2017 Organizing Essentials

A few weeks ago I was on the phone with my mom. “You have GOT to help me get organized this year.” Insert a long pause here. Followed by,” I’m serious!” Almost everyone I know can relate to this sentiment, can you?

January is a big month for organization goals which is why it’s one of my favorite months of the year.  Organizing is my jam! Some of my earliest projects involved asking my parents to borrow masking tape and markers so I could label the chest of drawers in my room.  I also labeled all of the tools in my dad’s toolbox which I’m sure he was super excited about ha ha! In my defense I was only 7 and just trying to help.

I know sometimes the thought of being organized can seem totally overwhelming.  It can especially be overwhelming if you have a busy and active life, have an intense job, are the mother of littles/teenagers or in the case of my Mom trying to organize 2 separate households while living in 2 different cities throughout the week.

But don’t worry, there’s hope.

I truly believe anyone can be organized, you just have to find the right tools. You have to know your priorities and understand your values. Once you know those things, honestly you’ll be good to go. How is that possible, you wonder? You’ll start living those values and priorities. Gone will be the days you put up with clutter and chaos because it just won’t be an option for you anymore.

We live a mostly organized life.  I say mostly because we aren’t perfect and there are things we’re working to improve on all the time.  It’s taken some effort to get to this point but now that we’ve been living this way for several years, we can’t imagine living any other way.  Here’s a look at our favorite tools that have helped us cut the clutter and organize our home. It’s a 2017 Home Organizing Essentials list we couldn’t live without … ((Affiliate links have been provided for your convenience. You can read our full disclosure policy here)

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Calendar/Planner – For the past few years, I’ve used the Planner Pad and I LOVED using the funnel down method of time management. If you struggle with feeling like you have “too many things to do and no time to do it,” this system definitely helps you organize your priorities. That being said, I found I needed more room in my calendar for life stuff like meal planning, gratitude journaling, goal planning and various other options. This year I’ve switched to the At A Glance Take Charge Planner and so far, it’s working out well.

Erasable Colored Pencils – I like to be able to find things in my calendar quickly which is why I write specific tasks down in specific colors. I know it’s kind of nerdy but it helps me stay on track throughout the day. These mechanical colored pencils are easier to use than the other erasable colored pencils I’ve tried.

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Baskets – I could sing the praises of baskets all day long! They’re great for storing everything from pantry items to sheets in the linen closet. They’re a must have if you plan to not only be organized but stay organized too. You can chose natural baskets, metal baskets or cloth containers whichever best fits your lifestyle.

Caddy Style Containers – Just like baskets, caddy containers like this one can help to corral everything from crayons to cleaning supplies (though obviously not in the same container.) Bonus – the sturdy handle makes it easy to move from one room to another. I like to keep all of bathroom cleaning supplies in the bathroom and caddy containers like these make them “grab and go” efficient when you’re cleaning and pressed for time.

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Glass Jars – We use glass jars like these in the pantry for storing dry goods and these glass jars the laundry room to store laundry soap. We also use glass jars to organize our spices. If you have littles, mischievous pets, or elderly parents you may want to consider using plastic jars in a similar style to these.  They will help to keep you as organized as the glass containers but will be a safer option. Plastics can be kind of tricky so make sure you’ve researched which material is best for your family (i.e. BPA-free) prior to purchasing.

Labels – There are so many different kinds of labels to choose from depending on the size, shape and material of the containers you use. You can purchase labels like these or make your own at home using your computer.

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Meal Planner Pad – I write our weekly meal plan in my calendar-planner but I have several friends that use this meal planner pad and love it.

Collapsible Lunch Containers – We just recently started using these collapsible lunch containers. They’re great for portion control. The only draw back is they don’t fit in a standard lunch bag so keep that in mind.  This summer we made salads in Mason Jars and they worked out well too just make sure to use caution and care when using glass containers.

Kitchen Timer – We use our kitchen timer to help us keep track of time for everything from baking cakes to our nightly 10-minute clutter cutter clean up routine. This one is nice because it has a magnet on the back so you can stick it on the refrigerator and keep your counters clutter free.

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Drawer Organizers – My friends that have littles swear by these drawer organizers. I haven’t used them yet but they’re on my list to try this year.

Makeup Organizers – I got my baby sister something similar to this to help keep all of her makeup organized. She’s pretty “no fuss” so she likes to keep everything contained and together. Bonus – she can see what she needs to stock up on because the container is clear.

Shoe Organizers – I use an individual shoe container system similar to this one but my mom uses a shoe cubby system like this one and says really likes the convenience.

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Docking Station – Having one docking station for the phone and tablet helps to cut down on all. those. cords. hanging around the desk in the kitchen.  Bonus – charging your electronics in the same location or as part of your nightly routine cuts down on having to search for your phone on busy mornings.

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up – In the past, I struggled with stacks of paper and hated to put my clothes away SO BAD I all but dressed out of the laundry basket each morning. It’s been almost a year now and I can honestly say the struggle is over. This book started it all. It wasn’t easy and some of the ideas are a little out there but I appreciated the sentiment and my house now feels like a home.

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We probably all have goals to be more organized in specific areas of our lives, so keep in mind, small changes each day will make the biggest impact over time. You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to get started.  Make this year your year to not only get organized but to stay organized.  See you guys back here tomorrow.  I’ll share the cleaning schedule that keeps us “company ready” almost every day. Until then, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,



  1. sarah says

    Thank you for putting this list together. I’m like your mom I need help in this department really bad. It helps you were overwhelmed with this at first too because it makes me feel like you can relate to us, Sarah

    • says

      I do relate to you! My garage was awful until a few weeks ago AND my office before the ORC was a total nightmare. You can do this, I promise. I’m dedicating all next week to being organized in the kitchen from meal planning to creating work-friendly zones so stay tuned 🙂 Hugs, CoCo

  2. says

    Very, very helpful! Having the right products make organizing a breeze. The key is to keep it up. I love how Target and Marshall’s and Amazon have such cool and big time original products that can feed many, many souls. That’s important. So thanks for your sources.

    Happy New Year!!

    Jane x

    • says

      Yes, Jane, you are SO right! Getting organized is one thing and keeping it up is something completely different. Oh my word the Target One Spot gets me every time, right? and I love the products in TJ Maxx/Marshalls/Home Goods too. We are going to be some of the best organized girls on the block this year. Happy New Year to you too, CoCo

    • says

      I appreciate it Cat! I use colored pencils almost every day and the fact that they’re erasable makes it so much easier than writing in pen on the calendar/planner. Hope you’re having a fun day, CoCo