Organize Clutter

Living in a small space? Living in a large home? No matter which question pertains to you, there is stuff we all accumulate. Get organized with the following tips and tricks. Learn how to utilize typically wasted space and rid your home of clutter.

The shoe pockets that attach to the back of a door are now your best friend. These little pockets are inexpensive, transparent or cloth, and can store countless items. Because they are see through they make organizing easy, you can plainly see where things are supposed to go. Use these shoe holders in every room of the house. Because they hang on the back of a door, they hide messy clutter. Try hanging one on the back of a pantry door to store packets of snacks, sandwich bags, plastic dinner wear, condiment packets and whatever else that typically sit awkwardly on the shelves. You can even get super organized by storing take out menus and coupons.

Shoe organizers are perfect for the bathroom. Keep hairbrushes, blow dryers and other tools (after they have cooled off) in these see through pockets. The organizer is great for makeup, hair products, lotions etc. Anything that is traditionally found on the bathroom counter can be hidden away on the back of the door. When the bathroom is in use, the door is closed, which provides easy access to all of your necessities.

Jewelry pocket organizers are great for storing small items. These little organizers can also be hung or rolled up. Jewelry organizers are great for storing craft room supplies like beads and small stamps. If you like to sew, use this item to keep small bobbins, spools of thread, and various needles.

Rid clutter by hanging items. There are so many decorative hooks to choose from. Discrete hooks can be purchased as well. Utility hooks can be found at any grocery or hardware store. These hooks are easily installed and don’t leave a mess when removed. Use hooks to hang hats, scarves, keys, jewelry, dog leashes and tools. Hang items in the location where they are used. If needed, incorporate the hooks into your décor.

Ways To Update Your Space

Is your interior tired looking? If so there are some easy ways you can spruce it up! You do not necessarily need to redecorate the entire space.

Rearrange shelves, china cabinets and book cases. Simply rearrange the items. If you like you can add or remove items to give your space a more updated look. Play around with various mixtures of items while rearranging.  This will ensure that the end result is your favorite.

Re-evaluate your color palette. You may need to streamline your colors by using white or another monochromatic color with only one or two pops of color. Use patterns with care. If you are using a bold pattern, keep other patterns and textures more subdued.

Emphasize vertical lines. This will elongate your ceiling height and make your space feel larger. One way to achieve this is to hang mirrors vertically. Install drapery that hangs down to the floor. This will give the appearance of a higher ceiling and a polished look. Once hung, you can let the drapery hang naturally or use interesting tiebacks. This method can also be used for shower curtains to produce a new look in the bathroom.

Organize your stuff. If you have items sitting out, find a particular place for them. For example, keep smaller items in decorative baskets or boxes or use a tray to keep television remotes together. Once you have organized clutter, your space will look updated and clean.

Switch around your accents. For example move smaller tables from one room to another and see how they look. Swap out accent pillows and throws from one room to another. Move rugs around within the room. Play around with your furniture layout. This is a great way to achieve a fresh look!

Hang new artwork or switch out artwork from one room to another. The end result of these exercises is to breathe new life into a tired space. It is much easier to do than one would imagine. Have fun and think outside the box, then enjoy your new interior!

Simple Guide to Cleaning Out Your Closet – Part 3

Part 3 – Functionality, Appropriateness

In this final installment we are discussing whether or not your clothes are functional and if they are appropriate to the current demands on your life.

Does it need repairs? For how long has this been the case? If it’s gone unrepaired for more than three months it isn’t likely that you’re going to bother. Or, if you love it, then get it repaired right away so you can put it back in rotation. Just don’t leave it hanging and waiting. This includes tailoring, buttons, hole repair, seam tightening, professional stain removal, re-heeling shoes, and polishing shoes.

Is it worn or tattered looking? No matter how much you like the style, it’s not a keeper if it looks old and dingy. This includes snags in silk or sweaters, pilling, holes, unraveled threads, stains, loose seams, over stretching, and dull color.

Is it appropriate to your lifestyle? By this we are referring to life changes that aren’t likely to be reversed. One example is transitioning from being young and single to caring for children and running a household. In this case a closet full of nightclub dresses isn’t likely serving you very well. Another example is transitioning from raising a family to reentering the workplace. In this case the comfort clothes such as yoga pants and sweatshirts need to give way to suits, slacks, and blouses.

Would you buy it today if you didn’t already own it and you saw it for sale at the store? In most cases all of the aforementioned advice will be enough to make a judgment call. But if you encounter a garment that still perplexes you (meaning you’ve had it hanging in front of your face for more than five minutes,) use this test. If you wouldn’t buy it, then that means you don’t really like enough to keep it.

Simple Guide to Cleaning Out Your Closet – Part 2

Part 2 – Style

Ok now that we know if your clothes are relevant to your life, let’s talk about personal style and functionality. These additional tips will be immensely helpful with your closet purging project!

Is it my style at this point in my life? This one is especially important. Dressing is a way of making a huge statement about who you are. No matter how well something fits or how expensive it was, if it doesn’t feel like “you,” let it go. The only thing worse than it not showing the world who you are, is when it actually detracts to the point that you don’t feel like yourself at all while wearing it. 

Along those same lines, ask yourself – Do you feel good when you wear it? Clothing has a massive impact on the way we convey outward confidence. If it makes you feel average at best, toss it. Even if it’s you still consider it “your style.” Buy new stuff that makes you feel like a million bucks.

Is it a classic that will always be in fashion? If so, and it’s your size, and you love it, keep it. Timeless style looks chic and effortless and should always be a staple part of your wardrobe.

Has it gone out of style? If so, is it a style that will likely be en vogue again in the future? Keep in mind that nearly all styles resurface at some point. Except for uber trendy period pieces. So if you think it’s a safe bet to hang on to it, just make sure it passes the size test we mentioned above.

Next read Part 3 – Functionality and Appropriateness

Simple Guide to Cleaning Out Your Closet

Part 1 – Is it currently relevant to your life

Women are notorious for closets that are bursting with apparel, but in most cases they are only wearing about half of it on a regular basis. We’re all guilty of saying, “I don’t have anything to wear,” while staring at a closet chalk full of clothing. The problem lies, in part, with not knowing what needs to replaced or filled in.

If you were to get rid of all of the garments you don’t actually wear you’d have a much better of idea of what you need to buy on your next shopping trip. Here’s a handy list of questions to help you clean out your closet fast, so you can create an immediate excuse for saying, “I simply must go shopping! I don’t have a thing to wear!” What woman doesn’t want to be able to say THAT good conscience?

Does it fit? If it’s within one size either direction you can keep it because our weight fluctuates all of time. For example, if you’re a size 8, and you have things you like and will wear when a size 6 or 10, go ahead and keep them. But get rid of anything that’s off size more than that.

Have you worn it within the last 12-18 months? A lot of organization experts recommend making this judgment based on just the past year. However, there are events and occasions that happen less frequently and they often require a specialty garment. So give yourself and 18 month window, but then be strict with getting rid everything you haven’t worn for longer than that.

Does it have sentimental value? If so, but you don’t actually wear it you can still keep it. However, it now belongs in a box with your other keepsakes. Not clogging up your closet and brain when you’re trying to get dressed for the day.

Now read Part 2 – Style and practicality

Spring Cleaning Ideas – How To Get Rid Of Stuff Part 2

Part 2: How to group and pile

Think of this part of the project as a “sweep.” It is a broad and general activity with just one goal – get everything in the room into a pile or clear container filled with related items. The beauty of this is that it requires very little thought, because you aren’t yet making any “keep or toss” decisions. The challenge of it is that you are working in a space that is likely hard to navigate. We’re operating on the premise that you’re functioning in the typical disaster mode found in kids’ rooms. Just start somewhere and begin making those piles and filling those containers. What goes together?

  • Large toys – stacked on top of or next to each other in one area
  • Small toys – in a container
  • Stuffed animals – one big pile
  • Clothing – one big pile
  • Artwork – in a container
  • Books and magazines – stacked or in a container
  • Bedding, blankies, pillows – one big pile

That should just about cover everything in a typical child’s room. If you encounter items that will not remain in the room because they belong elsewhere, send them away immediately. But don’t waste time finding the perfect new place for them. Just get rid of them and deal with it later. Stay focused, you are on a mission!

If there are any items about which you are undecided, don’t ponder it at this phase – they go in a pile for now. One huge benefit of initially creating the large piles and containers is that if you are called away from the project or need to take a break, it will be easy to start again because you’re not returning to an only “slightly managed mess.” Also, if, as you work you encounter stuff that you know without a doubt will not be kept, do one of two things. Throw it away if it’s ready to be dumped, or put it in a separate container or pile that includes things that you will want to sell or give away.

Now that you have all of your mini-mountains of things segregated, it’s time to move onto learning specific tactics for each type of stuff!

Next read Part 3: How to organize and/or get rid of toys

Spring Cleaning Ideas – How To Get Rid Of Stuff

Part 1: Intro to how to organize the clean up

You may be of the opinion that you’ve already witnessed a few rather large collections of arbitrary items in your lifetime. Sure, we’ve all been to at least one garage sale. But when it comes to accumulating things, you haven’t seen anything yet unless you are a parent. Kids are seemingly surrounded by stuff on all sides the moment they are born. It’s crazy! As their interests and activity levels grow, so does their collection of stuff. At some point you look around the house and think, “No more stuff until some of this stuff is gone!!!”

But, how to go about it? Within minutes of starting the project you might feel overwhelmed and uncertain. What you need is a plan and a method! We are here to help you out.

Our method isn’t necessarily rocket science, but it’s hugely valuable because it was created by an actual mom with 15 years experience in spring-cleaning her daughter’s room. It is especially useful because she created it based on a room that is a veritable disaster. This advice isn’t necessarily for perfect moms who will be purging just a few items from an already clean room. This is for reality…children’s rooms that verge on apocalyptic at times! Let’s get started.

The most important thing to consider is the idea of grouping and piling. Both of these are the necessary first steps if you want the sorting phase to be easy later. It is highly likely that this part of the project will stretch down the hall and even into another room, until you are finally able to see some floor space in your child’s room. So make sure any spaces adjacent to your kiddo’s room have free space available.

To accomplish a manageable form of sorting you are going to use large, plastic storage containers for the grouping and piling phase. Purchase the clear ones so you and your child can see what’s inside. Opt for containers with lids because they can be stacked after the room is under control. Buy medium size containers. If they’re too small, you won’t be able to use them for large groupings of items, and if they are too big it will be a nightmare to try and move them around efficiently.

Next read Part 2 – How to group and pile