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  • Tracy Struthers

How To Create A Calmer, Organized Home While On Lockdown.

Organizing. I love how it feels when it's done, I just don't seem to prioritize it. Sure, on the surface, everything is tidy and in its place. I maintain clutter-free kitchen counters, I enjoy well-displayed and tidy bookshelves, and the perfect amount of throw pillows are always neat, fluffed and karate chopped. But, please - I beg you, do not open my kitchen drawers. They are full and shamefully unorganized. I cannot tell the number of times I have broken a whisk because it was caught in the drawer amongst far too many unnecessary kitchen tools. This is what happens when your husband loves widgets and whatsits. I would be mortified if you helped yourself to a fresh towel from the linen closet in fear of burying yourself in an avalanche. Perhaps I have shocked you? At the end of the day, I am human too. We all have our thing.

Leigha, my daughter, has been in lockdown with us during this pandemic. Even though hers and my common interest are many, she shines where I dim. She holds the title of loving to organize. I bow to her for that. With my extremely busy schedule, I just never have the time, or perhaps, I don't prioritize it. So you can only guess that when Leigha is home, she has a one-track mind of getting me and the house straightened out. She tackles an area like a tornado, her pace is at warp speed that doesn't cease until work is complete. A glass of wine is usually needed at the end of it for me, feeling happy with the accomplishment - but a little windswept.

Do you have a house that’s overly cluttered because you’ve been collecting stuff for years? Or maybe you want to declutter beneath the surfaces — such as drawers and closets that you haven’t touched in months or longer? Whatever your situation is, you are likely feeling the stress of not being organized more now than ever.

Learning how to organize your home (and as a result, making a calmer home) doesn’t need to be as painful as it seems. And the benefits are numerous. By taking before and after photos of your work, even the smallest of jobs can create a desire to keep it going. Once you see how your home could look, it becomes easier to start decluttering more of it.

My Closet.

Leigha's first order of business was to organize my closet. I admit I did have anxiety when walking into my closet. Finding a great outfit was challenging, and you can see why. We identified immediately the changes that needed to happen to make this space functional, and fabulous. First, we completely emptied out the whole closet onto my bed. This gives you a full spectrum of what you actually own.

The Objective:

1). Improve lighting.

2). Clear away clothes, bags, and other things that were not being worn or used.

3). Replace linen bin

4). Add storage baskets above for miscellaneous items.

5). Colour coordinate clothes in sections, beige, whites, blues, etc.



I love how clean and coordinated everything is, and find it so simple to keep it this way.

My Kitchen Drawers.

With everyone being home, our kitchen is very rarely empty. Someone invariably is concocting the next best feast, and there are always dishes to be done, so many dishes. I am sure you have noticed lately the constant dirty dishes as well? The key to a well-organized kitchen is that everything needs to have its place. For this, you have to have your organization mapped out - so everyone is clear on where things go. Well with Leigha home, you can guess our next area to tackle.

The Objective:

1). Donate duplicates.

2). Donate unmatching silverware.

3). Divide all your kitchen tools into groups. ( baking, dinnerware, serving, etc)

It's a great idea to purchase drawer dividers versus standard trays. The standard ones are great for silverware, but kitchen tools can be a little more challenging to place; they’re not uniform in size. Adjustable dividers can expand to fit your kitchen drawers. I purchased these expandable ones when we purchased our home, from Homesense and are perfect to accommodate all sizes of tools. "Now let's get this organized", Leigha says.


Step 1 - Take everything out of the drawers, clean and sanitize the drawers and trays.

Step 2 - Group the items or tools you use for each of those tasks together for efficiency. Do I really need 4 pairs of scissors?

Step 3 - Add in only what you need back into the drawer in groupings of use. Leigha took over at this point.

So tidy. A job well done. The organization can be easily maintained, as the sections are clear as to where things need to go.

Loose Photographs

Before we stored pictures on our phones, we used photo albums to display them. Sometimes we got duplicates and gave some out to the family. Funny enough, there are doubles of that foot shot you took on accident or a blurry scenery that you forgot to use the focus on. And what about all those negatives that came in the little pocket beside your photos. Over time, all of these plus ones you inherit, gather. I had 3 tote boxes, full of loose pictures. It only really began to bother me when we undertook our basement renovation. As most unfinished basements go, it was a gathering spot of things we were not using. Purging being one of the must do's to begin the work downstairs, so did getting these tote boxes full of photos taken care of.

DUM DA DA DUM!! Mission control - Leigha! I swear she needs her own superhero signature music.

The Objective:

- Sort photos in time ranges (baby pics, young adults, grandparents, and so on)

- Get rid of pictures you don't want or need.

- Invest in picture boxes to organize what you are keeping, and label them.

Leigha sorted, bunched, and piled hundreds of pictures. After many laughs at old pictures of her father with long curly hair and our fashion back then, plus reminiscing about the past, we were ready to move on to the next stage of using our new picture boxes.

So neat and tidy. Plus, easy to access when looking for specific pictures.

All the boxes were labeled in proper time frames.

This stay at home mandate, as challenging as it has been, gives us the opportunity to make our spaces more functional. If you have been delaying (like me) getting your home organized, my advice to you is, just get started. I know, I know - easier said than done. I do have the benefit of my daughter to motivate me. Maybe I can lend her out? Looking at your home in small chunks versus a whole makes it much easier to take that plunge and get moving. It feels much more manageable this way.

There is a fresh breath your space takes when it's organized. Deciding when to begin, is up to you.

Happy Organizing x


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