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Easy Organizing Challenge #13: Consolidate

| May 29, 2014 | 0 Comments

What do ketchup, hairspray, and cleaning wipes have in common? They are just three of many everyday household items that tend to exist in half-empty states, often with their “twin” nearby.

So…instead of one full ketchup bottle, you have two partially-filled ones. Instead of one hairspray, locked and loaded, you have three that individually are a weak shot. Instead of one brimming container of cleaning wipes, you have four in various states of emptiness.

Sometimes, your home can become like a proverbial Noah’s Ark, where you bring in and store things two by two. Your Easy Organizing Challenge #13 is to go through your home – check bags, boxes, bottles, and bins – to find candidates for consolidation. Ask yourself: where can two (or more) become one?

If you need some quick ideas, here are common offenders: liquid soaps, shampoos, hair styling products, lotions, facial cleansers, medications, makeup, cleaning solutions, detergents, paints, alcohol, condiments, dressings, sauces, beverages, cereals, snacks, chips, crackers, and cheeses. However, this is not an all-inclusive list!

Warning: There are times when you legitimately need two or more of something because you are stocking up or like to have a reserve. That’s not the issue here – focus on where you have two or more parts of the same thing, parts that can easily combine to make a whole.

How did you, can you, or will you consolidate? I’d love to find out! Please share your thoughts, experiences, ideas, and other comments below.


Carmen Coker is a former US Air Force officer turned professional organizer. If you want to get organized and calm the chaos in your life, go to for her free video how-to called the Secrets of the Super Organized™.

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Category: Organizing Tips

Carmen Coker

About the Author ()

Carmen Coker is a former U.S. Air Force officer turned professional organizer. Carmen is the creator of many popular organizing programs, including The Clutter Cleanse®, and her expertise has been exhibited through numerous international, national, and local media outlets, including "Real Simple" magazine. In addition, she is the founder of the International Association of Virtual Organizers, providing organizing professionals with resources to start, run, and grow their online business, and offers organizing and productivity products and services for both home and small business through

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