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  1. and i thought i was an organizational nut… BRAVO, dahling, well done!!

  2. Sympathy cards are especially important to have on hand. You need to send them asap and that’s might happen during a period when you are too swamped to run to the store.
    I’ve become more careful about buying in bulk. We overdid it a few times and still have extra stock of a few things (shampoo!). A reserve is good, but you don’t want things to sit for too long.
    I also recently edited the stuff in my bag, then put it into a small, clear plastic zippered pouch. When I change bags, I grab the pouch and have all the essentials immediately. And when I need to look for my phone or wallet, I no longer sift through all that other stuff (pens, tiny notepad, tissues, tiny tape measure, lipstick, etc.).

    1. Yes, love the bag trick! I actually bookmarked one of those pouches you can buy to put in your bag and then you just move it from bag to bag. Never got around to ordering it though. I rarely change bags… 🙂

  3. Oh yay! I do the Bed Bath and Beyond coupons in my car also! Thanks for the tips. Will head out soon to get greeting cards. : )

  4. Some great ideas! Thanks!

  5. All great tips, Lory. I’m a great believer in being prepared for anything! You’ve summed it up nicely. I’d like to add, keep stamps! Having cards at the ready doesn’t help when you have no stamps. A situation that occurs frequently as so many things that required stamps on hand are now done online. Keep up the that touch of OCD, it’s a good thing!!!

    1. Haha, yes, of course… I buys stamps in bulk!! 😉 Funny thing is, we’ve run out of milk countless times, but I don’t think I’ve ever run out of stamps. I’m not nearly as good with things that spoil… lol.

  6. Teddee Grace says:

    I consider myself a very organized person, but many of your suggestions are only helpful if you have the funds to follow them. I very often cannot make a hair appointment or have something repaired because of limited funds, and one doesn’t have space for buying in bulk or stocking hostess gifts when living in a one-bedroom apartment. I have also found that if I stock greeting cards I never seem to have quite the appropriate card and they pile up and get old and that’s also a waste of money.

    1. I only meant make the appointment in advance if you were intending to go for the appointment. If you don’t ever cut or color your hair, you certainly don’t need the appointments… 🙂 But it still would apply for well-care doctor visits.

      As for greeting cards, I was talking about literally buying the appropriate card for the appropriate person. You know when your kids’ birthdays are or your best friend or whomever you buy cards for. So I’m just talking about planning in advance and getting it done up front.

      If you’re great at the last minute, then you don’t need to. But for me, I often wind up running out at the last minute to get the card and then getting something that’s not the best card because I didn’t have time to go to the better card store.

  7. Elizabeth Roderick says:

    Great ideas! I actually have a master grocery list I print out. I’ve had people look over my shoulder in the store and ask “that’s cool, where did you get it?” I tell them I personalized it just for us. It has changed over the years. I try to keep cards at least a month ahead and often find I forget if I don’t. I do, however, keep 3 calendars to remind me of important occasions. My mother kept a supply of tiny leather baby shoes. When a baby was born she would paint trucks, balls etc for boys and tiny rosebuds for baby girls. Wish I had that talent! Thanks again for sharing this with all of us.

  8. Shelly Powell says:

    Oh my…I already do all of this! I do my earrings the very same way! I have always done the gift and card thing. I am always ready with a gift and card. I learned the makeup thing when I had to rush my husband out of town for a heart issue,. Was hours from home and had only a few items I keep in my purse. Now it is ready to grab and go. I also keep a small pillow and a blanket in the car as well as a phone book. Not everyone has a phone that they can get online with. Great tips!

    1. Yes!! I do the pillow and blanket thing too! And protein bars (only one or two because they usually get old and wind up getting thrown out). Lol… great minds… 🙂

  9. Patricia Wilson says:

    A great organization reminder, Lory, especially cards. I’d always loved visiting a card shop whenever I had some time to spare…almost as much fun as going to a bookstore…so I always had appropriate cards for any friend of mine and for any occasion. Somehow, that card shop habit fell away and I’ve found myself too many times searching for an appropriate card at the last minute for someone I really care about and wasn’t able to find one just right.

    I resolve that I’ll again pick up the habit I once had to visit card shops and again enjoy choosing cards that say what’s exactly in my heart.

  10. I also am very well organized and I utilize most of these ideas. In addition to my grocery list, I also have my grocery coupons in a box with tabs for each aisle in the grocery store. This really helps to remind me to use the coupons and helps speed up my grocery shopping trip. Unfortunately, the store periodically rearranges the contents of their aisles. They want to keep customers in the store as long as possible, so they’ll spend more money. Each time they do this, I just rearrange the tabs in my coupon box and I’m ready to go.

  11. bobbi duncan says:

    Lory, I am so cracking up right now–didn’t think anyone was as picky about organization as me! I do all of these things except scheduling my hair appointments a year in advance because events would come up whereby I’d want my hair to look nice and I’d have to keep changing my appointments around, but I still book two at a time. People are always joking that my car has duplicate things that I already have at home– but just look at who they ask for nail clippers, tape, Kleenex, band-aids, and dental floss HA! HA! They also know who will have a cooler with fruit, yogurt and other goodies as I’m the only one to bring food and water when going on an outing. Luckily, my hubby is almost as wacky as me; when we get down to one of any product he makes this siren sounding noise and says ” We’ve reached critical mass! I repeat, we’ve reached critical mass!”. Organization just keeps me sane, and on time; I hate searching for things so I learned early on to have designated places for everything.

  12. DeDe W.. Shields says:

    Had to laugh. My husband thought I wrote this list. Super type A+ girls. DeDe Shields

  13. Mother of 3 says:

    Great ideas! I make my own cards and set aside a day at the beginning of each month to make all the cards I need for that month. I do find shopping so much easier my list is organized by the store aisles and I get so annoyed when stores start rearranging displays. It seems like they do that to me each and every time I finally feel like I know just where everything is. Pinned.

  14. For years I have kept a box with my cards organized by category in my office but you reminded me it is time to refill it and get rid of some old cards. Also need to get some more stamps. Ever since I started keeping my earrings in a clear sectioned box it makes finding them so easy and I keep my most worn necklaces on a jewelery tree.As I get older being organized is a great help!!

    1. Yep, even the most organized of us need to be reminded from time to time. I re-read my own posts for reminders sometimes… lol!

  15. Great list! Love the idea of a master grocery list. My husband has been on me to create such a list of go-to meals for when I’m drawing a blank meal planning. Visiting from Dagmar’s House party.

    1. Thank you! And welcome!! Maybe turn it back to hubby to start the list by adding his favorites, and then you can go from there… 🙂

  16. Norma Rolader says:

    Wow!!! Great ideas and tips Thank you for sharing

  17. Thank you for the tips. I have also started buying some generic cards at Trader Joe’s. They are only $1.00 each and many are very nice. They change frequently so I always check the card stand on each visit. Great Thank you’s and holiday greetings. My Grandkids love to receive mail and I try to keep on top of all of the events. Thank you.

  18. Thank you! I am not one easily drawn to organizational ideas or methods, I find them ever tedious. Your priceless list is doable, important and definitely worth my while. Must I wait until January to get started?! 🙂 Happy New Year!

  19. Barbara C. says:

    You have inspired me for the new year. Would love to hear your thoughts on determining how to get rid of clothes. I struggle with that and have a feeling you have a system to keep your clothes closet pared down and organized. Thank you.

    1. Ahh, I just may have a post on this coming up somewhat soon. I’m a ‘one in, one out’ girl, but my systems have gotten off track as my closet is holding several sizes right now… ?‍♀️

  20. I love all these ideas Lory! I’m also glad to know someone as obsessed with spreadsheets as I am! 🙂 Have a great mid-holiday week!

  21. Cecilia from Georgia says:

    I spend 1/3 of my life looking for stuff?. I buy cards and can’t find them on the birthday so buy another one. I’m obsessive about my house and even have a spreadsheet for monthly housecleaning. However, I have a double attic full of treasures (aka junk). Is not bringing me JOY any more so my goal is to Kondo the attics! Love all your advice and reading the comments for suggestions. Happy 2020!

    1. Yes, Kondo away!! Although I do have thoughts about that too. I think Marie Kondo is too young to understand certain categories of “stuff”. But still, I very much believe you should get rid of stuff that you don’t love.

  22. Luanne Doner says:

    Try the app Any List. It’s great for groceries, hardware, etc. And the lists can be shared so anytime my husband or daughter are out shopping they know what we need and can pick it up. They can also add. When any one buys something we all get a notification saying the list has been altered (actually crossed off the list) It’s saved many extra trips to store.

  23. I have a Master Shopping List of food/household items that should be on hand. I have trained 1 man qnd 2 boys to ‘highlight’ the out-of-stock item as they used it up: yellow for general grocery pink for bulk store, blue for a special trip. It works incredibly well and if I find myself in a store without the list, I can text a homebody for the ‘pink’ list….

    1. That sounds’s awesome! Except it would have to be tweaked in my house, as both hubby and my son are color blind… 😉

  24. Jean Kissane says:

    Just reading this post stressed me! Doing any of these things would make me unhappy! I think they make you happy and that is great for you.

    1. Well, of course, it goes without saying that you should only do these things if you want to… 😉

      As the post says, they’re ideas to make life easier, more efficient and organized. But I can’t presume to know how to make other people happy… 🙂

  25. I used to do the master grocery list by aisle and am moving soon so will be incorporating that into my “to do” list. I am also narrowing down my choices so adding prices, etc will also help with the grocery bill.

    I buy blank notecards in bulk and send them with a personal note inside. It’s more personal and less expensive. I use vista.com and enjoy setting up my own designs, etc.

    You have lots of great ideas. Reader, Victoria, has a great idea. Cooking isn’t my strong point so writing down a few specific winners so I’m not going crazy at mealtime is a good idea. I belonged to a garden club and brought a quiche, same recipe to the Christmas party for ten years running. Gad!!
    Talk about boring, but apparently some members looked forward to it after a while so all good. It’s tasty. It’s time to expand, haha.

    1. I love your idea about stocking blank note cards! I love it even more that you design your own!! I’m going to try that one… 🙂

      I used to buy pretty note cards when I saw them in a stationery store, but then I never wanted to use the last one because I loved saving the pretty note cards… lol! Having your own designs to re-order when you run out solves that little quirk I have.?

  26. Margo Morgan says:

    Maybe if you don’t have enough space or money to buy in bulk it would be helpful to do these tips on a month to month basis instead or every two months. The idea is to just not have to try to remember everyday about what’s coming and react. It helps you be more prepared and plan ahead. I do all of these things and the systems they create for my home are life changing.

    1. Exactly true! The idea is to spend only what you’re going to spend during the year anyway. I just do it in advance for convenience. But if you need to break it up monthly or quarterly, that’s still better than doing it every time you need something.

  27. As a decidedly unorganized person, I really appreciate learning from people who have their systems in place. I love your list.

  28. I love your “non obvious” list Lory! You are super organized!! Love the hostess and receipt idea..that’s me…have a hundred receipts in my purse? thanks for the great ideas

  29. I do several of these. The one that made me laugh was the grocery spreadsheet! Since the 80’s I have copied and used a grocery store checklist. It was in a magazine. It’s getting a little brittle but I make multiple copies as needed. It’s organized the way grocery stores are by category. It helps me to not forget anything.

  30. I do at least half of these great ideas, but you have given me even more ways to stay organized. Truly, this is one of the best ‘get and stay organized’ lists I’ve ever read. Thank you for taking the time to provide this. The timing is perfect since this is when I like to start new (to me) habits.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words!! So glad it resonated with you! I have another one coming out on Monday… 🙂 Stay tuned!!

  31. These are great tips!!! I do some but not all & will incorporate some new ones for 2021. Thanks for the inspiration. The grocery store spreadsheet did make me chuckle. ? Happy New Year.

    XO- MaryJo

  32. I have gotten our whole house organized during the pandemic days at home but I will still run across something else to do. I am going to organize earrings like you have them. That’s great idea. Would you mind sharing your source for your colorful accordion file for receipts. That’s so much better than the boring brown ones that are in the stores.

    1. Yes, there’s always more to be organized, isn’t there? Did you not see the source list at the bottom off the post? The colorful accordion files are there or you can just use this link: https://rstyle.me/+doOYgGKCh9P5ybQWjGMp-g

      Unless you meant the striped box one? I got that a long time ago. I don’t see one like it now, but will keep my eye out for something similar.

  33. Thanks Lory & I did mean the striped one.
    I’ll look around & maybe I will find something colorful like your’s.

  34. Leslie Sheppard says:

    From someone who loves to be organized but isn’t sure how to get there, I love this! I so appreciate all of your tips that are handy but also elegant and classy. Thank you for sharing a little insight of how your brain works!

  35. These are great tips! I’m also very organized but found a couple of new ideas here! Thank you and happy new year!

  36. CarolBinTX says:

    I keep a TON of notes on my phone! The most useful are those items we typically buy at Costco…it’s the only store my husband will go to spontaneously and alone. I’ll frequently get a text, “I’m at Costco, need anything?” I go to that list, find what’s checked and we always has a constant supply of items that we love! I keep lists for movies I want to see and books I want to read, items I want to look for at craft stores, etc. If only we could get organized out in the garage!

  37. Can you offer some suggestions on good hostess gifts? So often a candle is the answer but that gets tiring. Would be fun to have some unusual ideas to bring. Would even be better if we could create some and have them on hand. Thanks. Happy New Year!

  38. CarolBinTX says:

    Here’s another tip to stay organized with grocery shopping. My store reorganizes weekly (and I’ve fruitlessly complained), so the pre-printed list hasn’t worked for me. As soon as I come home from a shopping trip, I start a new list in my spiral notebook. I date the shopping trip I just made. As the week goes on, I add menu ideas on the right hand side (I might see a recipe here or in other blogs), then I write down what I need for it on the left hand side. When I need ideas, I revisit older pages in my notebook. As I go through the store, I cross things off and revisit the list at the end of each aisle. I rarely forget anything this way and I hardly buy impulse items!

  39. Eva Lyons says:

    I LOVE this article, thank you! During the week I babysit our grandchildren and help out my parents, all an hour away in different directions, so my car needs to be stocked with essentials in advance. I have found that keeping some things in my car cuts down on the weight of my handbag! Would love ideas on car organization!

    1. Thank you so much! I’m really glad it resonated with you. I love your idea about car organization. I will definitely try to get to that… 🙂

  40. You just reminded my Lory that I need more wooden hangers. Thank you! Our closets sure could use some shelves and that is the plan this year.
    Using my grandmothers antique dishes around the house for odd storage works well for me too.
    Clear boxes are a good idea and I need those for the Christmas decor that seems to get lost from year to year. I’m going up to look at those hangers!

    Happy Holidays Lory! Thank you for the years inspiring posts!

    1. So glad you’re inspired!! Thanks for reading and for the kind wishes! Happy New Year!!!

  41. In the photo for #7 with the flowers, phone, and makeup, do you remember where you bought the very small light pink flowers? They are beautiful.

    Thank you for writing this post. I appreciate an organized person. I thought I was organized, but you’ve got me beat!

    1. Oh, gosh, I cannot remember but they are really nice ones… 🙂 If I recall I will come back and post. Glad you appreciated the post!

  42. Love all these reminders of how to stay organized. I use to be so super organized but when COVID hit…I got lost. Now that we are preparing to downsize next year, I am not only following many of your ideas but also evaluating my existing storage in how I can improve it. Time to let go of a few things. Thank you for your hard work in preparing your posts. I enjoy all of them. Happy New Year to you and your family!

    1. Aww thank you for your very kind comment!! Happy New Year to you, too! And good luck when you downsize… 🙂

  43. Oh, my gosh! It was funny to read these tips describing me! Love it! And actually learned a few more new ideas, too. Saving your additional posts to read later. January is always my favorite time to clean up, clean out and get refreshed and organized.
    Thank you for the great tips and ideas that are easy to set up and maintain as habits.
    Happy New Year!

    1. So glad this post resonated with you!! We organization freaks have to stick together… lol!