How I Pretend to be Organized

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I’m not proud to admit this, but I’m not very organized. If you look in my garage, basement, attic, closets, or almost ANY drawer in my house, you might think I should be on an episode of Hoarders. Okay, okay, maybe it’s not that severe, but it’s still pretty bad.

I guess we all have weaknesses. Getting and staying organized is one of mine. Mostly it’s the latter half of that phrase, the STAYING organized part. I actually enjoy cleaning out drawers and throwing things away. It’s keeping things neat and orderly that I struggle with.

As you might recall, I teamed up with some blogger friends to share 10 Minute Decorating ideas. (You can find more posts in this series here.) The theme for this month is organization. I have been in a bit of panic the past few days trying to come up with an idea (Yes, I’m really good at procrastinating, too.), and I’m still drawing a blank. Organization just isn’t my game, and I’m totally owning that.

It is, however, something I’d like to get better at. I even went so far as to download the trendy new book on the subject: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. (Oh, and if you’ve read it, please share your thoughts about the book in the comments.) I’m convinced that being organized and tidy can make a huge difference in increasing happiness and decreasing stress.

So, with all of that being said, I’d like to share a few quick tricks that I use in my ongoing efforts to stay organized. Even though I’m not a super organized person, I thought they might help you, too

Pegboards for the win

One of my favorite organizing tools is the pegboard I installed in my kitchen last year. While hanging a pegboard may take a little longer than 10 minutes, I promise it won’t take more than a half hour.

How I Pretend to be Organized | Inspired by Charm

Whether you install something a pegboard in your kitchen, garage, or closet, it’s an ingenious way to store tools. Why? Because when you give something a specific place, putting it back where it belongs is really easy (no mental energy required).

How I Pretend to be Organize | Inspired by Charm

I kid you not, my pegboard organizer always looks perfect since everything has a place.

Managed Magazines

Another area of my home that stays fairly organized is the shelving unit in my living room – more specifically, the shelves where I have my magazines.

How I Pretend to be Organized | Inspired by Charm

Like many people, I have a hard time discarding magazines. I had boxes of them in the basement, plus others scattered around the house. Now, other than the newest magazines I’m reading, I have shelves in my living room set aside for each magazine I read regularly. I allow myself seven different subscriptions. The magazines are organized by title (with one stack for other magazines that I buy on occasion or randomly receive). I only keep 12 issues (one year) of each. When a new one goes on the stack, an old one gets tossed.

How I Pretend to be Organized | Inspired by Charm

Don’t get me wrong, my magazine-loving heart still struggles to throw one away, but this system makes it much easier. No excuses.

Clever Clipboards

While I haven’t nailed down the art of organizing bills and paperwork, I really do love the clipboard wall in my office. It’s my go-to storage for important paperwork, lists, and other documents.

How I Pretend to be Organized | Inspired by Charm

Anything I need to access quickly goes up there. I also like making lists, so I have plenty of notepads full of ideas, project deadlines, etc. If you have the room, I highly recommend something like this for your office area. Hanging the clipboards up with just a nail is a breeze and will take mere minutes. Once, they are hung, you’re ready to go. Of course, you can make this more organized by assigning different clipboards to different family members, activities, or whatever. Use a system that works for you and gives things a place.

How I Pretend to be Organized | Inspired by Charm

Hide It

As you can tell by the ideas above, my organization solutions typically stem from aesthetic considerations first and organization needs second. While this may sound backwards, it works for me and how I want my spaces to look. What I have found over the years, though, is that having some hidden storage is just as important as displaying things. Some things just aren’t pretty and need to be tucked in a drawer.

How I Pretend to be Organized | Inspired by Charm

While I realize my style isn’t minimal, I prefer having certain things out of sight. That’s why my office contains a mix of open storage (my shelves) and closed storage (dresser and filling cabinet). Just be careful here. (Note to self.) I tend to go through my closed storage pieces at least twice a year to clean up and clear out. As I confessed earlier, they can quickly become junk collections.

I think that’s about all the organization I can handle for one day. Ha!

I hope these four ideas inspire your organizing efforts. What’s your best home organization tip or trick? Let me know in the comments. I need your suggestions.

For more in the 10 Minute Decorating series check out the links below:

Four Generation, One Roof – Jewelry Organization

How to organize your jewelry in under 10 minutes 300

Julie Blanner – Simple Organization Ideas


Dream Green DIY – How to Tidy Your Sock Drawer


Thistlewood Farms – Stylish Organizing Ideas


Finding Home – Pool Organization

5 quick organization ideas?

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  1. Michael — oh my! Bingo! You just hit a soft spot in my heart with the magazine “organization” section. Like you I have an addiction to magazines (you know the same ones that you subscribe to — décor, food, gardening, regional lifestyle, travel, etc)! But take it from me, sometimes I do better when I attend my “meeting” weekly — you know the ones — candleleholics anonymous; magazines anonymous, décor anonymous, pillows anonymous, holiday décor anonymous. Wink wink! 🙂 🙂 🙂 !!

  2. Thank you for your honest assessment of your natural lack of organizational strengths. However, I do believe that creative people are messy. I am a long time working artist and also have many artist friends. The only ones who are not messy are those who tend towards the architectural (that OCD kind of precision), illustrators (who often are in the same boat as the architectural folks) and really uptight people who ‘think’ they are artists, lol. My goal for a long time was to have a Francis Bacon style studio. I nearly got there. 🙂 So, in my opinion, you are a creative lifestyle artist who better be messy somewhere. I have always wondered looking at your blog pictures if everything is heaped up in the laundry room and all the other places we can not see, laughing. BUT, I adore the clipboards and being a collector of many things, including signs, numbers and letters, the first pic in this segment has brought out a ‘bingo’ spot in me! Love the calendar and those clipboards. Who would have thought something so simple will accomplish so much. Thank you. I appreciate all the work you have put into your blog these past years. Best to you from Vermont!

  3. Loved the book. I used to attempt to organize a closet or a room but things just never felt complete. The key for me was going through ALL similar items at the same time as the book recommends. Dragging clothes out of closets, under beds, etc was not fun, but it was eye opening and life altering. I really am more selective about what I bring home and have a completely different mind set when passing on my items to others; it makes me feel thankful instead of feeling so much guilt for spending money for something that in my heart I did not love or need.

  4. These sound great! I read that book and I managed to get rid of 2 thirds of all my clothes, almost all my books (only kept those that brought me joy), and most of my papers. I never finished going through the whole thing because I ended up having to move faster than I had planned (my initial reason for following the book’s guidance) but it helped a lot, and I even felt happier and more accomplished!
    I’m doing another round soon. The best thing about the book is changing the way we think about discarding things from “But it was so expensive, even if I don’t wear it” to “This does not make me happy”. I became quite ruthless!
    As a person who fails at organising as well, any tips, blog posts or books are a massive help!
    Quick note: she does get a bit weird sometimes in the book, or goes to a bit of an extreme, but her advice is still applicable!

  5. I was beyond riveted by the life changing magic of tidying! The whole book I was itching to attack the house. I never quite did that though when I finished. But it gives me a completely new perspective on my things. Like if it doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it, if you miss it just go back and get another one. Wow does that relieve the guilt! I have really paired down my closet & kids toys. But I really need to work on the boxes of “memories” I have from my childhood.

  6. i love the clipboard idea! I bought several cute ones from the target dollar spot and was trying to figure out what to do with them. Great for gathering coupons or receipts! I also appreciate your struggle with organization and love that you were honest about it in your post — totally in sync with your new year’s resolution! Bravo!

  7. I am SO organized in my head. I’m just terrible at making that organization come to life. I love the magazine idea. I too, hate throwing away magazines. Thank you!

  8. These are all really great suggestions. My master walk in closet has one entire wall that is pegboard and I LOVE it! I hang all my handbags, boots, jewelry and many other things on it. It really keeps me organized.

    For bills, I have this wooden organizer that is upright and numbered 1-31. When I get a bill in the mail, I just stick it in a slot that is one week before the due date. Each day I check the slots for something that needs to be mailed or sent online. It also has a small drawer for stamps, paperclips etc… I picked this up at Target several years ago. I pay all of my bills online but I still get paper statements in the mail so I find it useful.