How to Get Organized This Year

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By Martha Lee

Start Small!
After sitting down with a pad and pencil (and an overfull house), I began my plan of attack.  Starting with the smaller things, I worked my way up to the big stuff.  Papers, files, and things like old magazines were the first to go. 

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A fun way to organize: a table that serves as storage too along with baskets along the floor.

Tidy Up Toys
Then, I tackled the kids’ toys with the help of my daughter.  This downsizing process came as a good lesson for her as she told me which toys to give away to those less fortunate.  She really went to town too and would’ve given away her entire toy box if I let her! She was happy to help, and I was happy to have a teachable moment in giving.  Clothes and closets came next, and then came the rearranging of the playroom. 

Use Organizing Containers
Even with downsizing, we needed to create a more organized play area for the kids. We brought in lots of baskets, and utilized pieces of furniture not intended for children’s toys, which worked out great!  The playroom looks clean and tidy without the need for fancy kid storage shelves and bookcases like those seen in cutesy children’s magazines. Take a look! What do you think?

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More baskets and the bottom cabinets in the china cabinet houses pull-toys too!
There is simply no need for clutter, and my children certainly don’t (and don’t need to) desire so much stuff to be around. Presents and gifts are nice, sure, but the important part of the holidays is being with the ones we love.  Too many presents take away from the reason of the season and leave parents like me frazzled and feeling like we have to sort through old stuff just to make room for the new. 

What are Your Tidying Tips?
Purging and downsizing helps to alleviate some of the chaos and clutter that the holidays can bring. We’ve still got a little ways to go. The garage is a beast in and of itself! Ha! How about you?  Have you done any organizing and downsizing since the new year rolled around?  What kind of organizational methods do you like to use and could share with us all? 

Martha Lee and her husband began working for Paula Deen Enterprises in 2006 until Martha left to pursue a degree in Special Education. She takes a cue from her 1-year-old daughter, Naomi, leaving tiny footprints on the planet. Her blog shares practical, earth-conscious ways to live and parent in the 21st century. Born and raised in beautiful, soulful Macon, GA, Martha and her family now lives in Savannah, where she can be found outside hula-hooping and performing handstands daily.
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Papers and files are always backlogged. I'm spending an hour a day to put them in order. That is probably more time than most of you have, as I am a retired lady. Once I get them in order, I hope to keep up by doing my filing every Friday. That method USED to work for me before we moved three times in three years. I'll write back to let you know how it goes. Anyone else out there struggle with paperwork mess?

By AlliefromAlbany on February 25, 2014

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Paula Deen
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hi! wink i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above? thanks! wink sandra
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 10:37 am

Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 8:22 am

I WISH I COULD COOK. COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER? I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE. YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE. TAMMY LEVAN 19 SPENCER WAY KINGS PARK, NY 11754 HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 4:31 am

Hi Bubbles, You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition. Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm