With a three-day weekend upon us, and the weather being unsuitable for outdoor play anyway, why not use this extra time to do a quick organizing job on those few hot spots around the house? Here is a list of the biggest clutter-complaint-filled areas of the home and some quick-fix organizing products to put to work for you this weekend!
Complaint: Entryway and Coat Closet Clutter.
Solution: An over the Door Hook Rack or Pocket Organizer, like the Hi Lo Five Hook Coat Rack, which staggers hooks high and low for space efficiency. Great for jackets, backpacks, purses and dog leashes. Also a big helper in the kids room. Read more
When it comes to making food last, I’ve long been a fan of the freezer. Whether it’s bread or pasta sauce, freezing food can be a great way to make sure you always have certain items on hand. Frozen sliced bread simply has to be toasted to be ready to make a sandwich, and hard cheese is actually easier to grate when frozen. For those little cans of tomato paste that you’re never able to use up all at once, I like to put individual spoonfuls in a plastic bag and freeze them so I have the exact amount I need ready to go next time I have a recipe that calls for it. It’s also nice to have frozen vegetables around, like peas or broccoli, to make any meal healthier.
What this has meant for my freezer though is that it is always a disorganized mess of bags and containers falling out every time I open it. It was time to get my freezer organized, but first I had to find the right storage. Read more
It would seem like having a lot of counter space in your bathroom would be a good thing. You say to yourself, a pedestal sink is so pretty but it is so much more sensible to have a counter. Until the day you don’t have a counter anymore because it has been overtaken!
It all starts out feeling harmless. A soap dispenser, a toothbrush holder, maybe a jar with cotton swabs. You congratulate yourself because you hung the hairdryer on the wall. But then the lotions and potions, your husband’s aftershave, a candle, and a few hair products arrive. Read more
For those of us who live in Southern California, spring may as well be here already. But I haven’t forgotten that most people around the world are still dealing with harsh winter climate. Believe it or not, I’m a little envious of those who are. I love winter and see it as a time to turn your energies inward and tackle the indoor projects. I really don’t want to be lured outside by the sunshine and warmth; I’m actually longing for a cold, rainy day where I can put on some records and organize my photo boxes.
So if I were to write to you about gardening or decorating your patio, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want to hear about it. Read more
The bedroom seems to be the last place we ever think to organize, but let's face it, we all have clutter, even in the bedroom. Yet this is the last thing you see before you go to sleep at night and the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning, so clutter in the bedroom is a recipe for a big headache for many of us.
Here are some real solutions on where to find more storage in the bedroom for a more calming, relaxing environment:
Storage Benches and Trunks Read more
I love the look of a pedestal sink in the bathroom. We have a powder room downstairs with one. The only problem is that while pretty, these sinks are lacking (or, to be more accurate, 100% useless) when it comes to storage. Since it's just a quick-stop restroom, we don't need makeup, medicine or hair products in there, but we do need to keep extra toilet paper and towels handy. And there are tools to consider as well (plunger, toilet brush).
Here are some simple solutions to add storage to your bathroom while still keeping the look fresh and tidy:
Cabinets are an ongoing battle for most of us, and I’m going to risk alienation on an organizing blog by saying: maybe that’s not such a bad thing. So go ahead and prepare yourself for a yearly visit into the depths of your kitchen and bathroom cabinets. It’s a good exercise anyway because you can pull older canned goods forward so they don’t expire, and the same goes for medicines and toiletries in the bathroom. Plus you can dust and check for signs of mildew or pests while you are in there.
So grab a damp cloth, a recycle bin, and join me in this last step on our journey to an organized home.
Here’s what works in cabinets:
Now if only I could keep it that way…
Find great tips for decorating and keeping the bedroom neat and tidy with us on pinterest!
Fear not my friends, closets are easier than you think to organize. They have something going for them that you might not have thought of: they don’t have to be pretty. When you are organizing any other area of the home, you have to consider aesthetics, but with the closet, not so much. This allows you to search high and low for unused storage space and to make use of inexpensive storage items (plastic). Read more
Make your office work for YOU. Another major source of headaches in the home, the office can be a place of calm function, but more often than not, it is the center of the perfect storm of the entire house. It’s important to remember that 90% of what is bothering you is the actual desk TOP, because, well, it looks messy! If you can keep that desktop free of clutter, you are well on your way to making peace with your office space.
Now, a list of what really works in the office:
I know you were hoping that I would pick anything but the garage as the first place to start on our organizing journey together, but unfortunately, as the kids say, the first is the worst in this case. The reason for this is that in the weeks to come, you will likely be bringing more stuff into the garage for storage.
So first, a thorough cleanout is in order. Read more
I suspect that even before January was officially named “Get Organized Month”, it already was the de facto month of choice for organizing, simply due to the fact that it is the New Year with resolutions of organization topping many a person’s list. But in celebration of the official Get Organized Month, we are offering a 4 week plan to an organized home. Mind you, this is not a cleaning list, but an organizing guide. Read more
Happy New Year! In true clutter-control-freak style, I spent the weekend before the New Year cleaning out my bedroom closet. And at the same time, I decided to install cedar planks because I’ve always wanted a cedar closet. Nothing drives me crazy faster than pulling out a quality dress or sweater that I’ve “invested in” and finding moth holes in it, and cedar helps immensely with that as a natural insect-repellent. Installing a cedar closet is easier than you think.
It is a great beginner's 1-day DIY project. Read more
Say it with me, no more piles! I get so burned out on those crazy piles of bills, letters, junk mail, kids school signup sheets, magazines and, well, you know the rest. Where do these papers pile up in your home? For me, somehow it is always on the kitchen counter, which drives me bananas.
There are many ways to deal with this issue, yet it always seems to come back to one simple home storage tool: the mail organizer. And there are so many out there to choose from. Where to start? First, figure out where you need it most. Read more
As a life-long renter, I have lived in A LOT of different apartments, in law units, lofts, duplexes, houses, you name it. I have also lived in many cities up and down the west coast, and even in Nevada. My most recent move was to Los Angeles about two years ago. Before I go any further, I want to assure you that my intent here is not to complain about LA or the people who live here – I’m just sharing some observations. Read more
I don’t know about you, but I am so glad that this record-hot summer is has finally winded to a close. Okay, sure the weather is nice and the living’s easy – but honestly, is the weather really that nice? And is the living really that easy? With 100 degree temperatures and kids all over the house, it is nice to see a return to moderate climates and kid’s with backpacks lining up for the bus.
Well now we can finally “chill-out” because summer has ended, the kids are back at school, the MLB pennant race is heating up and our favorite football teams are back in action. And I do mean “chill out” quite literally – better get used to brisk evenings and chilly mornings! It’s time to ditch those board-shorts, maxi-dresses and tank-tops and get ready to stay warm. Read more
Here are Part One or Part Two, in case you missed them.
~~ Just Give It Away, Ray ~~
Here you won’t get a tax deduction, but you’ll have the satisfaction of helping someone and expecting nothing in return. Plus good things will come back to you. Here’s a poem quoted by Joe Vitale in The Greatest Money-Making Secret in History:
A man there was, and they called him mad, The more he gave, the more he had. Read more
In case you missed Part One, here it is: Fifty Ways To Leave Your Clutter: Part One
Here are 11-20 – Check back next week for the next installment!
11. Post on an email list of a local group. It is amazing what people will come and haul away.
12. Find a place to pass on your old computer and other high-tech goodies. Read more
Time to date myself here – Do you remember the 1975 Paul Simon hit, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover? Well, Rita has come up with a clever de-clutter version: Fifty Ways To Leave Your Clutter!
Here are the first 10 – Check back in the weeks ahead for more!
~~ Take Time To Decide, Clyde ~~
The first step in leaving your clutter, before you even touch one things, is:
1. Decide where you’re stuff is going to, whether you want to donate it or sell it; how and where you will do that. Read more
Last week, Rita brought her 21 Tips to Help Kids Become Clutter Busters. Today, she brings you 21 tips for adults!
Our clutter does not come from being messy, lazy or disorganized, it comes from four goofy habits:
~Saving things that we never need or use
~Insisting on bringing in things that we never need or use
~Never deciding on a place for things Read more
(These tips can help adults, too)
1. Cleaning their rooms involves making decisions. The more you help to simplify the room, the easier the cleaning and the decision-making becomes.
2. Check out books from the library, and buy only the ones your children really love. Why spend money on books they’ll never read? Read more
In my last post I wrote about how moms need desks. Now I’m imploring moms, dads, students, seniors, space aliens–anyone who will listen…
BUY A FILE CABINET.
When a prospective client tells me of their paper challenges, one of the first questions I ask is, “Do you own a file cabinet?”
They often reply…
“File cabinets are really ugly.”
“I have a plastic one that broke.”
“File cabinets are just expensive boxes.”
These statements bring a tear to my eye. Read more
Please join me in welcoming our newest "Freak" – Stacey Murray!
My organizing supply tote is filled with bags of all shapes and sizes. But, when I go to a client’s home, I make sure my tote bag is filled with one specific type of bag: trash bags. Trash bags are the workhorse of a Professional Organizer’s supply stash. Read more
It happens to everybody: one day you look around your office and you wonder, "How did this get so disorganized?"
An untidy office and a messy desk can make you feel overwhelmed. It can even make you feel insecure about yourself because you'll wonder how you can get back on top of the clutter.
First of all, don't beat yourself up, and start taking small steps to get organized. Don't feel compelled to clean it all in one go, after all – your desk didn't get messy in one hour, so it will take time to get it de-cluttered and organized. Make a plan to get back on track, and start thinking about what office organization supplies you'll need. Read more
Don’t let those piles get you down! One of the most frequent requests we get are tips on mail organization. Rest assured, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce those piles of mail that seem to pop up everywhere around the house.
Mail organizers come in all styles these days, with every home decor theme taken into consideration. From door entry mail organizers to magnetic models that stick to the fridge, there is truly something for everyone.
Here are some different types of mail organizers to consider: Read more
If your home is in desperate need of a decor-update, but the wallet just won’t allow for that costly remodel right now, never fear. We’ve got tips for decorating on any budget (yes, even if the budget is zero.) With a little creativity and a little elbow-grease, you can improve the look of any space in your home to meet your needs and brighten up your outlook instantly!
Here are some tips and rules to guide you on your affordable decorating journey: Read more
An inviting and comfortable guest room should bring relaxing hotel touches to your home. Create a casual yet stylish space for your guests by adding things they probably wouldn't have packed, like a robe or slippers. Scented candles or a cozy throw blanket are a good way to create a warm feel. Pick up some fresh flower at the store or grab some plush throw pillows from around the house to give the bed a decadent feel. These little touches are a great way to welcome your guest. Read more
I live in a house that has a lot of stairs, and it seems like I am constantly finding things that are supposed to be downstairs laying around upstairs, and things that should stay upstairs are always finding their way to the first floor – are you confused yet?
Imagine how confused I was when I discovered a set of measuring spoons, two weeks worth of mail, and seven and half pairs of shoes upstairs, and no less than four blankets and every Lego piece that's been manufactured since 1982 downstairs. Read more
I don’t know about you, but I like searching through my dresser for matching socks about as much as I like going to the dentist! In this increasingly busy world, every minute counts, especially in the morning when I am shuffling kids, hairdryers and my own work clothes. Have you ever dreamed of opening up your drawers and immediately seeing exactly what you need, right where you need it? Sounds crazy, right?
When my mother-in-law gave us a Designer Solid Oak Luggage Rack for the guest room, I admit – I thought it was kind of a crazy gift. Even crazier than the ceramic chicken that she'd brought during her last visit.
I thought it was a strange thing to have, because last time I checked we didn't have plans to open up a hotel anytime soon, and I'd only seen luggage racks during business trips. The only time I'd seen a luggage rack ins somebody's house was during reruns of 'Mr. Belvedere'. To tell the truth, it spent it's first six months in our house buried inside the guest room closet. Read more