The Jam Jars


Photo by House to Home

Jam jars with red gingham-print lids. I can’t resist them. They’re perfect for holding all my erasers.

Wait a second…

Why would I own so many erasers?

If I don’t need something, then I don’t need to container-ize it, or label it, or make a list about it. Sometimes I forget that when I see pretty editorial pictures.

It’s organizational eye candy.

If you’re feeling like your efforts to organize aren’t really paying off, try looking for ideas that solve a problem, not just look pretty or add to your possessions. Too many containers can make a home feel…bloated. (I’m trying, but I can’t think of a better word.)

A lot of people wonder, “When will I finally be organized?” and “When will I be de-cluttered?” It’s a process that is ongoing. You’re never really through, but one sign that you’re close is when you start giving away your old containers that you don’t need anymore.

Have you found this to be true?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.

Comments

  1. I have started to keep my empty storage containers – and there are quite a lot of them – in my attic. I don’t need them, but am not ready to get rid of them just quite yet.
    Jenni´s last post…The comfort of His arms

  2. Oh yes, yes, yes.
    I have actually started doing little bits of organizing and giving away a bag a week.
    Looking for empty shelf and drawer space … that’s nice.
    Susie Davis´s last post…Five Steps to Following Your Heart

  3. YES!! I’d rather get rid of stuff than try to find a way to organize it. I’m LOVING that we’re getting ready to move overseas. It’s given me new motivation to declutter (and a bit more license from my husband to do so!).

    I’ve taken multiple carloads to Salvation Army over the last few weeks, and just trashed a bunch of other stuff. It feels so GOOD!
    Damsel´s last post…10 Steps to a Sparkling Clean Floor using the Neglected Toddler Method

  4. joanne b says:

    love this post, just thinking your jars are lovely and am wondering a] where i can get them and
    b] what i can put in them!
    i’m sure i have missed the point of the post, hahaha

    • They come from Baine Marie (not sure of the proper French spelling) jam; here in South Dakota, we can find the jam many places, including Safeway. It doesn’t have corn syrup and fillers, etc., so it’s good jam that also gives you cute jars!

  5. Suzanne says:

    I so agree!

  6. Karen (Scotland) says:

    Yes, yes, yes!
    I just emptied a whole load of plastic boxes and my husband and I are scratching our heads. We haven’t had “extra” boxes for years. We just kept filling and filling and buying more…
    However, with my wardrobe declutter, the final baby outgrowing the tiny stuff, my husband catching the declutter bug, we are now starting to empty those boxes.
    A good feeling.
    Karen (Scotland)

  7. sounds right to me. after a year of organizing in our house i remember stopping to think one day, “where did all of these empty bins come from?” :)

  8. I totally agree that STAYING organized is ongoing – forever.
    Although I am known in my circle of friends and family
    as super-organized, I still find shelves and areas
    which have become overflowing or cluttered after a time.
    Luckily, I love tackling a smallish project because the
    process and the results are so calming.
    It helps that I’ve started taking both before and after
    photos and then blogging them; it helps me stay focused.
    p.s. I’m loving your book “Simple Blogging”.

  9. Sandra Gonzales says:

    I had been holding on to my storage containers for about 6 years. I always thought I would use them again one day. After so long, I finally gave them away to friends and family.

  10. “Organizational eye candy.” I love that. And it’s so true. I’m often admiring someone’s lovely shelf unit full of beautiful baskets and thinking, “Wouldn’t it be great to have something like that to organize all of my (fill in the blank)?” And then I think, “Why would I want to acquire an entire UNIT and a bunch of baskets to organize (fill in the blank)?” For me, the best way to organize my stuff is simply to own less stuff.
    Morgan´s last post…Latest Lucas-isms

    • ahem, yes!

      I went through a patch of crazy recently where I actually thought, “I need to buy a unit to store all this extra stuff in my study” and then I thought, “waitaminute, I am clearly going mad. the stuff must go”

      So I am decluttering my kids’ toys and moving the stuff that’s here (new stuff, unplayed with) into that space so I don’t need any extra units

  11. Yes! Thank you. I am starting to find myself with extra storage containers and was planning to put them up in the attic, like the first commenter said. I’m afraid I might need them and don’t want to have to buy more. I actually took a trip to The Container Store with friends last weekend. Everything there was just beautiful! But, I am proud to say all I bought was some small snack size storage containers for school lunches, so as not to use so many plastic bags.

  12. YES! I bought giant plastic storage tubs at a garage sale in order to “get rid of clutter” a few years ago. Recently, I realized that the tubs and the stuff in them had become clutter. Hubs and I cleaned them out and recycled/donated a ton of stuff, including three of the tubs. It felt AMAZING!
    Francescaroo´s last post…How to Train Your Human

  13. Yes, I have found this to be true.
    You might even have shelves in your cabinets with nothing on them.

  14. I’ve been de-cluttering like crazy, but haven’t given away my containers yet. I look forward to the day I do! Thanks for the goal!

  15. It’s oh so true. Recently I picked up a copy of Real Simple…because you know, anything with the word “simple” in it…and my jaw dropped a little. It was about organizing and instead of Step #1 being “Get rid of all your junk,” it was, “Go out and buy cute, matching organizers.” What?

    Also, I saw a book recently called How to De-clutter on a Budget (or something similar) and I couldn’t believe it. I’m not sure how they’re decluttering, but I think they are doing it wrong. Decluttering, if anything, makes me money.

    I think it’s safe to say that decluttering and organizing should be left up to people who aren’t looking to feed the (completely counterproductive) industry of stuff to hold your stuff.
    Jennie´s last post…The “Stuff” You Need

    • @jennie — I got suckered into buying a copy of Real Simple, too, and discovered it wasn’t about less, but about more, and it was all ‘real expensive.’ I’ve emptied containers, but then I fill them up again…

      • Exactly! Every article seems to be an advertisement for pricey “solutions” to mostly imaginary problems.

  16. So true! After a serious round of the ongoing de-cluttering in my home I sold some of my storage boxes on Craig’s List. The buyer was thrilled but absolutely could not believe that I was selling them b/c I got rid of so much stuff and was trying to keep myself from filling them up again by getting rid of them for good.

  17. I love baskets. All shapes and sizes. I have a few that are empty now and not sure what to do with them! I should give them away, but…
    And then there is the situation of wanting to buy a new basket. Just because I like the basket! Have to get a handle on this as I decrease my belongings more and more. No need for baskets then!
    Bernice
    Living the Balanced Life´s last post…Letting go of perfection

    • Empty baskets make great gift containers. Fill them up with any manner of things; I have given many baby shower gifts that are baskets filled with little books, baby toys, etc. (buy them when you see them on sale when you know a shower is coming up). The moms loved getting a cute container for storage along with gifts for baby.

      Other gift basket uses: Fill a basket with baked goods, homemade beauty products, noodles and homemade spaghetti sauce, tea and cookies … the combinations are endless. You can give someone a unique gift AND use up the extra baskets in your house!

  18. Hmm…I have been putting off decluttering for a while and ogling prety pictures instead. Then this post–and a slice of conviction–went and messed up my inertia. *Sigh* Time to get cracking…
    Michelle´s last post…On My Hiatus and Overwhelm

  19. This post made me laugh out loud, partly because I have a(n uncluttered!) MIL who adores those jars and can’t pass them up.Another part because of our living situation last year, where we were helping a family take care of an extra house in their family. We cleaned out five of the cabinet spaces for our kitchen stuff. and each of those cabinets was full and bursting with disposable plastic storage containers. Sigh. It was a good lesson for me.

    And we’re thinning things out for another move as we speak… back to that…
    Eliz. K´s last post…overheard at work

  20. I used to think I couldn’t organize because I needed nice matching containers… then I began, I realized that actually if I was decluttering then I wouldn’t have half the stuff and needed not so many fewer containers… then I discovered if I just kept decluttering and donating then the containers could get smaller and smaller… and now I have discovered that I don’t really need containers at all – everything fits in a drawer or on a shelf or somewhere… And the containers have become, as you say, eye candy for the things that I want to have out on display!!! If I was a pure minimalist I wouldn’t need containers at all – because not only would everything have a place but everything would have a function… I have found that the last ting in a long long long time of decluttering and refining of our stuff is to get rid of containers… not just a few of them!!! I am not saving them for a rainy day, or when we have more stuff… just don’t need them – be gone!!!

  21. :D When I see organizational articles/pictures with containers full of like items I wonder what the purpose is. Eye candy! exactly!
    Tammy´s last post…Your Guess is as Good as Mine

  22. So true.

    De-cluttering and organization is really a way of life rather than a quest to be completed. I appreciate that you pointed out that getting organized does not require adding *new* possessions to contain what you already have (and maybe too much of, at that!) ;) On of the favorite parts of my job as a professional organizer is to find novel/creative ways to organize a persons belongings with things they already have.

    -heidi of:
    operationorganization-mn.com
    &
    wonderwomanwannabe.com

  23. Hm, I’m not at the giving away containers process yet. But I’m making progress…most of my bookshelves are now only a single layer, instead of being double stacked…maybe someday I’ll actually have an empty shelf.

  24. The last time we moved we gave away 15 or 20 big empty Rubbermaid containers after sorting through and deciding we didn’t want to actually move so much stuff. People thought we were crazy for getting rid of them. It was probably one of the smartest things we’ve done because we haven’t replaced them since.

  25. Margaret says:

    I LOVE this blog.
    SO TRUE. Everything you say about organization is SO TRUE.

  26. The moment I saw the Jam Jar picture, I thought..ooh what a good idea, I should do that. :-) Only when I read the blog did I figure out where u were going with that. So true!

    I missed you blog for last some days. Great to see your post

  27. I think you can reach that point of “I’m finally de-cluttered!” at the end of a day you just spent cleaning and uncluttering, but the next day you’ll notice something new that’s out of place and start all over again! Sort of like cleaning the house…how do we accumulate all this stuff???
    Kait Palmer´s last post…The Baby Shower

  28. Stephanie says:

    What a great point – it’s so easy to get caught up in how you can organize things and not really get rid of the *things* themselves that you don’t need!

  29. Yes! Thank you. This was exactly the push I needed to get rid of my empty organizational containers. Thanks for the great post!

  30. I don’t know that I have too much trouble letting go of containers, but that’s usually because I’m just replacing them with ones I think are cuter…. I may have a problem. :-)
    Amy´s last post…My new philosophy on parenting

  31. Funny! I am realizing that in order to complete the stage of decluttering I’m in I have to get rid of the container that is holding the clutter as well as the clutter. I easily horde boxes and containers as much as the stuff that goes in them. In my craft room I have a hard time letting go of those because I just think I’m going to need it- but my table is full of half full boxes that I could easily pass on. The contents and the box!

  32. Oh so cute jars! I confess, I do keep my old storage containers – in the attic – and I have gone “shopping” more than once to use them for an entirely new purpose. :)
    Susan´s last post…Display Your Child’s Art @ Denise in Bloom

  33. Great comments! Yes, I did some decluttering this week and found myself with two empty plastic baskets. I put them in my toddler’s toy area for her to play with. My challenge is not to buy new things once the old have been organized/recycled/donated/thrown away.

    As for Jam Jars, I’m laughing because I heard on the news last night that one of the Kardashian sisters registered for a $500 Jam Jar at some store in LA. They should read your blog!

  34. Shannon Jones says:

    Yes, I so agree with this post. We have spent the last year decluttering and our final sale is this weekend. I have gotten our entire street on board and we are all putting things out for a sale and this past week the broken bins, washers, lawn chairs, etc. were picked up by the bulk disposal company. So good to see my clearing out became contagious! Maybe we will actually start to “know” our neighbors more not that everyone isn’t busy being buried in their stuff!

    • Shannon Jones says:

      oops typo I meant to say “Now that everyone is no longer buried in their stuff!”

  35. Hilarious. My first thought when I saw that picture was, “How cute and clever but why would anyone ever need that many erasers?” And of course you can’t actually *use* those erasers or they will get all gray and gross looking and ruin the effect ;-)

  36. Great post! I have found that its easier to give away stuff if the container comes with it. I, too, have been downsizing and decided to get rid of as many containers as possible so they wouldn’t fill back up. Some of the containers served several functions before being passed on – because they were sitting empty I would use them as sorting stations in the interim. As long as the “stuff” was being cycled in and out I didn’t worry. But as soon as everything started acting too cozy like it might want to live with me another decade I would focus on getting it out of the house.

    I feel slightly guilty when I give them away, only because the recipient is so surprised they are getting the nice container that they will take more “stuff” off my hands. Does that make me a bad person?
    Kitty´s last post…Really America Youre Going to Watch Combat Hospital ABC While My Soldier Is Still Over There

  37. Yep! We agreed to a moratorium on buying cute baskets because the more baskets we have, the more STUFF we keep that needs to find a new home.

    I so agree, Rachel – it’s so easy to get caught up in the eye candy of it all. Far, far better for us to just keep focused on what is beautiful and needed.
    Megan at SortaCrunchy´s last post…Introducing The Husbands Guide to Getting Lucky by Marla Taviano

  38. This is such a good point. I often get caught up in the novelty of an organizational tool or container. It’s so easy to do. Especially with all the neat things on Pinterest! But I have to draw the line, they are neat to look at but I don’t need to have all them in my home.

    I have the same thoughts about storage containers in the garage. Why do I have them? If the items need to be stored and I haven’t touched them in months, why do I need the stuff that they are storing?

    Thanks for keeping us on track!

  39. I have been in the declutter mode for about a year. My problem is magazines and yes I do recycle them through a friend who first reads them then takes them to an elderly care facility. Made me feel good.
    I have hit the garage and found a bucket of jelly jars, about 6 cases. I was going to donate them then had a bright idea–make jelly and give them as gifts. I have made mint, hot pepper, bitter marmalade, figs in syrup as well as pears in syrup and of course the strawberry jam. I also found two cases of wide mouth jars and have put those to use also; cheap storage when lined with a zip lock bag for beans, noodles and other small pantry things–again cheaper than buying plastic. I bought an 8 quart canner and put up chow chow; first time in 15 years. I have a much larger pressure canner that I used when my children were at home. I know what goes into the food, where the food came from and how clean it was in the preparation. I have even used my dehydrator to do bell peppers, tomatoes and green onion tops which I store in a–you got it–quart jar. It has worked all through the house but I have the office to go through yet and my material shelf. Thee is hope for all of us who have piled things into our lives and now reach for the people in our lives—-call it peeling an onion layer by layer.

  40. Okay, how is it you always know what to write at the right time?!

    I just took out some of the jam jars I’ve been keeping to see where I can use them after seeing so many cute, organised craft rooms on the internet :)

    Now I’m rethinking it. Same like your other post about how all the blogs make us want to take up all these extra hobbies!!!

    Guilty!

  41. I tend to be a “lurker” but this one brought me out. YES! They look so cute in the pictures, but not so cute when your house starts looking like a containerized version of “hoarders”!

    I have to remind myself often, “It’s cute for them but not what we need.” Same thing goes for things on sale! :)
    Erika´s last post…Chorus of Prayer

  42. Danielle says:

    I sat down to read this with a jam jar (the same one!) full of plain yogurt. YUM!

  43. VERY true!

    I will say, however, that our home needs at least that many erasers. My 11yo and 7yo sons lose them like mad…
    Aimee´s last post…Stairs!

  44. Yep, I agree. Although I love to have a few nice decorations, I’d rather have less than more.

    By the way, I host a Declutter Challenge on my blog, which might be handy. You can find it here:
    http://www.lifewithflylady.com/declutter-challenge-1-getting-started/

    And I’m so glad you’re back, Rachel! I missed your inspiring posts :D
    Maaike Quinn @ Life with FlyLady´s last post…The Top 10 Most Beautiful Laundry Rooms Ever

  45. Right now I am in love with the little clear plastic container with the red top… from KFC. They use them for the small sides like green beans, mashed potatoes. Hubby has been told DO NOT THROW THEM OUT. I am saving them. Not sure for what. So far I have 10 of them. I can’t seem to toss them. (At least, not yet.) :D
    don_mae´s last post…Recycle 5- “By Sea” Jeans Handbag

    • Jessiejack says:

      I can’t believe you said that!!! I had KFC for the first time in a long time just last nite and I fell in love with those little containers! they are so cute. I REALLY had to force myself to let go tho I thought they could be used for lunches somehow. It’s tough sometimes to resist

    • I’ve started saving all my cottage cheese and sour cream containers. They are all the same size lid (but some are shorter). No need to buy a matching set of food storage containers! And I don’t mind writing on them! And when the tomato sauce stains them or someone melts bubbles into it at the microwave at her work, I can throw it away! And when I’m sending my partner off to work on the bus with lunch in hand, he doesn’t have to remember to bring it back! And they stack together nicely!

      I am, however, guilty of saving a number of the glass jars we go through at a much faster rate, because I would LIKE to stop using plastic as much as possible, but they don’t stack as nicely and they take up a lot more room. They are great for organizing though. Problem is that most of the things that need to be organized together, I actually USE, so it’s not like we can get rid of it. I’d love to de-clutter but… I use the things I own!

      I’ve de-cluttered a lot of my partner’s junky stuff, trying to get him to learn that broken things need to either be fixed within the week or discarded. The laundry basket with the broken handle does NOT need to stay. The coffee grinder that should still work but the casing won’t click back together will take as much or more to repair than to replace, list it on Freecycle as “broken, good for small appliance fiddler.”

      Problem is, I have legitimate piles of stuff that need containing. The pile of fabric for various sewing projects. The pile of first aid supplies for our emergency preparedness kit that doesn’t yet have a bag to be organized into. The pile of bread that always ends up taking over the whole counter. The ever-rotating pile of fruit that seemed to take over and annoy us rather than tempt us with its deliciousness because there was nowhere to put it. I sincerely think there is a balance for having too many containers, and container clutter. It IS nice to have an empty basket to toss each roommate’s belongings into the day we really clean the living room each week. It makes cleaning the living room a 20 minute chore, and only another 5 minutes for people to put things away in their rooms when they get home. And if I didn’t have all those baskets on top of my cupboards, I don’t know where our dry goods would live!…

  46. You know what I find so helpful?! Saving a lot of my old shoe boxes and buying “Really Useful Boxes” for storage of little things. But I can’t figure out how to make it easier on the eyes!

    I can redecorate my shoe boxes and put crafts and whatnot, but I don’t know what else to do with these boxes. Do you have any ideas?

    • Ann (N.Z.) says:

      Leslie,
      You want a good use for your shoe boxes? Have you heard of Operation Christmas Child, run by Samaritan’s Purse? If not, google it, and check it out. You can cover those boxes in decorative paper, and enclose a range of “goodies”: clothing, toys, stationery, personal hygiene, to make a child in a less fortunate area very happy.
      I’ve been involved for the last three years, and can guarantee a lot of fun for you, too, in the preparation of them.
      Best wishes,
      Ann.

  47. Kate S. says:

    I agree with you, but would add that an empty drawer or shelf in your kitchen is a thing of genuine beauty, proving you know how to live with only what you really need.

    I love to cook. I often cook and bake at friends’ houses for parties and I cringe every time I open one of their drawers. Empty drawers bring me peace.

  48. I was enjoying your enthusiasm for those cute little jars and then I got to the “wait a minute” part…I love your outlook!
    Jennifer @ Somewhere Simple´s last post…Cleaning for GuestsWithout Losing Your Mind

  49. Catherine Lo says:

    I love your blog! I must have stumbled over it somehow from some minimalist blogs I think but it’s great stuff. I appreciate that you are authentic in your writing and not preachy. Its refreshing that you don’t label yourself or lifestyle as minimalist or subscribe to trendy movements but your posts are so inspiring. I toggle between minimalist, and design blogs and I love that you are so balanced….thank you thank you

  50. Clutter Queen! says:

    I’m learning that

    YOU CANNOT ORGANIZE CLUTTER. YOU CAN ONLY GET RID OF IT!”

    It is a difficult lesson to learn. :)

    p.s. I love good erasers because I don’t like the erasers at the end of pencils! They don’t work well.

  51. Uhm… I thought that was a little jar full of candy…. Haha.
    Anali´s last post…getting a grip on our spending

  52. This jam jar story reminded me of my toy organization project a couple of months ago. I was convinced that I needed a toy box for my toddler’s room . . . but then I cleaned the playroom instead and decluttered in a serious way. I gave an entire basket’s worth of outgrown baby toys to my neighbor (her daughter is a year younger than my toddler). Suddenly, I no longer needed a toybox, because I had a huge empty basket that was the perfect size to house all of my toddler’s toys.

    So glad I did not waste a big chunk of change as well an afternoon of assembly time buying a new toy box for my toddler.

  53. I love my jam jars… I guess it’s all about storing things that you use. I have found that ziplock bags are the best way to store my little things, so I guess those jam jars in the garage should go.
    Tamsyn Sapckman´s last post…Rain- rain- go away- piano chords are here to stay

  54. I think ‘bloated” is the absolute most accurate word for it.
    Megan@declutterdaily´s last post…Day 136 – Word-less Thursday

  55. I am a recovering container addict. I think I’ve gotten over the worst of it, though, because it finally started being silly to me that I would get rid of perfectly good glass jars but feel the need to buy more tupperware-type food storage items. If a glass jar was good enough for the food that was originally in it, sure it’s good to store some frozen veggies or homemade applesauce, right?
    Tracey´s last post…FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY

  56. Organizing junk/stuff neatly is still… just organizing stuff. I agree: after a recent move, I am decluttering first (and have been the whole time), then buy/incorporating attractive organizing containers. My OCD self wants to do it the other way, but for once I am deaf to her wails.
    Pearl´s last post…Men in Power- or Tonights Opera Talk

  57. As always be careful when decluttering/organizing. A couple of days ago I fell down the basement steps and went head first into a steel support beam carrying two totes to their “organized space”. After 5 stitches and a chiropractor appt I am on the mend. I do love those jars as well. As soon as I saw them the thought “what could I put in those?” crossed my mind.

  58. Have I told you lately how much I LOVE your blog? My only aggravation is that you do not post every day. Seriously, don’t leave me jonesing for more Small Notebook so often.

    This post made me chuckle – you are so right!
    Kate´s last post…Are Food Allergies Funny

  59. Rosamond says:

    Hilarious–what you wrote is so true, but somehow I still want the little jars. ;p Really, they would be great for someone who has a genuine need for lots of little objects visible and on hand (like an active crafter who might legitimately have a small stock of buttons, clasps, etc. on hand), but it’s only great if your first thought is, “finally, a convenient way to store the XYZ I use all the time!” not “gee, that’s cute, what could I put in there?” And I have to agree with the point that I don’t think anyone needs that many erasers on hand.

  60. Oh boy does this hit home! I’m a sucker for cute jars and boxes, etc. I do justify saving condiment jars for gifting homemade goodies in, instead of buying them new (which negates any money saved on DIY gifts), but when I can’t comfortably store them, then I know I have too many and it’s time to weed them!

    “Bloated” is good… so is claustrophobic!

  61. Yes! So true! I’ve found that organizing used to mean buying more stuff to put stuff in… ummm… not good. I am very proud of myself that I have a bunch of empty bins, baskets, plastic tubs, etc.

    It feels so good to me now to have less stuff that I don’t have to organize! ♥

  62. I just want to say that posts like this one are EXACTLY why I read Small Notebook. When searching for a good organizer blog (because you can’t organize clutter, but there ARE things in life that need to be organized), I kept running into blogs written by people who seemed to *love* organizing! In a figurative sense, they actually ENJOYED finding the perfect jam jar for their erasers!

    So I kept searching until I found Small Notebook. I love that you want to TRULY simplify your life and your possessions. I also love that simplifying is the strategy, not the ultimate goal. (The goal being one’s deepest life priorities: family, friends, God, etc).

  63. I love this idea. As for the eraser thing…we have to be collectors of something. ;)
    Anita´s last post…Why I choose to blog

  64. Part of simplicity is simplifying organization! The less stuff you have,the less time you need to put into organizing and cleaning.
    Emily´s last post…Friday Linkage

  65. I’ve been slowly tossing things out… including some old boxes we were keeping in the house to store things in… and its amazing to see what we have kept for so long.

    Even with the purge before my fiance moved in to the small one bedroom we still keep finding things to get rid of. Its bizarre…
    South County Girl´s last post…Weekly Spending- Debt Update &amp Groceries-Meal Plans

  66. This is my husband’s favorite jam-jelly and I always wash and keep the jars after use.

    When there are too many, I take them to Goodwill. But there is an entire box in my garage just waiting to be used. :)
    Brenda@Coffeeteabooks´s last post…Sunday Afternoon Tea

  67. This post really hit home for me! About a month ago, I got the urge to organize my stuff. I went to the Container Store and spent a lot of money on things to organize my kitchen cabinets, as well the kitchen drawers, desk drawers, and my one bathroom drawer. I decluttered as I decided where and how to use my wonderful new organizers. At first, I was happy with my organizational system. Then, I decided to declutter my pantry and go even further with the decluttering in my kitchen drawers and desk drawers. I ended up with storage boxes I didn’t need. Thank goodness I kept my receipts, because I took back about 1/2-2/3 of what I bought. I now have baskets and bins (from previous organizing attempts) sitting empty. Thanks for sharing this great post!
    Toni´s last post…Menu Monday and Other Musings

  68. So looking forward to the day I can reduce the number of storage containers we use. I felt it was an accomplishment when we got rid of all the cardboard boxes, and much of what they held, without adding any new plastic bins, etc. I also started using our dressers and trunks and shelves for their intended purposes. Wow, that’s a life changer – I’m hopelessly surprised by the obvious.

  69. Aaaccckkk!!!! Give away containers?!!!?? Does that really happen? Could it be true? Someday this could happen to ME?! Ohhh goody, I can’t wait! Thanks for reminding me I don’t have to organize stuff I don’t need/love/want anymore.
    Livin In Duckville´s last post…Alice Coopers Rockin the House!!!

  70. Oh man, this is so true!

    I am a recovering container addict. Bags, boxes, baskets, oh my! I almost can’t pass up or throw out “a good” bag.

    It was when I realized I was never using these that I started getting rid of them. AND using them instead of saving them all.

    I don’t miss the clutter and I love the extra space.
    Tracey´s last post…40 by 40, an update!

  71. Great post. I am obsessed with organization. I feel like I am either making a list (in about 10 different spots) or trying to find a home for some random object by reorganizing. Your post helped remind me to just let it go rather than find a place for it to reside. Sounds simple enough, but hard to remember when you are in the midst of clutter.

  72. I have some of those jars! I liked them so much I paid 10 cents each at the thrift shop. They’re part of my leftover storage paraphernalia and sometimes go on picnics. I’m just taking a computer break after filling a couple of garbage bags with clothes from my closet to take down to a local residential hotel for some of the women there. I do volunteer home baking for them as well, so the whole container issue got a bit crazy for a while until I discovered that plain old brown paper bags work best for a lot of the stuff. Sometimes I stamp a holiday design or whimsical comment on them. Sometimes my granddaughter decorates them. I used to save all sorts of plastic containers for the baking but now I mostly avoid the containers in the first place. A sack of brown paper bags is fairly cheap at the dollar store and takes up hardly any space in the drawer. Everybody likes them, makes them feel like they got stuff at the bakery.

  73. I LOVE this post. It’s a hard realization that you don’t need to BUY things to simplify. We’re so programmed to consume. I often remind myself that when I’m out shopping and see things on sale. Even a shirt for $5 isn’t a great deal if I don’t need it — $5 is more than $0 every day of the week.