Organized Home

Organize. Stage. Design. Downsize

5 Steps to organizing and designing a room June 10, 2010

Filed under: Home organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 2:22 pm
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Summer is just beginning to be in full swing for some of us; graduations every weekend and schools are starting to close their doors to the students for the summer. What are you going to do with all this free time?  I say this laughing because I know as well as you do we seem to have less free time in the summer.  Maybe I should say what are you going to do with this slower time?  We might still have a packed schedule most of the time but the pace seems to slow down from the busy school year schedule.  What are you going to do when your kids are at their Grand parents for the weekend? Do you need some project ideas? I have plenty.

Lets call the summer the summer of simplify and beautify.  Open your windows, pour a tall glass of lemonade and take a deep breath.  Lets give a room in your home some love.  Here are a couple things to think about before you start any simplify and beautify project.

  1. Sit in the room of your choosing and think about its purpose.  What would you like to use this room for, such as reading, family time, entertaining or any purpose that would fit your life style?
  2. How would you like to feel when you are in this room? Do you want to feel energized, peaceful, insightful or happy?
  3. List 10 things that you feel are not working in this room.
  4. List 10 changes that you can make to correct this issue.  This can be furniture additions or subtractions, paint color, decluttering, rearranging, If you are having a difficult time seeing beyond what you already have look through magazines, go online, hire a decorator with organizational expertise and ask a friend.  Cut out or print pictures of things that inspire you.
  5. Create your budget

Do all these things before you even move a piece of furniture.  Having the right plan will save you time, money and allow you communicate with whom ever is helping you in an organized manor.  A good plan will help you select the right tools you will need to unclutter and create the room you want.  The best part is that it can be done on any type of budget.  No more of “I can’t” or “I don’t even know where to begin” answer the 5 questions and your vision will come to life.  Next time I will talk about the process we can take to unclutter and clear out our room. This is a big step in the beginning of our simplify and beautify project.  Have fun with it!

 

How to organize and spring clean your home April 21, 2010

Filed under: Home organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 10:06 pm
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What are you working on? What are your spring project goals? I just sent a group message to my facebook followers with that question.  Spring seems to be the time where we start itching to clean out the garage to our closets.  What is your project? In case some of you haven’t noticed I have been MIA for a while. I have been doing a sort of “spring-cleaning” myself. I have been going through my entire house, getting rid of what I don’t want or need and keeping only what I truly need.  I have just gone through a divorce and dividing the assets really makes you think.  I know this is a loaded question, but if you had to pack up only your favorite things, could you do it? Would you even know where to begin? At first I had a long list of things I though I could not live with out, but as time progressed I almost got to the point where I just wanted to sell it all.  If you think about it, it’s just stuff. It can be replaced.

When we turn our efforts to spring cleaning (don’t worry I’m not going to tell you to get rid of it all) I want you to seriously think of these three things.

  1. Do I truly love it? Does it make me happy?
  2. Does it serve some sort of purpose that makes my life run more smoothly and efficiently?
  3. Does it have monetary value? If you don’t love it sell it. If you do treat it like what it’s worth.

I am sharing this with you out of experience with my clients and myself. Surrounding our selves with only the things we love and that make our lives easier. (No I’m not talking about men) So lets select our spring-cleaning area, make our plan and get started. We know how fast summer goes by and things get busy as usual. Spring clean away my friends. I guarantee you will feel lighter and freer. The energy that fills you will give you the confidence to tackle more projects. You can do it!

 

Cleaning out my own clutter February 17, 2010

Filed under: Home organizing,Personal organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 6:01 pm
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It has been a while since my last blog post and I’ve been thinking why is that so…is it motivation? Or writers block or even to many thoughts running through my head I can’t even place them into organized thoughts. I think it is mostly too many thoughts running through my head and I have been in the process or organizing my own home and life! This is what I have been working on and it’s so freeing that I can hardly contain myself from screaming it on my overly taxed modest ranch home. I just got divorced and one of the temporary agreements was to “nest” That means when he is here with the kids I am not and vice versa. At first I thought it was doable, now not so much. To keep myself from going absolutely insane I have been doing some cleaning out of items. Objects and furniture I thought I could never part with, I now can. The need for independence and more personal space, a must. Here are a couple ways I have found in organizing my clients and myself a few very useful resources to get rid of it all!

  1. EBay – I have a friend who is selling so many things for me on eBay. I have sold some clothing on eBay myself, but she knows the ins and outs. There are many eBay stores that you can bring things to, but they charge a percentage. Try swapping with a friend who knows her stuff and you will both end up happy.
  2. Good Will – Salvation Army, You know them, they help those who need help and pick up at your home. Wow!
  3. Friends – When you’re on a roll, a good friend to encourage is a must. Some things I have been talked out of or at least put on hold to sell. (I might regret it later) Other items, I’ve got the cheerleading squad “Hell yea! Donate! Throw it away! EBay! Love my friends.
  4. My own brain – I’m not some raging lunatic, but I am ready for change. I have to remember to be very sensitive to my kids needs. I haven’t even touched any of their things and probably won’t
  5. Craig list – What can I say about Craig’s? What a great thing. Remember to have whatever you’re selling in a garage or spot outside of your home. Since it does attract so many “unknowns” keep cautious and only accept cash and money orders.
  6. Consignment shops – I have seen so many consignment shops pop up in my area. Especially since the economy tanked last year. Consignment shops are great; just know what percentage they are going to take off the top. Your items have to be in good condition and clean. Not a bad deal when you really don’t want to deal with any of it.

Not bad huh? You see I’m not crazy, just ready to move on. When it comes down to it, I really just care about the health and happiness of my kids. The belongings can be replaced and new memories made. I’m not sad, I’m elated and that is the feeling I get from all my clients. That freeing feeling when we push out the extra stuff that weights us down. What weights you down? If you could get rid of 3 things in your home and not feel guilty, what would it be? Think about it. Until next time may your path be clear of clutter and your shoulders feel light. Cheers

 

Organized kitchen for the baker January 5, 2010

Filed under: Home organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 5:26 pm
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I have to tell you upfront I am not a baker. I don’t even play one on TV. I have, however, organized many clients who bake. I bake by default because I have kids (it’s a necessity with kids). This article is inspired by my latest client– and my dear, if you are reading,  I am writing this because I am jealous of your lovely baking talent.

Baking ingredients are very messy. There is no doubt about it– the flour, sugar, baking soda,  all these powdery ingredients that cover our kitchen with a white cloud of dust. It is not a bad thing,  just fact. We want to make our baking ingredients easy to access,  and we want them to be free of the yucky bugs that love them. (If you have never been lucky enough to experience them that is a whole another blog).  How do we do that? For starters, I love the containers available everywhere for dry goods. Not only do they stand tall and look awesome and clean in your cabinets, they keep out critters. I also like them because of the large openings. That is a necessity when scooping out flour and sugar. I received some cool looking canisters for a wedding gift a long time ago that I registered for,  and the buggers are too narrow. I can’t fit a measuring cup in them and frankly never really used them. I wish I had known then what I know now. But I digress.

If you are an avid baker or a seasonal baker here are some hints to keep your baking items handy.

1. Arrange all your baking goods in the same area of your kitchen. When you are in the mist of a creation, you can access everything and not run all over you kitchen. Cookie cutters, cake decorating tips and accessories, sprinkles and frosting coloring should be organized with each other in separate drawers or containers.

2. A drawer with organizing trays arranged to fit in the drawer are great for measuring cups and spoons. Little things that are used, such as frosting decorating tips, toothpicks, even candles.

3. Bulk ingredients like flour and sugar work great stored in clear plastic containers. Look for ones that seal and have a large enough opening to scoop with a measuring cup and fit your hand in when half full or less. Smaller canisters are perfect for brown sugar, powdered sugar and oatmeal.

4. I like to store sprinkles in an open bin on a shelf in the cabinet. The containers they are purchased in come in all different sizes and it will make it easier for you to keep in an open bin. I also like to store candy ingredients, such as chocolate chips in open bins. It keeps them from falling all over the place and helps you get what you need.

5. Baking pans and sheets can be tricky. They come in unusual shapes and sizes and it makes it hard to stack and store them neatly. If you have a small kitchen,  creating an easy access shelf in a storage area for seasonal pans is a good way to keep them from cluttering your kitchen cabinets. Look for pull out shelves at your local hardware store. Some are equipped to hold sheets and pan horizontally. It saves space and headache when accessing.

6. Cookie cutters tend to take up a lot of space because of their odd shapes and sizes. I keep my cookie cutters in a large cookie tin on a shelf in my storage room where I keep extra cooking items I don’t use very often. Along side of that is a cookie press and all these things I use only a few times a year.

There are so many different types of baking utensils and wares I have only touched on part of them. The art of storage on organizing these things is creating the proper space for storage. Keep like items with like items and store in containers that are useful and fulfill the needs for you to have a well-run and efficient baking experience. Baking is always fun for the kids and that is what makes it worthwhile for me. After all, flour and frosting can be easily cleaned up and I have a craving for a Santa shaped cookie with orange frosting and five gumdrops piled on top.  Enjoy your season. Cheers


 

Simple Speedy Steps to organize your kitchen cabinets December 2, 2009

Filed under: Home organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 7:09 pm
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I have a saying (actually I just made it up) “the back of our kitchen cabinets reminds me of the back seat of our cars.” Always full of mystery items that get thrown back there or pushed and placed so we “don’t forget.” The thing is, we do forget what is back there because it’s not up front and center everyday. Just like the back seat of your car – when was the last time you sat back there? I don’t know if I ever have.

It is time to clean out those serving plates that belong to a friend and get rid of that Foreman Grill you haven’t used since your college days. How on earth do I get the energy to tackle this trash, you ask? Well my dear, a venti macchiato with an extra shot aught to do the trick for this job.

To get started you will need:

  1. Paper and pen to write down the organizing materials you will need to put it all back together
  2. Strong trash bags
  3. 3 large boxes marked (1) Donate (2) Belongs To (3) Sell

Step one – make sure counters, table, and floor are clear of any items (you will use these as a staging area)

Step two – start with one cabinet and pull everything out and place on counter according to type, i.e. – water glasses, wine glasses, dinner plates, spices etc.

As you are pulling things out remember:

  1. If any piece is broken, you haven’t used it in a long time, or you just don’t like it toss or donate
  2. If any of the pieces belong to someone else because it was left there at your last bbq, place it in the box marked “belongs to”
  3. Continue to do this with every cabinet in your kitchen

When I work with my clients, it never fails when we get to “that cabinet” – you know, the one where everything gets thrown in it because you don’t know where else to put it?  My clients always say, “I have no idea what is even in there.”  Do you have one (or more) of those cabinets? If you do, don’t worry – so do many others!

“That cabinet” might be filled with odds and ends such as candles, tape, batteries, phone books, lint rollers and dried up play dough. You get the picture. Half of those things probably go somewhere else. For now, categorize them on the kitchen table. Lets take a look at what we have to do next.

Are all the cabinets empty? Time to reload!  Grab an apple for yourself and fill up your sink with some nontoxic cleaner. Wipe down all the cabinets inside and out. While they are drying take a look at what you have and think over these points.

  1. Do you have an over abundance of any type of item? Such as measuring cups, baking sheets, Pyrex bake ware, bowls, sets of dishes and plastic ware.
  2. Do you use all of them? Think about it this way, if you are a baker then you might need more that the average number of baking sheets than the occasional cookie maker. If you are big into chili or soup a large stockpot is a must.
  3. Make sure all your plastic storage ware has a mate. If it doesn’t get rid of it. Perhaps search for a brand that has containers that fit into each other and the lids attach such as Rubbermaid easy find lids.
  4. If you don’t use it, don’t remember the last time you’ve used it, and the coat of dust on it tells the whole story, donate.

What about the items that we only use once or twice a year but love them? I have a couple of crystal candy dishes that were my Grandmothers, which I love. I use them during the holidays and treasure the memory that they hold. Store these pieces in a space you don’t need to get to very often. In a kitchen with limited storage (like mine) holiday serving pieces can be stored on the top shelf in the pantry, in a hall closet, or in an area in your basement.

Now it is time to choose the right organizing tools. Here are a couple of things you need to think about before you start. What are the right organizing tools that you could implement that would give a better use of space? A couple favorites of mine.

  1. Drawer organizing trays. These handy little numbers come in all shapes an sizes. They usually hook together. I like to buy several of each size to piece together to suit the various sized cooking accessories used.
  2. Shelf dividers. Shelf dividers do just that; they add an extra shelf with in a shelf. You can double the space; imagine bowls on top and plates on the bottom. Limited only to your imagination. Great for soup cans, coffee cups, tea, etc.
  3. Pull out shelves. Bottom cabinet shelves are a pain.  You have to bend down to see what is in there and the back recesses seem to swallow things whole. There are so many great pull out shelves available now. They just need to be mounted, next best thing to custom cabinetry and a whole lot cheaper.
  4. Added extras. Don’t forget things like spice racks and Lazy Susan’s. They all add ease and efficiency to any kitchen.

Once you have chosen some tools to implement, it is time to put everything back, but where? Some things to remember:

  1. Silverware and dishes should be near the kitchen table and dishwasher.
  2. Drinking glasses are best placed by the sink and dishwasher.
  3. Spices, cooking utensil and pots and pans locate by the stove.
  4. Bowls by the food prep area. (Do you notice the pattern here?)
  5. Items you don’t use very often such as pitchers, vases and such can be stored on the top shelf of the pantry or the cabinet above the fridge.  (Pantry organization is a project all its own, see Organizing your Pantry on my blog.)
  6. Food items that are stored in the cabinets are arranged by usage. Place items used often on 1st and 2nd shelf. The top shelf is reserved for extras, things not used very much. In my home it’s baking ingredients. Things I keep easily within reach are the oil and vinegar because I love to cook.

Does everything have a home? If you get stuck on one section move on and come back to it later. It is just like putting a puzzle together. What a huge project and you did it! Time to celebrate or maybe just sit and look around to enjoy your hard work and organized kitchen. Congratulations, time to open the wine. Cheers.

 

Bad news comes in 3s December 1, 2009

Filed under: Personal organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 3:46 pm
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They say bad news always comes in 3s. It seems to me when something big hits, in the back of my mind I wait for the other 2 to roll in soon. Recently I took my sick dog Daphne to the vet. The poor old girl had not been herself and I had fears of some foreign object (Lego) lodged in her lower intestines.   As I drove away from the vet leaving her there for tests and I’m sure a hefty bill, I thought about our other dog Crosby, Daphne’s BFF that I had to have put down a couple years ago. Crosby was out first baby and he reluctantly put up with our growing family of another puppy and 3 kids. My kids adored their pets who sat and stared at me when ever they were being used as a pillow, had a blanket fort made around them, dressed up, walked around the yard on a leash and bathed in the kiddy pool. A time came about 3 years ago and Crosby was no longer the spry dog but a panic stricken mess that suffered from dementia and had grand mal seizures a couple times a day. The decision was made to end his suffering and our family fell apart. To my pleasant surprise my kids immediately went into our collection of  photo boxes and made a picture album all about Crosby and our family. It helped them slowly heal and understand in the end he was not the same happy dog they knew and loved. They understood that it was time.

 

The same was true today when I arrived home without Daphne and news that she was very sick and we’ll try what we can. My kid’s went to the photo boxes and pulled out everything that had to do with Daphne. My youngest made a card. My oldest daughter wrote a song and my son pinned some pictures on his bulletin board. Tears were involved too, but they all went to bed feeling a little better by sharing their feelings in a way they connected with. I did say bad comes in 3s didn’t I? I think if  that really true, my kids have created wonderful ways to help themselves cope. A lesson learned by a Mom of animals and kids alike.

 

Thanksgiving Resolutions November 23, 2009

Filed under: Home organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 4:35 pm
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Resolutions?  Now? On Thanks Giving?  I know I know I’m a month and a half ahead of myself on the epiphany and release of having a New Year to start all over again.  Why do I have to wait until the holidays are over to start anew?  Creating peace in your mind before you’re thrown into the family and financial strain of what seems like eternal togetherness of the season.  An organized brain leads to inner peace in your mind and home.  Resolving early on can help you and your family enjoy the entire holiday season for all its worth.

 

Since Thanks giving is in a couple days let’s start with just 3 things you can reasonably execute now.  I don’t believe that a huge list of 10 things all at once is a fair and easily attained goal to ask the average person.  For example one goal may be to not go overboard on the holiday gift giving so you can start your New Year on the right foot.  Three resolutions is a great goal and if you find that they have been achieved and resolved then go on to the next 3 on your list.  Having a goal to get you through the holiday season can guide you and help keep your eyes on the horizon, the next phase the finish line or whatever you want to call it.

 

Our holiday season is for enjoying what we have and the blessing is to give us the chance to renew and regenerate.  We can gain new courage to change the things that have been hanging over us.  We can create a new plan that changes things that are not working at the moment.  We reconnect with our family and recognize new potential.  My mantra and you will find that I repeat this over and over again.  If you have the right plan and find the right tools and have a few of our favorite people on your side you can achieve the goals that fill your mind and your heart.  Happy Thanks Giving everyone.  Cheers!

 

 
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