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Prioritize, then Organize!

Prioritize, then organize! These three words can pack quite a punch. They are definitely much easier to say than do, when your world seems out of control. How many times have you thought about all the things you want to do in your house, but didn’t know where or how to start? Have you ever wished for that proverbial magic wand that you could wave in the air and your house would magically be cleaned and organized? I know I have. Have you ever looked at that pile of ‘stuff’ and wished it would put itself away? What about all the clutter on your kitchen counter tops? There are times I wish Harry Potter was my best friend so he could come and work his magic in my house. Alas, I am a mere mortal with no magic wand, and no magician friends. It’s all up to me. The phrase ‘prioritize, then organize’ isn’t part of a magic spell, but it can certainly help you work your own type of magic in your life. Thinking of everything that needs to be done can be absolutely overwhelming. Then what happens? We put it on the back burner for later where it sits while we wait for ‘later’ to turn into ‘now’. The list continues to grow out of control, our frustration grows, and our feelings of hopelessness grow. Sound familiar? It’s not that we don’t want to do it or that we’re lazy; it’s not that we don’t care. Reality is, we often have so much on our plates that we don’t know how we’re going to make it through each day, let alone find additional time to declutter and organize our homes.

This is where those three words come into play and work their own type of magic. Don’t try and do everything at once – you can’t. You’re human, not a super hero. Clutter doesn’t happen in one day; don’t expect to get rid of it in one day. Stop, breathe, grab a coffee (or beverage of your choice), and start making a list of what you want to accomplish. Start with one room and list what you want to accomplish in it. The list can be as long as you like but keep it realistic and manageable... (we have some here to help you get started!) Then, prioritize it starting with what you want done first. It can be as simple as throwing out old toothbrushes in the bathroom, or getting rid of all the wire hangers in your closets. It’s generally easier to start with smaller tasks and then move onto the more time intensive tasks. As always, sort things into three piles; keep, discard, and give away. To help you get started we’ve put together a list of 10 items to put in the discard pile for the bathroom and kitchen. Once you get started, we’re sure you’ll find many more items to add to your list. You will be surprised how much easier the rest of the job goes once you get rid of the following items.


  1. #1 item to get rid of? Old, used toothbrushes!

  2. Make-up that has passed the expiration date or that you’ll never use again.

  3. Hair elastics that are too stretched out to use.

  4. Bottles of sample products you collected from hotels, conferences, etc. If you haven’t used them yet, odds are you never will.

  5. Old hairbrushes that are missing bristles and you’ve held onto ‘just in case’.

  6. Empty bottles of shampoo and conditioner that you want to replace but are worried you’ll forget the names of. Take a picture of them with your phone or tablet.

  7. All the products you bought to try and will never use again. They multiply like crazy once placed in your cabinet.

  8. Broken or worn out emery boards.

  9. Empty medicine bottles; you might want to remove the label from the container first. Do not throw any medicine directly into garbage. It should be safely disposed of at a pharmacy.

  10. Any face cloths or towels that you would be mortified if someone else saw that you actually used them.


  1. Cracked or stained utensils.

  2. Chipped mugs and plates.

  3. Any plastic containers that are missing the lid; any lids that are missing the containers.