Avoid the Cluttered Closet Trap

Organization tips to implement into your own closet to save space and keep things from becoming cluttered.

The Great Toy Challenge

Practical solutions and ideas that will hopefully leave you with some peace of mind when it comes to your little ones.

Closet Quick Tips

A few quick closet tips in no specific order to keep your closet refreshed and fun.

A Closet Transformed

This closet project was a great opportunity for the client to get rid of things she hasn't worn including shoes, clothing and bags!

Bathroom Closet Organization Tips

Just as any closet in your home can become cluttered up quickly your bathroom closets can certainly do the same.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Basic Tools for Family Organization

Planning and routines are such an imperative part of the well-being of our children as well as for our own growth. Every family is different, which means systems will work differently for each one. The intent of this post is to explore some very basic strategies that can be implemented regardless of family size, no matter how big or small. Of course there are plenty of times for fun and games too, it just wouldn't be fun if things were perfectly organized all the time!
 If you would like some insight on some simple ways to keep the organizational process flowing in the house, read on. You may already have a plan in place that works well for everyone, which is great! Remember one of the keys to allowing more time for yourself and for your loved ones starts at home, so why not begin by taking some time saving steps to enjoy that time!

Create a Family Binder
Put together a family binder, accordion file or even storage boxes which can hold important documents that you may need quickly and keep in a safe place. Use tabs or labels and create categories such as-
Emergency contacts (great for a babysitter to reference)
Auto Information
Insurance Forms
Home Improvement Receipts and Documents
Birth certificates
Medical records

Accordion Filing System
Decorative Folders with Tabs       
Magazine File for Folders
When you using a binder you can get creative with the design and have your children help! Create tabs for each family member, even your pets. As records become updated you may need to occasionally purge paperwork but stay consistent with filing these documents in the binder. When you receive documents in the mail file immediately so that they aren't piling up on the counters. This method is quick, easy and a time saver when looking for paperwork!

Family Mail and Appointment Center
The kitchen is always the center of the household and one of the best places to display a mail filing and appointment/task center. There are so many possibilities to organizing this area! One of my personal favorites is utilizing a dry erase board on the fridge and listing daily appointments and reminders. This can also be used to list chores for the kids. Allow them to choose which chores they would like to do that week which creates a sense of accomplishment and also independence.
One of the best ways to reduce a mail mess is to sort the minute you get the chance. Place mail in an over the door organizer, mail scroll or magnetic mail file like the ones pictured below. Create an in and out going pocket and toss mail you don’t need right away. The purpose of in-coming and outgoing keeps bills on track and acts as a reminder of when mail needs to hit the road.  The magnetic mail holder is also great for take out menus! Rather than have your menus hidden in a junk drawer transfer them to the mail file on the fridge. Think of the systems mentioned as a process to keep things flowing in the house and a way to rid yourself and your home of clutter. When everything has a designated place you will notice the difference! 

Hanging mail and key holder

Creating Zones
Creating zones in your household is a vital part of keeping items organized whether they are toys, books, mail etc. One of the key things to pay attention to when creating zones is the habits you and your family have developed over time in the house. For instance do your children tend to play in every room or just in one or two areas of your home. When you walk in the door do you toss your keys and purse anywhere or in a specific area? Begin to set up key spots in your home for specific activities. If you decide to sort through mail in the kitchen this is where the mail organizer should be stored. If you place your keys and purse by the door have a key rack available or storage for bags. Another great trick is to prepare a backpack with items you may need when running out the door quickly with your kids. Items such as books, dvds, snacks or extra diapers. Keep this emergency bag close to the door where your keys are so you won't leave the house without it.
 If you find yourself looking through magazines in the living room have a basket or bin for reading materials.

Organization beginning at home is one of the best ways to teach your children the importance of systems and a process. Children may not always recognize the process of organizing as a fun task so there are a few ways for them to grasp it. Keeping them involved with writing their own to do lists for school, providing specific bins for toys, helping you create a shopping list or even helping you plan a vacation will provide them with some tools to encourage organizational steps. If there is a place for everything and everything in its place you would be surprised how quickly your family will catch on! There are certainly no magic wands to wave around the house for everything to just fall into place in this department, but going step by step will help!

Ideas and comments are welcome! For everyday organizing tips follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/laugia or find me on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/laurenorganizedforlife. Happy Organizing!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

3 Quick Closet Tips!

If we put so much time and effort into our shopping sprees for that perfect outfit, or just the right pair of shoes then why not extend that extra attention to our closets! Here's a few quick closet tips in no specific order to keep your closet refreshed and fun.

  • Mix it up in the storage department. Utilize book shelves for shoes or purses. Grab some funky colored bins to store items or add some colored wall art and a mirror to your closet. Use hooks on the walls to hang belts, scarves or jewelry. The more organized and inviting the closet becomes the more you will want to keep that space clean!
  • Beat closet clutter by taking stock before you shop! Get to know what's in your closet before you purchase an item that you may not need. Stick to the one in one out rule. If you can't see it you won't wear it, so keeping your closet uncluttered is key!
  • Ever stand in front of your closet and say, "I don't have anything to wear!" Not the case! You probably just feel tired of looking at the same items, worn the same way. Hang some of those fabulous Pinterest outfit ideas up in your closet and just start mixing and matching with the items you have! Or use pages from magazine for outfit inspiration.
For more organizing ideas follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/laugia or here on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/laurenorganizedforlife. Happy Organizing! 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Photography Studio Project! With Ideas and Tips for Any Work Space

When I first walked into Sara's Photography in Westerly and saw her studio space I was thrilled at the opportunity to organize an area I hadn't dove into before. Closets, kitchens and basements are the most popular spaces I have organized in the past. This was filled with amazing props, backdrops and photography accessories that I had never even seen. What I did see however was an opportunity to create the organized space Sara and her staff so deserve, in this studio where children come to laugh and so many memories are being made I felt honored to help make it come to life. Please take a moment to view the before and afters of how very simple organizing ideas all came together. I hope the creative energy continues to flow at Sara's Photography for many years to come!

Prop Room Before

Prop Room Before

After! We took a clean, purge or donate approach! 

 We cleaned, purged and donated! The very first steps to organizing, always begin with only what you need. Items that are not useful or no longer serve a purpose should be parted with. The existing shelving unit was used for costumes, props and accessories. Sara and her staff in this busy studio need to grab items quickly. Having all items visible, within reach and labeled will make that possible!
Baskets and labels! 

Labeling is one of the best guarantees your items will stay within their homes. These French inspired labels were large enough to use on the baskets, and easily tied around the handles. Take a trip to any local arts and crafts store for a fun and interesting selection of labels you can use in your own space!

Blankets were labeled and stored in stack-able bins so that they are easily within reach. Hats were stored in the large bins, also easily within reach. Like items grouped together!
 Costumes were labeled based on the theme of the clothing using labels, ribbon and shower hooks.

Hanging the chairs added character to the prop room, created floor space and was the perfect spot for all of the stuffed animals!

The receptionist booking area and closet was also an area that was re-organized to add to the already inviting space.  My goal was to be sure Sara and her team feel relaxed from the moment they walk in the door and see the clean and organized desk space so they are ready for the day! A clean desk area will increase your productivity and create mental clarity. Taking a few moments out of your day at work or home to clean your work space is a great way to feel recharged.

Closet before

Closet after!  Storage boxes, bins and a good clean up left the closet space clean and refreshed.

Desk drawer before
After! Desk gadgets all together.
Corner shelving unit before
After! Many of the items were stored in the closet in a designated spot to create simplicity on the book shelf. 

It was truly a learning experience for me from start to finish to be able to work in Sara's Photography and implement an organizing system in her studio. I help others organize because I believe in making spaces come to life and the power of what organization can do. Please feel free to post comments or contact me with any questions! For more organizing ideas, tips and tricks please follow my Facebook here http://www.facebook.com/laurenorganizedforlife. Thank you for visiting! 


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