A Solution That Works! (Finally!!)

A Solution That Works! (Finally!!) title at

I wrote a post a while back about how I was giving up on how I wanted things to be and just going with how they are.

I wanted that basket on the other side of the TV. So it wouldn’t run the risk of hanging halfway off the side of the dresser.

That never worked. As you can see in the top picture, the pile o’ games and movies kept happening on the other side.

I’m so glad I gave up.

I took the picture on the bottom without any staging whatsoever. It’s exactly what this space looks like on a random day.

Sure, there are pieces of a craft project, a tub of flannelgraph, and one measly little game on the left. And a green pony-tail holder and a movie just to the side of the basket on the right.

Yeah, okay. The basket sits precariously balanced on the edge.


THAT being its “natural state” is such a huge improvement over its previous “natural state.”

As someone with (generally unrealistic) dreams of systems that DO the work so I don’t have to, I’m calling this one a win!

Finally Finding a Solution that Works at


Baskets? Oh. I Get it Now.

Finally grasping how to REALLY use baskets to stay more organized.

I used to think baskets would solve all my problems.

So I bought them.

And then bought some more.

And a few more just in case.

Then, I’d get home and the Organizing Energy I had before I left for the store was gone. The baskets would sit in their bags on the floor or on a shelf for . . . like . . . . forever.

They became part of the clutter.

A big part of my progress in this whole deslobification process over the past five years has been realizing/accepting that it’s best for me to JUST declutter. To get rid of the stuff that we don’t need and/or that won’t fit in our home.

JUST decluttering makes the house feel 1000 times more organized.

Because Just Decluttering makes so much sense to my brain, I’ve found myself a little fearful of containers.

But now, more than four years after the lightbulb moment when I finally grasped the Container Concept, I’m using a basket.

And I’m pretty sure I’m using it correctly.

This is a big deal, people.

When I would hear someone say that the best way to keep countertops tidy was to use baskets, I’d nod on the outside and cry on the inside. All my own attempts at this totally obvious and logical solution had failed. I needed SIX baskets to hold all my stuff and then the stuff never made it back into the basket so my counters were covered in not only STUFF but in empty baskets.

Now I get it. I needed less stuff, not more baskets.

And once I had less stuff, the function of the basket finally sank into my Slob Brain.

The basket is where I put the stuff when I clean the kitchen.

Now I’m pretty sure a Normal Person would disagree and say “No, the basket is where you put the stuff after each and every time you use it so your kitchen counters never get out of control.”

Yay for them.

That’s just not how I roll. (Unfortunately.)

But with less stuff (ONLY what will fit in the basket) I find that the basket removes my frustration over my cluttered countertop since there is no decision to make, only a job to do. Move the stuff into the basket.

And if the basket overflows, then the natural limit of the container has been met and it’s time to see which bottle doesn’t deserve to be there. I’m using that basket ONLY for the vitamins and things that get used consistently. Random other bottles can go in the cabinet.

Don’t worry. I totally get that all these things are INSANELY OBVIOUS to most people.

They weren’t to me.

If this makes sense to you, and you want more home management strategies that actually make sense (to us not-naturally-organized types), check out my new book, How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind. The book will be released wherever books are sold on November 8th, so pre-order now. HowToManage_3D


Baskets Oh. Now I Get It.

Does even the thought of decluttering overwhelm you? Sign up for my newsletter and get my reality-tested decluttering solutions delivered to your inbox for free.


Random Affiliate Link for the Day:

Christmas is less than 100 days away. (WHAAAT?) So here’s a non-clutter stocking stuff idea. “Santa” put one in Hubby’s stocking last year but I’m pretty sure “he” really meant it to be mine. I use it ALL the time. And it’s only 2.82 at this moment with FREE shipping. Shipping takes up to four weeks though, so it’s worth it to grab one or two now. Bear Claw Telescopic Back Scratcher (Random Colors shipped)




Fighting Forgetfulness – A Back Door Command Station (and a Giveaway!)

This is a sponsored post, but the experiences, forgetfulness, and expired-last-year coupons are all mine!

Fighting Forgetfulness at (383x600)

Surely I’ll start the school year with more presence of mind than I had when the last one ended.


You know that period when school feels new and exciting, and you remember everything you’re supposed to remember (permission slips, supplies, tests-to-be-signed, etc.)?

That period seems to get shorter and shorter each year.

I decided to make use of some of the ultra-cool products sent to me recently from the Home Collection by Post-it Brand and Scotch Brand.  (They’re all available at The Container Store.)

This project was easier than my Fridge Makeover, simply because my starting point was a (mostly) blank space.

Out the Door to School Command Station at

That is the door we go in and out of six or seven times . . . each morning. 

Yep. That’s right.

1.  Go out to the car to head to school.

2.  Come back in for whatever we forgot.

3.  Repeat as needed.

First, I cleaned the door.  (How in the world do doors get so nasty?) I also purged the handy-dandy shelf nearby.

Expired Coupons Decluttered at (600x448)

There wasn’t much other than some empty shoe-boxes (why?) and prizes from the summer library program of 2012.

Yes. 2012.

Anyway . . .

I used the Dry Erase Planner and the Dry Erase Message Center, both by Post-it Brand. I LOVE these products.  First of all, there’s something so satisfying about a dry erase board, isn’t there?

But a board attached by a nail would never work on this oft-slammed back door.

These “boards”???  They’re stickable!  They have an adhesive on the back, so they don’t fall to the ground every time the door closes!

Not that I would know anything about that . . .

I also used one of my very favorite products they sent:

Post-it View and Go Pockets at (600x400)

My plan is to use this Post-it View and Go Pocket ONLY for things that have to go back to school. I don’t want it to be a Graveyard for Random Papers. I generally try to sign and send papers back immediately, but some things aren’t supposed to go back right away.

This pocket will help us keep those in one place.

So cool, right?

I placed the dry erase marker in the handy dandy shelf next to the door, and also used that as a spot to store my VERY favorite of the products they sent me.

Post-it Home Collection Reminder Tags at (417x600)

Post-it Adhesive Reminder Tags.

adhesive reminder tags (600x400)

These things . . . are made for me.

The Adhesive Reminder Tags are sticky at the end so they can easily be placed on a handle, or a doorknob, or whatever you’re going to grab as you leave the house in a mind-numbing hurry!

I used one within twenty minutes of the package arriving in the mail. I attached it to the handle of my son’s camp bag, reminding him to grab the things he needed to put in his bag at the last minute.

For example, the last pair of shorts that still had to go in the dryer . . .

I love knowing the tags are right by the back door, ready to be attached to backpacks and purses and such.

I’m so excited to see how this system works for us!

And now for the giveaway! Post-it Brand and Scotch Brand have agreed to send one winner the following:

  • One package of Post-it Adhesive Reminder Tags
  • One Post-it View and Go Pocket
  • One Post-it Planner & Perforated List Pad (seen in my Fridge Makeover)
  • One Post-it Dry Erase Planner
  • One Post-it Dry Erase Message Center
  • Two Scotch Display Frames
  • One Scotch Restickable Display Strip


This giveaway is now closed!

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post telling me which of these products gets your organizing juices flowing!!

See my giveaway policies here. Also please note that email subscribers will need come to the blog (just click on the post title) and leave a comment. Replying to the email won’t count as an entry.

This giveaway is open to U. S. residents only, and will close at 9 p.m. Central on Monday, September 23, 2013.  I will email the winner, and he/she will have 48 hours to respond. If I don’t get a response, I’ll have to choose another winner. 

This is a sponsored post. I was sent the products to review and was compensated for my time. However, the thoughts, opinions, experiences and extreme forgetfulness are all mine. 

Find out more:

Post-it Brand on Twitter

Post-it Brand on Facebook

Scotch Brand on Twitter

Scotch Brand on Facebook






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