my family. This also includes being a homemaker and it needs to be practical for me, ie quick storage options, low maintenance ‘incidential’ cleaning, making good use of my 9.5kg washing machine and clothes dryer and being as frugal and creative with my cooking to provide nutritional, hearty, healthy meals and treats.

    I think I might stop following some of those blogs because I’m my own worst enemy and feel such a failure. I’ve got 2 wonderful, well adjusted, creative (and messy) children and if that means they play on the floor and don’t pick it up until bedtime, well then so be it. At least we’ll all be happy.

    Love your work!

  4. 4
    Megan says

    I always try to put function over form. It still looks nice and homey even if I put the function first. I’m not going to hide away my kids things because they don’t fit in with the color scheme I picked for a room.

    I have a very small house with a very small kitchen and I have to keep my kids lunch boxes on top of the refrigerator. I have downsized as much as possible. I just have a tiny, tiny space. It wouldn’t be my first choice. I’d like them out of the way, but it is neat and orderly and I can always find them. Maybe my house can look like a magazine when I’m old and there aren’t kids everywhere, but I can’t say I’m looking forward to it.

  5. 5
    julie says

    Hi Laura,
    this is not really a comment on this particular article, but needed to write you. My mother in law just passed off to me her back issues of Shop Smart magazine –I was looking through the March 2011 issue and on page 7 there is mention of your blog! “Great Blogs for Organizing Tips” is a blue box in the right hand lower corner of the page and your blog is one of three mentioned. Apparently they combed through dozens and narrowed it down to three “gems”. I just wanted to congratulate you on this.

  6. 6
    Linda Stoll says

    You just might have unique, one-of-a-kind storage pieces right under your own roof! Check out your attic for vintage baskets, boxes, bins, containers, tins. You don’t have to pay a dime, you get to bring a piece of family history downstairs and put it to good use … and you have a head start on cleaning the attic!

    I love repurposing what I already have … I think it just might make great-grandma smile!

  7. 7
    [email protected] says

    Thanks for this! I also often feel like people think that my home must be spotless! (I have to remind people that most photos on my blog are close cropped on purpose!!)
    And yes sometimes I do feel that $$ is a challenge- how easy it would be to hide everything if I had unlimited access to the storage furniture in the Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrell catalog! I think creativity is definitley key when organizing on a budget, but that shouldn’t stop anyone

  8. 8
    Kelly says

    Ugh, I’m sitting in the spot that I keep putting off. 🙁 I don’t know why it’s so impossible for me to keep my computer desk organized! It’s mostly paper clutter, and I just don’t know where to put it! Plus kids’ art projects that they keep begging me to keep, but I can only keep so many, you know? I feel this area of my house may be hopeless!

  9. 10
    Nony (A Slob Comes Clean) says

    I so totally agree! It’s easy to think I can’t organize because I can’t make it look like the gorgeous pics I see. But when I get over that, I’m generally able to find “something” that works perfectly fine and the space looks so much better. And I FEEL better!

  10. 12
    Oksana says

    Fabulous is very important to me. I try to achieve both when organizing. I find that the fabulousness factor helps me in the maintenance territory. This weekend I will work on organizing my car, it is time for some major TLC.

    Order Maven from http://www.ordermatters.com/blog

  11. 13
    Robyn says

    I am in the spot of putting it off as well!! It’s mostly the paper clutter..I have an “organized” pile that I haven’t even touched since my third child was born a month ago, and school stuff from my oldest daughter. The toys I have organized and used the printable labels off of here…but again…it’s never perfect. My two year old is learnign to put things away better though since the picture labels!! I have made progress with other areas of our home too which is good ! Every small organizing task I finish feels like a HUGE accomplishment with 3 kids 7,2 and 1 month old… I have also made peace with the fact that until my children are grown and out of the house,there is no way my home will look magazine perfect…(I’d like to see a 2 year old let loose on one of the photo shoots of those perfectly oraganized rooms !!) As far as expense goes…Walmart is great..Target runs higher…but we have an awesome Dollar store that I could spend hours in so that’s where I get most of my organizing stuff!!

  12. 14
    heidi @ wonder woman wannabe says

    I have a running list of ‘designer’ style organizing tools that I’d like to upgrade to as the budget allows. 🙂 Until then, I also use affordable yet functional tools to keep clutter under control. I LOVE perusing the dollar store, big box stores or even thrift stores for simple and sometimes even a bit unconventional immediate solutions. I’m always coaching my clients that you don’t need to spend a ton of money to get organized.

  13. 15
    Handy Man, Crafty Woman says

    I just linked up a project that I had been procrastinating on for AGES! #32, a better way to organize plastic utensils for on the go. I just kept forgetting to buy new organizers when I went out. After that, it was easy, it took 5 minutes!

  14. 16
    Christopher E P says

    Just wanted to say thanks so much for a great looking blog and all around atmosphere.

    Keep up the great work on all you do.

  15. 17
    Carrie says

    Which dollar store is that?? I live in BC and that looks like they have a great bin collection. I need some……


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