My Organizing Obsession: Totes

organizing obsession totes


I think we all have a bit of an organizing obsession with totes. I see many of them, perhaps a bit too many, in my clients homes. When used well, totes are an amazing organizing tool.


Tote requirements

All totes must have multiple pockets.  The pockets are slots for the different items I carry in each.  There is a zipper pocket for items too just so nothing falls out! I categorize items, group them together and assign a pocket for that category.  Like I say about purses, I can tell how organized you are by your tote.


Travel tote

A travel tote is a necessity! Mine is black, with gray interior pockets for technology and my planner.  I keep basics, such as gum, travel mouse and an extra set of cords to charge all my devices.  It fits under my airplane seat so I can reach it during travel to work.  (I have found that working on an airplane is highly productive!) Travel and Leisure has many attractive, functional totes.


Work tote

Traveling between home and office often requires a tote. Keep it simple and travel with as little as you can.  If you are bringing paper back and forth, and never working on it, eliminate that paper.  Remember the essentials like your work badge, keys, and makeup basics.  In Style has polished work horses!


Off work totes

It might be your bible study, CEU class, or other materials.  You need a tote for the different activities and classes to carry your materials.  With a single tote devoted to an assignment, you never lose track of materials. Rather than a shopping bag, a tote is a fun way to keep items together.


Kiddo totes

Your kids need totes too!  During school it’s a back pack. This should have 3 pockets as well, one for each of notebooks, books and school supplies. For each of their activities, there should be one tote per activity.


What, when and where of tote management

Totes are stored in the landing strip, by your home entry.  The same space is used for your kiddo totes too.  Your travel tote is stored with your luggage.


Keep your totes up to snuff with weekly maintenance.  Store receipts, dump trash and replenish items at the end of each week. Do the same with your kiddos and their totes too.


Be sure you are keeping just enough of the totes you love.  If you find you are overloaded, this is a great area to eliminate what you are not using.


More of my organizing obsessions here!

2 replies
  1. Linda Samuels
    Linda Samuels says:

    I love that link you shared from In Style. Such snazzy tote ideas. I have a few favorite totes. My most favorite is a black velvet/velour fabric with black feathers around the top. Aside from it being just plain fun, it’s a good size and very lightweight. It’s a great “conference” tote. I also have a tote that’s super casual made of a recycled plastic. It’s also lightweight and extremely durable. It’s great for hauling food, papers, clothing, etc… from place A to B. I’m with you 100% that totes and collecting them are a thing. Some of us have too many…more than we’ll ever use. And being that they take up a lot of space, it’s worth spending some time to gather the totes, select your favorites, and let go of the extras. I’m not sure why, but they seem to multiply at night. Have you noticed that too?

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