Need to organize a desk, vanity, or other shallow drawer? You could spend a lot of money on fancy-looking organizers or spend a lot of time devising a custom-organizer box plan, but how much work does organizing a messy drawer really need to be?
I like these simple, plastic drawer organizers from the Container Store.
They cost only $5.99 for the small size and $7.99 for the large and are pre-sectioned to hold items of varying size and have a sliding top section that can hold items you frequently need to grab. Another plus is that they are smooth plastic with rounded corners so they are easy to clean.
With other drawer organizers, I often find that they don’t have the right type of sections for the job – too many small sections or too many large sections or just not the right mix. These organizers seem to have just what I need for so many different organizing tasks: makeup, skincare products, medicine, first aid supplies, arts and crafts tools, etc.
A quick tip for keeping your spices organized: alphabetize them!
If you have the space, it’s great to keep spices in a shallow drawer, making it easy to line them up alphabetically so they’re a cinch to find. As you can see from the photo, I love square spice jars because they don’t roll around.
Don’t have a spice drawer? Try a rack that fits on the inside of a cabinet door (click here to see some). This will still keep all the spices visible (rather than when they’re stacked in a cabinet or on a lazy Susan) and also keeps them away from the heat of the stove, which leaches the flavor out of them.
Alternatively, if alphabetizing doesn’t make sense for the way your brain is organized, you can group spices by category. For example, make a row of baking spices (allspice, cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg, etc.), a row of Italian spices (bay leaves, basil, pepper flakes, oregano, rosemary, etc.), a row of French spices (chives, dill, fennel, tarragon, thyme, etc.), and a row of your favorite go-to spices.
Have fun organizing your spices this week. Don’t forget to throw away any that are past their prime (Sniff them – if they have no odor, they have no flavor.) and don’t forget to use them to add extra zest to the next dish you cook!
“Put it away right away.”
That sounds annoyingly goody two-shoes, doesn’t it? Well, never mind that. This little mantra works for me!
I say it to myself to get me through those moments when I just “don’t wanna.” (Can you hear the whine in my voice?)
I say it when…
I’m tempted to dump the mail on the kitchen counter instead of taking, seriously, one minute to sort it into recycling, action, and filing.
I’m tempted to drop the action and filing items onto my desk instead of just slipping them into the appropriate files. Why? To save 20 seconds?
I’m tempted to leave the clean dishes in the dishwasher or the sink full of dirty dishes, when really I can have those dishes put away in about three minutes.
I’m tempted to toss a pen onto my desk instead of putting it back in the drawer. (Later, when I can’t find the pen in the drawer, I accuse all of my family members of stealing my favorite pen!)
I’m tempted to leave the folded laundry in the basket because haven’t I done enough already by washing it, drying it, and folding it? But if I leave it in the basket tonight, it’ll still be there waiting for me in the morning – so just put it away right away!
Every time you’re tempted just to be lazy and drop whatever it is wherever you are, say to yourself, "Put it away right away!"
Your home, office, or room (Hello, my teenage daughter!) will stay so much tidier and putting things away will become an ingrained habit, making it easier to maintain a less-cluttered environment.
I apologize that I have to post something personal this week instead of an organizing tip. I'm in shock over the sudden loss of my dear father on Friday, so I'm just posting this little tribute to him, Stephen A. Ross: beloved husband, father, brother, uncle, colleague, professor, and so much more. I love him and I miss him.