wonderful by-products of being organized

Marian ParsonsMiss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint, My House39 Comments

A few weeks ago,  I set out on the task to get my house organized and purge everything I don’t need, want, use or love.  It’s been quite a process and I still have a lot to do, but I have to tackle one space at a time.  I also have to keep my family and business running, so I can’t drop everything and just work on my little pet project.

With a few key spaces cleaned and organized, I’m noticing some really amazing by-products.

1.) I am so much happier in the organized spaces.  I don’t feel crowded or rushed or overly-busy.

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2.) The spaces are much more functional.  I can actually use things as they were meant to be used.  I can not only sit in my office chair, but there is nothing hidden behind it or stacked in front of it.  Glorious!

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3.) I feel freed up to create.  I walked down to my basement this morning to put some groceries in the basement fridge and my workshop lured me in.  I started painting one small piece and then another.  When I went back upstairs to wash my brushes, the lentils on the stove were sticking to the bottom of the pan and I left the eggs meant for my breakfast sitting out on the counter!  Now, I do need to focus a little bit better, but it is awesome to feel that impulsive creativity.  A couple of weeks ago, I would’ve avoided the workshop at all cost.

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4.) I am making more money!  That’s a surprising bi-product.  For months, I’ve had things sitting in my house that people wanted to buy.  My t-shirts and books were scattered in a couple of places and buried under other things.  A chandelier someone asked to buy from me in May was buried as well.  Now, I’m selling those things and moving inventory AND making money!

shipping orders

5.) I spent a few days sorting all of my boy’s Legos by color (and they helped, too), but I was unsure if that system would really work.

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They love it.  They are running in the door from school and pulling out the bins immediately to build Legos.  They each have a “creation box” where they can keep completed sets, “creations” and in-progress builds.  They’re getting much better at finding their own pieces and have been surprisingly eager to keep them organized.

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6.) The boys have loved the organized Legos so much that they helped me organize and purge some of the toys in their room. We threw away a contractor-size bag of broken, mis-matched toys and donated a large plastic bin overflowing with “baby toys” and ones they don’t play with anymore.  I was so proud of them, because they both tend to want to keep everything, but they’re learning that you have more fun with what you really like when you get rid of the things you don’t.

So, all of these things have motivated me even more to continue with the seemingly monumental task…room-by-room, shelf-by-shelf, drawer-by-drawer.


Today I spent a bit more time on product shots for my paint line, specifically the waxes.

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I still have some more tweaking to do, but I’m really happy with how these turned out.  I’m sure product pictures is going to be one of those ongoing projects…

Coming soon…I have a new dresser to paint and a new MMS Milk Paint color to introduce!

wonderful by-products of being organized

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39 Comments on “wonderful by-products of being organized”

  1. Amen! I started on Saturday and like you I cannot devote a week or two to the task of decluttering and cleaning (under the clutter is a layer of dust and grime) so I am taking it a bit at a time. You are so right the feeling of creativity gets to flowing instead of too many things flooding your brain squashing it. My husband is pitching in and is a great help. My studio is next, now that will really open the flood gates of creativity.
    By the way, I am loving Eulalies Sky on my table. Just one more coat to do and it will be finito! I have to fit painting on that in here and there too so it is taking a bit longer than I would wish. Happy Purging to you, Pamela

  2. I just sat down after organizing my sewing room!! I haven’t sewn in over a month just because of the mess. I made it getting ready for Sequim Lavender Faire that was in July!! Feels so much better when I can see things, it still a work in progress, but I’m ready to sew some Fall harvest things in the morning!! Thanks for your inspiration!!

  3. Good for you Marian, I hope some of your ambition rubs off on me! and good for your boys too. I’m so happy your new Lego system is working out for you guys .Have you ever stepped on a Lego…ouch! it feels like you stepped on the blade of a samurai sword lol.

  4. I’m so happy for you… and me! I know that on one of those envelopes is my autographed book! Everything looks so great that it makes me eager to start my own organizing spree! 😉

  5. I live in a small space with kids who are always bringing stuff home. I totally understand the creative feeling that follows that peaceful feeling of being organized. Thanks for sharing, I’m always inspired by organizers!! (:

    PS I love your pieces. I have an antique dresser that I inherited that is obviously handmade. I am going to try your milk paint for it soon! I think it’s telling me that it wants color!

  6. The organization / creative flow thing comes from being an Aries. (It takes one to know one.) Disorganization makes me feel disoriented! I’ve been uber organizing these last few months. I bought organizer drawers so that all picture hangers are in one drawer, all old flat head screws are in another, etc. Whew! I’m slowing feeling better.

    Can’t wait for the new color!

  7. I love it. Organizing is one of mine and my son’s favorite things to do. When he got a new organizer for his rainbow bands we fought over who got to organize it and where to put things!! That being said, I just don’t know how you find the time Marian!! I’m losing my mind this month. Volunteering for this, working for that, spending time at Bible study, birthday party, baby shower, wedding!!!!! AHHHH!!!!! All I really want to do is go clean out and reorganize my kitchen cabinets 😉

  8. Isn’t it freeing to clean away the clutter? I love it when things are organized, I just feel so good about it. It’s crazy this time of year, getting ready for fall and all that entails. But I think I will spend a bit of time organizing my craft room.

  9. My creative space is one that I am always re organizing.it does not seem to stay neat for long.I need to find more shelves for my storage closet that would help for sure.LOVE your wood baking rack.I just found one myself recently and have it in my kitchen.It is one of my newest favorite finds! I wanted to tell you how much I love not only your paint but wax too! Your wax is one of my favorites!

  10. This has nothing to do with the post, but I am glad I am not the only one who has to be content to do laundry in the basement. Maybe someday I will have a laundry room to decorate. Today, I will be happy to have a washer & dryer to use in the basement and a family to do wash for.

  11. My whole house needs this as well. Over the last 15 years, my life has included constant care of elderly relatives, including organizing, moving, sorting and selling houses (along with a job). I came home, as did hubby, so exhausted emotionally as well as physically that nothing every got done here. Now it is overwhelming. When I start cleaning and clearing, there is no proper place to put things away because the proper areas are full as well. As there is only so much time to manage it, it creates a larger mess until I give up. Sigh. I sure hope this inspires me to try again.

    1. Alice R. Please check out FlyLady (www.flylady.com). She is a miracle worker who helps people create calm from chaos 15 minutes at a time (blog help – no fees involved) while helping you be kind to yourself during the process.

  12. Hey Marian,

    I love your blog. Your house is just beautiful!
    When are you coming to do a workshop in South Carolina?
    Do you have another Chandelier like the one in your room for sale?


  13. Organizing is a wonderful process but unfortunately after all the cleanings and sorting of the things the mess comes back very fast. So you need to clean and to organize all the stuff again and again. May be that is why I hate all these things.

  14. This is so inspiring that I think I will take a lot of time this afternoon and do some purging and rearranging and cleaning…thank you..just the little bump I needed….
    Love, Mona

  15. I myself just realized that I have to start getting my house more organized. It does hurt productivity when everthing is everywhere! I don’t even wan to be in the rooms that are dissorganized…ie…my craft room, workshop, and the kitchen.

    So this week I set out to get organized AND start a cleaning schedule so that everything can stay in order once I get it in order 🙂

  16. Oh Marion, I think we may be “kindred spirits”! You sound so much like me. I love being organized but I tend to put it off because I am such a perfectionist and I simply am overwhelmed by it all. I so enjoy it after it is done though. I tend to get distracted, JUST LIKE YOU! I go downstairs to get something out of the freezer or move a load to the drier and I get distracted with something else and completely forget about something on the stove upstairs or what I was supposed to bring upstairs in the first place!! So glad to know I am not the only one!! Congratulations on what you have accomplished!!

  17. I love being organized – and you are exactly right – it does free up your creative mind! On my vacation last week I built a work table in my studio – just out of plain pine and studs but totally useful for my needs. I was thinking of waxing it though. Would I use your white wax on it? Is that the “neutral” that doesn’t color the wood?

  18. Marian,

    I just love that feeling of calm when spaces are organized. I did my pantry a few months ago and every time I open it it still makes me feel good. 🙂

    I am on the edge of my seat waiting for the new color!!


  19. Marian—FYI–bi-product is not a word. The headline and accompanying should read “byproduct” or by-product.

  20. Marian- firstly, you need to photograph that white wax in a heart shaped plate/bowl because I love it *so* much. I was seriously jealous of your giant container of wax and wishing I had one like that of the white!! second, I was always so leery about tossing/donating the kids toys because I think back to what I had that is so collectible now (like, my Mrs Beasley doll and my barbies), but I’m so glad you’re enjoying the newly organized space 🙂

  21. I was so inspired by your “purging” initiative that I tackled my (our) bedroom. In the process of eliminating all the unwanted junk in there, I threw away a bunch of Handsome Hubby’s stuff. “Oh he’ll never miss it,” I said to myself; especially since he was gone for the night. Then he called on the phone and greeted me with “hello wonderful wife who never throws my things away.” Um….er….blush. Silence. That’s when I knew. HE KNEW. Well you know what happened then, don’t ya? Yup….I went dumpster diving. Everything is restored to it’s chaotic glory. Hmmmmmm………not the outcome I hoped for. But I sure love that man! (got rid of a bunch on MY OWN stuff though. It’s a beginning)

  22. Hi Marian … you are inspiring me to clean up the clutter, but it will take me forever … however, this week, I have been cleaning. Love your display of fabrics on your Bakery display and cooling rack.

    I have one sitting in my garage … no place for it in the house and will be putting it up for sale on Craig’s list soon. Would make a wonderful display for my old quilts, but no room.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures.

  23. I´m Reading your post today and as usual, it makes me happy! You´re so down to earth….even if you´re not just anyone(with all your Projects, Milk Paint and so on…) This organizing thing, I recognize myself in it….and also in forgetting Everything around you, when inspiration flows in! lol!

  24. Organization brings smiles 🙂 I put my boys Lego in those 3-drawer craft deals years ago. They stack up, so take up less space, are easy to move, etc. When they play with Lego out come the drawers, when they’re done, in go the drawers and all is neat. One of the best things I’ve done 🙂 and yes, they LOVED playing with them that way.

  25. hi there – I love your paint and need to order some, but what’s difference in furniture wax and antiquing was?? Maybe I should use the antiquing was?

  26. I have found I am so much more creative when I am organized too! My office is under control, but my workshop is a disaster again. I am taking your cue and getting to it this weekend. Hopefuly……

  27. Hi Marian –
    In the post that I put up today I compared an organized space to a cool washcloth on a fevered forehead. I am on this same organizing/purging kick as you. It just feels SO MUCH BETTER.
    I made a long list of places in my house that need tackling – they range in size from “the drawer in the kids’ desk” to “the upstairs back bedroom”. That is to say – some of these projects will take me 20 minutes and some will take me a week!
    But at least progress is being made!

  28. A few months ago- when I was frustrated because I could not find something in one of my kitchen drawers, I decided to organize them. I kept the things that I know I use all of the time- measuring spoons, can opener, etc., but took out everything else and put them in a plastic bin that I moved to my laundry room shelf. I have only had to get into that plastic bin twice in all that time. I have about 10 things in each drawer that I use consistently, I will be donating the rest of the things. You are right- it feels great to purge!

  29. Since I also tend to lose track of time when I get involved with a project, I have a suggestion for you. Keep a kitchen timer or two on the workshop table. That way you can set them to remind yourself that you have something else that needs your attention. It’s saved me many a burned dinner! 🙂

  30. I just love your blog! Looking at the all the pictures is so inspirational! I love that you portray that organizing isn’t an instantaneous solution, but a continuous project. Thanks for sharing!

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