What’s on your organising reality list?

I’ve recently got into crafting.

I use the word “crafting” very loosely, by the way, but I do love playing around and getting creative.

As many of you know, I do love lists and so I’ve made two lists – “things to make” and “things to make this year with supplies I already have“.

See, there’s a distinction.

One is more “pie in the sky” and very much on the nice to have list whereas the other list is more grounded in reality. I already have the supplies at home so all I have to do is take them out and CREATE.

When I was making the second list last week, I thought about how it’s the same with organising.

We have these tv/ blog/ Pinterest-like visions of what our organised homes should look like, complete with state-of-the-art organising systems, the most beautiful containers and worthy to appear on a tv show.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with dreaming, and dreaming big, but when we become paralysed and not motivated by the dream, there’s something wrong.

The thing is that those visions of perfection often leave us demotivated and uninspired to even start because you think, “what’s the point? I could never have it look like that”.

Why not rather look at your home realistically?

See what you can and are able to do and take it from there. Use what you have in the time you have available and just do the best you can do.

Read that paragraph again…

Here are some action steps for your organising REALITY list:

1. Take a piece of paper and a pen (I like a clipboard) and write down the rooms in your home that need some work. Leave space under each room heading.

2. Now walk around your house and make a list under each heading of what you want to do. For example, in the study/ home office

* tidy desk

* do filing

*put photos in photo albums/ frames, etc.

3. Choose a room to start and pick your first project.

4. Here’s the important part – use things you DO have to help you organise. The most important thing is simply a bin/ wastepaper basket.

5. Don’t let the idea of pretty stop you from having things function well. Remember a shoebox works just as well to store things as a fancy box from The Container Store.


Tell me honestly, do you get paralysed and overwhelmed by all the perfect organising solutions out there?

(I do when I let myself dwell on them!)


PS  Contact me if you need any help coming up with an organising strategy for your space. The wonders of Skype mean we can very easily consult virtually.


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  1. Those organizing caddies look great, I will definitely keep an eye out for them again, and let you know if I find them. I just LOVE the paper you used to cover your tin, where did you get it? At Mandys school, she has covered a few formula tins with very cute contact paper (bright coloured sweets on the paper!) and it looks lovely! I want to try get some pretty contacty paper now! What do you find the 1.8kg tins useful for? I have a few at home but not sure what to use them for.
    And to answetr your question, I don’t bother looking at the organising solutions out there, I just look at Marcia’s organizing and I am inspired!!! I actually used some binder rtings the other day to organize a huge pile of cards. I thought M will be proud of me!

    • Marcia Francois says

      Caren, I bought a pack of about 30 sheets of scrapbook paper at CNA for R60 and that little can was a can of pineapple chunks. I liked the slightly larger diameter of the pineapple can.

      I’ve used my 1.8 kg cans (on their sides) to keep baking paper, cling wrap and wax paper in the cupboard, to store all their rattles when they were babies, and I now have a “creativity tub” with glue stick, kokis, colouring pencils and bits of paper and whatnot to stick. Keeps them busy for hours (okay, I lie – only 20 – 30 minutes but that’s like hours in “baby”).

    • Marcia Francois says

      PS thank you so much for your kind words. I love knowing I’m inspiring at least ONE person out there. Seriously, means a lot 🙂

  2. Hi Marcia, from an internet cafe, since we have no internet since Saturday! I’m getting so much organizing done! I love this idea, what can I do with what I have, what a great idea, as well as walking around the house like that. PS: I saved large tuna tins this week to cover with paper like that exactly! Fun! Love, Laura

    • Marcia Francois says

      Laura, I do love covering cans 🙂 I should post an update because my can “technique” has improved over the last year LOL

      I know, I know, when there’s no internet, it’s amazing how much stuff in the house gets done!

  3. Terrific reminder, I think we all are “guilty” of falling in that daydream trap one day or another. To me, it’s not the look of my projects that stops me to do them, but rather that I have too many of them and feel guilty if I only complete 10 tasks during one day off work. Yeah, now that I see it written down I realize how silly and counter-productive it is! 😉
    Chloé recently posted..Recent LOs

  4. Marcia, I’d love to know what you’ve learned as I’ve never done it before! Just thought I’d give it a go! Have a great weekend!
    Laura recently posted..Colors and Shapes

    • Marcia Francois says

      1. Thick paper works best
      2. sellotape paper to the tin, don’t mess with glue (messy and sticky and it bubbles the paper)

      Send me pics!

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