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April 06, 2010

Create an Errands Center Mini Zone

Today's post is a sample of my weekly organizing quick tip. If you don't currently subscribe, you can sign up here. Enjoy. :)

A simple yet effective approach to controlling clutter is to establish “mini zones”—compact areas in your home that house everything you need to complete routine tasks or activities. Mini zones are covered in detail in my online workshop Quick + Simple Clutter Control (which starts this Thursday, April 8th).


In the meantime, to whet your mini zone appetite, here’s a simple and fun idea that will make your weekly errand shopping a notch more efficient. Put together an errands mini zone, stocked with everything you need to plan and execute errands and shopping trips. Creating your errands mini zone is as simple as corralling the following items into a basket or bin.

  • A pre-printed grocery list / menu planning sheet
  • Paper or note pads for other shopping lists
  • Pens or pencils
  • A recipe binder loaded with your favorite recipes and meal ideas
  • A clipboard to use while shopping
  • Store circulars
  • Small accordion file for coupons, gift cards and frequent buyer cards


Now all that’s left to do is shop!

Happy shopping,


P.S. If you’d like more ideas for creating clutter-busting mini zones plus a host of other terrific clutter control solutions, join me in Quick + Simple Clutter Control. Class begins Thursday—so learn more today! 


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Dani F

Where did you find that clear bin for your mini zone? I need several! Thanks for the GREAT idea and inspiration.


I love the printable list/menu planner! Thx!

Angie F

Thanks for the grocery/menu planning list! This may be just what I need to help me!! :)

Karen Emerson

I think I recognize that bin from Target... It's part of their itso modular storage line! Love this idea!


I was wondering about the clear bin, too. It looks great all of the colorful contents! Thanks for the idea!


Yes, the bin is from Target. It's part of the ITSO line. Here's a link: You can get them in the store, too.



I LOVE THIS!! I came over looking into your quick + simple details and this tasty little tidbit is very lovely. I really like two things about this. 1- I can see ME being able to use this and 2-it's good looking!
I'm trying to decide if I want to take the course because I will be out of town on Thursday and the last week of the course. Is this offered at other times too?



Yes, this workshop will be offered again—the next session will be this summer. But, even though you aren't available on Thursday you might still be able to particpate in this session of the workshop. Here's why. Once a lesson is released it is available for the duration of the workshop session --- until the workshop close date. So really the workshop isn't time or day specific, so the Thursday thing might not be a factor. Here's a quick tour of our workshops and how they work.

If you have any other questions, just let me know. I'm happy to help.



Johanna Hörrmann

This is great! I have another idea for an errands center mini zone to share which works well for me: We live extremely close to a supermarket, so we use it as our extended pantry and walk to the store pretty much every day (2 min. walking distance). I have a small wicker basket (with a few textile shopping bags neatly folded up in the bottom) in which I collect bottles with refundable deposit, so I can grab this whenever we leave the house and have everything ready to go.


Just *aWeSoMe* Aby, so creative. I love it Organized aaaaand Scraspisized... (think I made up a new word). Thanks so much for the pictures too!! ;-)

I do something similar to this except instead of using a bin, I use a small tote bag. This way I can just grab the whole thing and take it with me. I keep any coupons, store fliers, receipts etc. in the tote bag too. Your bin is so pretty--I love it!

Michelle Traudt

Great post, and thank you for the printables!!

Lauren Guiditta

Great idea! Along those same lines...As a professional organizer myself, I was struggling to remember to bring things with me that I needed to return to a friend, bring to a meeting or client, etc. This was frustrating because I wanted to be more organized. So I put three baskets inside a small end table (table is from Ikea and has cut-outs) right near my front door. I have a basket for my clients, another for my regular professional meeting, and a third as a general basket. This way when I am going to a client's house, I can just take the whole basket. It makes my life so much easier!

Bunk Bed

I like the zone idea for conrolling clutter and keeping organized. As with anything, it is overwhelming to tackle the big picture but if we break everything down into small tasks (or zones), it is much easier to tackle one at a time. We need to incorporate some of the mine zones for specific tasks too.

Coach Shoes

Experience is the na me give their mistakes.

hollywood restaurant

The food is certainly a factor. If your order comes out wrong, it may have been a chef's mistake.

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