Organizing Small Spaces to Improve Your Mood (BFBN Post)

Last week I was invited to join the Babywise Friendly Blog Network (BFBN), a small group of ladies who each do Babywise with their kids (and then post about it). What an honor! I still think it’s quite funny that anyone would think what I have to say is interesting enough to read, but that’s the blog world we live in I guess.

Anyway, the gals from the BFBN post on a similar topic/theme on the last Thursday of each month and then link to each other’s posts. This month’s topic is organization.

Because I only joined the network last week and this week has been packed full with Vera going to VBS and us getting our backyard ready for the new chicken coop (yes! chickens! more on that later), I didn’t have much time to think of some revolutionary organizational idea. Plus, I’ve realized that although I am EXTREMELY organized with my day, I am not actually a very organized person in terms of objects. My house is very clean, but not necessarily super organized. One look at our bookshelves, the stack of magazines under the living room coffee table, or any corner of our garage would tell you that. In case you’re doubting me, here is a picture of the drawer we put Vera’s hair stuff, bracelets, stickers, ribbons, pencils, or anything else small you can think of. It’s basically an extension of the junk drawer but for kid-specific stuff:


Clearly it needs to be organized, but it’s looked that way for three years.

In contemplating organization, I was remembering the discussion at my Weight Watchers meeting a few weeks back about de-cluttering, and how spending just 20 minutes to clear the clutter from one area of your house can drastically improve your mood (which theoretically improves your weight loss – read a similar article here). I have long thought that the key to a productive day is a clean kitchen and a freshly mopped floor, but I hadn’t really thought about the same concept applying to organization. At the meeting we were encouraged to commit to clearing the clutter and organizing one area of our home or our life that week. I failed to commit so it’s no shocker that no de-cluttering project ever happened.

Then this topic on organization came up and I thought, perfect, I’ll commit to cleaning one area to blog about it and see how it goes. My mom had bought me a Spicy Shelf for Christmas and for the last 8 months it’s comfortably resided on top of my refrigerator, still in its box. So one typical frazzled morning, I decided to do a quick little organization of my spice cabinet.

Here are the before and after pics:




The shelf costs $14.99 at bed bath and beyond and the entire project took about 30 minutes to assemble the shelf, clear out and wipe down the cabinet, toss out the old spices (including one moldy bottle of sage – gross!), and put everything back in. Because I already had the shelf, the project would have been free if Abel hadn’t spilled the entire contents of saffron while I was away putting the babies down for a nap. Obviously it’s the MOST EXPENSIVE SPICE IN THE ENTIRE CABINET that he would accidentally dump all over the floor.

The cabinet organization is not perfect. The shelf is quite flimsy and does not fit my cabinet perfectly (which is lame because I have standard sized, pre-fab cabinets. The rack should expand to at least the width of a standard cabinet). Because the shelves are so shallow, I foresee a problem with spices falling off as I’m reaching in. If I had the money I would opt for something built in (like a pull out spice cabinet) or if I had the space, I would buy a wooden rack to attach to a cabinet or pantry door. But I have neither space nor money, so the Spicy Shelf will do.

Certainly there are better ways to organize this cabinet. A search on Pinterest for “spice cabinet organization” would probably put my small efforts to shame. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that now I have one little area of my home that is newly de-cluttered. Weight Watchers was right: it did make me feel better! I felt productive and accomplished all day yesterday, and if I hadn’t needed to spend the whole afternoon putting together the chicken coop, I probably would have moved on to completing a few more organizational projects. Organizing is infectious!

For me, a clean house has always been the key to a successful day. Now I have a new line of attack against a funky mood or an anxious heart – organizing! A small project, completed in 30 minutes or less, can make the difference between a productive day and an unproductive day. Feeling productive totally affects our mood, which affects other things like our patience level, our happiness, and even our weight loss. So it’s about time I tackled those little organizational projects I’ve been putting off.

As an example, here are the projects I’m hoping to complete in the next couple months:

-junk drawer
-kid junk drawer
-bulk food cupboard
-kid’s closets
-bathroom cabinets
-garage (which could probably be broken down into about 100 small projects)


The ladies of the BFBN are all blogging today with various organization tips. Check them out below:



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