Help for the organizationally challenged

(Linda’s note: My writing partner, Peg McGuire, on our much neglected Master of your Domain blog is stepping in here with an interview she did with Elizabeth Mayhew on the skill of keeping organized. I know from experience that an organized home makes us more productive, our homes more beautiful and our lives calmer. )

How to design an organizational system for your home I thought God handed out organizational skills like he did good hair and above-average dancing skills: If you were in the right line, you got ‘em. If you were in the line for Peanut M&Ms, you got big hips. I use this as an excuse: I don’t have an organizational bone in my body. Therefore, no one can fault me for my disorganization. It’s just the way it is. It’s part of my charm, I tell my engineer-husband as I search for the Macy’s bill that’s due today or the receipt for the skirt I’ve never worn. Uh huh, he says, as he hands me the spare set of keys because he knows that I probably won’t be able to find my keys and he likes to stay one step ahead of me. It’s just the way it is. There is no hope for the organizationally challenged Apparently, I’m wrong. Like way wrong. We can thank Elizabeth Mayhew for cluing me in. (She’s a contributing editor on NBC’s Today. She serves as an expert on a range of topics including home makeovers and organizing, food and entertaining, style secrets, and gift giving.) Elizabeth Mayhew
Here’s what she told me. Getting and staying organized is a skill you can learn.
(So stop using the “I was in the wrong line” as an excuse.) “It’s a matter of finding the right system—and then sticking to it,” says Elizabeth. The key is to start small. “Don’t try to organize your entire life over a weekend,” she says. “Find a few key things that you can do that will help you find your keys in the morning, or that will keep the junk mail under control.” Use baskets, she recommends. A basket to hold your keys and cell phone. As soon as you walk in the door, drop your keys into the basket. Have another basket for the junk mail. Don’t open, just drop. Once a week, recycle the mess. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? It is. Shortly after I spoke Elizabeth, I bought some cute baskets. (This is where my husband grimaces. He’s not a basket kind-of-guy.) A week into this experiment and I haven’t had to call my husband at work asking him where I put my keys. Success!There’s something for every style and budget when it comes to storage/organizing systems:

Large storage basket from Longaberger

2-Tier rattan display storage unit at Target

Daily storage system from Pottery Barn
Small natural fiber baskets at Crate and Barrel
Parker Designer Trays at

I’ll savor my accomplishments and think of the next steps. Tune in later this week!

xoxo Linda

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