There are a few things in this life that get me a little extra excited, that give me an extra bounce in my step and that can make me forget about time. Shopping? Yes. A Jigsaw Puzzle? Yes (glad to say that obsession seems to have passed) but one of my absolute favourite things to do is…..wait for it…..organize stuff. Yep, organization is my jam. In fact, for what most of you consider Spring Cleaning I consider to be a weekly event in our house complete with pre-game commentary and play-by-plays. I’d like to think that my borderline professional organization skills stem from my ability to see the bigger picture, excellent strategizing skills and unwavering belief for not holding onto things that don’t serve you……but my excitement level for a good drawer organizer? well, I’d say once you see my response to that any argument that I might have for trying to normalize my obsession with organization is officially out the window.

Phew, so now that we got that dirty little secret of mine out of the way let’s jump right to the real reason that I said “YES” when Kitchen Stuff Plus asked me to share some of my organizational “hacks”. If you know anything about me you know that I am a firm believer in getting “rid” of stuff. Throwing it out, sweating it out, giving it away – whatever it is, if you don’t LOVE IT or it doesn’t add to your life then it needs to go (side note: this rule can also be applied to people – GASP!). We have spent a lifetime of accumulating things which in turn end up costing us a lot of stress (ah hm, clutter) if we don’t start to weed them out over time. So in my humble opinion, before you go creating yourself a thousand Pinterest boards on how you are going to organize your life, just start with getting rid of stuff. No, no, not just shifting it around –

Ok so now that we got that out of the way let’s get to the real reason you are here, how to make your mornings easier (and by default your entire day). As a mom of 3 who leads the charge on getting everyone out of the house on time every morning (including myself) I was tired of having a screaming match every morning as a rushed around the house trying to play all of the roles of being a mom that include (but are certainly not limited to): cook, chauffeur, housekeeper and maid. I was at the point that I was literally losing my mind every morning as a tripped over yet another wet towel, or listening to children say they couldn’t find their shoes or just feeling my stress level rise in general as I looked around and saw dirty clothes everywhere (and by dirty I mean that they wore them for 5 minutes and then tossed them onto the floor).

So instead of defaulting to a grand organizational plan that involved a flow chart and assigned tasks I decided to keep it simple, practical and achievable. Here are my recently rolled out (and proving to be very successful) organizational hacks to make your mornings easier (drum roll):

1. Coffee Station. So my husband gets up to go to work at a time that some might consider to be a time they go to bed for the night. The best part is that every morning (borderline still nighttime) I was woken up to the sound of spoons rattling around in the utensil drawer (which as a result is now full of coffee grinds because why wouldn’t you just throw it back in covered in them?), water turned on to fill the coffee maker and the search for a travel mug lid in an overflowing tupperware cupboard that, let’s be honest – never ended well. Solution: Coffee maker with a timer than you fill the night before, a coffee scoop (that stays with the coffee and not in the utensil drawer), and a thermos mug that keeps his coffee hot Sounds simple enough I know but just the simple task of prepping all of this the night before means this momma gets to sleep in until at least 5:30 am (#happywifehappylife).

2. Kids Bathroom. Towels, toothpaste and toilet paper – these are my nemesis’ when it comes to the bathroom. Their (the kids) excuse for never hanging up towels came in the form of “I can’t reach the hook” which in their defence is absolutely true. I found these amazing hooks that suction to any surface that you want – wood, drywall, wallpaper – you name it, so that you can put them up at any height you want without them having to be permanent. I’m telling you – these hooks are a game changer in our house and I’ve literally started to put them up everywhere. Oh, you can’t hang that up – BAM hook is on the wall. So where were we – ahhhh yes, toothpaste. I mean, why would you EVER put a cap back ON a tube of toothpaste. I’m pretty sure my kids dispose of it along with the packaging that it comes in. So for that we now have drawer inserts. Saves the drawer, saves me scraping dried toothpaste out of drawer. Yeah, I know – genius. And last but not least toilet paper. Here is my theory on this: out of sight out of mind (huh?) which means that if you store toilet paper in a cupboard where you can’t see it, how do you know when you are out of it? Exactly – you don’t. Toilet roll holders to the rescue. New rule – if there is one roll left, refill it. Mic drop.

3. Master Bathroom. Otherwise known as the gathering space in our house when I am trying to get ready in the morning. Sigh. It has also slowly become a storage space for all of those random bathroom things that you don’t use everyday but you definitely want accessible. My solution to the random stuff? Carrying cases. Yep, good old sturdy carrying cases. For nail polish organization, to my makeup, to random bottles of everything you can think of. Oh, and I also incorporated a solution to cotton balls, q-tips and cotton pads that has then front and centre on our bathroom counter because I’m going to be honest with you, I was sick of being asked where they were. Let’s be honest, they still ask even when they are staring right at them.

4. Shoes. One of my least favourite ways to start each day? Listening to at least 1 of 3 children saying “I don’t know where my shoes are” (double sigh). So as much as I would love to spend our life savings on professionally designing every square inch of every closet and drawer in our house – it’s just not currently in the cards. So like I said earlier – I am all about quick and realistic solutions that will actually work. Insert the shoe cabinet into our lives. A space for the kids to put their shoes – as a pair. Do you know what this translates into? Never hearing the words “I don’t know where my shoes are” ever again. Want to up the ante and add another level of organization into your morning? I’ve also added this shoe rack into the mix however not using it as a shoe rack (GASP! I know, I live a crazy – stay with me). They each get a shelf to put their hat, mitts, whatever other stuff they need when they head out the door in the morning. It’s their shelf. It’s where their stuff is. That’s it, that’s all.

Start small with bite sized achievable solutions that will actually work – when it comes to organization and just about everything else you are taking action on. Not ones that require a second mortgage and multiple Pinterest boards to accomplish. Instead of getting caught up in the idea of it just start taking action on it. Identify the things that drive you crazy, that you need a real solution for and then do something about it. It doesn’t have to be perfect and it doesn’t have to be a permanent solution. Instead focus on finding one that works for right now.

Want to hear some good news (for all of you like-minded organizational professionals out there)? shop my favourite products from Kitchen Stuff Plus here and for an extra bonus Kitchen Stuff Plus has provided you with a promo code: “islapearl-10” so that you can get 10% off during their Organization Event – which is on NOW from January 15 – February 11, 2018. Mention this discount code at cash, or by entering it online. Some exclusions may apply. Exactly, you’re welcome.

Looking forward to hearing about how you solve your morning problems with some of these amazing finds that hopefully start to make your mornings a little easier and stress free.