“She looks well to the ways of her household…”

Proverbs 31

If you are one of those people who organizes, arranges, orders, and tidies  every part of your life and home, I have a project for you.


Here’s the deal. In just a few weeks I’ll be packing up the guest house where we’ve been since October and moving into our fixed up new-old home. (No, it's not nearly as cute as the one in this picture but it's coming along…) And I’m loathe to move in all my not-very-organized-ness along with us.

I need systems, ways of storing and hanging and generally keeping my house clutter free and efficient to use as well as easy to clean. Because, you see, I am neat but not organized.

And more— I am a perfectionist with a craving for cleanliness living with dear, beloved, frustrating people who are, quite frankly, not all that into perfect.

Most people walk into my space and think I must be organized because I am tidy. But I’m not. Underneath that illusion of organization is a messy layer of chaotic cupboards and a never-neat garage.

And it bothers me. A lot.

This cottage is the smallest house I’ve ever lived in. For now, until we build the Great room onto the back, we’ll be living in 1250 square feet with the barest minimum of storage space.

And my lovely, pampered vintage red Mercedies needs to live in the garage. She’s looking so bedraggled and abandoned these days waiting for me in the mud-splattered driveway. She’s way too old to be outside.

The bathrooms in our cottage are tiny. The two of them together take up less room than our Master bath in our last house. Yet I’ve managed to stuff a boat of a bathtub into “my” bathroom, leaving barely enough room to turn around.

I’ll have 2 really great six-inch cabinets tucked into the wall behind the door. In there I’ll have to fit my plethora of pretties: lotions, hair goo, make-up and bubble bath. All those products that make me feel and smell and look like what those brilliant marketers want me to want to feel and smell and look like.

Is there a way to organize all that stuff in a way that appeals to my inheritantly feminine love of beauty?

Our walk-in closet is about half the size of the one I’ve left. And that’s after robbing the hallway of its linen closet and pushing the guest room back a bit.

Where in the world will I store towels? And toilet paper?

I do, however, have a pantry. A real pantry with a door and not-yet-built shelves. Any ideas on that one?

I have this idealistic idea of creating a space that is delightful to look at. Not rows and rows of plastic (Portland’s greenness is rubbing off on me), but something fetching. Old canisters mixed with… I don’t know what… but I’m hoping some of you get the idea and can give me ideas.

I will have a nice big shelf in the garage to put some overflow. My husband is a fan of Costco shopping after running out of niceties like toilet paper too many times. (See what I mean by not being organized? The poor man has stopped trying to fix my mind and just stepped in to stock up.)

Here are a few questions for those of you who do this kind of thing: 

1.    How do you keep under your sink from becoming a goopy mess?

2.    Where do you keep stuff? Kitchen towels and all those random lids that don’t fit anything? Plastic wrap (I’m not that green) and toothpicks?

3.    How do you store spices? I wish there was a mandatory same-size spice law.

4.    What do you do with your hair dryer and curling iron and flat iron? Mine are always a tangled mess. I have to extract all of them to get to one.

I envy those of you brave enough to cut off your hair and simply swing it in the air to dry but I think Phil might just have a heart attack if I did that.

5.    Anybody have any workable systems for keeping your house clean without having a fully dedicated cleaning day? I no longer have four kids to clean up after… but neither do I have four kids to delegate chore lists to.

I think this may be the first blog in all of history to be asking questions about organizing… so if you have a fantastic blog (either your own or one you love) that is all about this, please pass it on to me.

And I love pinterest pictures too! Send me great looking storage ideas and I’ll pin them to my board.

I love you girls,