Organized Home

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Organize the junk in your junk drawer November 8, 2009

Filed under: Home organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 2:00 am
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How junkie is your junk drawer? I really don’t like the term “junk drawer” It should be called “odds and ends” drawer or “things I need “ drawer.

 

What do we keep in the drawers? They are usually things we find around the house that really don’t have a home or we don’t have time to subcategorize them. All those little pieces we find throughout our home.  What does a professional organizer keep in her junk drawer?

Hmmmm lets see. I have a couple buttons. Some chalk.  I have a couple marbles (you never know when you need more) rubber bands, paperclips, barrettes (for my daughter who is growing out her bangs). Really all kinds of crap.

Sometimes I encounter a client who has several “odds and ends” drawers.  Everything just ends up being thrown in them because we are to busy or…say it with me…they don’t have a true home!

Here are a couple things that you need to have available…but not in the odds and ends drawer.  A handy little toolbox.  This is perfect for changing those pesky batteries that toys seem to burn through; hanging a picture; or putting together some great find from Ikea.  What ever it is have a tool kit and keep in on the shelf in your coat closet or back hall.  It will be easy to access and put away.

Another thing you need is a separate container for batteries, especially if you have children.  Lord knows we go through the batteries with all the flashing and noisy toys.  A plastic shoebox size container will contain all kinds of batteries and protect your things incase one decides to leak. Plus I don’t know if you have ever noticed, they smell. Those are 2 things that should not end up in your odds and ends drawer.

Okay so what is left?  Some rubber bands; paperclips; a flashlight? (That could go in an emergency kit) loose change; all those little things you pickup through out the house and know they belong to something but are not quite sure.

The key is you need to go through that drawer once in a while.  Set a doable schedule like every six months and if you have time or the energy possible every 3 or 4 months.   If you have a junk drawer rethink what it could be called.  An odds and ends drawer sounds much better.  We have to have a place where we keep those items.  If one particular category keeps ending up in the drawer create a new category for it and store it somewhere else. A closet, a shelf in the garage, somewhere easy to access. Remember to label the containers

If you create the plan and give your family the right tools they will follow your lead.

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Organize a pantry in simple speedy steps November 2, 2009

Filed under: Home organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 3:45 pm
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What is for dinner…what is for dinner?  Can you decide by looking into a pantry that has no rhyme or reason?  You are standing there staring a the fry-daddy you received for a wedding gift 10 years ago and never used, the 25 cans of cream of mushroom soup that you kept buying because you couldn’t remember if you had any. Are there jars of various holiday gifts from the office and boxes of dry goods that could stock a Salvation Army food kitchen. Sound familiar?

 

If you are like me sometimes meals are planned last minute and its hard to plan when you don’t know what your looking at and can’t put your thoughts in order.  Pantry organization is key for many different reasons.

You can,

1. Plan instant meals.

2. Save time

3. Dish out a prompt to dinner party

4. Delegate meals to family members and babysitters.

5. Provide a designated “snack” spot for your kids.

6. Other family members can help put away the groceries.

 

Getting a hold of your food stock takes some thought. One of the biggest challenges is the odd shape and sizes of food packaging. This is a challenge whether you have wire or solid shelving pantry. Are you ready to organize? Are you ready to know what you have at all times? Are you ready for efficiency in your kitchen and food preparation? Grab a cup of tea and lets get going!

 

To begin your counters and kitchen table should be free of clutter. You will need this space.

  1. Pull everything out of your pantry (yes, all of it)
  2. Group all the items on your counters and table according to “like items”
  3. Assess what you have and think of containers or organizers that would help contain. For example: Snacks that are individually wrapped can be taken out of their boxes and kept in an open bin. This way they are easy to grab and take up less space. Small mix packages and pasta that is not in a box can also be stored in a bin. Shelf dividers are great for doubling your space. Think can storage.
  4. Clean the shelves and floors of your pantry
  5. Throw away any item that is just about gone or expired. An unopened package or can that you know you will not use, place in a box to donate.
  6. To place items back in remember this, snacks and cereal should be placed on a shelf that can be easily reached. Items you don’t use very often should be placed on the upper shelves. The lower shelves can be reserved for onions and potatoes, pop cans, larger storage items that are either heavy or need more space.
  7. Don’t forget about using the pantry door for storage and a free wall. Hooks can be installed for aprons, brooms and oven mitts. The options are limitless.
  8. Last but not least. If you don’t use it don’t keep it. The fry daddy you got for a wedding gift 10 years ago can go to Good Will.

 

If you are confused on what tools to use to organize your pantry, I suggest a trip to Bed Bath and beyond or Targets kitchen section to give you inspiration. It’s not that hard once you get started! To get your family on the same wave as you, label the shelves and bins to nicely remind everyone to do their part. Okay, now you can sit down and plan your grocery list because you can clearly see what you have. The best way to boast your accomplishment is to take a picture and face book it! Lets your friends pat you on the back. Congratulations, you did it. We are on to more things! Until next time, Cheers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clutter by Jeff Betman Ph.D October 20, 2009

Filed under: Personal organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 3:16 pm
Tags: , ,

I might as well tell you.

You will probably find out eventually.

Better to hear it from me.

Ready?

I come from a long line of clutter.  My dad clutters, his dad did the same.  Even to this day, my dad keeps stuff for no apparent reason.  It is just how he is.

My parents recently had some water damage in their basement and I was helping to clean up old papers.  We went through boxes of receipts and stuff from 1986.

1986!

Come on.

1986?

Really.  I am not that bad, but probably left to my lazy, default behavior I can and could be even worse.

So, today’s topic is clutter.  In my opinion, clutter is stressful and takes up psychic space in your brain.  It drains your energy.  It is registers on your brain every time you see it.

If you have to find something, good luck in all that clutter.

Life is harder with clutter.  Everything is not in its place.

Besides, and I am putting myself first in line here, I think we all have too much stuff anyway.  If half my stuff magically disappeared, it would probably improve the quality and ease of my life.

Which brings me to a great book by Karen Kingston called Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui.  Now, you may or may not be a believer.  Doesn’t matter.  You don’t have to be a believer in gravity and it is still there.

Regardless, Ms. Kingston says something on page 37, which has had a big impact on me.  She states:  Keeping things “just in case” indicates a lack of trust in the future.  Wow.  A lack of trust.  Amazing.  Not trusting the world and the future, of course it makes sense to keep things.

For example, If I move out of my house and keep my garden hoses that is fine. But, what if I move into a condo?  Aren’t hoses available in most every state (that was a bad joke)?  Wouldn’t it be better to give the hose to someone who needs it here and now, and get another one down the road, if needed.  Less stuff to move, less stuff to have, less psychic mind space taken up, and an easier life.

Your Life Is Easy Coach,

Jeffrey A. Betman, Ph.D.

Jeffrey A. Betman, Ph.D. is a psychologist, author, and life coach helping people toward the easy life. For a FREE newsletter ($197 value) on making your life easier and FREE report titled 5 Steps To An Easy Life That You Probably Know, But Don’t Do Yet, go to www.LifeIsEasyCoaching.com/sq

Join us on Thursday on Blog Talk Radio to talk about some of these issues.

 

10 things that don’t stress me out. October 14, 2009

Filed under: Personal organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 10:15 am
Tags: , ,

It is around 5:00 in the morning I cannot sleep. Hmm, I think, “I should get some work done”. Well, its not actually work, writing is simply typing organized thoughts. This a.m. with my body full of tension (which explains the sleeplessness) and coffee in hand I will share with you the things that don’t stress me out and maybe my body will listen.

  1. My desk – It holds my favorite things for me. The book I’m reading, the super cool silver nail polish I want to try, a notebook I write all my creative ideas, headphones and coffee cup full of coffee. There are more things but you get the idea.
  2. My car- it takes me to fun places, where I get to meet new and wonderful people, visit my parents, see amazing places outside of where I live.
  3. My kid’s laugh- when the whole-heartedly laugh the sound is priceless.
  4. Walking- I live by a small lake surrounded by paths and neighborhoods. It’s beautiful in the fall.
  5. True friends-They are always my advocate and just fun to be with. (Anyone who makes us laugh is a gift)
  6. Cooking- The process of chopping and creating a delicious meal while sipping a glass of wine on a Saturday afternoon makes me happy. Not to mention the lovely friends and family I get to share it with.
  7. My Dog Daphne- She is always by my side and happy to be around me.
  8. Sunshine coming through the window- Even though I’m a couple hours away from that actually happening right now. It gives me warm fuzzies on the coldest days.
  9. Comfy pants- Do I need to explain?
  10. Wine- A great glass of wine with some French bread and cheese, my fav.

Do you see? It is nothing fancy, nothing out of the ordinary, just simple everyday things that keep me going. What are some things in your life that don’t stress you out? It can be as simple as brushing your teeth to running a marathon. We all have our own lists. What is on yours?

 

Keeping Track of Brainstorms October 12, 2009

Filed under: Home office organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 2:03 pm
Tags: , , ,

What do you do when a super great idea pops into your head? Do you keep it there only to forget most of it moments later? Do you write it down on a scrape piece of paper and miss place it under paper piles, as your workday gets moving? How many post-it notes do you have plastered around your office with ideas and thoughts? The truth is that I have been guilty of all these ways to remember a great idea in the mist of life. I definitely do not count on my brain to remember anymore because I suffer from an acute case of “Mommy brain”. Lets explore a couple tools you can use to store and revisit your great ideas.

  1. Record ideas on your phone. Many phones these days have a recording feature. This is great when you are driving to soccer practice or at the grocery store. My recordings download on to itunes and I can listen to them later when a quite moment has some how happened.
  2. Keep a small notebook with you at all times. The epiphany has shown it lovely head and you need to jot down those ideas before they leave with the next interruption.  Choose a notebook that you can easily fit in your handbag, pocket or car. If you are more of a visual person, writing down your thoughts will help you remember them.
  3. The priceless white board. The other day I tweeted about buying a white board for my office to help me brainstorm.  I purchased the largest one I could find, filled it up with ideas and guests for my Blog Talk Radio show and realized I need another one! I love it and the act of writing in different colors and just writing allows me to be even more creative.

Choose what works best for you or maybe a combination will work for you. To tell you the truth I use all three. When I’m in my office I like using my white board. I write in my notebook when I’m waiting for my daughter’s gymnastics to wind up or school to get out. (If I talk into my phone, people might wonder about my state of mind) My phone is great for car trips. When I drive longer distances to client’s homes or meetings, writing in a notebook is not recommended. Look around, look at your habits and schedule to choose the best system to archive your epiphanies. Who knows one could change your life!

 

Watch out for falling objects below September 29, 2009

Filed under: Home organizing,Personal organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 6:16 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

What is for dinner…what is for dinner?  Can the decision be made by looking into a pantry that has no rhyme or reason to it?  You are standing there staring a the fry-daddy you received for a wedding gift 10 years ago and never used, the 25 cans so cream of mushroom soup that you kept buying because you couldn’t remember if you had any, the jars of various holiday gifts from the office and boxes of dry goods that could stock a salvation army food kitchen. Sound familiar?

If you are like me sometimes meals are planned last minute and its hard to plan when you don’t know what your looking at and can’t put your thoughts in order.  Pantry organization is key for many different reasons.

You can,

plan instant meals.

Saves time

Dish out a prompt too dinner party

Delegate meals to family members and babysitters.

Provide a designated “snack” spot for your kids.

Other family members can help put away the groceries.

Getting a hold of your food stock takes some thought. One of the biggest challenges is the odd shape and sizes of food packaging. This is a challenge whether you have wire or solid shelving pantry. Are you ready to organize? Are you ready to know what you have at all times? Are you ready for efficiency in your kitchen and food preparation? Grab a cup of tea and lets get going!

To begin your counters and kitchen table should be free of clutter. You will need this space.

  1. Pull everything out of your pantry (yes, all of it)
  2. Group all the items on your counters and table according to “like items”
  3. Assess what you have and think of containers or organizers that would help contain. For example: Snacks that are individually wrapped can be taken out of their boxes and kept in an open bin. This way they are easy to grab and take up less space. Small mix packages and pasta that is not in a box can also be stored in a bin.
  4. Clean the shelves and floors of your pantry
  5. To place items back in remember this, snacks and cereal should be placed on a shelf that can be easily reached. Items you don’t use very often should be placed on the upper shelves. The lower shelves can be reserved for onions and potatoes, pop cans, larger storage items that are either heavy or need more space.
  6. Don’t forget about using the pantry door for storage and a free wall. Hooks can be installed for aprons, brooms and oven mitts. The options are limitless

If you are confused on what tools to use to organize your pantry, I suggest a trip to Bed Bath and beyond kitchen section to give you inspiration. Shelf dividers are a great addition and allow more useable storage space. It’s not that hard! To get your family on the same wave as you, label the shelves and bins to nicely remind everyone to do their part. Okay, now you can sit down and plan your grocery list because you can clearly see what you have. The best way to boast your accomplishment is take a picture and face book it! Congratulations, you did it. We are on to more things! Until next time, Cheers.

Next month I am focusing on your office!! No more lost papers. Tune into Blog Talk Radio, sign up for my newsletter and lets get your office organized!

 

Organize those bills today! September 23, 2009

The other day I tweeted on how I was cleaning up all the mess on my desk. It didn’t take me long to do because I have a system and place for everything. I received so many tweets back with comments like “I can’t remember the last time I saw my desk.” Or “ I attempted to do that a while ago and gave up.”  I think that organizing our offices and desk areas is one of the biggest issues in efficiency facing many of us today. Okay, you’re saying “Great Julie, now what?”

I’m going to go back to the desktop filing like I talked about in my video on YouTube, but lets look at it in a little different angle. Lets say that you are paying bills late and forgetting about them because you.

  1. Can’t find them
  2. Forgot about them
  3. Received an email, but it’s lost in your inbox.

These are not uncommon problems and you’d be surprised how many of us have them. That ends today! This is what you need to do.

  1. Get 4 folders and mark (better with a label maker) Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 and Week 4. Do you get it? One week for each folder.
  2. Next divide you bills into 4 groups of what week they are due.
  3. The bills that you paperless write the name of the debtor on a 3×5 index card and place in the appropriate pile of when it is due.
  4. Place the pile of bills in the folder of the week BEFORE it is due.

Every week select a day to pay your bills and simply pull out the folder for that week and your bills be we paid on time! Remember when you get the mail go through and open all the bills and place in the corresponding folder. Even when you have misc bills such as the plumber or electrician their bills can be dropped in the proper folder so you don’t forget to pay. Do you get it? Why depend on your memory when you don’t have to? Good luck!