How to Use Organizing Fails to Create Helpful Systems for Your Home

The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Katie at Organizing Moms.

how to use organizing fails to create helpful systems for your home

Is there an area in your home that just won’t stay organized no matter how hard you try? I have a lot of unorganized areas in my house, but the one that’s been causing me a lot of frustration is our mudroom. I’ve done all kinds of things to try to keep the mudroom organized, but it always ends up with an overstuffed, a tornado-just-went-through appearance.


To get our mudroom under control again, I had to take a good look at what was creating organizational issues, and then come up with routines that would help me keep that area tidy. If you have a chronically unorganized space in your home, you could follow these same steps to come up with your own game plan:

How to Use Organizing Fails to Create Helpful Routines

Declutter like an investigator. The clutter in our mudroom was clearly causing a lot of the problems. I kept a mental note about what I was decluttering, so I could make a plan based on what was causing all of the mayhem.


Ask yourself, “Is there something we could have done to have kept this clutter from getting here in the first place?” In our case, we had all kinds of shoes, jackets and sporting equipment that we were no longer using. Soccer season is over – it was time to store the cleats somewhere other than the mudroom!


After decluttering, assess your storage needs. We had plenty of “storage,” in our makeshift storage bench (a repurposed TV stand!), but we weren’t using it because it was a”work-in-progress,” and waiting for me to work some kind of a DIY miracle on it. I gave myself a deadline for performing the DIY miracle. If it doesn’t happen, I’m going to get rid of all of the diaper boxes I’ve been saving for our makeshift storage unit, and come up with a Plan B. Because, really, having a bunch of old diaper boxes lying around doesn’t encourage organization.

Look at what’s working and figure out why it’s working well for your family. We set up a backpack station for our boys this fall, and it’s been a good thing. It’s easy for our boys to use, and it corrals all of the school supplies into one central area.

Create one new routine to help you keep that area organized. Add one new routine at a time so you can really see if it’s making a difference. For me, the new routine is going to be putting school papers into a “holding” box (affiliate link) or recycling them right away instead of just throwing them on top of the bench. I have a good system set up for storing school papers in portfolios, but I don’t always have time to put everything into binders right away. Having this holding box (affiliate link) next to where we pull everything out of the backpacks has helped.

After using your new routine for a week, reassess. Is your new system working for you? Are you noticing other issues that need to be addressed. Modify your routine as needed.

I’ve been learning the hard way that, just because you organize something once, doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be maintained. After sticking to my new routine of dealing with school papers right away, I’m noticing a big difference in our mudroom organization. My next step is to do some DIY magic on the diaper boxes I’ve saved for storage. As a chronically uncrafty person, this will be a big challenge.



The mudroom isn’t pretty, but at least it’s not dangerous to walk through anymore! By creating decluttering the mudroom, thinking about the organizational issues in the space, and creating a routine to help me keep the space organized, I’m feeling optimistic about our little mudroom.

Do you have any areas in your home that are chronically disorganized? Do you have any routines that help you keep them under control?


Katie is a loving wife and stay-at-home mom to busy twin boys. She is passionate about making life at home more manageable through simple organizing solutions. Her love for organizing has spilled over into her popular blog,, where she shares realistic organizing solutions for busy moms. In addition to her love for all things organized, she also enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her family.

  • *Please note that affiliate links are included in this post to make it easier for you to find what is being referenced. A small commission is made should you purchase product using these links, but this is at no extra cost to you. As always, any and all opinions are genuinely my own – or the author, in the case of posts by my guest contributors. Thank you!*
Filed under: Entrance, Guest Bloggers, Katie, Organizing Basics


4 Responses to How to Use Organizing Fails to Create Helpful Systems for Your Home

  1. 2
    Debbie says

    I have a challenge with ‘holding’ places for our clutter. When I put something there (with the greatest of intentions) I let it pile up and then become frustrated that I have to deal with it. For me, out of sight is out of mind. If I can’t see it I don’t have to deal with it. And I don’t. My behavior and my system are the problem.

  2. 3
    Monique says

    Thanks for the encouragement to reassess and try again! Marinating is always my challenge!

  3. 4
    Trinity says

    This was helpful. Thanks for breaking it down so much; that is the specific advice I find helpful to implement!


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