Minimalist Monday: Cathy's Tips (Guest Post)

Posted by:Lindsay S. Nixon Category: Minimalist Guests

After reading some of my minimalist posts, Cathy started making changes in her home and sent in pictures of her progress. She also graciously agreed to let me share them on this column, along with her commentary.

Cathy says, "I am enjoying Minimalist Monday and like you, I think I have a bit of OCD, as it makes me crazy to not know where everything is and my mantra when our two kids were young (they are grown and gone now) was 'one new thing in — two old things out!'.

As a busy primary teacher for many years while raising our family, I found many of the tricks and traffic management plans of a smoothly running classroom of 25 students also worked well in our home of two adults and two kids!

The clear shoe bags are great because we so often don't take advantage of vertical space hiding behind closet doors!We sure find it easy to grab batteries, flashlights, bags, tissue supply packets, etc. while 'on the run' (as most of us are!) 

For a houseful of kids, letting them each choose a level, depending on their age and needs might be another way of keeping track of little (but important!) treasures. 

Doesn't matter where you live, you always need a screwdriver, hammer, nails, tape, elastic bands...and the little interlocking containers in a wide drawer such as the one in the picture, make it easier to see what you need...

As for an organized junk drawer, when you are busy, the frustration of never being able to find all the little things you need for the smooth running of the home is lessened by being able to instantly find the rubber bands, chair floor protector pads, picture hangers, tools, etc! 

It is also nice to have such useful bits and pieces close to where they will be needed, rather than to have to trek all the way down to a basement or out to a garage to find them.

My mantra is 'As few steps/movements as possible!' in managing the 'things' in all areas of the house. 
If clutter starts to affect how quickly you can find/deal with household needs, then frustration ramps up and almost insidiously steals away precious time from being able to enjoy time with family and friends! [Editorial note: See my posts, Conquering Clutter part 1 and part 2].

Another of my 'must haves' is an electronic label maker and the pockets  could be labeled easily that way. It makes it SO much easier to find the various beans, flours, rices etc. called for in our beloved plant-based recipes from your books!

Additionally, in our front hall, we also have a 10-cube system, and in one of the lower cubes there is a wine rack...but instead of wine bottles, we keep collars, leashes, umbrellas, shoe shine buffers and the odd pair of shoes! Big baskets in the other cubes store out-of-season boots/sandals,  etc. Sure keeps us more calm when in a know most things do 'have their place' and SHOULD be in that place!' Training of husbands and family members is often ongoing! lol!

Hope your readers might find these organizers helpful in reducing frustration and in increasing fun time, Lindsay!


— Cathy, Victoria, B.C., Canada

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