Home Organizing: Make Room For What You Love

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Today I am joining a group of bloggers for a blog hop sharing ideas and ways we have simplified or organized our home and life that has created more time or room for what we love to do or that simply just makes us happier.


Do you struggle with too much stuff or not enough space and time to do the things you really love to do?

When I write posts on how I have purged and organized everything from my attic to basement, I receive many comments from readers telling me that they want to de-clutter so badly.

They yearn for a clutter-free home so they can create more room and a better feel for their home, their problem is they don’t know how or where to start.  It seems like such an overwhelming task so they never begin.

My answer to these comments is always the same….start small

There is no need to tackle the largest spaces first. Take the decluttering process one baby step at a time. With each step you will gain confidence on what to get rid of and energy to take on bigger spaces until you have gone through your entire house. As your momentum builds you most likely will find your groove and begin to enjoy how good it feels to get rid of stuff that is just holding you back from doing what it is you love to do.

When I start to see a space or two in my house begin to get cluttered, I ask myself this question:

What is the one place that if I decluttered and organized it, would make my life easier?  

Master-bathroom-organizing-tip

Most recently, the answer was my bathroom drawer. Mine is the top one. Ed has the center. The bottom one holds folded towels.

Steps-to-better-organizing

To see clutter in my bathroom starts my day off on the wrong vibe…chaos! I yearn for pretty, organized and functional. If I have to search through a jumble of toiletries and beauty products in my drawer to find what I need, it does not allow me to start my day in the best possible way. Serene…simple… efficient…and out the door is how I like to start every morning.

How to organize make-up in a bathroom

I don’t like feeling hurried or rushed. When my drawer is highly organized and only has in it what I need and nothing else I can get ready easily. My morning routine goes smoothly and I am whistling a happy tune.

Makeup-drawer-purge-and-organizing

This drawer did not come with a divided tray. I bought it at HomeGoods a few years ago. It used to fit snugly in my bathroom drawer in my previous house. I was happy to see it fit in my new drawer.

So the next time you would like to start organizing and don’t know where to start, ask yourself the question:

  • What is the one place that if I decluttered and organized it, would make my life easier?

Your answer is where you should start. If you answered basement, attic, or garage, then break the space down into smaller pieces. For instance, start by doing only one side or corner of the room, then proceed to the next corner and keep taking on one area at a time until you have it all decluttered and organized. Step-by-step you will get you where you want to be. Clutter-free and organized. For more inspiring ideas to simplify your home and life, take the blogger tour:

Start at —> The Inspired Room

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95 Comments

  1. I began going through you blog because you were linked in this challenge with another blogger I read frequently. Thanks for the great tips. I would love this book too because my focus right now is on getting things more organized. My biggest challenge right now would be the drawer that holds all the memorabilia that I want to add to my photo books.

  2. My art/paint “drawer” that is really a small unplugged refrigerator that came with our house. I thought I was so clever at the time by using it to store stuff, but realize now that I need a better organizing system. (Yep, this fridge is not “cool” anymore…)

  3. Hi Diane, I loved your post and all of your ideas. You look so settled in your home, that must feel great! Thank you for sharing about my book and the giveaway, too! So fun, I appreciate your support and this helpful post!

  4. My kitchen junk drawer- it has too many hardware items that we need to find a better place to live.

  5. I’d have to start with the drawer in my bathroom, I have on of those cutlery organizers in it, but over time it’s just got filled with more and more stuff, make up, old mascaras, brushes, scissors, everything just piled in on top of each other, so it’s hard to find anything now.

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  6. I think I would start with my “junk” drawer. I have plastic disposable bibs for eating lobster that we never used…..they are first to be tossed…I can clothes pin a towel to someone should we need an adult bib!
    The kids are the first to rummage thru the drawer and leave it a mess…..Maybe i will hide the spare AA batteries in the cleaning closet. They will never even think to look there….

  7. The drawer that needs the most decluttering would be in my bathroom (seems like a common theme :-) ). Actually the cabinet under the sink in my bathroom could use some help as well.

  8. I have a dresser that holds my crafting items… I’d love to reorganize those things into something else, like a shelf with pretty baskets, but for now, they’re just put away. Thanks for the giveaway!

  9. Hi Diane, It was encouraging to me that when you asked this question, I really had to think hard! I have been slowly working on decluttering and organizing my spaces–but I’m really a clutter bug, and still have a long way to go! My main “office drawer” is a mess right now, because, although I have a system in place, I don’t keep up with it as often as I should. I do all the bills and paperwork for not only my home, but my father-in-law’s as well, so it can build up fast! I’d love to win Melissa’s new book. Thanks for all of your good ideas and encouragement, and thanks for the give away!

  10. Definitely the kitchen “junk” drawer — that has scissors, packaging tape, coupons, some other office supplies, matches, candles, etc… and many more spare this and that, handy where we need them, but quickly too much stuff!

    Would be a great place to start!!

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. I don’t know where to start. Maybe the kitchen utensil drawer? The big monkey on my back is my jewelrymaking/craft room drawers and supplies. Since we moved 6 years ago I cannot seem to get it organized. I see possibility in everything, so it is hard for me to purge. I am stuck.

  12. My desk drawer in my home office – such a jumble of stationery, cables, post-it notes, business cards. Aghhh!

    1. Hi Lucie –

      Congratulations you won the book, Make Room For What You Love, that I was giving away on my blog. Could you send me your mailing address so that I can have the publisher send it to you.

      Thanks for reading…happy weekend.

  13. We have a drawer in the bathroom that collects whatever is on the counter when I get tired of looking at it all! That definitely needs some attention.

  14. It’s hard to choose out of several drawers that need help, but I should start with my top dresser drawer that holds my makeup. I have to dig through all the items each day to get to the ones that I want. That drawer is going on my To Do List for THIS week!!!!

  15. The drawer I need to organize would be the junk drawer in the kitchen. I believe its title is pretty apt & self explanatory as to why I need to organize it!

  16. I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated Melissa’s first book! I can hardly wait to get my hands on this latest book! The timing of the release is perfect! I am a classroom teacher, and my summer challenge is to let go. This may well be a summer-long project!
    At any rate, the most cluttered drawer in our home is the kitchen utensil drawer. Oh, my!

  17. Probably my make up/toiletry drawer in the bathroom. Sometimes when you have too much space it ends up too cluttered with stuff that should be tossed…at least that is my excuse! Thanks for the giveaway. I’ve pinned several of her sayings, it’d be nice to read the entire book.

  18. Like so many others, my junk drawer needs help. Why do I have trouble tossing out pencils and twisty ties?????

  19. My makeup/skin care drawer! It is a mess, very unorganized and I have to dig to get to what I want. Ugh!

  20. Our tool drawer! All those little pieces…screws, nails, extra parts (who knows to what anymore) various batteries.

  21. Thanks for the opportunity to win the book! My sock and underwear drawer is a mess. Starting off the day without digging through everything to find socks quickly would be wonderful!

  22. The two drawers in my hall chest are full of junk not junkique. They must be organized before we move in June. Smiles

  23. The drawers in my hall dresser are full of junk not junkique. They must be done before we move next month.
    Smiles

  24. My makeup drawer, but it was actually organized before I had to move my dresser upstairs while I finished remodeling my room. Now it’s a huge mess and everything is just piled in it! =( Looking forward to building custom separators for it and properly organizing it again, though.

    I love your bathroom counter, by the way! Such a relaxing space. <3

    1. I would organizer by junk drawer. It has became a place to put stuff that needs to go upstairs,to basement and even to the outside building. From sample detergents, to goodie packs from the dentist to tools. It’s amazing how much can go in a junk drawer and it still close.. I have enjoyed reading your updates to your home.

  25. I am at the beginning of the decluttering phase of my life. I’m a “keeper”. I will follow your lead and start with my bathroom drawers, then the under cabinets, and take it one small project at a time. This book will be helpful. Thanks!!

  26. The drawer that needs the most help would most likely be my bathroom drawer, cabinets, linen closet… the list goes on. I like your idea of starting small. I usually make the mistake and start with something HUGE, then get overwhelmed and stop. Good tip.

  27. I most definitely need to organize the “junk drawer” in my kitchen! Would love to win this book!

  28. definitely my bathroom drawer. Over time it has become cluttered again and it is time to purge AGAIN. I don’t know who the gremlin is that keeps putting more and more things in there?!?!

  29. My problem is the fact that I have no drawers! In my bathrooms it’s just deep cabinets – no drawers at all – which makes it really hard to organize!

  30. Definitely my bathroom drawer! That’s the drawer that I start my day with. It’s organized clutter but I would like the feeling of calmness when I open it first thing in the morning.
    You’ve inspired me to de-clutter it this weekend!
    Thanks

  31. Definitely the “junk” drawer in the kitchen. Everything lands in here but not everything we need or want.

    1. ~I would like to start in our bathroom…..We live in a very small apt. and the bathroom is the smallest…..There are towels – Hair Products – Blow Dryers – Curling Iron etc. LOL…Need I say more ? I would love to win a copy of your book for your expert help…..Thank you…..?

  32. Oh my goodness, it would have to be my spices, flavoring and all of the extra little items needed for cooking and baking. Just never seem to get the time to organize and it’s frustrating . It’s a mess.

  33. If i had to pick a drawer, I would pick my nailpolish drawer! too many choices! :(

  34. My kitchen junk drawer – first!! I don’t know how but the stuff in there multiplies by itself.
    Next – I love to sew but haven’t had time. Now that I’m retired I need to go through the chest of drawers that holds the patterns, scraps of lace, all the sparkly stuff for church costumes at Christmas,etc. Then there’s my mother-in-law’s sewing stuff. She died last year and as a prolific seamstress, had even more spools of thread, trimmings, buttons, elastic,etc than me. So i have to pull together the best of both of our worlds and donate the rest.
    Diane, I save all your posts – especially the purging ones so I can soon start on my basement. Appreciate all your suggestions!

  35. The book looks intriguing, everyone should spend more time doing what they love. I need to organize the bottom corner cabinet in my kitchen where thing go and are never seen again : )

  36. The File drawer/drawers. After 40 yrs my husband has decided we need to ‘marry’ the filing systems we have used separatly all these years. What a mess. I need to completely clean out his way of filing which is random and chaotic and set all up properly. I have been avoiding this for 2 whole years and it just keeps getting harder to find stuff. Ugh. So I’ll make the trip to buy new folders and label making tape and start with the top drawer.

  37. I was just thinking early this morning that I need to organize my kitchen cabinets this week and then I read your post.. thanks for the tips/motivation : )

    Have a great day!

  38. A drawer in my dresser — you know, the one where i toss all those extra buttons that come with clothes, photos, safety pins that come from the dry cleaners tags, a few scarves, belts. In other words, things that probably need to be purged, or somehow organized.

  39. My “miscellaneous” drawer. It has some office supplies, incense, playing cards, keys, etc. I often need my stapler and it’s hard to get back into the drawer bc when I take it out, other things want to fall into that spot.

  40. eee—! so much to de-clutter! A good place to start would be the laundry room cabinets and counter OR the kitchen cabinet overflowing with plastic containers from take-out. Now that would be very do-able and would be a great encourager, so I will do that one first. Hopefully, it will give me momentum to tackle the NEXT cabinet!

  41. With out a doubt, the kitchen junk drawer. Every time my daughter comes to visit,
    and needs something from that drawer, she cringes. It’s my hubby’s favorite
    place for hucking things he doesn’t want to be bothered putting away. lol
    Screws, nails, twist ties, sometimes I even find the ends of bags he’s used
    the scissors in that drawer to cut off. In other words it’s a perpetual mess.

  42. I have several drawers that need help, but I think the one that needs it most is my bathroom makeup drawer.

  43. I have a drawer in my kitchen that stores all those little helpers…tongs, scrapers, measuring spoons…and other less used items. This drawer is small…so I have to be careful not to hang on to too many items. ;)

  44. I’m like the reader above who said her whole house is a drawer. That was my initial first thought also! But if I had to narrow it down, I’d say my craft room, especially the closet , of which the door remains closed at all times.
    Thanks for the chance to win the book!

  45. My out of control drawer is in the kitchen! The one that holds all utensils I use infrequently but wouldn’t dare get rid of is a mess!!!

  46. I think probably my kitchen drawers need organizing and/or decluttering most. Not all of them, but there are two that have some stuff I could definitely do without if I took the time to re-organize.

  47. Having just retired we are in the process of purging our home. I have completed our office, the kitchen, the wine cellar, and the downstairs spare bedroom. Getting my husband to go through the boxes of his stuff that remains is like moving a mountain! I feel like we are just moving piles until he deals with this. Maybe this book would help him. I am a great organizer but being married to a “collector” (I did not say hoarder) is making me crazy!

  48. the junque drawer in my kitchen – little tools and bits of hardware
    the cabinet where my plastic containers reside – they all fall out when I open the door
    the kitchen table! I keep things there that need to be available at a moments’ notice
    Even my makeup table, needs constant attention
    …and I don’t know why!
    But where there’s a will ….

  49. I’m not entering the giveaway because actually I might be able to write a book on this myself. ;-) See the thing is, after working in so many places where it was chaos before I came on board, the first thing I did was figure out a system and organize. They’d laugh at me because usually the person I replaced “seemed to never get much done” or “she/he seems to always be late with projects”. How do you get so much done?, they ask. Well, here’s the key:

    To me the key is like you say Diane, start small but I’d like to add to that “develop a system”. Having worked in hotel sales and management taught me a TON of useful things. Because there are so many sleeping rooms, you have to figure out how to do “the system” x however many rooms there are. (Example: Hotel with 200 rooms? They all get cleaned the same. :-)

    Develop a system then start small: room by room and before ya know it, you’re organized, decluttered and on your way to keeping it that way :-)

    You can do it, readers! :-)

  50. I have recently organized my kitchen drawers (which actually takes less than 15 min a drawer if you have the right tools and move as fast as you can!!) and next I have a few toiletries drawers in my bathroom that could use a good clean out and organizing!

  51. My cosmetics drawer in the bathroom would be the one that needs organizing the most. That would be a baby-step!

  52. I have been working through the kitchen one drawer at a time. Up next, the not so frequently used small tools. I don’t need all the ones I have and I think I have them in the wrong place. Need to do more shuffling around. Funny, I don’t miss anything I put in the donation box(es) in the basement … but then, that’s the point!

    I still have all the rest of the house to do, one drawer or one shelf at a time.

  53. I would have to say the two drawers in my nightstand. They’re very deep and I can’t seem to find (make?) the time to go through them.

  54. A drawer??? LOL Was just sitting here trying to decide what to clean first and I came across this email that brought me to your book…. Oh My Goodness, too funny…. but, I’m inspired….

    Faith

  55. That would be the odd sized utensils drawer in the kitchen … I’m pretty sure I could live without half the stuff and the frustration of trying to close that drawer is crazy! Thanks for the inspiration!

  56. I am 67 and needing to downsize. I don’t have a basement only my third bedroom that one can get lost in. I swear relatives that came to visit looked in there and they turned into a salt pillar. Help!

  57. I have always wondered why drawer manufacturers and drawer organizer manufacturers cannot get together and make one fit the other. The organizers almost always slip and slide around, defeating their purpose. Anti-slip drawer liners help. Sticky Velcro works—until it’s time to move and the goop is hard to remove.

    Our drawers are organized but there are undoubtedly items that need to get purged and donated. What really needs help is my sewing closet. That’s on my list for this summer when I’m not heading to school four days a week to volunteer.

  58. My plastic food containers for sure… I’m pretty good, but this one needs constant help. Why does it get so bad so fast?

  59. I would have to say my cosmetics and hair stuff! It has spilled over into two large green covered plastic boxes hidden in the bathroom! Guess I should start there!

  60. I have a toiletries shelf in our bathroom closet that I was just thinking needed to be organized! Your tidy drawer inspires me!!

  61. The drawer that needs the most attention is the one that houses my sewing supplies. It becomes a tangle of thread, bobbins, scissors, and pins and drives me nuts!

  62. I just got thru organizing the laundry room cabinets & sometimes I just leave the doors open so I can admire the orderliness of them!!! Next up: the kitchen “junk” drawer. It’s become a catch-all for everything & it drives me crazy whenever I open it!!!

  63. Hahahah. I’m living out of boxes in a tiny cabin tripping over 2 big dogs while I wait for my townhouse to close. Before I packed up & moved I would have said: the drawer where I kept my plastic food containers. All my other kitchen drawers were fitted & I had the same cosmetic organizer in my bathroom drawer. :-) But no matter how disciplined I was, sooner or later the drawer with the plastic food containers would get out of hand. I’d need to empty, purge & start over.

    Right now I spend a lot of time on Pinterest pinning drawer and closet organizers. Installing them is my first priority when I move.

  64. My kitchen island! I think that is an easy and confined place to start! Thanks for the tip!

  65. We have too many junk drawers both in the kitchen and in our bathrooms that drive me nuts and slow me down when trying to find anything in them. I know if I would just take 15 minutes I could organize them but I forget about them until I need to find something and I am usually in a rush. Thanks for the great tips! Going to organize them TODAY!

  66. We have a couple of junk drawers in the kitchen that are ridiculous! One especially – it’s a very deep drawer and it is a receptacle for all kinds of junk. And because it’s a deep drawer, the things on the bottom will never been seen again. Waste of space!

  67. The drawer that is calling my name for organization is the junk drawer in my kitchen! Whenever I open that drawer my anxiety level goes up 10 points! Can I get a witness!

  68. My medicine drawer!!! Other than the organized container of daily drugs and other daily equipment, the rest is a mishmash of band aids, ointments, pain rubs, OTC meds, etc. An open organizer like yours would certainly help…I will do an online search today. Thanks for sharing!

  69. Oh, my, when I look at your make up drawer I would be appalled if you saw mine! The make up drawer in my dressing area is large and so much stuff I never use….it NEEDS it. Thank you for the chance to win your book, it’s very kind of you.

  70. The drawer that need the most de-cluttering in my house is my sock drawer. I gave up bundling socks and I’m sure that 1/3 the socks that are in there now do not have matches. I’ve been procrastinating about sorting it out because all the socks in there are black, white, or beige and they’re pretty hard to tell apart.

  71. For me it would have to be the tool drawer. Not the one in the garage, the one that I mainly use located in the laundry room. It holds a small hammer, assorted nails, screws, zip ties, and a whole lot of other stuff that I constantly have to shuffle through to get to the small hammer, nails, etc. when I need them.

  72. My personal drawers are pretty organized. However, the worst part for me is the knick knacks everywhere, hand me down items that a family member says you must have, after all it was so and so’s…. and things that friends and others give you out of love and friendship, “it reminded me of you,” … And you feel as if you just have to display it… I would just like everything minimal and easier to clean as I age. But the guilt keeps me from clearing the room. If they come by and don’t see their knick knack it would make them feel bad. I love my friends and family. How does one handle it?

  73. The drawer most in need of decluttering would be in our bathroom. It is frustrating to rummage through it looking for this or that.