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Searching high and low

Searching high and low. 

Growing up, everyone in my family knew dad’s keys and money clip were kept on top of the refrigerator. I remember looking up to see if his keys were up there before looking around the house. If he was home, they were up there; no keys, no dad.

Organizing CU. Helping busy moms get organized.

Growing up, everyone in my family knew dad’s keys and money clip were kept on top of the refrigerator. I remember looking up to see if his keys were up there before looking around the house. If he was home, they were up there; no keys, no dad.

At the same time, no one ever knew where mom’s keys and purse were: in her pocket of yesterday’s coat, near the door, on the kitchen counter, on the dining room table…somewhere in the house was usually a good bet. You always had to shout to find out if mom was home!

Nowadays, my family has a landing zone in our mud room where my purse, husband’s wallet, and our keys stay. For us, we have a getting home routine: come in, shoes come off, purse and wallet go on the table, and keys get hung on hooks. I go through my bag(s) and take everything into the kitchen that I need to go through tonight, such as mail, notes from school, or papers from work.

This routine helps keep our entire family organized. Our mornings are much smoother because the same landing zone also acts as a departure area. If I need to take some papers to work, they go on the mudroom table. Books need to go back to the library? Same place. Throughout the day and night, items get placed there for the next time we leave the house. It take a lot more brain space to have to remember: “what do I need to take to school and work?” versus “Pack up what’s on the table.”

Having a set departure area makes it much easier to ensure we have everything we need when we leave the house. There is never a “where are my keys” moment in the morning because they are always right where they belong.

If you spend a lot of your day searching for stuff, contact me today to help you get it organized!


I’m Maggie, owner of Organizing CU and a busy working mom who understands the struggle of trying to juggle all of it. Using my Reduce, Arrange, Maintain philosophy, I can help you get and stay organized!

Making routines routine

Making routines routine.

You will not be shocked to hear this: I’m a big fan of routines. 

It can be especially tough to make some serious changes to your mornings and evenings, especially as family life is always busy and constantly changing.

Organizing CU. Helping busy moms get organized.

You will not be shocked to hear this: I’m a big fan of routines. Our family has routines for school days, weekends, grocery shopping, bed time, cleaning the kitchen after dinner… just about anything and everything. But, trying to keep a structured routine with a family can be, well, trying. Since it takes on average 66 days to form a new habit, it can be especially tough to make some serious changes to your mornings and evenings, especially as family life is always busy and constantly changing.

If you’re struggling to get ready on time and are always rushing, check your routine (or lack thereof). You may find that some small changes can make a huge impact on your daily life. Think about what your ideal morning and evening would be like. Would they look something like this?

Morning:

  • Make bed
  • Wash and put away dishes (or run dishwasher)
  • Wipe bathroom & kitchen counters
  • Quick 2 minute pickup
  • Check calendar

Evening:

  • Wash dishes and run dishwasher (or put away dishes)
  • Wipe kitchen counters and sink
  • Sweep kitchen
  • Take out trash
  • Clothes (do a load, put dirty in hamper, put clean away)
  • Go through mail
  • 15 minutes pick up blitz
  • Set up coffee
  • Pick out clothes
  • Make lunches and pack bags

Take a look at what you’re doing now and compare it to how you would like it to look. Maybe there are some things on your list that can be shifted from morning to the night before to help your AM run a little smoother. Give it a try for 66 days and see if it makes a difference.

If you need a push to help you and your family get those routines in place, contact me today!


I’m Maggie, owner of Organizing CU and a busy working mom who understands the struggle of trying to juggle all of it. Using my Reduce, Arrange, Maintain philosophy, I can help you get and stay organized!

Permanent Clutter

Temporary items become permanent clutter when you neglect regularly sorting an active space.

-Marcia Ramsland, Simplify Your Space

Permanent clutter. 

I recently tried to look around my house with fresh eyes and see if there was anything that I had grown blind to. 

Sure enough, it took three seconds to find something.

Organizing CU. Helping busy moms get organized.

I read this quote recently and tried to look around my house with fresh eyes and see if there was anything that I had grown blind to. Sure enough, it took three seconds to find something: on the bookshelf, four feet from my spot on the couch, sat two old laptops. I had previously messaged one of my brothers about how to wipe them two months ago. I’m not much of a procrastinator and my house is pretty well kept, so that is huge to me! When I first put them there, I thought it was a great place because it would serve as constant reminder to me that I need to do this right away. Clearly, that plan did not work because I began to ignore them very soon after that. TWO MONTHS of clutter in the middle of our living room. A temporary item becoming permanent clutter.

I tried to look at the root of the problem as to why I didn’t just wipe them both clean that day and Google a spot to drop off old electronics*. First, it was the instructions I was given: erase it, then overwrite it with the same thing over and over. I had already done the first part; I just wasn’t sure how to overwrite it. But I didn’t ask the very simple follow up question right then. Or anytime I thought of it. My brother works from home, is very available at any time, and we have messaged 100 times since then. (Full disclosure: it wasn’t until I got to this sentence in this post did I think “why not do it now?” It took him less than 5 minutes to respond to me and clarify in very simple terms what he meant.) My goal is to get them wiped this week and have it in my donation pile for Goodwill by the weekend.

Everyone has areas or things in their house that they’ve just been neglecting or ignoring for a while. It might be two days, two months, two years, or twenty years. But it’s never too late to take a look around and see what permanent clutter you can cut out . Take a look around with a fresh set of eyes and see if you can find anything quick that you could donate or throw out today. You will be amazing at how much easier it is to relax in an emptier space. Why not do start now?

If you need a nudge to get your started to help get rid of that permanent clutter, contact me today!


*I’ve done that hard work for you if you’re in the Champaign-Urbana area: https://www.urbanaillinois.us/residents/recycling-program-u-cycle/where-do-i-take-it.


I’m Maggie, owner of Organizing CU and a busy working mom who understands the struggle of trying to juggle all of it. Using my Reduce, Arrange, Maintain philosophy, I can help you get and stay organized!

Change the Habitat

Change the habitat (not the habit).

The thought is some habits are engrained within you so deep that they're really hard to change. 

So instead of trying to change those habits that keep your home disorganized, try changing the habitat of where you store those items within your house. 

Organizing CU. Helping busy moms get organized.

I read this great article back in August and I can’t stop thinking about it:

Stop Trying to Change Your Habits: Change Your Habitat Instead

My favorite thing is that this idea came from one person’s comment on another post. You never know where inspiration will come from! Listen, you know yourself. If you or your family always take your shoes off in the living room, then put a basket there to toss them into. If worn, but not yet dirty, clothes are always left on the floor in one area of the bedroom, then put a laundry basket in that area of the room to keep everything corralled (this one comes from experience – there is a basket in my bedroom!). If mail always ends up on the kitchen counter, put an inbox at the end to keep it in one place.

Make sure you check out episode 17 of the Organizing Confidence Unlimited podcast, where I spent an entire episode on just this topic.

Give it a try and see if you notice a difference! If you need help figuring out which habit’s habitats could change, contact me today!


I’m Maggie, owner of Organizing CU and a busy working mom who understands the struggle of trying to juggle all of it. Using my Reduce, Arrange, Maintain philosophy, I can help you get and stay organized!