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, December 30, 2012

My Small Closet Transformation for Less Than $30! Small Closet with a Skinny Budget? Read on!

For the past 5 months I decided to donate or toss one thing every week, beginning with my closet. I had visions of myself running out of items to part with and no idea how it was going to go. Turns out the simplicity of it all has been such a great tool for zoning in on what matters. Freeing yourself of items you have no use for completely changes a room, or an entire home. Visions I had for my closet space were now possible and the idea that all of my clothing and accessories are being used is a great feeling. I had a goal in mind and feel as though I was able to achieve it. My clothing and shoes now fits perfectly well inside my armoire. The best part of it? I love the space. We all owe it to ourselves to make our favorite spaces come to life. Here's what I did to create it once I got down to the basics.

I love a blank slate. Almost like an artist, working with a blank canvas, it helps stir creativity. After removing everything from my small closet I was able to see how I would want it to function. Clutter will clutter up your head, by freeing up the space it allows creativity to flow and gives you a different perspective on your possibilities for the space.

After heading to the stores and picking up some storage solutions I was able to stay under $30. This small closet transformation was going to be created on a skinny budget! Common misconception that organization is pricey. Not true! Re-purpose items and spend $0! Or be on the lookout for storage containers that are durable and inexpensive.

Starting on the top shelf I utilized the empty space above the wire shelving for flats and accessories. Those great labels you see are actually clip on dry erase labels. If at any time I'd like to switch the contents all I have to do is erase! The white shelves you see are shoe shelves, perfect for maximizing space!

Fishing through piles of t-shirts is not fun. Having them placed in bins by color is a quick and easy way to find what you need. I used the tri fold method by simply folding the shirt in three and placed it facing up so that the fabric and color is visible. Time saver when getting dressed, and I realized I do not need anymore white long sleeved shirts!

During my donating and tossing I also zoned in on my morning routine and habits. I noticed I always am applying make-up in my room, so it made perfect sense to move the make-up from the bathroom to the bedroom closet! Creating a space that will function within you and your family's routine is another time saver. With one side of the closet empty I utilized an old book shelf we had in the basement to create an accessory/make-up area. All it took was two cork boards, some push pins and some muscle to get the book shelf up the stairs :)

Getting my costume jewelry down to only what I love was a task, but completely worth it! I used soap dishes to hold the rings and bottles to stack up the bangles. Everything is visible, separated by type and once again a time saver when deciding on the finishing touches to an outfit. 

I love these hanging organizers I picked up at Home Goods that resemble the shape of a flower! I used them for hanging extra necks. They can be used for sunglasses, scarves and bags as well. 

My make-up is stored in small compartments by category. Brushes are together, and lip gloss and mascara. The eye shadow holders you see were once used for sprinkles to decorate cakes! Re-use, re-purpose! I made sure I left some space to add in a small stool so that I can apply make-up and accessorize within the space. 

A bookshelf has so many possibilities! From holding shoes and bins of clothing to accessories I decided to use the book shelf to store my clutches, bags, bangles and earrings. The bins I picked up (for $1 each!) have separated compartments. Worked out great for the jewelry! On a side note those also work wonders for socks and undergarments!

Regardless of the space you have to work with always start by getting down to the basics. From there getting creative with how you store your items and having fun with setting up the space is the best part. I am dedicated to maintaining my new closet space and  hope I have inspired all of you to take the journey toward living with less clutter and truly enjoying the space!

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

10 Truths About Getting and Staying Organized

Before I started my business Organized for Life I only knew what being organized meant to me, but I wanted to know what it meant to others. Turns out it means a number of things and having the opportunity to help others achieve it has been the best part of 2012 for me. Most importantly I have learned the truth about its positive impact when it is maintained. Here's 10 truths about getting and staying organized. Remember, maintenance is key!

1. You will need to do it your whole life. No buts about it, organization will be a major part of your life if you choose to embrace it and take it on. Whether its your home or place of employment the need for organization is always there. 

2. It must be handled in baby steps. It can easily become an overwhelming task if you are looking at an unorganized area as a whole, with the thought that it's all too much to handle. Breaking down the process into steps will allow some flow to the project. Becoming overwhelmed is only a mental block to becoming organized. Take it in baby steps, if you feel overwhelmed take a break, and you will be thrilled at your progress. 

3. Purging is a must. I cannot stress enough the importance of a good purging of your non-used items. We all have a tendency to assume we do not have enough space in our homes to accommodate what we own. Reverse the thinking! Only purchase enough to be able to accommodate the space. Purging is the first step to open up the space. Starting with the essentials will get you on your way to becoming organized. 

4. You will not miss the tangible items you have let go of, memories do not lie in the object but rather in your mind. As I sit here and write this for the last ten weeks I have donated or tossed something every week. I cannot even tell you what most of the items were. But I can tell you this- they were things hidden in the closet, buried in the basement and put away with no purpose other than to collect space. I do not miss them.  

5. Utilize the space in your home effectively. Organize items in your home based on usage. For instance kitchen items used once a year for a holiday should be stored on higher shelves. Also important to utilize the nooks and crannies in your home for storage, look for areas where you can install hooks or shelving.

6. Organization systems do not have to be expensive/Get creative. I'm sure you have heard of the Dollar Tree, everything is $1? They have some pretty fantastic storage options such as bins, over the door shoe racks, space saving hangers...the list goes on. Getting creative with what you already have is important as well. Cereal and shoe boxes work wonders when they double as storage! 

7. Always use labels. Labels give items an identity. They let others in your home know where a specific item should be placed. Use them whenever and wherever you can to maintain organization. 

8. Organize based on your family's needs. Every home is different. Different routines, schedules and size. What works for your family in terms of organization may differ from your neighbors. Make it functional for the way you live. Some homes may need toy storage in the living room while others may have more paper clutter issues. Gaining wisdom from magazines and websites is great but be sure it works for your home. 

9. Getting your family involved is important. Have them help, show them your hard work and progress, hold a family meeting. Whatever you can do to get your family involved with helping to organize will benefit your home. It is a group effort to maintain organization. Teach them where things belong, go over the areas of your home that have systems in place. Hold everyone accountable for the maintenance!

10. Live by the one in one out rule. Went shopping for another pair of black heels? If you have 4 other pairs sitting in the closet decide to donate or toss one. Slowly adding to the equation without taking away can cause clutter which then morphs into a disorganized mess. Same goes for toys, kitchen gadgets and other items in your home that do not need duplication without getting rid of something.

The benefits of becoming organized FAR outweigh the time you will spend doing it. You will find things easier thus creating more time in your life for things you enjoy doing. You will feel relaxed walking into your home, that relaxation will follow you throughout the rest of the day and night. Similar to exercising you will feel motivated to continue to maintain organization because the mental benefits are so fantastic. 

Get the picture? Organization is possible for you, your family and you deserve to have it in your life! Hoping you all find organization within your homes and lives in the New Year!

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Monday, December 10, 2012

New Year's Resolutions & Making Your Goals Count in 2013

New Years resolutions. They are filled with ideas and hopes for the things that you'd like to do differently in the New Year. They consist of eating healthier, exercising more often, getting organized or may be even taking more time for yourself. But what is really lurking in those resolutions? They are commitments you are making to yourself, or possibly others, to improve on your current lifestyle. To make changes in the areas of your life you feel may be lacking. According to an article from www.statisticbrain.com on New Year's resolutions, 45% of us make resolutions every year and 49% within that group do not follow through. So how can you make these promises to yourself more effective? Here's some ways to get started.

  • Reflect on 2012 and make a list of the areas in your life that you feel need improving. Be honest with yourself about how you can realistically approach the situations. Starting off with small steps will gradually turn into big steps. Think simple and positive. Goals that will allow for personal growth and that are achievable you are more than likely to stick with. 
  • Once you are done writing up your list, read it over and get specific. You want results and you want to build motivation for yourself. For instance if cleaning out the garage is on the list, this may take weeks. Brainstorm the steps involved to achieve the goal. Instead of "clean out the garage", maybe instead say "I will not accumulate more clutter in the garage and take the time to organize it over a two month period." Seems completely realistic and by setting a time limit you have challenged yourself to complete it. 
  • Always finish what you started. If you're planning on exercising more often this is an on going challenge and motivator. However if you are listing projects to accomplish within your goals, always complete one before moving on to the next. Staying focused is key!
  • Keep a progress report. Seeing how far you've come is one of the best ways to stay motivated. My clients love looking at before and after photos. It really resonates with them how they have improved in a certain area. When you work hard at achieving any goal in life you want to keep yourself on that path to achievement. Write down your progress, take photos and document your feelings about it. Being full digested in a goal you have set is a surefire way to see the results you are looking for!
Don't be afraid to reward yourself when you completed a goal that is important to you. I sincerely hope any goals you set for yourself in the New Year are achieved and allow you to feel even better about yourself! 


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