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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

31 Days of Organizing Projects…Using What You Already Have

Now don’t get me wrong.  I love a beautiful organized space as much as the next gal.  But I think that Pinterest has convinced us that is must be beautiful to be organized.  Why go to the trouble of organizing it if you’re not going to make it pretty?  I don’t know about the rest of you, but this has led me to neglecting some areas of my home in anticipation of redoing them. 

The powder room needs a new toilet, floor, and paint.

The closets need new shelving and paint.

The pantry is a hideous shade of school-bus yellow, and the shelves are 2.5 cans deep. *sigh*

Don’t even get me started on our master bath.

So instead of organizing these spaces, I have let them become dumping grounds.  In my grand planning, I always planned to organize them when we remodeled them.

But time gets away from us, and work meetings, kids birthday parties, doctor’s appointments, other home renovation projects, finances, and just life in general push all these projects back on our timeline.  We bought this fixer-upper a year and 3 months ago and all we have done is paint, carpet, and remodel the kitchen so far.  And I consider what we have done to be a massive accomplishment.  But all the clutter drives me crazy on a daily basis.  And I realized…


GASP!  says every organizing guru out there...  This is a big epiphany for me, y’all.  I plan every remodel, first with ideas on a Pinterest board, then with a corresponding excel sheet listing all of the individual steps of the project, colors and part numbers, and budget.  All of this takes time and money.  Do you have projects like this?  Boards on Pinterest with inspiringly beautiful organized projects that you plan to create when you have the time & money, while the actual space gets neglected waiting for you to drum up the resources and motivation to implement your plan?

Today I ask you, why wait?

I want an organized life now!  I don’t have to live in a disaster zone just because we’re remodeling!  Yes, the room we are renovating might be a mess, but that doesn’t mean that everything else in the house shouldn’t still have a home, be it pretty or not.  No longer will I spend an hour looking for AA batteries!  No longer will I run to 3 different rooms every morning to gather everything I need to walk out the door!  No longer will I leave folded clothes on the couch for 3 days because I don’t have a place to put them!

“But Rogue Mom,” you say, “why would you spend the money on organizational supplies now when you plan to renovate the space later?  What if your purchases don’t work in the final plan?  You may change color schemes, themes, shelf spacing!  Don’t do it!”

Ah, the clincher.  This is mainly what was holding me back.  I don’t want to waste money on supplies I may not use in the final product. 

Along came 31 Days.  The yearly challenge to write on one topic EVERY DAY in October.  It’s a big challenge for a writer, and I haven’t done something for myself in a very long time.  For the first time, I decided to do it.  And I have the perfect topic!

31 Days of Organizing Projects…Using What You Already Have.

Yes, that’s right.  I am going to tackle every cluttered space in my life using materials I have on hand.  I may end up with a couple of small purchases, but I am setting 2 limitations.

1.    It must be something that I will DEFINETELY use in the final product.

2.    My budget for all 31 projects is $100.  That’s less than $3.22 per project.

I’m not saying that I’m not going to try and make things pretty.  I will.  But I won’t let the plan for pretty hold me back any longer.  I will use things I already have on hand, and some serious creativity, to make what I already have work for me. 

This is right in line with the new thrifty mentality that I have been slowly adopting in the last few years.  Before I buy new things, I always try to think of a way to reuse something old that I have.  If that isn’t possible, I try to find it for free, perhaps from a friend, on Craigslist, or even outside someone’s house thrown out with the trash.  If I can’t find it, I try to purchase used, from yard sales, thrift stores, my local Facebook trading group, or Craigslist.  And if I absolutely HAVE to purchase new, I do my research to find the item I really want for a great price, and wait until I have a coupon or the item goes on sale.  Often in the time this takes, I can find a creative solution to the problem.  In this manner, not only do I spend far less money, but I give old items new purpose.  Waste not, want not, it’s so true ya’ll. 


  1. I love it! I can get stuck on the form of the functional item, too. At the very least, we can use what we have, and we can replace it with something prettier *later!* This makes me think of this: not letting perfect getting in the way of good. Looking forward to your posts.

    I am decluttering as part of my series: 31 Days of Letting Stuff Go!

  2. This is a fantastic idea! I can't say that I've been holding off on organization because of the need to remodel or renovate an area of our home, but more just because of, well, the stuff I'm talking about in my 31 Days challenge. I am definitely going to be reading your blog as you write about your projects. I can't wait to see everything you do! God bless you!

  3. YES! I love this idea! We're strapped for cash, but our house still isn't feeling complete. I need some major organization! Can't wait to read everything!