Friday, October 7, 2011

My Five Simple Sanity Savers

It’s the little things that keep me going. Like a good play list during spin class or Haribo sour gummies after dinner.

This week, I’m sharing five simple systems in my home that keep me sane. These are the little things that make my days more efficient and my evenings at home more relaxing.

1. Shoe organizer on the back of my coat closet door. So simple, yet so effective. The coat closet in our home is right by the entry to our apartment, so it’s a great place to stash all the things we grab on the way in and out like umbrellas, grocery shopping bags, cold weather accessories, and gym stuff. An over the door shoe organizer is a cost effective way to keep things organized, and it makes the most of that dead space.

Photo courtesy of Real Simple

2. Home operating station in my kitchen. This is the secret to keeping my entire home / personal life organized. First, I created file folders for the main categories of paper that come into our lives: a “To Do / Pending” file, a “To File” file, a “Home Décor” file, a “Diet / Food Journal” file, and an always expanding file for our 2011 taxes. In the box, I keep notepads, pens, and incoming and outgoing mail. My brilliant ideas often come to me while I’m in the kitchen or the living room, so it’s great to have my To Do list at hand. And the box keeps everything contained and in one place.

Photo courtesy of Beyond the Baby

3. Recipe and meal planning binder. People that can cook without following a recipe amaze me. That is so not me. I can make a recipe over and over and still not recall it. So, once a week, before I go grocery shopping, I quickly pull out my recipe binder, flip through the pages, find recipes for the week, and make my shopping list. Then, the binder goes right back on the shelf, only to be pulled out again when it’s time to cook. Having everything in one place makes it so easy. Here are some tips on building your recipe binder.

4. Uncluttered nightstand. It’s the last thing I see before going to bed and the first thing I see in the morning, so it’s all about keeping it simple and uncluttered. I only keep what I need on my nightstand: my Kindle, alarm clock, lamp, and a catchall for hairpins. No Blackberry!

A client's now organized nightstand.

5. My organized husband. Clients always ask me if my home is insanely organized. In all honesty, it’s pretty organized, but there is always room for improvement and like all homes, it’s a work in progress. That said, I have to give my husband credit. He’s one of the most organized guys I’ve ever met, so he makes my life easier in so many ways. He’s going to kill me for writing about him here...

What simple organization systems make a big difference in your life? I'd love to hear from you!


  1. That's a great-looking nightstand! I love my over-the-door shoe organizer in my bedroom closet (that I use for shoes), but I think now I need one for my coat closet too!

  2. Another great post! DJ is the best.

  3. I love the idea of using a shoe organizer in the front hall closet for gloves and other small items. Why didn't I think of that? :-)

  4. I love the idea of having a clutter-free night table. That is not mine. I love having books beside me to read when I have time. I do have a drawer organizer in my night table drawer though. I like to know where my glasses, watch and rings are every morning when I get up. (Found your blog on Janet Barclay`s Professional Organizer Blogger Carnival. Please drop my blog and leave a comment if you have time).

    Margarita Ibbott

  5. Janet - It's one of my best secrets. Especially in small NYC apartments.

  6. Margarita - Thanks so much for checking out the post. I will definitely visit your blog soon!