Just Start Organizing: Part 1

Just start organizing!  It feels like the Nike Slogan, Just Do It.  But what if you just can’t, despite your best efforts, do it?  And what if the organizing gets started, but you don’t ever feel like you will get there?

Organizing seems like a simple enough process or idea, and many people start with great intentions.  In an effort to get organized, people will buy every organizing tote, storage rack, and over the door organizer known to man, anticipating everything will magically become organized with the right tools.  But then those containers and storage solutions will sit empty, while some are relegated to a corner of the garage, or some are filled to the brim with things that still can’t be found when they are needed.   Almost everyone wants to get organized, and most start with great intentions, but sometimes it is hard to know where to begin organizing.  So where is the best place start?

Bookshelves are probably my favorite place to organize.  I love them because you can see everything that you need to organize at one glance.  Also, the books have a variety of colors and sizes.  Another plus to bookshelves is there aren’t always books on them.  Some people like CDs on their shelves, kids like toys and stuffed animals, and others like to incorporate decorations.  Organizing bookshelves are different each time, and it usually takes less than one hour. Before starting,  you should first go through and weed out the things on the book you no longer want, and donate or sell them.

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These CDs are also alphabetized according to the band. I know, nerdy.

For this bookshelf, it became the home for a CD collection. And this is only a portion of the CD collection, it continues on the next shelf.  Grouping all the CDs first by band, made it easier to put them into alphabetical order.  Now, when searching for the perfect CD of yesteryear, it will be a sweet sound, and music to the ears.


Though not always music to the ears, kids are notorious for housing an insane amount of the soft and cuddly, stuffed animals.  Instead of shoving all of these bright and colorful friends into the deep recesses of a toy box, they are incorporated on the book shelf.  Another fun way to change up a boring bookshelf, in addition to adding stuffed animals, is to organize the books by color.

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You can do a rainbow theme, or just mix it up. Also, placing some books flat allows you to put other items on top which gives you height on the placement of the added decorations.  I also like to group hardback books together, chapter books together, and soft back books together.  For households with little munchkins, I put the chunky books on the lower shelves for little hands.




The color theme of organizing books works great for adult books too.  I prefer to group like books together.  For example, while organizing a bookshelf, put all the cookbooks together, corral western books together, and the romance novels belong together.  Then, after you have sorted the books, you can go ahead and organize books by color.

Leaving blank spaces in a bookshelf makes it look more open.

For the final example of bookshelves, here is a large built-in bookshelf over the bed.  In this room I needed to create zones for several different things.  There is a zone for shoes, which are placed facing out. This helps him see exactly which pair he is grabbing.  Another zone houses the trophies and memorabilia. These are placed higher on the shelves so he can still appreciate them, but they don’t take up valuable real estate on the lower shelves that he can reach easier.  Ball caps create another zone, and they are  organized by color with more hats behind each stack, which are easily accessible.  Next to the end zone helmets, is his collection of important things. Finally, next to his bed are the books, an alarm clock, and the baskets of things he uses on a more consistent basis.


You can see from these examples that bookshelves are a great place to start organizing.  After you have removed items you no longer want in your space it is easier to make room for the things you really want.  You can make sense of your items by grouping them together with similar types or uses. Then, you can further organize it by color, and also break up the monotony of a boring shelf by laying  books down which helps create height, and then adding a decoration or picture frame to change up the look.

Happy Organizing!!

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