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How Do You Organize (And Stay Organized)?

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I’m not one for big overhaul-style New Year’s resolutions. I’ve long known that change is best made in small increments. But I do enjoy that January 1st and a new calendar year offer a very clean, clear demarcation point for making said changes. So this year, in addition to embracing all the personal shifts that occurred for me in 2012 (and further reducing me and Coraline’s carbon footprint), I’m looking to get things organized in 2013. All the little cupboards and closets and shelves and drawers in my house need a major overhaul. It just feels like Coraline and I can both do with less. The chaos in my brain is mirrored in my home and experts say that a simple, streamlined aesthetic promotes feelings of calm and control, so I’m looking for some of that… if such a thing is even possible with a three-year-old budding hoarder in the house.

Given my New Year’s aspirations, I was super excited to see the cover of Real Simple’s January 2013 issue, which promises “A Year of Organized Living: Life Skills, Strategies, and Advice to make everyday life easier.” I’m mildly ashamed to admit that I am a huge fan of homemaker magazines like Martha Stewart Living and Real Simple, only because I am not, at first glance, the Martha Stewart type, and also because I never (and I mean never) end up putting any of the sage housekeeping, design, or cooking advice to use. Until now. This is the year of minimalism and tranquility. Gonna tame this wild beast from the outside in. Wish me luck.

Seriously though, there’s no advice like that from other mamas trying to juggle life and kids and home management (on an average person’s budget). So, dish ladies: How do you organize and stay organized?

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