I am an organizational disaster. I can admit it! I get a panicky feeling whenever someone asks me where something is, because chances are, it’s going to take me a good hour to remember where I put it. I once lost the combination to my safe for three years. Luckily, it was stuck open (thus defeating the purpose, but hey, at least I could get into it). I swear I put the combo in a logical place! I never did find that logical place, and ended up cracking my own safe. Granted, that made me feel all Jane Bond-like, but still!

Months ago, I applied to be a Brother P-Touch Ambassador through MomCentral and got accepted. April is my month to get involved, and I kind of had in the back of my head that I should just put off any organizing project until then. After all, I wanted to make sure I had something to write about! Yeah, I probably could have started organizing long ago and STILL had plenty of material for this post!

The thing that makes it harder is that my brain is probably just as disorganized as my house! Let me demonstrate by showing you my “junk” drawer before I attempted to organize it:

Incredibly Messy Junk Drawer

What the heck is all that stuff? Let’s see, there’s losing lottery tickets that I held onto in the hopes that the numbers would magically change (can’t think of any other reason why I’d hang on to them!). seeds (because I’m so much of a poor gardener, that I must think plants are going to sprout from the envelope in my junk drawer!). Oh look, there’s the nail buffer I’ve been looking for! A hair brush, although I’ve never, ever once brushed my hair while sitting at my computer, a body butter tin with enough left in it to moisturize my pinky. You get the idea. It’s a jumbled mess! That’s pretty much what the inside of my head looks like.

The thing is, I want to be organized! I love looking at organizational products in magazines and online. I even clip out pictures! Then I throw them into my junk drawer and forget about them. This year, though, I vowed to get it under control a bit. Just a bit. Baby steps, people. I’m not going to become Martha overnight!

So I started with two small areas: the junk drawer and the counter space around my desk. Think my junk drawer was bad? Take a look at this!

Desk Before

I’m not going to even try to describe everything that’s there, because honestly, I don’t know!

Small Steps to Getting Organized

  • Take everything out and put it someplace that you need to use later. I threw it all on the counter, because I knew that I would need the counter space in about two hours for my version of cooking. This is important! It prevents you from saying “bah, I’ll just do a little and get to the rest later!”
  • Rename the drawer in your head.  Junk drawer is such a horrible name, because it gives us permission to collect and store, well, junk we really don’t need. I’m talking about the stuff you will never, ever say to yourself “gee, I wish I didn’t throw that out!” “Random” drawer would be much better. We all use random stuff that doesn’t fit another category or warrant its own cabinet, but junk is junk.
  • Chuck the actual junk. Seriously, if you can’t see yourself crying in a month that you never should have gotten rid of it, get rid of it. I threw out so much stuff in this process, it’s not even funny.
  • Categorize. While you may not have enough of a certain thing to fit into it’s own cabinet, chances are you can find something that ties several items together. Put them in their own mini-bin, like so:

Getting organized with mini bins

  • Label everything! I love labeling stuff. Not people, mind you, just stuff. It’s fun. It brings me great joy. When my Brother P-Touch labeler first arrived, I labeled Sal “Nicole’s Boyfriend” and made him wear it all day. Ok, so he’s “people”, so apparently I do like to label humans. Just for fun though! Seriously, label everything you can possible label. It makes life so much easier.
  • Put it all back NEATLY! Once you’ve organized, labeled, and gotten rid of the junk, put it back in the drawer nicely, and in some sort of logical manner.

A nice neat drawer

Desk After

Voila! Much neater, right? Wait until you see the next project I plan to tackle. It’s my garage! We moved all of our stuff out of storage over the winter to save money, and just kind of threw all the bins in there. Think my before pics of my work space was bad? Neat freaks will keel over when they see the garage!

Brother PTouch

Thank you so much to MomCentral and Brother for giving me the handy dandy handheld Brother P-Touch Label Maker to help make my organizing projects to much easier. Swing by the Brother P-Touch Facebook Tab and check out some tips for getting organized, discuss your organizing woes, and follow along on all our journeys to reduce our clutter.

“I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Brother P-Touch and received a product sample to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”