52 Weeks: #36 Finding a System that Works

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

You would think I’d have some kind of editorial calendar set up for writing this 52 weeks series so I’d know what I was going to write about each week in advance.  But I don’t.  Each week I just sit down at the computer and write from my heart.  Many times I take inspiration from the participants that have linked up the previous week or, like this week, I am motivated by what is going on in my own home with regards to organization.

This week I’ve been on a roll organizing small things here and there and everywhere.  Small things that I’ve noticed lately were making me a little growly.  For instance, ever since we moved into this house a year ago I could not seem to find a system that worked for all my hair products and at the same time took into consideration my morning laziness and my desire to have a clutter free countertop.  I have tried many different solutions and was irritated by all of them. I just didn’t have the space on this countertop for my blow dryer, straightener and all my hair products (of which there are many – more on my hair obsession here and here) at the same time.

So I tried having two baskets on top of the counter, it was too much.  I tried having a basket underneath the counter yet that didn’t work for this visual girl and my lazy factor (I won’t even try to deny it).  I like things out and easily accessible.  And until the Styling Station I’m drooling over comes onto the market, I knew I had to come up with something to tied me over before I lost my freaking mind 🙂

So in a moment of desperation I simply stood there and looked around the room.  What areas weren’t being utilized to their fullest?  How could I solve my dilemma while meeting all my criteria (this would include budget if this is a factor for you as it was for me)?  What was I okay with?  What was a deal breaker?

I knew I was okay with one basket being on the counter and that was it.  A deal breaker for me was having my products strewn all over every which way…I’m a pretty messy groomer when I make my daily transformation.  Trust me, I need every single one of those products 🙂

So as I went through this mental process, a light bulb went off.  On the back of the door I had two 3M Command Hooks.  Only one was being used and that was for my son’s bath towel.  If I moved that to the back of his own door it would leave me with an entire door free.  How could I utilize the back of the door to solve my situation?

A shoe organizer!!!

This is where I wish I had before pictures for you but when I get in the zone, I get in the zone.  Watch out, a woman on a mission is a pretty powerful thing! 🙂

Off to Walmart I went where I purchased myself a $6.00 shoe organizer to solve the dilemma of messy countertop clutter.  That’s pretty inexpensive for a whole lot of sanity!  Unfortunately not as pretty though as the ones I carry through Opensky, hopefully I’ll get those in again soon.  This one was all I could find and I wanted it done right away…again the whole zone thing 🙂  Functional over fabulous.

Down came the hooks and up went the organizer which hooks over the door (and yes the door still closes):


With all these pockets I had room for not only my hair products but my brushes and combs as well:

plus my face creams and toners:

This allowed me to stick to having just the one basket on my counter like I wanted.  I used this for my hair dryer and straightener.  So easy to maintain!

Look how handy my products are to my fingertips while doing my thing each morning:

When creating a system please keep these tips in mind:

  • There are many solutions for each particular space, don’t get frustrated if the first one doesn’t work.
  • Be honest with the personality you have and the time you have to devote to something.
  • Ask yourself a handle of questions (similar to those I asked myself above) about what is working and not working for you in the space.
  • It’s important to give each new system at least three weeks to allow new habits to form.
  • Every system should allow for easy maintenance in order for the system to succeed.  Don’t over complicate things.

*****You can read more detailed information about creating systems here.*****

What organizing dilemma is irritating you right now and what kind of solution do you think you can come up with to solve it?

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 any post of an organizing nature that you feel will inspire 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, Bathroom, Clutter Control


24 Responses to 52 Weeks: #36 Finding a System that Works

  1. 1
    Kathryn says

    Great idea. I’m going to see if I can find a CLEAR SEE THROUGH shoe organizer this weekend so that I can actually see what is in each pocket. This should make it even easier for my situation. Cheers

    • 1.1
      Laura says

      Yes there are nice clear ones you can buy (not in my area) so definitely keep your eyes open.

  2. 2
    [email protected] says

    I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of the shoe organizers. I dunno why! I mean, I can understand their organizational value but the look of them doesn’t appeal to me.

    • 2.1
      Laura says

      There are prettier ones you can buy that is for sure…I was just on a mission and wanted it done right away 🙂

      • HighDesertGal says

        I use mine on the door of my craft room to hold paper punches. I is clear and I can easily find the punch I want.

  3. 3
    Sarah says

    That is exactly what I use in the kids bathroom. It holds product, combs/brushes, bows and ribbons, etc…… I purchased a see-thru mesh bag from Container Store. I color coordinated all the bows and junk so I can find them quickly. It has been great!!!

  4. 4
    Susanne says

    We are having a shoe dilemma in our house right now. I have ideas of what I want to do but none seem to suit or please the 16 year old. Frustrating!

  5. 5
    Martha (MM) says

    Being in a new house isn’t easy! I am fighting the same battles to make things work in our new home. It’s much larger, but I knew from the beginning that the space wasn’t as useable as I it was in my little house!

  6. 6
    Jen says

    This is what I use to stash my stockpiled items.. shampoo / conditioners / deodorant / body wash / bar soap… We are out of space in our home and this is perfect for us.

  7. 8
    Jennifer says

    I use a shoe organizer on the back of my office door as well. It is perfect for the clips, scissors, calculators, post-it notes, erasers, pencils/pens, etc. and helps get the clutter off of my desk!

  8. 9
    Jen Rothmeyer (EmSun) says

    Nice! I use shoe organizers for many things. My closet in my bedroom wasn’t much of a closet when we bought our house – more like a small room. I use two shoe organizers against one of the walls which had no function (it’s too shallow to put anything on it) We installed some hooks up on the wall and just hung them right up! They hold my undergarments and socks.

    In the basement office we have another shoe organizer that holds all the gazillion cords and chargers we have. USB cables, cell phone chargers, electronics chargers, power cables, all that stuff! It’s so easy to keep the cords untangled and they’re “at our fingertips.”

  9. 10
    Living the Balanced Life says

    My daughter has tons of earrings. A regular earring holder doesn’t work. We bought a pair of steel mesh letter trays. We stood them on their side. We hung all of her earrings by poking through the holes in the mesh. works for post earring as well as big hoops and long dangly ones. Best solution ever.
    10 steps to a happier mama

  10. 11
    susan says

    Like you I am an organizing freak, LOL. Love your site. Here’s a link to my Pinterest board that has some DIY storage for the hair implements issues-enjoy!


  11. 12
    Faye says

    I have shoe organisers on the back of “almost” every door in our house. In the craft room they are great for yarns or fabric or adhesives, or any combination you need. I found one by accident at Lowe’s on clearance that has big rectangular, um, areas that a large box of tissues fits in. This one is on the back of the door from our bedroom to our bath. I stock tissues, toilet paper and shoes in it. Don’t forget the insides of closet doors. I am disabled senior organising maniac and have been following your articles for a very long time.

  12. 13
    HighDesertGal says

    Can you do a small post with some links about organizing a tiny student apt. My DD lives in GA Tech grad student housing with her hubby and at 3 year old boy and 6 mo old girl. I have purchased your book for her but her frustration level is reaching the boiling point. She has no where to even sort and get rid of things-really I know, there is no space. They have been there 5 years while they both got their master’s degrees and now her hubby is doing his PhD. She’ll be in that tiny place for 2 more years and she’s in tears. She was thinking about renting a moving pod for a month (if Tech will allow it) moving everything out and starting over. I’m a bit concerned but I don’t have any better ideas. Do you?
    I have been implementing your ideas in my own home; and love the clutter book but NOT my clutter.
    Thanks for any advice you can give. I sure there are many other young families in the same situation. I live 1000+ miles away so she has only a listening ear from mom. Nancy [email protected]

  13. 14
    Rebecca says

    I just recently moved into my new house and I’m trying to figure out someorganizational solutions before everything gets out of hand like it normally does. I always kind of turned up my nose at those shoe organizers, I never thought to use it for other things. Thank you for sharing!

  14. 15
    Boston closets says

    I like this, however in my bathroom my door is far from the sink. I’ll be using this idea in craft room for my craft punches. Thanks for sharing!!!

  15. 16
    Robin says

    Hi, I happened upon your awesome website while trying to solve some tricky problems surrounding creating an all purpose entry way off of a second front door I have in my house. I am intrigued by your 52 Weeks series, as I have SO many organizing needs, and thought this approach might work for me. Sadly, I am spending a ton of time searching your website to try to get to the beginning segments so that I can catch up. Do you have a button somewhere on the website that will take me to ALL of the segments so I can play catch up in order? Thanks!


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