Ready to get organized? The right tools and storage solutions can have a huge daily influence on your home’s functioning and productivity!
This organization-themed gift list is for any homemaker who wants to streamline her daily life and conquer clutter in her home. Put a few of these items on your wish list, or gift them to someone who shares your interest in home management!
Books about organization and home management
Sometimes the right books are the best gift of all, because if you read them–and implement them–you can effect change that impacts your home for decades down the road. These are my favourite books on home management and organization. Disclaimer: I wrote one of them!
The House That Cleans Itself by Mindy Starns Clark – This is the book to read if you need creative, outside-the-box solutions for keeping your home clean and tidy. I loved Clark’s advice for arranging furniture to give your home a better flow; she shows you how to adapt your home’s environment before (or instead of) changing your behaviour.
Your Simple Home Handbook – This is my own decluttering handbook! It divides your home into thirty zones and then helps you work through each one, thinking about it critically and simplifying the area to create more breathing space for you and your family. After reading lots of articles and blog posts on decluttering, I wanted to go deeper and give readers a concrete how to–not just leave them hanging with trite advice.
How to Manage Your Home without Losing Your Mind by Dana K. White – My favourite thing about this well-written and humorous book is the way White helps you understand your own mental pitfalls and roadblocks that keep you from gaining control of your home. I wrote a complete review of the book here.
Secrets to Getting More Done in Less Time – by Donna Otto (this is an update of her late ’90s book Get More Done in Less Time.) This book is an oldie but goodie! Its strong point is helping you create routines and systems–for both your home and your life. Otto helps you streamline your schedule, your mail, your wardrobe, your home inventories (like packing checklists and medical records), and more.
Amazon Coupon Code: Right now you can get $5 off book purchases over $15 using the code “GIFTBOOK.” Click here to browse Amazon books and use the code!
Gifts to help you streamline routines and systems
The following tools will make the things you do daily much easier, whether it’s cooking a recipe, setting up appointments, writing a letter, or following a to-do list!
Daily planner – The more you have to manage in your home, the more you’ll need a good planner to aid you. There are TONS of planner options out there, but I don’t need to look any further than the spiral-bound, book-sized planner from Homemaker’s Depot. Take a look at the planner’s layout in my review post. (Note: Currently, when you purchase the 2017 planner you get free downloadable menu planning worksheets to go with it!) Bulk pricing is available on these planners, so you can save when you get multiples for Christmas or hostess gifts.
List journal – If lists keep you organized, go one (big) step further and find a way to organize your lists, too! My simple and elegant solution is the List Journal, which I explain in detail in this post. It’s purse-sized, and I take it with me almost every time I leave the house!
Recipe binder – Keep your hand-written, printed-out, miscellaneous recipes orderly in a loose-leaf binder. Here’s my system for organizing my recipe collection. It was a big initial project (New Year’s Resolution status!) but very much worth it.
Rolodex card file – Several months ago I decided to go “old fashioned” with my contacts list. I still keep phone numbers saved in my phone, of course, but I decided I also needed an address book so I could record mailing addresses, birthdays, and other important info all in one place. But a major downside of an address book is that it’s hard to re-arrange, update, or add more contacts to an alphabet section that fills up. A small Rolodex card file was the perfect solution because each contact gets their own card, and I can easily switch out cards when I need to make an update. I love having this little box on my desk, and the cover keeps it from getting dusty. There’s something charmingly secretary-ish about looking up an address or birthday in my Rolodex.
Cork board – Use this to pin up chore lists, receipts, cleaning schedules, and anything else that helps you keep track of your home’s routines and systems. If your bulletin boards tend to get really messy, I recommend keeping it outside of sight zones. Keep it on the inside of a door or in a less trafficked (but still very accessible area).
Gifts to help you corral stuff and organize your things
I love limits and boundaries for my stuff. It eliminates the guesswork and mental gymnastics of keeping my home neat and organized!
Charging dock – If you don’t like the look of charging cords spewing out of random outlets around your house, (and if you have trouble remembering where you left your phone!) give all your devices a default location in a charging dock. Making use of a charging dock is also an excellent way to distance yourself from your devices if they’re distracting you. (See #10 in my post on Ways to Simplify Your Life and Home.)
Cable sleeves – Get rid of the eyesore of router cables, computer cords, and TV hookups by bundling them together and feeding them through cable sleeves. Not only will they look better, but your cords won’t get tangled, either!
Scarf organizer – If you have trouble keeping scarves neat or if you need to free up space in a dresser drawer, move your scarves to a hanging rack in the closet.
Honeycomb drawer organizer – This has a handy, space-maximizing construction that will keep belts, socks, and underwear tidy. You could use a set elsewhere in the house, too, for organizing makeup or small toys.
Hanging shoe organizer – I’ve used a hanging shoe organizer since college, and it’s one of my favourite ways to keep my closet neat. It also helps me simplify my shoes, because I try to keep only what fits in the organizer (plus a few bulky pairs that stay on the closet floor, like my tall riding boots and a pair of running shoes).
Coloured Ball jars – I love it when the things I own are both functional and beautiful. I have six blue Ball jars in my pantry that hold salt, garlic, baking powder, cornstarch, and other small-volume cooking items. The jars are pretty, and they give uniformity to my baking shelf so it’s not tumbled with little boxes and tins (and it’s much easier to scoop out a teaspoon of something when it’s in a jar!)
Bamboo drawer organizer – Use this expandable organizer tray for cutlery, kitchen utensils, office supplies, or even small tools.
Toy storage shelf – It’s much easier to teach your children to pick up their toys if those toys each have a designated spot. This shelf is low enough that even a toddler can reach at least the three lowest shelves. I also like the idea of this shelf because all the toys are visible–there’s nothing hidden away in high-sided bins that a child might neglect to play with because he forgets about them!
Before you go shopping…
…remind yourself that things, no matter how nifty, won’t automatically make you organized. These are all great tools, but you have to put in the time and effort of implementing them to see effective results.