The Ultimate Guide to Spring Organizing
You’ve purged out the clutter, so now what? In this blog, I’m going to take you through the process of transforming your piles into an organized system that will serve YOU! So put on your favorite music, throw your hair in a bun (or not), and get ready for my favorite form of self-care: organizing! Start Small As we discussed in the purging blog, motivation comes from small wins, so start small with a linen closet or even just one drawer so you don’t get overwhelmed. Take everything out of the space Yes, everything! Spread the items out on a counter or on the floor so you can see everything at once. Separate out items into categories While everything is out of the space, separate the items into categories. If the grouping is too large, create smaller categories within the larger category. Now that you can easily see everything you have – purge! If you haven’t done so already, now is the best time to purge any clutter from the space you’re working on. See the previous blog on purging for the complete process and tips. Clean the shelves and drawers in the space This is your chance while everything is out! If it’s dusty or there are a lot of crumbs and dirt, vacuum first and then wipe down with an all-purpose cleaner. Measure your shelves and drawers for bins and dividers Measure twice, buy once. This ensures that you aren’t making additional trips to the store unnecessarily! Measure the depth, width, and height of the shelves and drawers and be sure to take into consideration any hinges that may encroach on the cabinet space you have. Purchase bins and dividers if necessary You can use bins you already have, or start fresh if you want to have a uniform aesthetic. Many stores have organization products now, but The Container Store has the widest variety of options to fit any aesthetic, budget, and size. There are storage solutions for virtually anything now! To select the best product, consider the space that you have, where the items will be stored, what items will be stored, and how you want to access them. To reduce visual clutter, choose an opaque binIf you prefer to see what’s in the bins from a glance, choose a transparent binIf you want to easily access every bin, consider adding shelves so you’re not stacking bins, or choose stacking drawersWill it be stored in the garage or basement that could flood but it’s important paperwork or mementos? I recommend a weathertight tote with a seal to keep moisture out of the bins and away from your valuables! Place each category into its own bin, divider, drawer, or area Keep like items togetherBy utilizing bins and dividers to store your items, you keep each category from growing out of their ‘zone’ and becoming a massive pile again. It gives you a visual boundary of how much of that category you have the space for. If you have extra space and want to have room to grow for a certain category, go ahead and include extra empty bins in the space so the organizational system is prepared to accept the new items. Keep frequently used items easily accessible If possible, keep these items close to the area you use them in (i.e. spices and oils close to the stove).Store less frequently used items in harder-to-reach places. Label, label, label! This makes it easy for everyone using the space to know where items belong. Pro Tips: Vertical space is commonly overlooked for storage solutions, and vertical space is vital in small spaces: The back of doorsWall space behind a doorUnder the bedAdditional shelvesCabinet shelves and shoe shelves are great non-permanent solutions to add shelving to smaller spaces File fold clothes in drawers this allows you to see everything you have at once and avoids the mess that comes from grabbing whatever is on the bottom of the stack. Store food storage lids in a bin and nest the containers by shape and size If you love a clean aesthetic - decant anything and everything possible! The more you decant, the cleaner your space will look because you won’t have 100 different colors of (sometimes empty) cardboard boxes everywhere. Food Snack bars out of the box and into a binFlour, sugar, brown sugar, etc.Tea and Coffee Bath items Hair TiesBobby PinsCotton SwabsQ-tipFlossers Keep the minimal amount of items on countertops. Too many items on countertops, desktops, etc. instantly make it look more cluttered. If it doesn’t need to be out or isn’t used every day – put it away! Have a dedicated spot in your garage, mudroom, or a closet for a donation bin and a bin for borrowed items. This will keep these items in one location easy to find and keep them from taking over your house. Utilize the open space between the open studs in your garage Utilize the open space between the open studs in your garage to store items like skis, snowboards, camping chairs, fishing poles, etc. You can do this by screwing in cup hooks into the studs and hooking a bungee cord to the cup hooks, or screw in a 2x4 across the studs to contain the items. Create a system that will work for YOU! Every organizing system should be tailored to those using the space. There are organizing systems that work perfectly for some and how they think and work, but don’t work for you. Find what works best for you! # 1 Pro Tip to Staying Organized: Put items away as soon as you’re done using them! The quickest way to ruin a beautifully organized space is to simply not put things back where they belong. Conclusion: ‘A place for everything and everything in its place’ really is the organizer’s mantra to live by. When items have a home, they’re happy and so are you because you always know where to find them! Bonus: you now have the time you would’ve spent looking for something to spend on what you REALLY want to be doing! Happy organizing!
Elizabeth Calender | Apr 28, 2021
The Ultimate Guide for De-Cluttering Your Home
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve probably become aware of the clutter in your home now more than ever. We have been spending much more time at home, and in turn have become (sometimes painfully) aware of the fact that our homes are not a peaceful place to be due to the clutter we have accumulated. By working through this guide, you will learn how to let go of items that no longer serve a purpose and be left with only those that you find to be useful or beautiful in the life you have now. When to purge Before and after a move as you’re packing and unpacking You’re already pulling everything out, so this is the perfect time to purge! Don’t spend precious time or money moving items you no longer want or need. At the change of seasons Purging at this time is easier because what you used/wore is fresh in your mind. Purge the upcoming season at this time too if you know what doesn’t fit or work anymore. Throughout the year Purging becomes a more manageable task instead of a huge project every year or several years. How long will it take? This depends on how much you have to sort through. To start off, give yourself four Saturdays or Sundays. A realistic goal is one category per day. Have these ready: Bag for trashBox for recyclingBox for donationsBox for items that belong in another room/category - Placing items in this box will help you stay focused on the task at hand, and you can address the box at the end of your purging session. Start small Choose one category to evaluate (i.e. kitchen utensils or toiletries). If you tackle too much too soon, you’ll become overwhelmed and quit halfway. Starting small brings small wins and motivation to keep going! Pull everything out This allows you to see everything you have all at once. This step can be overwhelming if the category is too large, so remember to start small! If needed, break it down into a smaller sub-category (i.e. winter coats as opposed to all clothes). If you have items in the category stored in other areas of the home, collect them all together so you can see everything you have in that category. Group items by type or function If you’re doing toiletries – all soaps together, all lotions together, etc. Evaluate each item by asking yourself these questions: Do I use this item now? If not, when is the last time I used it? If it’s been over a year and you won’t use it in the next year, toss or /donate it! Resist the temptation to tell yourself the reasons you ‘might’ find a use for it If you don’t have a concrete plan for the item in the next year, it’s time to let it go Would I buy this again today? You don’t waste money when you purge an item, the money is wasted when you buy things you don’t need - think twice before you buy something! Instead consider the value you’re adding to your life by not having the clutter. Am I not actively using it because it’s a memento that I want to keep? Store the item with mementos Is it expired? Expired medication, food, makeup, car seats, etc. should be thrown away or recycled If it’s something you’re having a hard time letting go of but you don’t use it, ask yourself why you don’t use it or wear it: Does it have bad memories attached? Was it given to me and I’m just keeping it out of guilt? Is it broken or torn? How likely am I to fix it in the next month? Is it for a project I’m planning to do in the future? Do I have a solid plan to do that project soon? Specifically for clothes: Do I feel confident when I wear this? Do I not wear it because it’s scratchy or uncomfortable? Do I not wear it because it has a tear or stain? How likely am I to fix it in the next month? Does it fit? If it did and I could wear it today, would I? Is it still my style? If you’re still finding it difficult to purge certain things that you know you don’t need or want anymore, it’s possible that it’s due to being attached to the clutter emotionally. Don’t be afraid to seek help from the pros! How will I know when I’m done purging my home? The work is never ‘really’ done - it’s like cleaning - but the more frequently you evaluate the items you have in your home and regularly purge, the easier and more manageable it is. With each category you de-clutter, you will feel a sense of peace that comes from knowing that every item serves a purpose, either functional or beautiful. It can be helpful to keep a donation bin handy in the garage or somewhere in your home where you can regularly place items that you’re ready to purge. Tip for keeping clutter out of your home: Before you purchase an item, consider how often you’ll actually use it. If you’ll only use it once or twice a year, think about renting or borrowing instead – especially if you are tight on storage space in your home! Tips for Donating, Recycling, and Trash in Colorado: You’ve purged a category and are feeling amazing about the empowering choices you have made for yourself – congratulations! Now what do you do with the donations, recycling, or any hazardous trash? Common items that cannot be donated: Opened/used food, toiletries, makeup Makeup and toiletries can expire and cause infections. Car seats - Car seats cannot be donated for safety reasons, but many counties offer recycling options Local alternatives to chain donation centers: Denver Rescue Mission - denverrescuemission.org A Precious Child - apreciouschild.org Habitat for Humanity ReStore - habitat.org/restores Dress For Success - denver.dressforsuccess.org Springs Rescue Mission - springsrescuemission.org See websites for full list of accepted items Recycling: Denver County Residents: denvergov.org provides info for the Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-Off Boulder County Residents: bouldercounty.org has a map of recycling drop-off centers Visit your county’s website for recycling drop-off locations and accepted items Hazardous Material Disposal: Denver County: Offers pick-up through wmatyourdoor.com for a small fee Boulder County: Hazardous Materials Management Facility offers appointments for drop-off for a small fee Visit your county’s website for disposal locations, cost, and accepted items Bulk Trash: Most counties offer bulk/extra trash pickup every 4-8 weeks Visit your county’s website for bulk trash schedule and accepted items Purging clutter doesn’t mean getting rid of the things you love! It allows you to live the life you want by honoring where you are now, not where you were in the past. Bonus: less clutter means easier cleaning and lower stress levels!
Elizabeth Calender | Mar 26, 2021