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Hi, my name is Danielle, and I’m a hot mess. I’m not apologizing for it, I’m just letting you know where we’re at. Everyone has their strengths—organizing is not one of mine. I’ve always been overwhelmed by the thought of organizing my house: it gives me anxiety, I feel like the walls are closing in on me, my method to the madness was to toss things in a cabinet and hope that there was room for it. Out of sight, out of mind. But then, one day, there was no room for it anymore and I had to come face to face with the fact that my life is truly a hot mess.
And then Liz came into my life. Liz runs Coastal Organizing Company, an incredible organization company that comes in, takes out all the junk you’ve been hiding in your cabinets, and reorganizes everything to keep things streamlined, clean, and usable. Yes, my house was probably the biggest mess she’d ever seen; no, she didn’t find anything alive in the cabinets; and yes, I am forever indebted to her and her amazing skills. I’m a new woman, you guys, now I’m only 50 percent hot mess.
Coastal Organizing Tip! Take it out, categorize, purge (and purge and purge), then reorganize.
What the Heck Is in My Kitchen?
The kitchen is the heart of the home for me and my family. And for the rest of the junk that we’ve decided to toss in those drawers. First thing first was to take everything inside the shelves and bring it outside onto the island—thank god it’s got the space! This is part of Liz’s methodical process, you take everything out, you categorize what’s in there, decided what to purge, and then create a structured system that will help you stay organized in the future. And by “you” I mean me, and by “me,” I mean Liz.
People, I’m so far beyond embarrassment at this point, that I’m just going to come out and say it: we thought there were tampons in the kitchen. Compact, white, with a white string? What else could it be? While I nearly died from embarrassment, Liz quickly discovered that it was—exhale—just floss. But what we did find? Dozens of expired spices, drawers full of cords and electrical items, hair brushes, lotions—pretty much everything but kitchen supplies.
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Hello, New Space!
Liz used extra-long storage containers from MDesign to help wrangle my mess in the pantry and on shelves and bamboo dividers in all my drawers so I can keep things organized in the future. (Fingers crossed.) My drawers are actually organized now! The one thing I need to remember is to label everything. It helps me not only know what’s in a box but where to put things away to keep everything organized!
The after is a true breath of fresh air. I love to cook, I love to be in my kitchen, it’s always been my happy place, but now it really feels that way. Everything has a home and I know where everything is. A true miracle! This space was such a beast, and Liz found some way to tame it.
The Dreaded Laundry Pit
Pre-Liz, our laundry room was a dumping ground for whatever I didn’t want out in the living room. The problem was that the cabinets were so small that nothing fit and there was so much stuff that I really had no idea where or what everything was. The towels didn’t fit. There were partial crafts and books for the kids overflowing out of the cabinets. It was dark. And sad. And that’s why I never wanted to do laundry.
Coastal Organizing Company Tip! Use clear containers and labels to organize what goes where.
Labels Saved the Laundry Room
Post-Liz laundry room is still blowing my mind every time I walk in there. The key to staying organized is clear containers, says Liz. If you can see it, you know what it is and where it goes. If it’s a bin you can’t see through, you’re more likely to just toss whatever in there.
We used these Mdesign open wire baskets to organize loose items, file folders to tidy up our paperwork, clear stackable storage bins for our kids’ things, and put labels on everything—I mean, everything—so that I know what goes in what basket. Does it sound like the easiest thing ever? Yes, I know, but the less my brain has to think the better.
Organizing My Life
The garage and mudroom was such a beast that you’ll get the full breakdown in another post, but I wanted to share one more tip from Coastal Organizing. Take advantage of trays, baskets, and containers! Trust me, now I appreciate the magic of containers!
I’m on the other side now, I’ve seen the light, and Coastal Organizing has changed my life. I’m no longer the messy mama, I’m the clean queen. Liz helped me realize that simple changes can make life-changing solutions. And with that, I’m going to put that floss into my new Danielle’s Bathroom Stuff drawer.