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, November 25, 2012

When Memories Become Clutter, Ways to Let Go and Have the Memories Live On

We all have physical objects in our homes that tie us to a certain person, moment or life event that is important to us. They are the things that are meaningful. The memories that take us back to a certain part of our lives we may want to hold onto. However at times there can become no distinction between perceiving them as memories and how those items can begin to cause clutter in our homes. When everything becomes important then not one particular item is important. Holding onto sentimental items is not a problem until the items begin to overtake you and your home. When the distinction is lost. So how can you pin point those items that you would like to keep? Here's a few steps to be on your way and still enjoy the memories.

Pinpoint the items causing the clutter 
Maybe you have a collection that was given to you by a loved one who has past. You may have picked up certain items in your travels. Your child's art work and school work that you can't seem to let go of. Recognize it is not the object itself, but rather the person or place it is associated with that is causing you the pain at the idea of letting it go. So how to decide what to keep? If it is causing clutter and feels chaotic in the space then you have not created any distinction between the memories and it just being clutter. Displaying with pride the items that are important to us is a great way to live in the memory, so decide to keep a portion of the collection, artwork..whatever it is that is causing the clutter. 

Deciding what to keep and what to let go of-
Are you prepared to display the items in a way that will not feel cluttered in the space? If the items are important to you there may have to be some shifting of other items to make space for displaying the memories. For instance if you have an antique dish set that means the world to you and you are considering displaying it in your china cabinet, then items already in the cabinet must come out. Space management is so important to avoid clutter. However if you are not willing to make space for the items, but would rather have them boxed up in the attic, asking yourself if you are prepared to take whatever action is needed to display them is an important part of the letting go process. Memories can become overshadowed when the items just become "stuff". Keep the memories alive and well by being respectful of the items. Display them or let go, possibly pass them onto another family member. Hoarding the items is not the same as enjoying the memories.

Ways to store the items so that do not become clutter-
Create a memory box or bin and decide what to keep. Be very honest about how many cards, letters, newspaper clippings, etc you need. Decide what will be kept and let go the of the rest. Label your bin according to the contents and do not over clutter it. Take advantage of technology. Scan photos or have videos put on cds. Creating a digital library of memories does not take up space in your home, and allows the memories to live on. Learn how to scrapbook. Share the memories through scrapbooks and build your own stories. If you have objects you are finding it hard to let go of take a photo of them and create a page dedicated to them. This will reinforce the memory and take away the physical clutter that the objects have caused. 

If memories are your clutter downfall remember that the memories will always live on even after you have let the item go. Find and decide what will become the few treasures you'd like to keep and respect the memories by displaying them with pride and affection! 

For more organizing tips and ideas please subscribe to the Organized for Life blog! 


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Inspirational Quotes for Getting Organized

I'm sort of a quote junkie. I follow them on Twitter, Facebook, have them delivered to my inbox daily and post them up in my home office. Inspiring quotes, ones about love, life, doesn't matter. They have a way of making sense of things and bringing a different perspective into situations when I need it most. Today I'd like to share my favorite organizing quotes in the hopes to bring some organization inspiration into your lives. Choose your favorites, soak up the words and my hope is that they bring some insight and guidance into your lives. 

Quotes from Peter Walsh-organizational expert 

"Make room daily for your own time and space, so that you are able to open the door generously to others." 

“The things you have in your home should be beautiful and useful.  What you have in your home should be honored and respected.” 

"The stuff is like an anchor-you have to hold on to those memories because they are what has made you who you are- but you have to start putting those things in perspective so you move into life as an adult." 

Quotes from Janet Luhr-simplicity expert

"If you look at your entire house as one unit of junk, you'll never do anything because the job is too overwhelming. Take it one drawer at a time."

"Simple living is about making deliberate, thoughtful choices. The difference is that you are fully aware of why you are living your particular life, and that life is one you have chosen thoughtfully."

Monday, November 12, 2012

Fridge Organization 101

The door is closed at all times however when you open it are you cringing as you look for the leftovers, that last container of pudding or where the butter went? If you feel as though you may fall into the messy refrigerator trap from time to time no need to worry. Here's what you can do now to tackle it and keep your food from wasting!

Block out some time within your week to clean out the fridge, and make it a routine. Remove trays and clean out the fridge using very mild soap and water. This is the perfect time to be checking the expiration dates. Do this frequently and you will avoid food spoiling. Always remember the "when it doubt throw it out" rule. Also if there are any spills you will be able to maintain cleaning them up rather than have anything be sitting for days.

Do not over pack the fridge. To keep food properly chilled you want the air in the fridge to circulate. Keeping the temperature below 0 in the freezer and below 40 degrees in the fridge is the rule of thumb. Be sure all of your Tupperware holding left overs is air tight and leak proof as well.

Now comes the fun part! Organize your fridge in sections based on food type. Like with likes! Leftovers, drinks and the ready to eat foods should be stored on the upper shelves. Any thawing poultry and meats are best kept towards the bottom. Utilize the side shelving for condiments. Use the draws exclusively for veggies or fruit.

Create a bin for snacks which includes yogurts, pudding or fruit cups. Keep this stored towards the top of the fridge. Having these together in a bin keeps them from getting lost in the fridge and also makes it easier when making lunches!

Snack bin, drinks stored together, cheeses in a separate compartment and all the fixings for an ice cream sundae stored together of course!

Condiments are together on shelving. Same rule of thumb for your freezer as in the fridge! Keep like items together. If you remove your meats from the packages for later always use labels and moisture vapor resistant material. If the butcher can pack up the meat for you, even better!

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Gift Wrap Organizing Made Easy!

At some point I completely fell off the organization train in terms of my holiday gift wrapping. While I do keep everything in one bin it was anything but organized, I will spare you the before photos! Organizing the bows, wrapping paper, gift labels and ribbons does not need to add to the stress of the holidays. One look at my pile of ribbons, bows, gift labels and paper made me cringe, so I took action! Creating a system to keeping gift wrap organized whether for the holidays or throughout the year is a great way to be able to keep inventory on what you have!

After I put everything into like piles these are the items I picked up at the Dollar Store for my project, along with labels.

Stackable bins, containers and a 3 pack of small bins. These can be purchased anywhere that sells storage containers!

I used the stackable bins for the bows and organized by color. Silver and blues on the top and the holiday colors on the bottom. 

I placed organza gift bags and the smaller cut pieces of the wrapping paper in the bins as well.

Utilizing the holes in the bins for the ribbon I placed the ribbon through them which will help when gift wrapping! An empty ribbon role was a perfect solution to keeping larger ribbon in place!

 A hanger was the perfect solution to holding the all of the gift paper! Keep the holiday and gift paper you may use throughout the year separated on a pant hanger. Store it in any storage closet in your home, or if your gift supplies are in the basement hang it from a post.

Gift tags and stickers were lost in the shuffle among all of the larger gift wrapping supplies. Having them separated and stored in bins will keep them from getting buried in a sea of gift wrapping supplies! 


Using this wine rack I stashed the wrapping paper through the inserts where the wine would normally go. Perfect way to store the paper because it will keep it from unraveling and you can see what you have!

Gift bags easily can hang from the front of the wine rack

Store horizontal or vertical

Now where to store it all?

This easily fit back into my storage bin and the wrapping paper was stored in the closet!

You certainly may have more gift wrapping supplies than pictured but by following the same storage tips they can be organized very quickly and easily for a hassle free gift wrap! 

Subscribe to the Organized for Life blog for more ideas and tips! 

Staying Sane and Organized this Holiday Season

Here we are, yet another holiday season is just around the corner. The departments stores have already decked the halls and the turkey hasn't even been in the oven for the Thanksgiving feast! There is typically an onset of panic for most of us right around this time of the year. No need to fear, tis the season to be jolly...right?  I have come up with a list of a few ways to stay sane from now until the first of the year that will guarantee a stress free and organized holiday season!

Make a List and Check it Twice
Start with a list. Take out that pen and paper (or smart phone) and write down all of the thoughts that you have in your head about getting through the holidays. Just scribble away and have it leave your head and land on the paper. The pen is mightier than the sword! Clear your mind of any holiday stresses that are living in your mind, you will feel better when you do.

Organize your Thoughts and Plan a Schedule
Look over the list and now organize your plan of attack by breaking down the thoughts. One task at a time!

  • Holiday cards need to be sent out? First step know where your addresses are and have them ready to go along with your holiday card list. Always recommended to have the list in designated spot so every year you know just where to find it! Once you have purchased the cards and stamps choose a day to write them out, seal them and drop them in the mail. 
  • Create a gift guide for yourself. Write down all the names of those you are buying for and the gift you plan on giving them, also perfect time to set your budget. Jot down a dollar amount next to each name and take this with you when shopping. Choose your time for gift buying- the weekend, a week night, mark it on the calendar! 
  • Decking the halls? Decide on a day that works for you and your family on decorating for the holidays. Designate an area for where you will put anything you are taking down while putting up the holiday decorations.
  • Menu planning may involve speaking with family friends about who is whipping up what. Contact those that may be bringing a dish to be clear everyone is on the same page. Create a list in advance of what you will need for your food contribution. 
Take Stock and Purge if Neccesary!
Prior to Thanksgiving do a quick inventory on what you may need for decorations, holiday gift wrapping and even dinnerware if you are hosting.

  • Purge the pantry to make room for the holiday food you will be purchasing. Check for expiration dates! Preparing foods well in advance? Be sure you have the extra space in your freezer, fridge or cupboards for the influx of the food! 
  • If you have little ones do a toy purge! Taking stock on the toys that they have will help to avoid them receiving duplicate toys for gifts. If you are donating toys look for any organizations that are taking toy donations for the holiday season. 
  • Take stock on the wrapping supplies. Tape, gift bags, bows, paper, etc. Knowing what you need will always avoids over spending! (Be sure to check out my gift wrapping organizing system blog post!)
Stay Focused and Breathe
We all have our melt down moments. We would not be human if we didn't. However remember the holidays are about family, friends and showing them all just how important they are to us. Do not over extend yourself by saying yes to every invitation and ask for help if you need it! 

Organized for Life wishes all of you a happy and healthy holiday season!  

Friday, November 2, 2012

Pantry Storage Picks

Organization is all about the purging, maintenance and thinking simple. In certain areas of the home storage containers also make quite the difference. I have searched high and low in some circumstances for the best organizational products. After having whipped a pantry into shape yesterday evening for a client this area of the home is still fresh in my mind. Here are my top five storage picks for a pantry space that will guarantee to keep your food and kitchen essentials from being a cluttered mess!

Dollar Store bins! You can't go wrong for a $1 each! 

Labels! Perfect for bins and containers, find these at Staples!

Stackable bins! You can't go wrong with stacking to save space!

Clear containers for cereal, crackers, candy... storage and space savers! 

Baskets! For storing snacks to canned goods they are a great solution!

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