52 Weeks: #41 Best Organizing Advice + Giveaway!

This giveaway is now closed. The winner is #184 Michelle!!

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

So today I thought we’d do something a little differently.  Since you have been working so hard following along week after week I thought it was time we had a giveaway.  This giveaway is a giveaway that I hope will keep on giving.  What do I mean by that you ask?

Well to enter to win I’m going to ask you to leave a comment telling me in one sentence the best organizing advice you’ve ever received.  You get a chance to win fantastic prizes PLUS you get to help someone else out by sharing your fabulous organizing wisdom.  Cool right?  Oh and I should mention that you don’t necessarily have to share advice I’ve given you (although I will be flattered if you do 🙂 ).  Maybe it came from your mom or your best friend or neighbor down the street.  Wherever its come from, now is the time to share it.  Think how motivating and encouraging this could be to others, I love it! 🙂

Oh and what will you win?  So glad you asked!

One of you will win a copy of two of my favorite magazines:


a signed copy of my book!

All sorts of organizing tips for you in this combination of organizing bliss 🙂

So let me start you off by sharing the best organizing advice that I ever received.  Not sure where I first heard it (my mother more than likely) but here it is:

You can only keep what you have the space to store up off the floor!!

One sentence comment entries must be in on this post prior to Thursday, October 20th at 2:00 pm PST.  Winner will be selected at random from comments received.  Open to everyone.  Good luck!

Also please feel free to link up your organizing projects today as usual.


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, Giveaways


318 Responses to 52 Weeks: #41 Best Organizing Advice + Giveaway!

  1. 1
    Lise says

    There’s a place for everything, and everything goes in its place.

    • 1.1
      Elaine says

      colour code your towels for each person in the family.
      i used to have only white towels and i could never tell which was clean and which was dirty as dd would leave them all over the place. Now that we all have our own colour towels my laundry has decreased!
      you could also use this pinciple for childrens socks.

  2. 2
    Renee says

    Make a system that works for you.

  3. 3
    Joyce says

    This is great! I look forward to reading everyone’s tips. I really like Lise’s, and since she took my answer, I’ll have to share another…my girls (4yo and 2yo) do this and we rarely have to clean up. They even get made at me if I don’t do this. =p

    Put things back right where you got it after you use it.

  4. 4
    The Bearded Iris says

    This one is from you Laura… you sent it to me via Twitter the day I started cleaning out my closet and I wrote it on an index card to keep me going:

    “If you hesitate when trying to decide whether or not to keep something, let it go.”

    Can’t wait to read everyone else’s organizing gems!

    • 4.1
      Colleen says

      I really love that one! It definitely makes you stop and think how true that is!

  5. 5
    Laura crowe says

    Teach your kids early to donate… Many times the will ask to donate amazing toys they don’t enjoy anymore to help other kids… My DD (4) asked to donate a toy story woody doll bc she had two different ones and said a little kid needs a woody doll. I have more than enough. * heart melted*

  6. 6
    Lisa says

    There is nothing more freeing than getting rid of clutter!

  7. 7
    Brittany says

    Life is full of clutter and junk. Why fill your home, a place of refuge, with more of it?!

  8. 8
    Erica says

    When in doubt, throw it out!

  9. 9
    Carolyn says

    Clean up after yourself. I was surprised to discover that a lot of the messes around my house, I had made them!

  10. 10
    Kiy says

    Touch it once.

    This was in regards to mail/paper (which it seemed we were drowning in), when I was working as an office manager. I can’t remember where I read it, but it stuck with me. I’ve carried it over to our home life. I love that mail/school papers immediately find their home – especially when they find their home in the trash! Get it out of the house, is my motto.

  11. 11
    AmyE says

    No effort is too small—just keep plugging away.

  12. 12
    Sonja says

    Every time you get something new, eg. a new blouse, throw out (or donate) one of your old ones. The same with toys for the kids. Every time they get something new, something old must go.

  13. 13
    Chloe says

    Being organized is a skill that you can learn. Just because you’re not organized now, doesn’t mean you can’t be in the future.

    Like Joyce I’m looking forward to checking back here soon to see what others have said.


  14. 14
    Lisa Thomas says

    Keep it only if it’s useful or beautiful.

  15. 15
    Nan says

    If you did not wear a clothing item this past season, you probably won’t wear it when that season rolls around again! Get rid of it!! Same goes with most household items-if you have not used it in the past year-you probably won’t use it. Let it go!

  16. 16
    Leslie says

    Just get started already!

  17. 17
    Firesparx says

    You don’t have to come up with the PERFECT organizational system, you just have to try SOMETHING and work with it from there.

    (This advice really helped me out with my organizational paralysis!)

    • 17.1
      Jenn Hoff says

      Oooh, I like that, thank you! I was sort of freaking out just reading through these comments because i don’t know where to start.

    • 18.1
      ms happy says

      Totally agree with this one! It’s how I get my 5 year old DD to tidy her room – sort like with like and start with the easy stuff – by the time you get to the hard stuff there’s not so much left to make decisions about.

  18. 19
    Margo says

    The best organizing advice I have heard was “You can’t organize clutter.” In other words, I need to limit the number of things I have. I really see this with my children’s toys. They have so many, and I have tried so many ways to organize them, but I now realize I need to limit the large volume too!

  19. 20
    Katherine says

    Use what you already have to organize.

  20. 21
    Lisa says

    Make sure everything has a place .

  21. 22
    Rachel says

    set limits (with containers or numbers) to avoid the clutter build up!

  22. 23
    Katherine M says

    If you haven’t used it in a year get rid of it.

  23. 24
    Christina E says

    “The more you have, the more you have to clean.”
    Makes me get rid of things all the time! 🙂

  24. 25
    Lauren says

    It didn’t happen this way overnight, it’s not going to get cleaned up overnight neither.

  25. 26
    [email protected] says

    “It doesn’t have to be perfect.”

    I still struggle with this but it is good advice. It helped me let go of the need/desire to be perfect and be okay with what I have accomplished. The reason this is good advice is because I am an “all or nothing” kind of girl, and because I couldn’t get it perfect, I wouldn’t do it at all. Something is better than nothing!

  26. 27
    Stephanie says

    Your grandmother didn’t mention her eggbeater and Pyrex in her will. It wasn’t important to her. And if you don’t use it, let it go.

    • 27.1
      Livin In Duckville says

      Wow!! If that isn’t a great statement!! Thanks Stephanie!

      • Stephanie says

        Thanks! I really did carry my late grandmother’s eggbeater – which we never used – through several moves. I use a lot of her kitchen stuff regularly, but the items that I held onto only “because it was Grandma’s” has been donated and is now (hopefully) blessing someone else’s home. Honestly, I think she’d be proud that I’m claiming my space. 🙂

  27. 28
    marji says

    Whenever I felt overwhelmed with a big mess, my mother would say, “Just start at one end, and work your way around.”

  28. 29
    Kari says

    If you don’t love it, let it go!

  29. 30
    Marilyn says

    “Don’t pick up the same thing twice- put it where it belongs the first time you pick it up!”

    Looking forward to other’s tips. I love the giveaway!

  30. 31
    Crystal says

    “Less is more.” 🙂

    I enjoy reading your blog. 🙂

  31. 32
    Monica says

    Even 5 intentional minutes here and there will accomplish a great deal because there are 320 five minute segments in my 16 awake hour day ….and group like things together even if it makes me touch something twice.

  32. 34
    Mariliz says

    If it doesn’t make you smile when you see it, get rid of it.

  33. 35
    Kristin Peterson says

    Mine is “get rid of everything you haven’t used or worn in a year.”

  34. 36
    Marti says

    Right now I am re-organizing my craft area and all of my storage spaces. I need good ideas, so I would love to win this giveaway!


  35. 37
    Lora Greene says

    Store things where you use them. When I remember to follow this rule, items almost put themselves away.

    • 37.1
      Sarah says

      I really like this one too! Whenever I catch myself going somewhere else to get an item I need, I try to find a new home near where I need it.

  36. 38
    Justina says

    “You can do anything for 15 minutes”. Sometimes we look at a project, like de-cluttering, re-organizing, or cleaning something up and it just seems insurmountable. So we procrastinate starting. When I have a particularly unpleasant task to face, I set my timer for 15 minutes because I know I can do 15 minutes of just about anything right?? What usually happens is I am (still) shocked by how much I got done in that short amount of time and maybe will even feel motivated enough to keep going. It’s the best way to get through those organizing projects!

    • 38.1
      Sarah says

      I definitely need to try this one, it sounds like a great idea.

  37. 39
    Cheryl says

    Don’t try to fit yourself into a system; fit the system to yourself.

    • 39.1
      jess says

      Love this! I have recently realized I need to start reminding myself this!

  38. 40
    Kristi says

    Make a system for yourself

  39. 41
    Rebecca Burgener says

    Progress, not perfection! <—This really helps when I think I don't have time to finish, so why start?

  40. 42
    Ann says

    Wow there are so many good lines on here! Mine was when in doubt throw it out! or if you have not used it in a year… get it OUT! 😉

  41. 43
    Tammy says

    “Touch it once”. I think of that every time I pick something up and want to lay it down where it doesn’t belong.

  42. 44
    Jenn says

    If you don’t use it in a year, get rid of it!

  43. 45
    The Chatty Housewife says

    Mine are three that everyone has heard before, but have made a huge difference in our home!

    1) A place for everything and everything in it’s place.

    2) Touch everything once (when you are done with an item put it in it’s proper place right away, don’t set it down where it doesn’t belong, even if it takes more work at the time, it means you don’t have to take the time later.)

    3) Keep a paper bag or box at all times to collect donations/consignments.

  44. 46
    Suzanne says

    Purge until it fits!

    Credit to Laura – thanks for all you do.

  45. 47
    Carolynn says

    When tackling a big project, cut it up into small pieces and set small goals, like take 5 minutes and throw away all the trash.

  46. 48
    Joanna Price says

    A place for everything, and everything in it’s place.

  47. 49
    Joanne says

    “Plan one week’s worth of meals at a time.”

  48. 50
    Amanda says

    2 MINUTE RULE: If it can be done in under two minutes, you can’t put it off. Do it now!

  49. 51
    Megan says

    this was not really advice, more like an ultimatum from my mother….”put it in the “drop spot” (home for backpack, coat, shoes etc.)

  50. 52
    Rebecca says

    Ask yourself, ” Where will this live in my house!” Works great while shopping for birthdays & Christmas…so you can have a bit of a plan when it all gets unwrapped! 😉

  51. 53
    Kimberly Rubinstein says

    “Don’t ever throw away baby wipe containers!”. They can be used to organize & divide just about anything! Almost every drawer in my house has them, from craft supplies to socks- order can be restored! Rip the tops off and you have a free drawer divider.

  52. 54
    Luanne says

    “Store it where you use it” – logical organizing at its best!

  53. 55
    LoriD says

    If an item were truly important, you wouldn’t being storing it in a box in the garage.

    • 55.1
      Jennifer T. says

      Oh! That’s a good one! Very true!

  54. 56
    Brandy E. says

    I would have to go with

    “You don’t need a bigger house, you need less stuff. ”

    Even though my house is TINY I still think this advice is true. 🙂

  55. 57
    Erin K. says

    This is not advice that I was told, but rather an epiphany moment I had a few weeks ago:

    Having a “place for everything” and creating daily routines is not something meant to enslave me to a system – rather, it is a way of making as many decisions ahead of time as possible, allowing me to go about my tasks without the tiring requirement of making decisions as I go.

    I’m not sure if that makes sense, but it sure has given me a whole new perspective. 🙂

  56. 58
    Maaike says

    My favorite is probably ‘put something away immediately after you use it’; if only I would listen to my own advice more often…

  57. 59
    Jane says

    Don’t put it down, PUT IT AWAY! – Helped my kids tremendously!

  58. 60
    Miranda says

    Less is more!

  59. 61
    Tori Palmer says

    If you don’t LOVE it and you rarely(if at all) use it, you don’t need it!

  60. 62
    Dana says

    My advice is: The best advice in the world doesn’t do you a bit of good unless you ACT!!

  61. 63
    Adrienne says

    Stop procrastinating….just get off your tush and put it away!!

  62. 64
    Tamara says

    I actually have two bests: 1) Don’t leave a room empty-handed; there’s always something that needs to be returned, thrown away or gotten rid of. 2) When you buy something new, say clothing, get rid of at least the same number of items in your wardrobe – that way you will never run out of space.

  63. 65
    Kathy Cervantes says

    If you don’t love it get rid of it.

  64. 66
    Linda Stoll says

    As a coach and counselor, I’ve done alot of work with people on boundaries in relationships. But I’ve never heard of this concept when it comes to stuff and things and possessions til recently on your blog.

    Whenever our boundaries are over-run, non-existent, undefined, or sloppy, we’re in for trouble.

  65. 67
    Kim says

    I also have two that stick out. (1) I keep a decorative box with a cover on our desk. All receipts immediately go in there until I can go through them. And (2) I keep another box in the front closet that is labeled Donate. Whenever we come across things in the house that we are willing to part with we drop them in. As soon as the box fills up we drop it off.

  66. 68
    amybee says

    Sort before purchasing organizing solutions.

  67. 69
    Amanda says

    Keep one calendar for everything: home, work, and kids.

  68. 70
    Kate says

    just because you have the space doesn’t mean you should keep it

  69. 71
    Cher says

    Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds.
    – Gordon B. Hinckley

  70. 72
    Cheryl-Ann says

    Sentimental value of an object is overrated–memories will always remain within you, not within an object… time to let it go.

  71. 73
    Dena says

    Never leave a room empty handed & put it back where you found it.

  72. 74
    Melissa Ferguson says

    Don’t be a slave to your possessions. It really is freeing to have a little empty space in your house and a lot less to clean/maintain.

  73. 75
    Rachel says

    The best advice I’ve gotten: Just because someone bought you a gift, doesn’t mean you have to keep it forever. If it’s not beautiful or useful, the gift can go too!

  74. 76
    Lynne B says

    “One thing out at a time,” as my children can easily quote. Now, to follow my own advice!

  75. 77
    Dee says

    I have two..set a timer for a specific amount of time and go for it. i am always amazed what I can accomplish in just 15 minutes!! Thank you Flylady.

    My second has helped me for years, I read it in the Simple Abundance book. When you have to get rid of things that someone you love gave you but you really can’t use and don’t have the mental or physical space for, hold on to the memory and toss the item. This helps me remember that someone loved me enough to want to give me something but I simply can’t keep everything people want to give me! Memories don’t take up much room in my house 🙂

  76. 78
    Karena D. says

    If you wake up in the morning, and your kitchen is clean and dishes put away, it makes the start to the day better. Loved this advice and try my hardest to keep it.

  77. 79
    Amanda says

    If you do not use it get rid of it!!!!

  78. 80
    Dawn says

    You can do anything for 15 minutes! Best advice ev-er!

  79. 82
    heather says

    when challenged dont give up… just think outside the box!

  80. 83
    wendy ward says

    have a to do folder kept out for all the important things that need to get done (paperwork, bills, etc.). Go through it once a day to see if something needs to be done that day. That way it is all in one spot and it gets done right away, and you don’t get paper piles all over the place.

  81. 84
    Vanessa says

    Find a system that works for you.

  82. 85
    Marcy Dwyer says

    If you are sentimental about an item that you no longer use, take a picture of it before you donate or sell it. You can keep the picture on your computer. Its the memory that is important, not the item.

    Thank you, for helping me realise that you have to create boundaries. Even as someone who dislikes containers, I have some permanent ones now (the hair elastic container is a big hit),

  83. 86
    Natalie says

    Always start a new project (or meal prep) with a cleared off surface. If you put away clutter before you start a project, you can keep it from getting out of hand.

  84. 87
    Lesley says

    Everything should have its own place.

  85. 88
    Jackie says

    When you clean your closet, turn all of your hangers around. When you wear something put the hanger in the right way and then in a few months you can tell what you have worn and what you haven’t. It is a good visual of what you need to get rid of.

  86. 89
    Charlton says

    clean your house before you go on vacation so that you don’t have to clean it when you get home!

  87. 90
    Jessica says

    Find a place for it (papers, toys, projects, ect) and put it there.

  88. 91
    Mindy says

    Do a little bit of cleaning/organizing each and every day!

  89. 92
    Sallie says

    You will NEVER use all of this stuff!

  90. 93
    Lesley says

    Never leave a room without taking something that doesn’t belong there to the place it does belong.

  91. 94
    Vero says

    Re: clothing – If you haven’t worn it in a year, toss or donate. Also, if you’re consciously losing weight, do not keep anything that is too big for you!

  92. 95
    jen says

    in regards to paper clutter: If it sits for more than 7 days, it gets tossed. (makes my hubby mad sometimes but that’s the rule!)

  93. 96
    Amy says

    like someone already said, a place for everything and everything in it’s place!

  94. 97
    Lee Turner says

    Reduce the clutter and it’s easier to keep things put in their place!

  95. 98
    Lynds says

    Im not sure where I saw this or how/if I came up with it; but its helped keep my toy situation a little more manageable. Purge toys prior to christmas and your kids birthday. Rotate toys during the year. I have a large bin to rotate toys every couple months, which also has helped me with toy purging through out the year. Also its okay to put (gifts) away that arent age appropriate or your kids arent too in to yet, you can pull them out through out the year and the kids get new toys year round! (Has worked great for us for potty training rewards!)

  96. 99
    Sinea Pies says

    The best advice I have had is to use a timer. By using a timer I can avoid taking bunny trails way away from the task at hand.

  97. 100
    Denni says

    Only Handle It Once! (OHIO)

  98. 101
    Monica Percival says

    Keep everything put away then the clutter won’t happen.

  99. 102
    JaynErynM says

    My husband and I have just moved into our first home (a little condo!), and are going through the process of downsizing all our life treasures. The best advice he gave me while going through this process (SO hard for me!) is:

    You don’t have to keep it just because it’s a gift.


  100. 103
    Sam says

    I keep myself in check by always inviting guests over! That way I’m motivated to keep everything clean and organized!

    • 103.1
      evi brito says

      That’s a great one! Everytime I do a quick clean-through of the house before guests come over, I think “I should have guests more often, things would stay neat and nice!” ;->

  101. 104
    Nicole says

    “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful,” by William Morris is a nice reminder to get rid of the things I no longer love.

  102. 106
    Melinda T says

    I’ve heard this one many times and have a hard time following it…but if you buy/bring something new into the house, an item must go out! Love seeing all these tips!

  103. 107
    Heather says

    1st: Put your stuff away!
    2nd: Drop Zone – for keys, shoes, bags & coats at the entryway.

  104. 108
    raven says

    “Always plan for future expansion, as your needs WILL change over time.”

    Learned it due to 3 children and discovered it applies to *everything* from technology to books to toys to media and paperwork over the last fifteen years. I will spend a little extra time and money now to make room for expansion or to make something modular/movable if it’s possible. This has saved us a lot of money and a lot of time in later years when we have changed something. An extra shelf, an extra gallon of paint, an extra support, a couple extra matching bins or a curtain panel.. 9 times out of 10 these items are needed and used (eventually). For that one time that they are not, they are usually easy to re-purpose (a gallon of paint will do a bathroom or a couple closets; an extra curtain can become chair covers or valances, an extra shelf can become almost anything if it’s solid wood.)

  105. 109
    Andrea Watts says

    If you haven’t worn it in 6 months, get rid of it

  106. 110
    jess says

    Give stuff boundaries!

  107. 111
    Tricia says

    If it’s storage and you haven’t pulled it out within the year, it’s time to let it go!

  108. 112
    Martianne says

    Get everyone involved! (If the whole family does not invest themselves in creating and maintaining the organization, than eventually, the organization seems to fail.)

  109. 113
    Irene says

    I could never understand why I had drawers and bins that sat empty while my stuff sat in piles on the floor until I read Julie Morgenstern’s book, “Organizing From the Inside Out.” Then it all made sense! I need to see what I have; outta sight, outta mind. So I got see-thru drawers and milk crates and more open shelving and voila! I’m not completely “cured” of the stacks on the floor, but I’m getting better one step at a time!

  110. 114
    Amanda Andrus says

    The best thing that I have found that works with kids is using a timer. My kids love to beat the timer.

  111. 115
    Ruth says

    If you love cooking and use a lot of spices, place them alphabetically on one or more turntables (Lazy Susans) in your cabinet so that you can find them in an instant!

  112. 116
    Hannah says

    Only keep what you use!

  113. 117
    erica says

    Get rid of it already–what are you waiting for??!!!?!!!!

  114. 118
    Pamela Koop says

    If you aren’t using it, pack it away in a box for a while and if you don’t need it, then get rid of it – donate, give it away, sell it, throw it out!

  115. 119
    Colleen says

    Have a little basket at the top and bottom of stairs, put misplaced items you find on the wrong floor into the basket, when they get full, take them and put the items where they belong.

    If you have children, you can have this become a habit for them, teach them that when they go up or down and see stuff in the basket, to take it with them and put it where it belongs.

    This is handy if you have more than one level, like me!

  116. 120
    Tara Morgan says

    “If you havent’ used it in a year, throw it out”

    Now, if only I’d listen to this more consistently!

  117. 121
    Katie says

    Don’t take out more than you are willing to put away.

  118. 122
    Kristen says

    For purging clothes: Turn all the hangers in your closet backwards. As you use and wash the clothes, put them back in the closet with the hangers facing the correct way. After 3 (or 6) months, anything still facing backwards gets tossed!

    • 122.1
      Jenn Hoff says

      Huh. I like that.

  119. 123
    evi brito says

    Declutter everyday for 15 minutes – that way, you accomplish so much without even noticing!

  120. 124
    jen f. says

    Keep like things together.

  121. 125
    Dawn says

    Only buy something if it will have a “home” when you bring it home!

  122. 126
    Ruth says

    If you love to cook and have lots of spices, place them alphabetically on one or more turntables (Lazy Susans) in your cabinet so that you can find them in a moment!

  123. 127
    DawnW says

    Get rid of it!-from my mother 🙂

  124. 128
    Candice says

    Containerize like with like!

    That one’s my fave because I love containers =)

  125. 129
    lauralake says

    Use it up.
    Wear it Out.
    Make it Do,
    or Do without!

  126. 130
    Lisa Henderson says

    Probably the best was to purge one small area at a time so its not too overwhelming!

  127. 131
    Laure says

    When decluttering a room, have a laundry basket with you and toss everything in that belongs somewhere else, rather than running all around the house putting away each thing that belongs somwhere else one at a time.

  128. 132
    Kelly L says

    For every new thing your bring into your home, take one out (via trash, donation, etc.)

  129. 133
    Jeanna says

    “Don’t put it down, put it away!” a daily motto I tell my little boy.

  130. 134
    Pat McGlothlin says

    Yhis was from the bool. Empy the room and putit back if you use it. After 12 years in the house this really works

  131. 135
    Linda Samuels says

    Write down your to dos to clear your mind of clutter, consolidate your thoughts, and select your next action step.

  132. 136
    Lexie says

    The best organizing tip for me… when in doub throw it out.

  133. 137
    Jenn says

    stuff does not equal love, stuff does not equal happiness

  134. 138
    Amanda Ryan says

    I’m working on a full house organizing overhaul and the one thing that has helped me the most is to make a list of small tasks (something that will take 15-20 minutes), and plan to do one thing a week. Most weeks my husband and I have plugged through several tasks in one week, but planning on only doing 1 each week, keeps me from going crazy that it isn’t all done already.
    Also, Containerize!! I have found a new love and admiration for containers!

  135. 139
    Shana says

    Don’t over think it!

    I sure like some of these!

    nineteen19 at blackfoot dot net

  136. 140
    Becky says

    Simplifying is the first step: just throwing everything you own in to fancy boxes is NOT organizing.

  137. 141
    Wendy B. says

    If you don’t use it or love it get rid of it.

  138. 142
    Emily Anne says

    To take EVERYTHING out of the cluttered space and start from scratch instead of just shifting things around like Tetris.

  139. 143
    Sabrina Q. says

    I love these magazines! I was just telling my clients and friends that BHG just released the new issue of Storage for this season! Too bad that it is only a seasonal mag. =) They have wonderful ideas and inspiration for every income level.

  140. 144
    Sharon M says

    “You can do anything for 15 minutes.”

  141. 145
    Gin says

    Store things according to how you use them. For example, store school uniforms all together rather than shirts with shirts and pants with pants.

  142. 146
    Crystal says

    “Store it where you use it” and “never leave a room empty-handed.”

  143. 147
    Nina Stokes says

    Remove clutter so that you will make room for the really good and valuable things you can then bring into your life and your home.

  144. 148
    Amanda says

    Don’t put something down, put it away.

  145. 149
    Catherine says

    Don’t add more storage – declutter to fit the space you have.

    Everything in your home should be either useful or beautiful. Preferably both.

    Also, never leave a room empty handed! – putting little bits and pieces away all day keeps things organised. Oops, that’s three…

  146. 150
    Renee says

    From a high school art teacher: (more of a caution/prediction) “If you go into art, you will be a collector of junk.” I thought it was an odd thing to say at the time. Now I know it is a fine line between potential art supplies and hoarding! Ha Ha

  147. 151
    Rachel L. says

    My grandmother has told me over and over that if you put things back where you got them, then you won’t have a mess. I wish I could follow her advice all the time!

  148. 152
    Courtney says

    If it’s been stored long enough to gather dust, you probably don’t need it.

  149. 153
    Jenni says

    “If you see it in a store and absolutely must have it, go home and decide where you’ll store it before you buy. If you can’t find a place for it, then it doesn’t belong in your home.” My grandma passed away many years ago, but I can still hear her voice in my head.

  150. 154
    mary norman says

    What a fantastic giveaway. I don’t think its very enlightening. But when I fold all of my sheets… before the last fold, everything gets folded into the top sheet. So I ca
    n just grab they bundle and not have to worry about finding missing pieces. Thanks
    [email protected] dot com

  151. 155
    Melissa says

    What a great site! I love your idea of the ‘donation station’. I had a box by the front door I was using for that purpose, but I’ve decided I need one in each room. It’s so easy to just toss things in as I find them.

    The best ‘one line’ organizing advice I’ve received is to focus on what kind of life you want to live, not on the clutter.

    This little piece of advice has helped me every time I struggle with whether I can bear to give up some item of ancient family history. It’s due to this advice that my wedding dress now hangs in the garage in the staging area for the big ‘clutter sale’. I was sad for about 1 minute.

  152. 156
    Kathy says

    “You can’t organize clutter !”
    I.e. declutter first, then organize what you need/love/use.
    I adore your website/newsletters, and am valiantly winning the war against clutter and finally getting organized – bit by bit 🙂

  153. 157
    More Than A Mom says

    Baby steps. It didn’t take a day to get there and it won’t take a day to get it out of there.

  154. 158
    Fiona says

    I remember being told to “Touch it Once” If I have finished my cuppa, the cup should go straight into the dishwasher instead of being left “near” the dishwasher for me to load when I get round to it.
    This philosophy really helps me complete tasks..to the end, saves time, and makes my life an awful lot simpler!

  155. 159
    darlene whitten says

    Start a load of laundry and run the dishwasher at night when water use is not at peak levels.

  156. 160
    barbara says

    do you use it, love it or need it?

  157. 161
    Debby says

    When I was growing up there was an antique frame on my bedroom wall with “Advice for Girls” that included the sentence “a place for everything and everything in its place.” I think that’s not antique advice. 🙂

  158. 162
    Dawna says

    My favorite: NEVER leave a room empty handed!

  159. 163
    Ambia says

    There are organizing MAGAZINES?! I had no IDEA! So excited. The best advice I’ve read recently is to have a “buddy” when you are trying to declutter. (Especially if you are an “attachment” type person) They hold up an item, you decide if it should go. Quick decisions. If you are touching every item, you become more attached and have a harder time parting with them.

  160. 164
    CELESTE says

    if you get something out, put it back where it belongs!!!!!
    thanks for the entry

  161. 165
    Denise Gee says

    Every time you bring something new into the house, you need to get rid of two other things.

  162. 166
    christina says

    Every time you buy or bring something in your home, get rid of one item.

  163. 167
    Sandy says

    Don’t go out and willy-nilly buy containers for storage until you know what kind/size of container you need. I’ve bought my share of “pretty” containers or containers that caught my eye for some reason and they end up not being very useful.

    Thanks for all the other ideas. I’ve heard most of them before, but it’s great to get a reminder!

  164. 168
    Hilarie says

    You can’t organize clutter; you can only get rid of it! – FlyLady

  165. 169
    Karen says

    Sort the mail immediately when you bring it into the house.

  166. 170
    Jeannine B. says

    Have a home for everything – and make sure you always return items to their homes. If everything has a home – you shouldn’t have any clutter!

  167. 171
    [email protected] says

    Before you buy tools to organize think about your footsteps in the space. Where does your family drop things when they enter a room? what items need quick access? Then, find storage solutions that work with your families behaviors and your visual interest. Label all storage and teach all family members the process. Live with your solution for a while and then tweak what’s not working.

  168. 172
    Julie says

    Get off mailing lists, so there’s less clutter coming into your mailbox and house that you have to deal with.

  169. 173
    Cindy O says

    We don’t need more organizing containers…just less stuff!

  170. 174
    Jackie says

    You’re possessions can’t love you back – feel free to let them go!

  171. 175
    vicki says

    if you haven’t used it in 6-9 months, you really don’t need it.

  172. 176
    Kendra says

    The best advice I’ve been given is to spend 15 minutes a day de-cluttering something, anything.

  173. 177
    Felicia says

    You cannot clean up until you have a place to put things..they need a home.
    Sage advice from a “Little Bear” episode and countless design shows. Trying to save money and space, I find I multi-task the organizers and say put toys (or papers) in the shoe cubby. Items are easier to pick up if theres an easy place to put them, a clearly defined place, that is easy to access. Otherwise it’s overwhelming to find a place for everything, especially if you share space; decluttering one area leads to clutter in another. Conversely, a place ” put away” should not mean having to move one thing to get to another, or climb a ladder etc.

    Easy access- clear home, enough space in the organizer for what you have, and space around it.

    WHAT I’d like to LEARN:
    How to keep a Lot in a small, shared space, easily accessible and presentable.

  174. 178
    Alissa A says

    If you use something, put it away, clean it, etc. immediately when you are done. captainliss40(at)gmail(dot)com

  175. 179
    Elizabeth says

    Put something away before you get the next thing out. Valuable advice I’m trying to teach my children…

  176. 180
    Keisha @ Captured Footprints says

    Do it as you go so you don’t feel overwhelmed when you walk in the house and realize it’s a mess.

  177. 181
    Melissa R. says

    “You should check out Pinterest, tons of organizing ideas on there.”

  178. 182
    Anne @ Domesblissity says

    Mum always said “fold the washing as you take it off the line”.

    Anne xx

  179. 183
    Joy says

    I like the “one in, one out” rule. Oh, and if it doesn’t serve a purpose, isn’t beautiful, or you don’t love it, then get rid of it!

  180. 184
    Michelle O. says

    Every time you get something new, purge something old.

  181. 185
    AnneSATX says

    Put things away when you are done with them — put them back where they belong.

  182. 186
    Michelle says

    Have kids help purge toys in the weeks before Christmas. They are very motivated at the thought of making room for the new toys they’ll be getting!

  183. 187
    Karin M says

    How to eat an elephant:…one bite at a time!

  184. 188
    Megan says

    Just take 10 min before going to bed to pick up anything left laying around, declutter/wipe down countertops, etc. You’ll be surprised how much you can get done and keep your house tidy in just 10 min a day.

  185. 189
    Tova says

    Complete and clean up from one project before beginning the next.

  186. 190
    Kris says

    A place for everything and everything in it’s place.

  187. 191
    [email protected] says

    The less stuff you have, the easier it is to maintain and organize.

  188. 192
    Lydia says

    The best advice I received was that everything needs to be put away right after it has been used; otherwise it doesn’t get done or it’s forgotten.

  189. 193
    Susan Salerno says

    Store things where you are going to use them.

  190. 194
    Martha (MM) says

    Minimize before you organize 🙂

  191. 195
    debber says

    “Don’t keep a closet full of a dead person’s clothes.”

    I KNOW…this sounds horrible. But there is nothing more depressing than holding onto everyday clothes for years after an adult has passed away. It is important to keep one or two items that really hold special meaning (a favorite hat, college jacket, military uniform), but don’t keep more than that.

    What you give away will BLESS someone else, and that is the best thing you can do with the clothes.

    • 195.1
      jessiejack says

      So true and sometimes so hard – When my dad passed away in february, we got rid of all the negative medical stuff immediately. It took about 3 months to feel ready to sort out the clothes and personal items

  192. 196
    se7en says

    Best advice: Store like things together… It saves endless running around!!!

  193. 197
    Natasha says

    label maker — label items so that everyone in teh family knows where they go!!!!

  194. 198
    marisa says

    everything needs a home

  195. 199
    Allysgrandma says

    Things didn’t get this way overnight and will not be fixed overnight. I don’t need to win anything, I got enough from the motivation. I have fallen off the wagon….or actually life lately has gotten in the way, but I need to pick myself up and get started again. Love you Laura and thanks for keeping this going.

  196. 200
    Becky L. says

    Taking time to clean up a spot you see needs fixing now or when you go into another room and see a mess, like an unmade bed, make it in no time at all the room looks better. Put something away that’s left out from fridge or a cupboard. Spot clean and better looking room, whichever one it is!

  197. 201
    Brenna says

    Don’t put it down, put it away.

  198. 202
    Lauren says

    Don’t leave a room without something (that needs to go elsewhere, be put where it belongs) in your hands.

  199. 203
    Gabe says

    Since we are a military and move often the Fly Lady’s advice of….

    Is the item something you want yourself or your loved ones to have to take the time to pack, unpack and then find space for? If not, it goes!

    …Is something I’ve been thinking about that quite a bit since we are in the process of unpacking once again!

  200. 204
    jessiejack says

    Take a picture to preserve the memory and you can often feel comfortable to let the object go!

  201. 205
    Deanna K says

    the best advice I’ve read is that if you have a place for something you will know where to put things.
    silverware have a drawer. make everything like silverware.

  202. 206
    Rooh says

    A couple of years ago a friend of mine told me about weekly menu planning – which she had been doing for years – and I started right after. Great advice! And now I (usually) go to the store once a week. I know what food to prep the night before, or meat to move to the fridge to thaw.

  203. 207
    Stephanie says

    organization starts the night before by cleaning up, checking your calendar and leaving out items needed for the next day.

  204. 208
    Amanda Collins says

    A place for everything and everything in it’s place!!

  205. 209
    Jacquie says

    Do little bits often.
    And also, never leave a room empty handed. (I think that was your’s Laura!)

  206. 210
    Beth says

    Do a quick pick-up before going to bed every night. Makes a difference in keeping the clutter at bay.

  207. 211
    Anca says

    Before you organize: simplify and declutter.

  208. 212
    Kristina G. says

    Use it or lose it – if you don’t use/wear something in a year then it has to go.

  209. 213
    jenny says

    When you pick up the mail, head right to the trash can/shredder and sort it there.

  210. 214
    Verena says

    Don’t leave a room emptyhanded. Trying to drill that into my family.

  211. 215
    Margy Vogel-Coomer says

    I can use all the help I can get! One thing I do everyday when I get the mail, I immediately pitch the junk mail into the garbage and put the bills etc right where they belong. The pile of mail never reaches a tabletop!

  212. 216
    Kim Leggieri says

    You can’t organize clutter – you have to purge first 🙂

  213. 217
    Andrea Scoville says

    When we were first building our house my mom told me to organize the tool storage first. Unfortunately we didn’t and we could NEVER find the tools we were looking for 🙁

  214. 218
    Elena says

    This one is yours and it’s magical!

    Create an “Out of Here” shelf. It’s amazing how simple and functional this is. I have now started to get rid of things and actually move them out of house as I leave to run errands. THANKS!!

  215. 219
    Amy says

    When it comes to paper clutter. . . “Handle it ONCE!” Don’t set it down to deal with later whenever possible. Don’t get the mail until you have the 3 minutes to go thru it and toss what is not needed, etc..

  216. 220
    Linda says

    If you don’t use it or love it, get rid of it.

  217. 221
    kimberly says

    everything has a home

  218. 222
    Sarah says

    This is more of a cutting-down-on-the-number-of-items-that-enter-the-house-so-there’s-less-to-organize hint, but one of the most helpful bits of info I’ve heard is this: When shopping the sales, if you don’t need it & don’t have room for it, it’s not a good deal. No matter how cheap it is. 😉

  219. 223
    Sarah J says

    Don’t have a room you don’t use because it will end up the storage room and NEVER be clean!!

    • 223.1
      Ellie says

      so true…

  220. 224
    Vickie says

    An empty shelf or space in a drawer is a beautiful, calming thing.

  221. 225
    Courtney H says

    Don’t buy something that you already have…ie this years fashionable jacket, sunglasses, shoes or purse…I stick with staples in solid colors and only buy small colorful accessories as needed (like when my son breaks my sunglasses for the third time and super glue will no longer hold them together:) )…I re-paint/re-finish/re-purpose most things that are a color/style that I no longer enjoy…its amazing what a yard of fabric and a small can of paint can do!

  222. 226
    Marlo says

    A cooking tip – but I try to apply it to other projects “Start by getting out all the ingredients and containers you’ll need for the recipe, then put them away as you use them.” This way you won’t start a project or meal and find out halfway that you’re missing a vital ingredient – and by the time you put it in the oven your counters are clear with just a few dishes to wash!

  223. 227
    Amber says

    “When you have cleared all of your clutter, you can be of greater service to those around you.”

  224. 228
    Misty D says

    Everything in it’s place and a place for everything is the best advice I have heard. I just have to find the right place =)

  225. 229
    Michelle says

    Organize with a friend–their outside perspective will help you make decisions and help you keep on track with your project.

  226. 230
    Carrie Laukhuf says

    If you haven’t used it in the last year you probably don’t need it! This came in real handy when purging before our big move!

  227. 231
    Zed says

    Hooks, hooks, hooks! I never thought about hooks until someone told me to put a Command Hook on the back of the highchair for my babies’ bibs. That had never occurred to me! But it opened my eyes to lots of possibilities.

    Still, I’m not very good at organization, which is why I come here all the time! I need help. Thanks for helping us all.

  228. 232
    Lisa D says

    I just discovered your blog tonight…technically this morning…and you are already on week 41. I’ve got a lot of work to do, but I WILL catch up. Here goes…

  229. 233
    Louise says

    ‘Group like items together’ – absolute best advice when I would feel overwhelmed with where to start decluttering.

  230. 234
    Becky says

    Locate your things where they are used and return them after use.

  231. 235
    Emily says

    Sort the mail as soon as you get it out of the mailbox!

  232. 236
    SalBug says

    As you leave a room take with you anything that does not belong in that room and put it away.

  233. 237
    Sharon says

    File box on desk- keeps the paper clutter at bay and is easily accessible.

    ie. I store the kids’ school info in this, plus warranties for kitchen appliances in this.

  234. 238
    Fiona Gregory says

    Declutter and wipe down your kitchen bench before you go to bed each night. It makes such a difference to your heart when you wake up the next morning (providing that you don’t have a messy early morning or shift worker living at your house!).

  235. 239
    Teresa says

    Less is more!!!!!!!!!!!!

  236. 240
    Debbie Lester says

    Even when I was a toddler my mom told me to put things back where they belong and they would be there when I returned to get them.

  237. 241
    Samantha Wasson says

    Once you have everything organized and in it’s place, always make sure you put it right back 🙂

  238. 242
    Danica says

    Tell your time (and money) where to go, don’t let it tell you!

  239. 243
    Kelly P. says

    Something isn’t a bargain if you don’t use it. Also, everyday throw away or donate 20 items until the clutter is gone.

  240. 244
    cjordan says

    I’ve learned that if it isn’t blessing me or my family, it could be a big blessing to someone else. This enabled me to let go of things and realize the world would not end if I didn’t keep everything all the time.

  241. 245
    Angie says

    Set up a “donations” box somewhere in your house so when you find items that you don’t use anymore you can put them in there right away.

  242. 246
    Jackie L says

    “If you can’t find a place for it, then throw it away.”

    My weakness is I will always try to find a place for it…. I hate getting rid of stuff 🙁

  243. 247
    Geraldyne says

    I love to organize!!! I love the giveaway!!!

  244. 248
    Julie Green says

    If you have not worn it in one year, get rid of it.

  245. 249
    Trish W says

    When in doubt, throw it out.

  246. 250
    Emily B says

    Use labels on bins to organize toys to make cleanup easier for the parents & the kids.

  247. 251
    Elizabeth says

    If you you can live without it, don’t buy it. One less thing to find a place for.

  248. 252
    Suz Schloss says

    I read somewhere (I can’t remember where… probably from you!) to not let junk mail enter my home… so, I rip it up between the mailbox and my garage door and it goes directly in my recycle!

  249. 253
    Anna Giesman says

    For everything you bring in the house, something of equal number has to leave the house.

  250. 254
    Terri Watson says

    The best advice I ever received was how to get my drug and first aid cabinet under control!

  251. 255
    grace says

    Always make your bed as soon as you get up. It improves your room instantly.

  252. 256
    Michelle says

    Pick a “magic” number…say 5, and then that is all that you can store of those “easy to get away from you items” like pens, empty boxes for gifts, plastic shopping bags, decorative coffee mugs, margarine containers, or what-have-you. All of the rest must go!

  253. 257
    Tammy says

    Before bringing anything new home, imagine where you will keep it or use it.

  254. 258
    Jennifer Terry says

    I saw an over-the-door shoe organizer used to house lots of little things in a closet. I did that at one house. At our current house it is used to store mittens, gloves, hats, etc.

  255. 259
    Julie says

    Don’t bring it into the house, if you don’t know where it will live when it gets there!

  256. 260
    KylieP says

    Use a timer when doing any chore!

    I’m always amazed how much you can get done when you have a set period of time to do it … even the kids don’t complain so loud when they know they have time limit to tidy their rooms … I love seeing them go!!!!


  257. 261
    Corlie says

    If it takes just a minute or two, then just to it.

    Why put it off?

  258. 262
    LJ says

    If it’s not beautiful or useful, get rid of it.

  259. 263
    rebecca waits says

    If you have not used it in a year, get rid of it! I love that one!

  260. 264
    Becky Yoder says

    Put stuff away when you are done with it

  261. 265
    Laurie says

    Use clear plastic shoeboxes, the cheap Sterilite brand ones that sell for 1$ at BIG LOTS CLOSEOUTS, for storing items. There are two types and one of them has a better lid. FABULOUS tip. I can stack, store, move them around. They are in my freezer, my pantry, my closets. All labeled and clearly can see what is on the inside. LOVE THEM.

  262. 266
    Beth says

    You can’t organize clutter!

    I’m loving everyone’s advice. So many good ideas!

  263. 267
    Eos Mom says

    My tip, don’t remember where I heard it, is that if the only reason you’re keeping something is sentimental value, take a picture of it, then get rid of the item–keep the photo for your memories. 🙂

  264. 268
    Deena says

    If it works, leave it alone!

  265. 269
    Dianna Ripley says

    Start out small, like a drawer or a bin to get the momentum going.

  266. 270
    Julie P says

    You can’t organize clutter – purge, purge, purge!

  267. 271
    Liz Mooney says

    When in doubt, throw it out!

  268. 272
    DianaG says

    What is really important to you? Keep those things.

  269. 273
    Janet Porter says

    I would love to get organized but I don’t know where to start, it’s overwhelming.

  270. 274
    Monica says

    Don’t skip all over the house. Work on one room at a time.

  271. 275
    Ellie says

    Make it work for you.

  272. 276
    Tonya Gastineau says

    A place for everything and everything in its place!! I have been on an organizing mission for a few months now. I am finally getting to the place where I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Routines are coming together and if I had weighed the stuff I have gotten rid of so far, I guarantee it would be in the 100s of pounds! Love your site!

  273. 277
    Debbie says

    The less I own, the less I to have to organize! Purge and simplify!

  274. 278
    Angela villa says

    If you don’t love it or use it-LOSE IT!

  275. 279
    Christine says

    Routines make life easy, not boring!

  276. 280
    Ellen says

    “A place for everything and everything in its place.”

    If there isn’t a place, you have to clear one out for it.

  277. 281
    Haley @ thedistractedblogger says

    Get to know yourself and find systems that work for you.

    The same systems that work for me will drive another crazy. Tip: How do you balance your schedule? Do you need a constant visual, or is writing it down and storing it in the ol’ memory bank enough? If you need a visual a bulletin board might help. If you can write and go an action file on the counter might work.

  278. 282
    Sandra says

    Take a picture and scrapbook it, instead of keeping the item simply for sentimental value.

  279. 283
    Andrea says

    I just discovered your site and am excited to get started on the 52 week plan!

    I think the best tip is to realize organizing is a process (or PROCESS!?) and not to get down on myself when I try something and it doesn’t work………….

  280. 284
    Stefanie says

    Make sure that the space you are trying to organize is CLEAN before pulling everything out to organize. There is nothing more frustrating than a messy space just getting messier.

  281. 285
    Beth says

    Keep like things together

  282. 286
    Samantha says

    When sorting and purging, keep your emotions out of you decisions….and move quickly.

  283. 287
    Tanna says

    My favorite right now is my one load of laundry a day, washed, dried and put away…makes it so I at least have ONE accomplishment everyday!! Thanks for the giveaway.

  284. 288
    Kina says

    The organizing race is won not by those who are faster but by those who stick with it until completion!

  285. 289
    Lori Koppelman says

    Do it now – saving things for later just stacks up one undone thing after another. What an energy drain!

  286. 290
    Johanna H. says

    Clean up junk mail the same day you carry it inside from the mailbox!

  287. 291
    Sharon says

    The best advice I received was to never buy organizing items until you know exacting what you need to organize. This makes you declutter and put like items with like, and therefore you know what you have left.

  288. 292
    Christine says

    I like the motto “less is more” to live by.

  289. 293
    Marianna says

    There is no one perfect organizing tip for everyone–keep tweaking your system until it works for you.

  290. 295
    Linda says

    1 item in, 1 item out!

  291. 296
    sarah says

    “Less is More”

    It covers everything organizing related and then everything else. Loving keeping up with 52 weeks of Organizing
    Keep it Going!

  292. 297
    Nicole says

    Downsizing to a much smaller home after 22 years in a large home has been a major organizing and purging challenge!

  293. 298
    krista says

    I love organizing and getting rid of all of the clutter!!

  294. 299
    Joe says

    “It’s only Priceless until you try & sell it.” Made me decide to purge thru a garage sale. Also helped local charities by donating everything that didn’t sell

  295. 300
    Roxane says

    when something new comes in, something old must go out.

  296. 301
    Joyce says

    Now is a great time to declutter items you no longer want or use; donate and take the deduction
    when you do your taxes. Organizations are willing to take those items (someone always have a need). I plan to downsize mine this weekend-Goodwill. Makes me feel better already 😎


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