The organized functional and fabulous quandary

So this is what is on my mind this lovely September morning. Last Friday, I linked to an absolutely beautiful and functional pantry. Oh my, was it ever stunning and totally magazine worthy. Do I wish I could have fabulously organized spaces like this in my own home with all my bins and baskets beautifully color coordinated? But of course. Do I? Not really and I’m totally okay with that. Over the years my organizing advice has been featured in many magazines but none of my spaces have. Yes my home is organized and clutter free but there is nothing fabulously special about it.


Here’s the thing for me….functionality always trumps how an organized space looks…always. I love gorgeous bins and baskets as much as the next organizing junkie but I am also pretty frugal and I live in a very small town without a lot of shopping options. The closest city is two hours away from where I live. However I don’t let not having access to stores or excess funds keep me from living in an organized home.

And yes, every once and awhile, when the stars align just right, I’m able to create a functionally organized and fabulous space on a budget. That’s pretty sweet! It definitely is possible but for me all I’m saying is that it’s just not my first priority. Additionally, because my organized systems are constantly changing with life’s demands and circumstances (organizing is rarely once and done), spending a lot of money on organizing solutions just doesn’t make sense for me. Rarely do I ever keep the same system in place for long periods of time.

I’ve talked to too many people that are holding back from the organizing PROCESS because they feel like they don’t have the necessary tools to get the job done. And that would make sense if the first step of the PROCESS was to go out and purchase bins and baskets to organize all your stuff. But guess what? Containerizing is smack dab in the middle of the organizing PROCESS, not at the beginning. There are three important steps to do before that one including organize and PURGE!

Purging is the least favorite part of organizing for most people but it is an absolute necessity. Hiding away your clutter (items not used or loved or that you have the room to store) into fabulous bins and baskets still makes it clutter….it’s now just decorated clutter 🙂

Living a life without chaos and clutter is more rewarding than how any space looks.

Oh and I should mention that yes I realize that the functionality part of an organized space can cost money as well, perhaps even more sometimes than what it costs to make a space look fabulous. For instance, a closet organizer is what I would consider a functional piece of an organized closet. The beautiful bins and baskets to put in the closet organizer would be part of the fabulous. For me, functionality is the priority and even then if it doesn’t fit the budget I have to find a work around. This might mean pieced together garage sale bookshelves or dressers in the closet until another budget friendly solution comes along. Maybe not so pretty but hey at least the clothes are up and off the floor.

So please don’t feel defeated when you see these beautifully organized spaces on the internet. Walk yourself though the PROCESS first and please don’t shy away from making those hard decisions about your stuff. Freeing up space frees up your mind!

Then based on the things you have remaining, find functional and fabulous solutions that fit within your budget. If you can’t find gorgeous bins to fit your space in the budget you have available, it’s okay. Don’t put off finishing what you started. Head to your dollar store (where you can often find color coordinated bins if that’s your thing) or grab some cardboard boxes to fit. As your space evolves and as your budget allows, you can always upgrade your organizing solutions later. Yes? Yes!

No more excuses, it’s time to organize those spaces friends. Pick an area of your home right now that annoys you the most, whether it’s a counter you can’t see, toys from one end of the house to the other or clothes piled up for days, and decide enough is enough.

Follow the PROCESS steps as outlined HERE. Also feel free to print off my free printable bookmark that’s also on that page to remind you what the steps are to help you get it done. Let me know what space you are going to tackle and of course if you’ve got questions, give me a shout.

Happy organizing!

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Filed under: Containerizing, Purging, The Organizing PROCESS


3 Responses to The organized functional and fabulous quandary

  1. 1
    Aroos says

    I’ve been a big fan of your site for a while now. Keep up the great work. Thanks 🙂

  2. 2
    Amy says

    “Decorated clutter” – I love it! This post is a great reminder for those of us who feel like there’s no where to go with an organizing project, without the pretty bins. I’m definitely guilty of this, and you helped me focus on the point, not the pretty. Although I really like the pretty… 🙂

    • 2.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Oh me too and believe me whenever I go to the city I drool over all over the pretty things. It’s kind of embarrassing 🙂


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