One of the things on our New Year’s Resolution list is to simplify and organize. Over the past year, we’ve organized a few areas of the house – like our coffee station, our touch up paint collectionthe tool drawer in the laundry room and my office storage system. BUT… we still have a “junk drawer” in the kitchen and areas like the foyer and guest room closets could also use a little purging and re-organization. In light of that, I really want to get this year in gear and aim to simplify and organize every nook and cranny of the house. Obviously, it’s not going to happen overnight – especially since we have so many other projects up our sleeves for this year – but we’re setting out to tackle spaces here and there little by little. Baby steps.

Let's do this...  /  7th House on the Left

The key to organizing a space (even something as small as the junk drawer in the kitchen) is doing it in a way that will allow you to keep everything in order. Otherwise, you’ll be reorganizing things every few weeks, which totally defeats the purpose of organizing in the first place. To accomplish this, it’s good to have an arsenal of organizing supplies on hand – or what I like to call our “Organizing Toolbox”. Here’s what’s in ours…

Organizing Toolbox  /  7th House on the Left

1. Metal Bookplate Labels – These are what I call “fancy labels”. They’re great for permanent labeling and the adhesive backing makes them that much easier to use. They have a way of dressing up an ordinary shelf or basket. I’ve used them inside our storage furniture and on the spine of binders. When I’m close to running out, I always buy a few back up packages just in case. In other words, they’re a must.

2. Small Paper Rope Baskets - I’m pretty obsessed with these little baskets. It seems like every time I go to Target, I end up picking up one or two. They fit perfectly in the upper kitchen cabinets, and the lining comes out in case you don’t need/want it or need to clean it. As far as storage baskets go, they’re really affordable too – you can get a set of 6 for $29. They also look great with a metal bookplate on the front.

3. Label Maker - I love using a label maker. It’s a no-brainer when organizing anything – even the left overs from Thanksgiving! I especially like this label maker because you have a nice selection of fonts and styles to choose from. If you’re looking for one a little on the simpler side of things, I also have this one and it’s really great (and easy!).

4. Home Maintenance Binder - Aside from my daily/monthly planner binder, it’s ideal to have a home maintenance binder to keep track of warranties, important phone numbers (like the tile guy and the flooring guy), serial numbers, etc. I’m still in the process of perfecting our “system”, but it’s definitely on my list of things to do before we get started with the nitty gritty organizing around here so I can update it as we go along. As for my daily/monthly planner, this year I’m using this daily planner system designed by my friend, Jen, over at iHeart Organizing. It’s so well-designed, it’s practical and I really love the colors. You can preview and buy the printable pages over on her Etsy store here.

5. Command Hooks - Whoever invented these things is one smart cookie. They are great to use inside cabinet doors and in random “secret places”. For instance, I have one just inside the linen closet (on the wall, right next to the door frame) that holds a pair of scissors. Having a pair on hand it so convenient – like, if I’m in our room and need to get a price tag off of something, a pair of scissors is just right there, two steps away, rather than way on the other side of the house. The fact that the hooks are easily removable and won’t mess up the surface is a major plus.

6. Sharpie Pens - For some reason, I think better when I use a pen that writes really nicely. I love the Sharpie pens because you get the look and feel of a fine-point Sharpie (which I love using) without having to worry about the ink bleeding through my paper. These are great to use on calendars, for quick notes and the next item on our list…

7. Post-It Notes - Sure, these are great for notes on your desk, but they also come in handy as quick labels in the midst of the organizing process. For example, when we cleaned out our closet over the weekend, we had one pile for keep, one for trash and one for Goodwill. I just used a Post-It on the wall to label the pile – easy peasy!

Do you have any specific things in your organizing tool box? Or any tips or tricks we need to know? Be sure to share them in the comments!