Monday, March 18

The Incredibles: Simple Organized Living

I am such a dreamer when it comes to organization. I'm convinced that once I'm organized little halo's will lit upon my children, music will will play overhead like I'm living in a broadway, and my eye will always have a sparkle. No, no, I don't think that... I just feel like I'm floating on air when I've managed a tiny bit of organization in my life. It's very rewarding. Plus I need to celebrate the small stuff, it motivates me to tackle the scary things, like my basement! 

As much as I adore an organized life, I have most definitely not arrived (I'm beginning to think it might be the work of a lifetime!) when I find myself perplexed I pop over to this fantastic (and very organized!) website: 
Simple Organized Living by professional organizer (and all around genius), Andrea Dekker. Andrea tackles every organizing challenge you can imagine! From keeping a tidy house, to efficient cooking, to orderly budgeting, to working from home, to...well I can go on and on. 

I'm over-the-moon to have Andrea stop by Home Made by Carmona, I tidied up just for her! *wink* 

"Interviewing the Incredibles" 
Part 3:
 Organize Me Pretty 
Ursula: To some of us, organization seems like the impossible dream. We imagine a house where every closet looks like a Container Store ad, every item is in it's place, and our children love to clean...then we wake up. What is an organized life even suppose to look like? Is it  possible to achieve the dream? 

Andrea: The point of my blog is to make organizing SIMPLE, manageable, and doable for real people with real lives, real families, real homes, and real budgets.

Personally, I don’t think the goal of an organized home should be to look like the homes in magazines or store displays – those spaces are staged and not realistic for daily life. The goal of an organized home should be to have a space for everything, to be able to find almost everything you need within a few minutes, and (most importantly) to feel comfortable and happy being in your home.

Our house is not perfect, nor do I strive for perfection. I spend 15 minutes picking up during our daughter’s nap, and then 15 minutes picking up after she’s in bed. Continual maintenance is key to keeping things relatively neat and organized without spending loads of time on massive organizing projects.

Ursula: Lol! I think I just heard a number of relieved sighs followed by the dumping of unrealistic expectations! Often we find that the one thing that prevents us from getting organized is...well, ironically... time. How do you find the time, much less the will power to whip life into order?

Andrea: We all have 24 hours in a day. Period. So this issue isn’t really how to FIND the time… it’s if you’re willing to MAKE the time or not.

If an organized home and life are important enough for you and your family, you will MAKE the time to get and stay organized. That might mean missing out on a fun activity or skipping your favorite TV program. That might mean staying up 30 minutes later at night or getting up a little earlier in the morning. That might mean involving your children and/or spouse, or even hiring someone to come in and help you clean and organize your home each week.

Yes, there are many times when I’m tired and don’t feel like doing anything except zoning out in front of the TV, but I know the dishes and laundry won’t do themselves, and the longer I wait, the more overwhelming it will be.

I find that most of the things we procrastinate on are quick tasks like cleaning out the dishwasher, making the bed, responding to a phone call, etc. They only take 3-7 minutes to do, but we just keep putting them off until “later”. Instead, I almost always opt to “do it now” – and then be done thinking about it. Plus, by doing one thing, I’m more motivated to continue on down my list of to-dos.

Ursula: So true! I suppose it comes down to priorities. For those who are "organizationally challenged", how do we begin, and how can we hope to stay on track?

Andrea: Start small and set your timer.
Set the timer for 15-20 minutes, eliminate all other distractions, and start with 1 drawer in your bathroom, 1 shelf in your closet, 1 box in the basement, etc.

You won’t get your whole home organized in 15 minutes, but over the course of a few weeks or months, you’ll make a huge difference. Plus, after a year of doing 15 minutes per day, you’ll accumulate more than 90 hours of organizing!

Ursula:  I love how passionate you are about organizing. You don’t just write about how to organize a drawer or a few spaces in a house, you have made organizing down-to-earth, simple, realistic daily living. What kinds of things can we expect to learn from your shared experiences via your site?

Andrea: Well, I guess I sort of answered this in #1 above – but the point of my blog is to make organizing SIMPLE, manageable, and doable for real people with real lives, real families, real homes, and real budgets.

On my blog, you’ll find doable organizing ideas, creative (and frugal) decorating inspiration, simple money-saving tips, family-friendly recipes, way more information than you’d ever care to know about me or our 120-year old farmhouse, and lots of cute Nora pictures! 

Ursula: You sold us at cute pictures... *lol*. Thanks so much for stopping by, and for all the inspiration and gumption you've given us! If you haven't already, go visit Andrea (and Nora and Dave) at and see what fantastic organization projects are being tackled! 

Ok, you've already got a passion for organization, or you wouldn't be reading this post! So what are some ways you have gotten organized? Big or small it's important to take a moment to celebrate what you have accomplished. Come back this Thursday and link-up your pretty organizing projects, or tag Home Made by Carmona to it via Facebook or Google Plus! This Link Challenge will include a special round-up directory, and you can be part of it! 
And it's not too late to link up to the past two challenges Dare to DIY and Bold Design!

***Link up to the Organize Me Pretty Round-up here***


  1. What a great interview!! I love Andrea's site and she definitely offers some great tips and advice for simple organized living. :-) I'm glad I found your site as well and am your newest follower. With four children (2-7 years old) my house is anything but PERFECT. But I've been working hard to have it organized and at least know where everything is at. :-) Thanks for sharing!

    1. Aw thanks Faith! Sounds like you also know what organization struggles are like! *wink*
      I popped over to your blog... inspired!! Please come back Thursday and link up your fantastic organization tips too! We can always use more incredible! :)

  2. Great interview, ladies! I'm in complete agreement that small doses of maintenance offer BIG rewards in keeping life flowing smoothly and curb the overwhelm.

    What a great site you've built, Ursula! I found my way here while seeking out creative uses for organizing with post-it's (big fan of those guys!) :) and came across your menu planner!

    I'm sure I'll be back!!



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