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.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Don't Declare Yourself Unorganized for Life! 5 Habit Breakers to Get You Organized in 2014

I've written a few posts in the past that talk about New Years resolutions and how to stick to them, to really see them through. I've also posted topics on how to stay motivated and ways to curb procrastination. As a professional organizer I pride myself on really emphasizing to my clients the positive feeling they have once we are completed with a project. The weight that is lifted and the idea that clearing the space will clear your mind. It is an absolute motivational boost. It happens everytime. The motivation to keep that organization going throughout the year, and getting over the procrastinating, can at times be the only real piece that is standing in the way of you living your most organized self. The secret to becoming better organized is you. It is that simple.

So let's pull back the layers of it all and dive into breaking the habits that can lead us down the road to feeling let down by our surroundings, overwhelmed in our space and possibly even ready to throw in the towel and declare yourself unorganized for life. I've listed 5 habit breakers that will get you organized in the New Year as long as you are committed and ready for a positive change. You will find yourself with more time, more energy, more money and most important peace of mind.

1. Stop purchasing what you don't need. Plain and simple. The majority of us do not take inventory before we purchase anything from electronics to clothing. Impulse purchases are clogging up our closets, drawers and our lives. Before you shop take a moment to ask yourself if what you are looking to buy is needed and before you head to the register ask yourself the same question. By making a conscious effort to not bring into our homes items that we don't need we are instantly keeping down the clutter. Which in turn keeps things better organized and will save you money.

2. Adopt the one in one out rule. For everything from toys to books to clothing and magazines. One shows up after a trip to the store, one must go out. You can even create a donate bin for the one out items. You are adding and then subtracting so similar to rule #1 the clutter will be minimal with less inside your home. See the pattern? Less clutter equals more space, less to clean and more time.

3. Open mail immediately and create a plan for the paper clutter. The moment you walk in the door get into the practice of opening your mail and making decisions on what stays and what goes. Having a system for yourself in terms of how to organize incoming paper is one of the most effective ways to tackle the paper clutter. Toss the junk mail, place the bills in an envelope or bin and put away any important documents the moment you receive them. 23% of adults say they pay bills late because they can't find them. By simply setting up a mail system in your home you will be better organized and on top of important documents! Any coupons, invitations or greeting cards should also have a home, your kitchen counter doesn't count. If you notice too much junk mail coming in take a few moments to remove yourself from the lists here https://www.dmachoice.org/. More tips here on steps to family organization.

4. Declare a home for everything. Everything we purchase, receive as gifts and showcase in our homes we should love and have a use for. No exceptions. So why aren't we treating the things we love like we love them? They are on the floor, hidden under clutter in our closets. Or sometimes overlooked by too much clutter on shelving. The best way to declare a home for everything is to take it step by step. Little by little as you are cleaning your house or just tidying up as you see items out of place give them a home! Using labeled bins is a great way to keep items together and to ensure they end up back in their home. Creating a place for everything is another top time saver on the list!

5. Slow down. Why do we insist on over extending ourselves only to end up exhausted and feeling defeated? That constant feeling that you have somewhere to be, something to do will leave you feeling cloudy without enough energy to take sometime for yourself, you will only want to crash. Make a real commitment to deciding that you will leave time in the week for yourself, to spend with family and most importantly time to recharge. Feeling refreshed will give you the energy to put towards unfinished projects in your home, exercise and the energy to organize!

Like what you read? Please subscribe to the Organized for Life blog and post comments below!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Dining Room Cabinet Re-Do

During the holidays when I start decorating and getting into things- going through bins, cupboards and this year in particular the dining room, I get antsy to start re-organizing. I always zone in on what isn't working for me organization wise and what seems out of place. This year one look inside the drawers of my dining room cabinet and knew I had to start a quick project! Our dining rooms typically have the least storage so utilizing this space well is important. The best items to store are all of your entertaining pieces from dinnerware to linens. I have one storage unit in my dining room where I keep my entertaining essentials as well as candles. Here's a little before and after recap of how I revamped my dining room cabinet in under 20 minutes!

Before this draw served no purpose other than a cluttered mess. I removed the dining room table spring decor and stored them with my spring decorations in the basement. I use alot of candles when entertaining so this draw now houses all of my candles and the refills!
This drawer is specifically for all things wine. I have wine openers and my wine charms in a zip loc bag so they don't get damaged or lost. I also keep the small wine opening components in the original box so they also stay in tact. 

The largest draw of my cabinet holds linens for the table, napkins for each season and all of my entertaining silverware. Things began to get buried in the bottom of the drawer  so after a quick re-organization I categorized the napkins by type, refolded the linens and was sure everything was easily accessible.

With the holidays here it's the perfect time to tackle that dining room. Find a home for any items that are on the table or floor. Being one of the most formal rooms in the home embrace it as a place to entertain, laugh and enjoy yourself with friends and family!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Secret to an Organized Home is That There Are No Secrets. It's in What You Make of it

My home is not always perfectly organized and cleaned. That would even freak me out. It's lived in and cozy. It has its bouts of orderly perfection and then in the blink of an eye can become a disaster that needs to be tamed. There is however a place for everything. Every magazine, all the toiletries. Even the paperclips and thumbtacks. They all have a home. I also can say there is nothing in our home that we do not find to be useful or beautiful. It's a quote I know, but one I take very seriously. When I enter a room there is nothing greeting me that I did not welcome. I've carefully chosen every detail to reflect all the things that we love. Give it a home and make sure that you love it. The other part of it is making sure all parties involved know just where to place things.

So on it goes. Clean and tidy and as the week goes on a bit messier. When I do take the time to clean I can say without hesitation it's easy and smooth sailing. There is no built up clutter from months of no maintenance and if things do seem to become a little too congested then I re-evaluate the space and decide on what's causing the clutter.

So the secret is there is no secret. It's all in how you decide to maintain it. So this week I challenge all of you to decide what may or may not be working for you in your home and decide to tackle it once and for all. There is never a need to rush or feel overwhelmed. Just take it one day at a time and eventually you will love your space, every bit of it.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

30 Days of Gratitude

We all feel a lacking in our lives at some point. Sometimes it's the restful night's sleep we are desperate for, other days it's wishing we could escape life for a few days and head out on a vacation. We may not realize it, but that few moments of feeling as though you crave more in life may set you back.  By putting ourselves in this box of wanting more, we are subconsciously focusing on what we lack. I've been thinking alot lately about the idea of being thankful, feeling full of gratitude. How important it is to remind ourselves of what is abundant in our lives, rather than what is lacking. If we constantly focused on what we felt is lacking how would there be anything to look forward to? If we were never grateful for all the amazing things in our lives, how would we learn to understand the feeling of gratefulness? 

While I take the time to be grateful for major events in my life, I have decided to also shift my focus to the little things. Everyday things like my favorite green tea latte from Starbucks, or my kindle that can instantly download a book I've been wanting to read. November, being the month of Thanksgiving, I couldn't think of a better time to start my 30 days of gratitude. 

I invite everyone to post below what they are grateful for or maybe start your own gratitude journal. Look around you and notice everything that is not lacking in your life. Write it down, share it or keep it to yourself. Your daily practice is up to you. I came across this Be Thankful poem below and thought it was the perfect way to embrace gratitude. So what are you grateful for today?  

Be Thankful
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you've made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.
GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
~ Author Unknown ~ 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Back to School Organization Tips and Free Printables! Fun Ways Save Time and Stay Organized

Another summer is just about up and the summer to fall transition will soon be in full effect. Back to school shopping, new bedtime rules, homework before dinner and after school activities. Anytime there are schedule changes within households things can have a tendency to become a bit hectic before the new routine settles in. Having a plan in place and being as organized as you can is the key to allowing for an easy transition! I have some simple tips to get you and the family on board for a smooth back to school season, as well as some fun printables. Just remember it requires all hands on deck and some team work!

Talk about the new morning routine prior to when it starts. Establish the new bedtime rules about a week before school starts to make for an easier morning wake up call. Nobody wants to be rushing around the first day of school and sending the kiddos off in a frenzy! I love this free Super Sleepers printable below by Sissyprint! It's a great way to keep the bedtime routine fun by having the kids add stickers next to each task they've accomplished before bed.

The morning routine is just as important! Here's a fun printable from PopSugar Moms that will be sure to keep the morning going as smoothly as bedtime!
Weekly lunch and snack prep is a great way to keep yourself organized in the a.m.. Designate an area within your kitchen specifically for lunch and snacks, the food going in your child's lunch and the after school snack. Keeping the foods separated will help you prepare lunches quickly in the morning, big time saver! Create a snack drawer, or an area in the pantry, and an area in the fridge. Utilize bins and labels to make it fun!

Lunch bin for the fridge
Snack drawer
Deciding on a specific area and implementing a system for artwork, school papers and appointments is a great way to stay organized throughout the school season. Use wall space preferably in the kitchen to create a school zone station, similar to the below. Each folder is designated for art work, homework and activities. A chalkboard, dry erase board or calendar is located above the folders to jot down the upcoming week's activities. Short on wall space?  Utilize a bin for each child with hanging folders and attach a weekly or monthly calendar to the front!

This paper station was designed for each child to keep their school work and art organized with a chalkboard to jot down appointments 
Collapsible bin from Staples with hanging files to store school and artwork. 
Take 20 minutes on a Sunday evening and put together outfits for the week using clothing labels! These fun labels from Parenting with Professor Poppins  will keep you super organized throughout the week when getting the kiddos dressed and ready for their day.
Each day of the week is covered using these closet clothing labels 
Wishing all of you a fun and organized back to school season!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Simple and Affordable Solutions for a Few of the Hardest Items to Stay Organized! Including a Sheet Fold Tutorial

Tupperware lids, buttons and batteries, sheets, bags...the one thing they have in common? How they can easily drive us nuts in terms of trying to keep them organized in our homes. I have put together just for you some simple organizing solutions to conquer these items and whip your closets and drawers into shape. At times its as simple as incorporating new ideas and getting a little creative! Links to where you can find some of the affordable and functional finds are included!
  • Organizing Tupperware Lids, 2 Simple Solutions 

1. Utilize plastic napkin holders for lids, separating by size. 

2. Use a lid organizer like this one from The Container Store .A quick solution and does not take up space!

  • Organizing paper bags 

Magazine holders can double as a paper bag holder. Easily stores under sinks, in cabinets and in your trunk!  

  • Organizing small items such as batteries, pins, paper clips and buttons solved!

Small bins, like these from The Dollar Tree, are perfect for getting hard to find small pieces in order. 

  • Sheet fold tutorial to keep your sheets from becoming a jumbled mess! Use a flat surface for best results. I used a queen set, but follow the same rules for any size. 

The Pillowcase 

Fold in half as shown above and below


Next up- The flat sheet

Fold in half three times being sure to have all edges meeting eachother

Fold into thirds 

Completed flat sheet

Folding your fitted sheet up next!

 Bring corners in on bottom and top and then bring together folding into thirds

 Completed flat sheet 

 Add all sheets into the pillowcase

Completed and ready to put away! 

Feel to share if you enjoyed the tips, and don't forget to subscribe to receive my blog updates right to your inbox! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Organized for Life Summer Giveaway!

Thanks for stopping by the blog to enter the Organized for Life Summer Giveaway! I've teamed up with Terri-Lynn, a Clever Container consultant, to offer three great organizing must haves! If you aren't familiar with Clever Container head over to her  Clever Container website to check out the catalog. It is filled with amazing and affordable organizing items! We are giving away three great products meant to be practical, versatile and will make organizing fun...just the way it should be.

The contest begins today and will run until Monday July 15th at noon. The fabulous prizes are listed below. Don't forget scroll down for the instructions and additional info on how to enter, good luck!

A pretty junk drawer, instant make-up organizer or even to hold your children's arts supplies, the 'stuff it" is the perfect versatile bag to hold all of your stuff! Easily flattens for traveling as well. 

The car litter bag attaches to the back of the seat and keeps your car tidy. Great for road trips or running everyday errands you will love having less mess on the floor and a cleaner car! 

The shelf dividers are the answer to keeping your t-shirts, towels, sweaters and pants organized! The perfect addition to any closet

Two simple steps to enter -

1. Comment on this blog post in the comment section below and leave your name as well as a valid email address. 

2. Head over to Terri-Lynn's Clever Container Facebook page and give it a like! You can tell 'em Organized for Life sent ya if you'd like! The link is here, https://www.facebook.com/CleverOrganizingWithTerriLynn

That's it! Simple! Remember, you must complete both steps to qualify. 

Winners will be chosen at random on July 15th by noon eastern standard time and notified via email the same day. The 3 prizes will be sent via USPS, please allow up to 14 business days to receive in the mail. For a complete listing of rules and regulations see below

Organized for Life does not share any of its contestants contact info including addresses, names, emails or phone numbers. You must be at least 18 years old to enter and a legal resident of the United States. No returns, exchanges or refunds allowed on the merchandise. Organized for Life does not endorse nor is it affiliated with Clever Container. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Bathroom Organizing Tips and Tricks

From medication to make-up, from towels and kids toys to every free sample we received at a cosmetic counter the bathroom is the place where it all will get stored. So what's my secret to keeping our bathroom organized, de-cluttered and a stress free zone? While you're reading this you may say to yourself, I have alot more to store in my bathroom than she does. Fair enough. However wouldn't it be great if you were able to get your bathroom down to the basics? To walk in, feel at ease and find what you need. It's possible if you follow these simple bathroom rules.

1. Toss the expired. Medication has the expiration date loud and clear on the box. Take a few minutes every couple of months to go through medications and throw out the oldies. Make-up and lotions also expire. Here are the rules of the game for beauty products-

  • Mascara and any liquid eye make-up keep for four to six months. Eye shadow is good for about 2 years. 
  • Lotions and any foundations keep for 6 months to a year. 
  • Powder based products have a long shelf life and you can keep those for 2-3 years. 
  • Lipstick,lip gloss and lip pencils keep for 2-3 years as well. 
Here's a little trick for knowing how long you have had the products. The minute you purchase it right the date on the bottom. Keeping track of how long you have had the products is the key to keeping the beauty rotation in your bathroom going. When you toss it ask yourself how much you used it, if the answer is never don't bother replacing it.

Date your beauty products
2. Only keep in your bathroom the items that are part of your family's everyday hygienic and beauty routine. Of course if you have kiddos the bath time toys can be stored in there as well. This is the part that entails lots of purging and decluttering if you feel you have cramped drawer space or an overstuffed bathroom cabinet. Get down to the basics of what you need. Zone in on your daily routine and what you are using for a night out. Once you have the essentials organize by type and utilize storage containers as well as labels. Avoid cluttering up your counters and group the bathroom items by family member and particular usage. Designate drawers for each group. 
Clear the counter tops and store by type and by usage in drawers and cabinets. 
Nail polish and pedicure essentials together using clear draw separators. 
Medication, vitamins and first aide labeled by bin
A draw just for him with shaving essentials, deodorant and cologne. 
Don't let under your sink become a haven for a cluttered mess. Utilize storage units and bins. Sometimes getting a little creative goes a long way. 
This metal rack used to hold saran wrap and foil in the kitchen. I converted it into a holder for the curling iron and hair straightener. Storing items upright helps to save space under the sink as well. 
The pipe under the sink is sometimes an awkward spot when you have alot to store.  I place the hair dryer on the pipe , after it cools down of course, and it is a great space saver.
Hair brushes and products are stored in a bin using a two tiered rack. Underneath the rack is the perfect spot for extra toilet paper as well as a magic eraser for everyday clean ups. Keep cleaning products to a minimum in your bathroom by only storing the items you need for quick clean ups. 
I love this clear three draw storage unit for make-up. Each draw is labeled by type, lips. eyes and face.
Beauty products from lotions to make-up and hair accessories are all together in this draw.  Draw separators are the best way to keep like items stored together. 
3. If you lack storage space in your bathroom think outside the box in terms of utilizing and maximizing the space the best you can. Tall free standing storage is a great option to keep extra towels and toiletries if you lack the draw and cabinet space. Install racks under the sink in the cabinets for towels as well. Floating shelving can also be installed on the walls above the toilet and elsewhere in the bathroom. Utilize storage baskets to add some character. 

Always remember it's not about the lack of space but rather how well you are maximizing and accommodating the space. We don't always have enough room because we are holding onto too many things. Declutter, get it down to the basics and love your bathroom! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Junk Draw and Tangled Cord Fixes on the Cheap

There is nothing worse in your home than an out of control junk draw along with a mess of tangled cords! If you didn't need those pesky random items from time to time I'd say just trash them. There are items however hiding within that junk draw that we do use, and those cords belong to electronics we utilize daily. When it's time to find them you may find yourself giving up and heading to the store to purchase another one of whatever it was you needed. Sound familiar? Here's some tools to get your junk draw and cords on track to becoming functional and organized!

Start by clearing it all out! Empty and purge your junk draw. Sort like items together and get rid of those items you do not need. Be conscious of how much room you have in the draw in relation to what you are storing in it. Use individual bins and compartments to separate and hold items. Don't forget the labels! They are your constant reminders to place items back in the correct space.
                                                          Before                                                   After

This junk draw got a complete overhaul! Dollar store bins (4 for a $1), labels and a good purging of items helped to maintain order. 

So what are the typical junk draw items? This will vary depending on the home. Some basics to store in this draw are batteries, thumbtacks, post-its, pens and pencils, glue sticks, tape, coupons and gift cards. 

Re-use boxes from your pantry to store items and label away!

Contain your tangled cords by separating them within containers that have individualized compartments. These are pencil holders turned cord holders from Target from $3 a piece! Do your best to keep cords off of counters and place in a draw. 

Go through your junk draw at least once a month to be sure you are using all of its contents. Save time and money by easily locating those items that you need!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Giveaway Announcement and Ways to Enter!

It's time for a giveaway! First here's a little info into my first giveaway prize. In my recent Monday Morning Organization Inspiration video, if you missed it you can watch it below, I talked about ditching those to do lists and replacing them with some good positive intentions to start your day. Sticking to a regimented schedule can sometimes cause more stress, as we are trying so hard to stick to our daily to do lists. By simply stating your intention for the day you are opening it up to what you plan on accomplishing as well as going with the flow as your day begins to unfold. Make it positive, share it and acknowledge it. The power of intention is realistic and helps us point ourselves in the right direction as our daily lives can sometimes become chaotic. 

I'm giving away this bright colored clip board with a note pad and pen to write down your daily intentions, or you can always use it for your grocery list! Once the pages are gone you will have the clipboard to hold notes, appointments or menu plans. The spring colors are my favorite part of this giveaway item!
Also included in the giveaway is a 4 tier clip hanger for skirts, pants, even socks or tights! A must for a tidy closet. Make some space in your closet, help to organize it and prevent items from slipping! 

Here's how to enter ~

Share this blog post giveaway with friends on your Facebook page and leave a comment right here on my blog, or on the Organized for Life FB page letting me know you shared it! The winner will be chosen at random on Monday March 4th in the a.m. Good luck! 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Tween Room Decorating on a Budget!

By far the most fun and creative project in our home, transforming Jenna's room from little girl to tween! When we moved into our home my stepdaughter Jenna was 7 years old. Her room was filled with lots of purple and pink polka dots on the walls and a Hannah Montana bed set. Her kitchen set and doll house were displayed and there were a mountain of toys and coloring books in bins inside her closet. Fast forward 5 years later and at 12 things have changed. She's still fun loving and has an extraordinary imagination, but just as Hannah Montana has left the building so have Jenna's coloring books. She plays the guitar and loves music. She's drawn to themes of Paris, peace signs and butterflies. Her crayons have been replaced with lip gloss. Her desk is now for studying and of course still some doodling! I am a big believer in incorporating what you love into a space. It allows for personal growth and inspires you. Our spaces can transform and mature as we do but one thing should never change and that is adding your own creativity and touches of what you love. Here's some pictures of her new room with of course lots of organization as well as creativity. The whole project came in under $150, so switching up a space does not have to cost a fortune!

Creating a desk space in her closet was simple! After we purged through old clothing  and removed the toys we were left with an empty space to create this nook! We used a desk we already owned and then added in the details. The picture boxes within the shelving on her desk I found at Michael's for $1 a piece to hold her photos, pens and pencils. The wall decals and curtain I picked up at Target for under $20! The bins on the top shelf are filled with arts and crafts supplies. 

My favorite part of the room! Contact paper added some depth and fun to this otherwise boring bookshelf. The bins were found at the Dollar Store and we used the remaining decals from her closet to give them some character. Jenna picked out the finishing touches on the book shelf and wall from Hobby Lobby, and created her own memory cork board with her favorite photos. 

We were going for a daybed look so we removed the headboard, added a cozy comforter and lots of pillows! The details we added in from the song note mural to quotations on the wall all emphasize the theme of the room. These were found at Target and Hobby Lobby, all coming under $20!

It's always in the details! Contact paper added some life to the bedside table and we couldn't pass up this trash can! It's filled with butterflies to accent the wall decor. 

The ceiling to floor wall accent we came across at the Container Store for $9.99, this tied into the room so well! While in some cases custom framing may be needed, getting the same look is simple. We framed the Beatles picture with a poster frame picked up at Walmart. 

Added a little edge to this mirror with a skull and cross bones decal!

Before and after! Who needs a new tv stand? Easily switched this one up by removing the doors and adding some contact paper! Her gaming  items are stored neatly in the bins and easy to put back! 

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