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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love the table paula would look good on my new patio. so glad you are back. I hope to get there to see you in person one day.i will start tomorrow to find the patern form the tablecloth.
Gladys Rainesl in Savannah Style: A Spring Table for Two on April 13, 2014 at 7:45 pm

I just want to say this I don't even know if is the right page all I ever wanted to say to Paula Deen welcome back I have missed you. You are my favorite home down girls keep your head up and hang on and feel the love. P.S. from a woman of color.
in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 13, 2014 at 2:55 pm

I just love love love the table and flowers and am so glad that I can still access all of Paula's recipes, her family life, Bobby's lighter versions and Brandon's beautiful work. Truly thankful to see such beautiful tablescapes. You guys are my heros.
Patricia in Savannah Style: A Spring Table for Two on April 13, 2014 at 9:14 am