Organized Home

Organize. Stage. Design. Downsize

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!

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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!

 

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.

 

Clutter by Jeff Betman Ph.D October 20, 2009

Filed under: Personal organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 3:16 pm
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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.

 

Watch out for falling objects below September 29, 2009

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

 

My dirty little secret September 16, 2009

Filed under: Home organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 5:20 pm
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As most of you know I am a professional organizer. I have just been tweeting with @mybusybabe about closet organizing.  Darling Lisa is struggling with the deeper issues of organizing her closet, so I decided to share with you what I do. Here we go.

I live in an approx 1500 square ft ranch built in the 50’s that is not including the finished basement, which is the kid’s playroom. Right now it is strewn with American Girl dolls and various Barbies. Apparently the folks of the 50’s did not need closet space because we have none. I found that I had arranged everyone else’s clothing in my family in the closets available and mine were placed wherever they would fit. Needless to say I could never remember what I had and to get dressed found me walking all over the house and pulling things from various closets. I got very tired of that. So one day on a crazy “this sucks” tangent I went to Target and purchased 2 freestanding wardrobes. I also purchase 2 sets of curtains that were on sale. I went home and set up the wardrobes in a section of the storage room in my basement. I hung the curtains in areas to give the idea of a dressing room in the storage area. Then I proceeded to move all of my clothing into the storage room and created my own personal dressing area. Folding clothes found their way onto an extra shelving unit I already had and basic long sleeve and short sleeve t-shirts made a home in these great square-stacking baskets that I’ve owned for years.  I hung 2 canvas shoe cubbies from a pipe and there you have it, instant closet.

You might be saying “Ewww” right now. No worries my storage room is dry and not full of icky spiders or the dreaded mice. It certainly isn’t glamorous but all my things are in one place and organized. I can get dressed in a snap.  Some day I will occupy a closet on the main floor that is not next to my furnace but for now this will have to do. Now you see even an organizer has to make sacrifices now and then. I have shared with you something that I haven’t told to anyone. Do you have a wacky organizing solution in your own home? I promise I won’t tell a soul.