7 Ways You Self-Sabotage While Organizing


When you’re searching for inspiration to help you get more organized, you don’t have to look very hard. There are plenty of stores, TV shows, and magazines that can get your wheels turning about organizing your own home, but unfortunately, not all organizing solutions are as helpful as they appear.

So in order to help you not waste your time on something counterproductive, I thought we’d explore some of the most common organizational blunders. So without further ado, here are 7 things that may seem like a good idea when you’re working on your storage and organization, but that are ultimately more trouble than they’re worth.

7 Organizing Solutions That Are More Harmful Than Helpful


1. You “Decant” Everything

Much like you’d pour red wine from a bottle into decanter, it’s hard to resist the urge to transfer every food and ingredient in your kitchen into a pretty container. However, if your mornings are hectic to the point that anyone barely has time to wolf down breakfast in the morning, “decanting” your cereal into a separate jar or container may not be the best use of your time.

There’s no need to add stress to your day just because something might look nicer in a different container.


2. You Buy Things Without A Plan

Here’s some “do as I say, not as I do” advice: don’t give into the urge to buy that pretty jar or clever box at Home Goods just because you like the way it looks! There are millions of organizing solutions out there, but not all of them make sense for your specific needs and situation.

Instead, focus your attention on one area of your house, make a rough plan of how you’re going to organize it and what you’ll need, and then go shopping.


3. You Get Organized Once, But That’s It

After sending half your cluttered closet to your local Goodwill, you should absolutely give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. But the job isn’t done permanently—staying organized is an ongoing project.

I find that having an outbox for clutter helps to create some breathing room when an area feels cluttered, but you don’t have the time to reorganize it right now.


4. Your Categories Are Overly Specific

Whether you’re organizing stuff into separate containers or just sorting through them to store them in different areas, it’s best to keep your categories broad. When your categories are too specific, it can make things unnecessarily complicated, which just makes it more likely that you’ll abandon your system eventually.

To avoid this particular problem, just remember that general categories are more function. For example, you don’t need separate spaces in the fridge for Soda, Juice, and Water—just have a Drinks area instead.


5. You Stack Your Dishes Too High

Towering stacks of dishes are a lot less stable than shorter stacks, which can result in chips, cracks, or even the whole thing toppling over. Tall stacks are also impractical, because you have to unstack it every time you need something from the lower part of the stack. Use shelf risers in your cupboards so you can split those tall stacks.


6. You Shop With No Information

Shopping for an organizing project can be fun, but not when you eventually have to make a bunch of returns because you didn’t think things through before you started buying things. So before you buy anything, make sure you have a clear idea of what size, shape, and color of item you’re looking for. This simple step can save you a lot of time and several trips to the store!


7. You Don’t Label Anything

If you don’t know where anything is, it doesn’t matter how nice and neat it looks. True organization has to be functional, which means clearly labeling bins and boxes so you that you (and everyone who lives with you) knows where to look for what they need.

If you’re not a fan of your handwriting, try making labels the cheap and easy way without having to buy any special equipment.

Have you tried any organizing solutions or tips that turned out to be duds?

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Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • My organizing duds…lol, more things than I have time to share! One of my favorite storage/organizing hacks (from Jillie, of course) is the tension bar under the kitchen sink, to store spray bottles. Oh, and another is using shower ring clips. I used them to hang curtains in our bedroom.

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