Category archive - Organizing

Simple Systems for Fall Inspiration In Your Home

Simple Systems for Fall Inspiration In Your Home

Where do you get your Inspiration from? The air becomes crisper, the days shorter, fall is coming, and the best part- kids go back to school!

We get back into our routines, instead of the lazy days of summer. The question always arises how can we make life a simpler, are their better systems, better ways to make these routines easier. Of course the first step to making things easier comes through organization.

Organization in the home is always a tough one because so many live under one roof, with all our possessions and articles we bring in from the outside; it can get out of hand. My fall inspiration to organize starts usually when I am pulling out the warmer clothes. You can consider this flow chart from Buzzfed as to how to organize:

organizing chart

Or make it a lot simpler. To begin organizing an area, I create three piles. Let’s take the clothes closet dilemma which always surfaces when the change of seasons is here. First wash all clothes; when putting them away really ask yourself:

  1. Did I wear this at all this season?
  2. Is it in good condition?
  3. Does it still fit?

From there pull out anything that you know you will probably not use next year and anything that is not in good condition. Donate, sell or throw it out depending on the condition. This is the first pile.

Next those items that you say “hmmm, I really didn’t have an occasion to wear this but I will hang onto in case…those items cast to another pile.

The last pile is the clothes, shoes, accessories you know you will use again next year. Store those neatly- by style (all tee shirts together, short together, bathing suits – you get the idea) by doing so if you win a trip to a southern destination this winter you are ready to go in a flash, seriously though, it will make finding things easier for the next season.

That second pile…go back to it now take your time and be honest, if you really think you might use, store by its classification/style, if not let someone else enjoy.

This sorting principle can be applied to any room in the house. Think bathroom with towels, toiletries, medicines. Things you need frequently put in am easy to reach storage area. “A place for everything and everything in its place” as my father always say. Move to your kitchen, do the same. In the pantry, group like products together, discard anything past expiration shelf date. This will allow you to easily take stock of what you have, and what you need. Making shopping that much easier, if not enjoyable; or am I going too far with that?

organized kitchen is inspirational

 

Feel inspired by the progress you have made. I find after I do a though cleaning; the house almost feels new again. It inspires me then to think, hmm maybe I should update this room with a new color, move a few things around to get a new look, or just add something I found sitting in storage I had forgotten that I even had. Get your inspiration, organize and see how it feels.

Other Good Reads

Can the Colors of Your House Affect Your Mood?

Things Your Home Does Not Need

Home Improvement Projects | Inexpensive Updates


Selling Your Kitchen

Selling Your Kitchen

For buyers, kitchens are extremely important and weigh more heavily on the final decision than the other rooms in the house. To ensure your kitchen astounds buyers, prepare your kitchen before selling.

  • Begin by cleaning every single surface- ceiling counters, cabinets, counter tops, walls and floors.
  • Organize your cabinets – you will be thankful you did this when moving day comes. Any outdated foods through out. Group like things together. Edit extra mugs, glasses, pots, utensils etc. Clean out the drawers and shelves and replace shelf paper.
  • Matching appliances is a huge plus, if they are not new, or only one is new, consider replacing the others so they are all the same finish. Make sure the surface of all appliances are clean and spotless.
  • Clean the appliances inside and out, clean stove each and every grill, clean fridge out, and wash the surfaces so they are sparkling clean, and fresh – no old food odors here.
  • Buyers will look inside your dishwasher, make sure there are no funky smells. Yes although we use our dishwasher to clean everything it needs to be cleaned too. Clean your filter first – soak it in warm soapy water to remove all residue on it.  Then run 1 cup of white vinegar through your empty dishwasher on the heavy cycle. Sprinkling baking soda in the bottom of your dishwasher overnight, then run it through again empty.
  • Your sinks are similar to your dishwasher they need to be clean and free of everything. If your faucet leaks or looks worse for the wear, replace it. Using baking soda and vinegar in the drains to deodorize and clean.
  • If you have wall paper – remove and paint. If you have paint and have not painted in the past year, freshen up the walls with a new coat of paint.
  • Lastly add the finishing touches of décor; keep it simple but make it feel like home. Touches that speak home resonate with buyers.

Extra hints:

  • Remove trash prior to showings and make sure your garbage can is not highly visible, try and tuck under a cabinet if possible.
  • If you have pets, have a plan when you show your house where you will be putting all the pet “equipment” not every buyer likes pets.
  • Kids? Yup same idea, have a plan as to where you will be stashing the papers, toys etc. so that the clutter is not visible when showing.

Other good reads:

Paint Terms – What They Mean

Key Kitchen Improvements That Will Reap You Profit

The Hub of The House | The Kitchen


Possessions and Stuff

Possessions and Stuff

With the New Year we create resolutions, and one I know for many is to remove some of the clutter from our lives. The question that arises when you encounter some of the stuff is “I might need this…” How do you decide if the stuff is a valuable possession or just clutter?

 

My mother in law is in a position where she needs to downsize from her house to a smaller one. To give you and idea, she is a lover of “things” as I call it. She would rather take the last $5 in her wallet and spend it on items she has no use for at a yard sale, then to fill up her car with the needed gas to get home. Hey, everyone has their priorities.

But now when we talk about her about selling her home, she is in complete denial that any of her “possessions” need to be edited, or given away, or sold, because she might “need them where ever she ends up.” This brings me to how we view our “stuff.” Possibly this will help you identify what is necessary to keep, and what is clutter.

First you need to identify what the stuff really is and why you have it. We in the United States tend to navigate toward the material possessions, although studies keep popping up stating that the trend is going towards a life that is more simplified for everyone. If you are not there those changes are a big step.

In May I saw an article in the Wall Street Journal titled ‘Possessions.’ It comprised of small interviews with famous people about their possessions. Some of the points they made were …” A person’s character is much more important than the stuff they own. Still, it’s natural for people to collect the things that reflect their character.” And …” my favorite possession isn’t as tangible as a pair of heels or a purse—it’s imagination and my ability to inspire.” Although we own objects, the important thing to take away is to understand the importance of the possessions we own. If they will continue to contribute to our lives in a positive, meaningful way then they are worth keeping. If not, it is something that can be removed to give you more space in your life for significant possessions.

Let me know if you have decided to review your possessions; which did you keep, which did you edit?

Other good reads:

Being Organized Do I Have to Be OCD?

Organizing | Out With The Old

No Brainer De-Cluttering


Organizing | Out With The Old

Organizing | Out With The Old

With the holidays behind us and the New Year approaching everyone likes to make a few New Year’s Resolutions. The best way to approach resolutions, and being successful at them is to not set your goals too high or too big. As my mother use to say “inch by inch life’s a cinch, yard by yard life can be hard.” Being organized can help accomplish the simplest things and allow you to feel more positive. Here are a few suggestions to try:

1. Clear Clutter

Start small in one room, kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom pick a drawer to start, each week clean one. I have found that sometimes when I am just chatting with friends on the phone I can get a drawer organized by the time we finish our conversation- albeit over a half hour, it gets the job done without feeling like I could be doing something better. Once the drawers are finished move to the closets, and keep going throughout the house- if it takes a year so be it; but you will feel more at peace once everything is in order.

2. Out with the Old

We all tend to hang onto books, medicines that have expired, clothes that are not in fashion any more, etc. you know what I am talking about. This is the time to pick one of those things that you know have been accumulating and you have not addressed in a long time. There are many things we can remove if you really think about it. Move them out of your home, donate to charities things that you think they could use. A clear living/working space is a clear mind.

3. Clean and Update

After you clear your clutter, rid your home of old items, and organize your room, make sure you clean the room. Dust the cob webs from the corners of the ceiling, clean the flooring, evaluate the room- do you still have your 1980’s style wallpaper borders up in the room?  It’s time to update, it can be as small as adding a current accessory or updating your bedding, maybe a new current color is in order for the room- mauve, tangerine something different and fun. This is a great way to bring positive energy in. 

 4. Identify Things That Rob Your Time

Evaluate what your current situation is, routines, schedules, and goals. Learn to limit and adjust those things that you know are robbing your time that prevent you from living a productive and fun life. If you need to set a timer when you are on Face book, surfing the web, or emailing buddies, watching TV, playing Wii, set limits. Once you organize your time, limit those things that rob your time, you will find that you can do more than you ever thought!

 Have a wonderful productive, energetic New Year! Let me know how you do with your resolutions 

Other Good Reads:

Organized… the Happy Balance

Organizing | Systems to Use

Clutter Prevent it Before it Takes Over


Love, Money and Organizing

Love, Money and Organizing

Organizing does not really necessarily fit with love and money right? I dabble here and there with Feng Shui, because many of their principles apply to good design. Clutter is the number one thing they tell you to remove from your spaces. Here are some ideas and principles that might just get you to organize and who knows, gain you some love and money.

To bring in more prosperity it is important to have a clutter – free home. The clutter can lock up good energy and can lead to procrastination. If you have a lot of clutter in a room you get lost, you get side tracked causing you to become unproductive. That obviously is not good for prosperity, and with the clutter it can bring anxiety which is defiantly not good for love.

Each and every room throughout the house can be a positive energy center, but first removing the excess and minimizing what you have in the room will help bring it forward. By removing the clutter you can then hold a yard sale, or sell some of the items that you don’t use, love or need. Space brings opportunity.

Some areas I would suggest to concentrate on when thinking of improving your home so that love and money can begin to flow forth are:

The Front Door

front door with clear path

It is the place where the flow of energy enters. If there is not a clear path; or plants, debris, and other detritus is about, it will block the positive flow. If the path is clear to your house it can bring you opportunity. Make sure the door is painted in a color that you like, obviously if you paint it red, and you dislike red you won’t feel invited into your own home. Choose a color that you like and is inviting to others. Fountains stimulate prosperity and energy, so if you have space consider adding one.

The Kitchen

soft yellow kitchen

If you have an organized pantry and refrigerator with fresh food you will save money because you will know what you have and only need to purchase what you don’t. Create a dining space that includes every member in the house, even if they do not eat with you every night, symbolically this shows love. If you can situate a round table where you eat it’s even better because everyone can share in the conversation better. Isn’t food typically a way to a man’s heart? Hmmm some love going on there!

The Master Bedroom

master bedroom

First off, treat it as your escape from the day’s stress, it’s your area of solitude, and relaxation. It should feel cozy to you, if not arrange it so it does. Your bed should be in full focus when you enter the room. Since it is the focus make sure it is made with bedding you LOVE. Remove the exercise equipment, TV, computer, and all the things you deal with throughout the day. If you are single, leave room for someone else, add an extra nightstand, leave room for opportunity. Add something that makes you smile so when you enter the room it puts you in a good mood.

If your spaces are organized you will begin to spend less time dealing with the “stuff” that isn’t important, and more time on the “stuff” that is. So by organizing your area’s you have nothing to lose and everything to gain, even money and love!

Other suggested reading:

Organizing and Decluttering a Closet

Being Organized Do I Have to Be OCD?


No Brainer De-Cluttering

No Brainer De-Cluttering

When it comes to selling, or just living in your house, clutter is one of those things we always realize we have. There are so many items though that we can get rid of. Here are 20 items that you don’t have to agonize over to depart with when de-cluttering. This is the easy stuff!

  20 Easy Items To Get Rid Of Now

  1. Plastic/paper bags- they will multiply before you know it, keep less than 12
  2. Expired coupons- if you like to clip go through once per month prior to shopping and purge. Or better yet just get the items you are going to buy online and print, better still get from your smart phone
  3. Old Magazines – pull the article/picture you think you need for future reference, add to a file by subject; toss the rest
  4. Old Newspapers- read and toss, if you have an article cut it out and file, same as with magazines
  5. Mail- before it even touches the counter pull out all junk mail and recyclerecycle
  6. Old Clothes – each season ask yourself when was the last time I wore this, if the answer is over a year, get rid of it!
  7. Pantry Items – all the canned and boxed items group together in an area of your cabinet, contact your local food pantry and donate what you will not consume in 2 months.
  8. Broken things- If you haven’t repaired it in a month, you probably don’t use or need it. Get rid of it
  9. Chipped dishes, mugs, and glasses- they’re in the back of the cabinbet right? Give yourself space and get rid of them
  10. Take-out menus – They’re online, get rid of themgarbage bin
  11. Expired Cosmetics- old cosmetics can harbor bacteria eww, some ingredients lose their effectiveness so get rid of them
  12. Books – those that you thought were just OK, or you would not revisit or use for reference edit them out for new books
  13. Electronics – anything that does not work, or work well, get rid of
  14. Stained, ripped bedding- will you be painting soon to use as drop cloths? If not get rid of, another words if you have no intended use, dispose of them
  15. Towels- those that are worn or have holes can always be used by your local pet shelter or veterinary office- they use bedding tooorganized linen closet
  16. Accessories- anything you have not worn in a year, this means shoes, jewelry, purses, ties, scarves, gloves etc. donate
  17. CD’s or DVD’s- those you haven’t listened or watched, get rid of them- especially if you have VHS tapes move on!
  18. Empty boxes- use these to pack up all the clutter you are throwing out and get them out of your house too. If you need storage buy plastic bins because it is more protective then cardboard
  19. Travel brochures – you can find more information online than in any pamphlet you have picked up to read about
  20. Toys- this can be a little hard with the kids around. As kids grow, so do there interest, donate those that they no longer use to a charity that needs them

before and after declutter

Once you de-clutter a space it feels more inviting. By removing all the extra stuff, giving it a home the room feels more relaxed. Start with one room and see if it gives you a new perspective.

Other Good Reads:

Clutter Prevent it Before it Takes Over

Organizing a Kitchen Part 1

Organizing and Decluttering a Closet

Case Study on Book Cases


Identifying Clutter | Move On

Identifying Clutter | Move On

Identifying our clutter is hard to do for some. Are those weights you purchased to strengthen your arms clutter or useful? Here are four categories of identifiable clutter that you probably can get rid of once you understand what it is.

Sentimental Clutter, OK I probably am the worse with this. I will tell my kids to clean out their rooms and then see in the piles they are throwing out an item and say “but you made that in first grade, don’t you want to keep it?” Of course I get “Mom, that was 15 years ago, what am I going to do with it?” You probably have other clutter throughout your house that is similar. That birthday gift your sister in law gave you and you have no idea what to do with it. The ornate picture frame you received as a wedding gift ten years ago and have never used. Yes, we all have it and you need to donate, give away, sell it or throw away. Move it on out so it is not collecting dust.

ornate vases

Inspirational Clutter, this is all the stuff you acquire when you think it is going to improve something for you in your life. That treadmill sitting in the room that has never been used in years, the fancy dress that you thought would make you look awesome, wore it once and never again. The expensive appliance you bought for a recipe that you never made again. The hobby or sport you thought was so fun to take up, and you just got frustrated at. All of those things you have accumulated are inspirational clutter that needs to be moved out to make space for clearing your mind.

Treadmill

Clutter With No Home, my parents use to say to me when I was a kid “a place for everything, and everything in it’s place.”  When you have an organized space within your home, every item has its own “home.” It might be a drawer, a spot in your closet, a storage container but the object has a place it belongs. Then we have the clutter that has no home- you know the clutter that piles up until we sort through it and decide what to keep, what to save, what to throw away. This applies to everything you bring into your home, if you do not have an intended use and place for it, don’t hang onto it or bring it in.

Bargain Clutter, at the time it was the incentive to buy __________, because you got ______________ for free even through you never used the free ___________. Yup you get it. We collect bargain clutter because we think it’s such a great deal. But what’s so great about something that sits around and collects dust? These are items that you can give or throw away and free up you space and mind.

freeofferstopbanner

So when it comes to decluttering your spaces think about what type of clutter those items are. If they fall into these categories most likely they can be donated, tossed out or maybe they have some value to sell them. Whatever they are, if you have not used the item in over a year the key is to get them out of your spaces to free up clutter that you have.

 

Organizing Your Life to be Easier

Clutter Prevent it Before it Takes Over

Organizing | Systems to Use


Organizing | Systems to Use

Organizing | Systems to Use

Sometimes when things get out of hand we finally decide it’s time to get organized. For some it is a simple procedure, others might dread it, keep in mind that perfectionism is the mother of procrastination. So even if you get your closet organized by color, feel great, because the next step can be by style like all shirts together, and then you will start eliminating so you feel real organized. Step by step, creating a system helps.

organize

So what are some systems you can put in place when organizing anything?

First when cleaning out a room, closet or even drawer, decide what you will do with the clutter and put into three piles:

Keep It

Purge It

Store It

When going through items remove space wasters. You might be one saying “what’s a space waster?” They are items that you probably haven’t used, touched or thought about in over six or more months. They are taking up valuable real estate and need to be either sold, donated, or thrown away. Yes, it’s time for someone else to take hold of those things you really have no need for. Still having a tough time deciding if you feel it is a space waster? Ask yourself: when was the last time you used or needed the item. Again, if it has been more than six months it most likely is a space waster that needs to be addressed.

Once those space wasters are removed, it’s time to evaluate what is left. Start sorting through the items you feel are something you need to keep and are easily accessible, and what can be stored– i.e. seasonal items, large appliances that you might not use every day but still use on a regular basis. When storing be organized. Store like things together, all holiday items, and each holiday in it’s own bin, clothing- fall/winter items in their own bin, gardening items- tools together, gloves together, fertilizers all together. Your getting the idea kind of like sorting block when younger, all the same shape together, color together etc.

The items you use frequently, sort through and set up a system or a home to keep them organized. Maybe it’s using bins that are marked, setting your closet up with shelving or additional rods for hanging, labeling shelves help some to keep items in their ‘home’. The key is creating a home for things – “a place for everything, and everything in its place” and then making sure that you put items in their places and not just put them down wherever latter.

If you try it in just one area of your house you might find that you can translate it to other areas to the point of being completely organized. Let me know what systems you have put in place to keep organized and the clutter to a minimal.

Clutter Prevent it Before it Takes Over

Case Study on Book Cases

Organizing a Kitchen Part 1

Organizing a Kitchen Part 2


First Box to be Opened | Moving Day

First Box to be Opened | Moving Day

Moving

Moving day is exciting and exhausting all the same. Of course with a little planning moving can be easier for everyone and having the essentials on hand in one place will help with that. Create a First Box to be Opened, it should be the last box packed from your old house and the first one opened in your new. Here are some necessities that should be included to help make Moving Day easy.

Essential Box

If you can, show up to your home before the movers get there. The essential box can contain cleaning items you need so prior to movers arriving you can do a pre-clean of your kitchen and bathrooms, and take care of any floors that might need sweeping or vacuuming. Pack paper towels, cleaners, sponges, rubber gloves, dish soap, toilet brush, toilet paper, tissues and a shower curtain liner. 

Pack up a mini first aid kit with band aids, Ace bandage, some antiseptic wipes, tweezers, and a few ibuprofen. To have a small toiletry kit available is also helpful with toothpaste, tooth-brush, soap, shampoo, deodorant towels and wash cloths. Don’t forget any of the medicines that you take on a daily basis also.

first aid kit when moving

 

Other Items to Make Your Move Smooth

A set of sheets, blanket and a pillow for each bed for each member of the family. Light bulbs, batteries, charging cords for devices. A set of clean clothes for everyone after the first day of moving, include sleeping clothes it will make you feel more at home the first night.

You might find eating out is a little easier when you are moving but packing some disposable cups and “tableware”, paper plates and napkins can come in handy. A can opener, serving spoon, and pan. Don’t forget about your four legged friends. Pack their serving dishes and at least two days of food for them, if they have a preferred bed it is wise to bring that too if you can.

paper plates and cup for first day of your move

Make sure you have the keys, essential phone numbers, paper and pen, duct tape, scissors, small portable tool kit that has hammer, screw driver, flashlight and pliers at least. Last include something that feels or helps you make your new house feel like yours; a candle, favorite throw or pillow, or a radio to play your favorite music while you unpack the rest of your belongings.

Welcome to your new home!

Other posts that might be of interest:

Your House Sold Now What

Hints for an Easy Move

 


Hints for an Easy Move

Hints for an Easy Move

You have finally sold your house- Yippee! Now comes the time to move. Here are some points to make the moving process a lot easier whether you are doing yourself or having someone else doing the packing and moving.

 A house for sale that has soldGetting Ready to Move and Pack

  1. When picking up boxes to pack consider getting smaller boxes,  people tend to overload them and then they become to heavy to lift. You should keep the load well under 50 pounds per box.
  2. Purchase more supplies than what you think you might need, you can always return what you don’t use. Buying supplies the day of moving from the moving company will cost you far more.
  3. To save even more try going to U-Haul they will give you used boxes at no cost, yup $0. After you move into your new place bring them back to U-Haul so someone else can save and you are recycling. You might also be able to get inexpensive boxes from BoxCycle in your area. Of course you can visit your grocery and liquor stores too.
  4. Bubble wrap is good, but can cost a lot. Instead wrap breakables individually with six to eight sheets of newsprint paper wrapped around the piece. Don’t overload the box and have it marked clearly with “breakable.” If you have objects like a jewelry board consider wrapping with press and seal to prevent everything from tangling.
  5. If you are doing some of the packing I always tell clients this is a great time to start de-cluttering. Yes if you pick up an item ask yourself how often do you use the item, if not at all get rid of it now so you are not packing, wrapping, carrying, unwrapping and trying to decide where to place it in your next new home.
  6. Who to use for your move? Call a few moving companies to get quotes, make sure it is in person so they can see the entire house contents including the garage and attic. When comparing quotes evaluate each one looking for similarities to be able to attain which is the best value. You can also check protectyourmove.gov for reputable companies.
  7. Ask for a list of items movers will not pack and move for you. If you need to move them realize it will fall on your shoulders to do the packing and carrying of those items so maybe you really don’t need them as much as you thought.

    The actual moving day

  8. Day of the move you may want to see if a neighbor or family member can watch pets and little ones while the packing/moving is taking place. It will make it a little less stressful for them and yourself.
  9. Make sure you have lots of water available for everyone helping with the move and some high energy snacks for your self so you can keep you stamina up.
  10. Create a box that is the last to be loaded on the truck, and the first to be unloaded when you get to your new home. It should contain items that you know you will need as soon as you start unpacking.pile of brown moving boxes

Once you have everything removed from your house and before the driver leaves your home, do one last check for anything that might have been left behind. Be sure to check attics, storage sheds, and basements. Make sure you go through and also turn off all lights, your furnace, and your air conditioner. Lock your windows and doors, and leave behind your keys and garage door openers for the new occupants. Enjoy you new home!!

Other links:

Your House Sold Now What

No Brainer De-Cluttering

Identifying Clutter | Move On