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Category Archives: Organizing

Guest Blogger DIYMama Erin Reynolds: Livin’ Small: How to Make Life Work When You Lack Square Footage

Toys, Closet, Organizen

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Downsizing is one of the most notable trends in real estate in recent years. Families both large and small have found a new freedom in living in spaces that are smaller, less expensive and require less upkeep. Storage can be a problem, but it isn’t insuperable. Whatever your reason for living in a small home environment, you can make it work by following a few strategies aimed at helping you make the most of the available square footage. Just remember that decluttering is the cardinal rule of compact living.

Purge ‘til it hurts

Most of us live amid objects we could live without. Some are possessions that have some sentimental value, and others might be things (like junk mail and loose papers) that accumulate so quickly we don’t even notice them. It’s essential to keep the clutter under control by purging as often as necessary. Start a system of organization that guides your approach to decluttering and home organization. Make files for essential papers so they don’t stack up and get lost in the shuffle.

Don’t be afraid to get rid of old invoices, credit card statements and loan offers, but be careful to shred anything with sensitive personal information. Purging consistently and indiscriminately is essential if you’re going to make living in a small space work. Don’t forget that you need to cover every square foot in your home, including the garage and basement, to stay organized.

Organize those closets

It’s easy to overlook your closet space. Closets tend to become dumping points for anything you don’t know what to do with but are hesitant to throw out. It’s important to break that habit, because closets are very important storage spaces when your home is on the small side. Purge any clothes that don’t fit well and keep seasonal clothing in storage. Use storage systems for shoes and any folded clothing that doesn’t fit in your drawers. Fit your children’s closets with bins for toys, books, CDs and anything else that could create a clutter problem in the closet.

Create ‘zones’

If you live in a small home, you’re probably accustomed to turning rooms into multi-use spaces. It’s a smart use of square footage and often necessary to make compact living work. Your main living room can be “divided” into a den and a dining room with a couch or rectangular table separating the two. Set up your dinner table and chairs in one half, and your TV, stereo, gaming system and any other entertainment equipment in the other half of the room. It may be less than ideal, especially if you have kids who love to roughhouse indoors. On the plus side, this kind of layout places an emphasis on family togetherness.

Get creative

Unfortunately, decluttering can’t solve all your problems. Sometimes, it’s necessary to get a little creative. A toddler’s bedroom may need to double as a home office, a space for your home computer, printer and any other equipment. A downstairs closet in or near the entryway might need to double as a food pantry, which can easily be done with an intelligent use of compact plastic shelving or built-in shelving.

Make use of bins

One of the worst things you can do in a tight living space is to try living with loose objects taking up valuable floor space. Plastic bins can help you get organized and maintain flow through your home by keeping those floors clear. Plastic bins are ideal for storing toys both downstairs and in bedroom closets. Many people use them to store extra shoes, boots, hats and coats they don’t want to give away or throw out.

Remember, purging is the single-most important thing you can do to keep a small living space comfortable, orderly and serene. Living among clutter makes it very difficult to stay organized and keep the entire family happy if you lack square footage, so be objective about your belongings and declutter as much as you can.

Follow Erin Reynolds at DIYMama.net

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2018 in Organizing

 

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Guest Blogger DIYMama Erin Reynolds: Moving in Together? Here’s How to Make Your House a Home

Home, Couple, Mortgage, Real Estate, Moving, Together

Photo by Pixabay

 

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Home is where the heart is,” and it’s true. But, if you and your significant other are taking the next step and moving in together, it will take some work to make your house a home. Two personalities, styles, and preferences are coming together—and the two of you have to find a way to make them mesh that doesn’t involve dividing the house down the middle. The following are just a few tips to get your home organized, decorated, and settled so you can enjoy this new chapter.

Purging is a Must

 

No one likes to get rid of their things, but trying to fit two people’s worth of stuff in a home can be overwhelming, at best. A pre-move purge is a must for both of you. First, start by going through each room and separating items into keep, donate, sell, and trash piles. Once you’ve narrowed down your things, the two of you can come together and decide on duplicates, such as whose cookware, appliances, bedding, and furniture you’ll keep. You don’t need six frying pans and two mismatched couches. These decisions can be difficult, so if there are a few items you can’t agree on, put them in storage until you figure out what to do with them. The overall average price of a self-storage unit booked in Los Angeles, California over the past 180 days is $144.76. This is also a great place to keep items until you figure out the layout, as well as anything you don’t have room for now, but could see a future use for.

Keep Organization at the Forefront

 

Remember, a cluttered home isn’t cozy—it’s chaotic. This should be your mantra when it comes to home décor. Be sure to measure everything. By taking measurements before you bring items in, you might find your significant other’s loveseat is a way better fit than your bulky recliner. Make a conscious effort to use every inch of space wisely, as organization is an area couples tend to disagree on. For example, kitchen counters that serve as a drop zone could be your breaking point, while your significant other can’t stand a cluttered bathroom vanity. Make rules, but be willing to communicate and compromise. It may be helpful to look for versatile items that can serve multiple purposes. For example, if you insist on having piles of throw pillows and blankets accessible, but your partner thinks they are excessive and should be out of sight, meet halfway: For only about $100 you could get an ottoman that comes with built-in storage—a neat yet convenient place for those comfort items.

Don’t Overdo It When Mixing Styles

 

Designing and decorating a new home can be stressful. You could hire a professional interior decorator, though the average hourly rate can be as much as $500, according to Houzz. If you’re on a tight budget, though, don’t worry. There’s plenty of accessible (and free) advice online about designing and decorating a new home.

 

The two of you likely have completely different styles, which is why interior designer Sara Costello recommends painting walls a non-color such as white or cream. “With those non-color colors, you can weave in a palette that is masculine and feminine,” Costello said. Then, add pops of color via wall art, accent pillows, and various decorative items. If you have your own décor you are bringing in, incorporate it slowly, and make sure you both agree on it. Taking over the space can quickly lead to an argument. If you will be shopping for new furniture pieces, décor, or even something as simple as new bath towels, be sure you make purchases together so that one individual’s style doesn’t shine through more than the other.

 

Above all else, be kind and understanding toward one another. This is a huge change for both of you, and there will likely be arguments and disagreements. But at the end of the day, you are in it together. Take your time, go slow, talk often, and enjoy the ride!

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Posted by on October 25, 2018 in Organizing

 

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Super Tip Friday- Breaking Up Chores Into Pieces!

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I got this idea while recovering from Bells Palsy and some days I would have energy and other days I wouldn’t. AND I still wanted to get things done around the house.

Here is a tip:

On a normal day you might be able to do 4 or 5 things you do. If you don’t have the energy, break it down to 1 or 2 things on a day. Make one day for dusting and wiping counters. Make another day a vacuum day. And so on. Make Mondays the bill paying day. 

Your health comes first and I also know that many of us don’t want our homes to get out of control. AND you want to feel useful. Sometimes doing chores can lift your spirits too.

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2018 in Health, Organizing

 

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Super Tip Thursday: Pace YO Self While Organizing

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Pacing is everything! Life is not a race. I believe every movement is good, it doesn’t matter how big or large the movement. I am a big picture, long run type of thinker  and my actions reflect that. I want to create habits and have long term success.

As I am recovering from Bells Palsy and some of the effects have me dibilitated or tired easily. So I am pace myself.

I may work for a few hours in the morning, so I keep a few hours in the afternoon free.

I may work Tuesday, but I take Wednesday off and work Thursday.

Finding your pace requires you to NOT pass judgment on yourself, not to feel pity or sorry for yourself. Finding your pace means being present and honest with yourself about yourself and practicing self care. You can get stuff done!!!! Also you avoid burning out and giving up.

Remember small steps can lead to large rewards!

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2018 in Organizing

 

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Super Share: Organizing and Mental Health

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The Above is something I saw and I like it and find it useful. May you find it useful too.

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2018 in Health, Organizing

 

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Super Organizer Monday: Organization and Illness

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I’m a Professional Organizer AND I am dealing with an illness, Bells Palsy. I am in recovery. Its been 3 months since diagnosis. When I was first diagnosed, the doctor told me to stop everything and rest and take the meds! The first month I didn’t do anything beyond stuff related to my health. Bells Palsy is a nerve in your head condition, so I needed to not stress out my brain. As I look back on things, being organized helped me in those early days. Having dedicated places for things certainly helped me not stress out.

First I had to tell myself that its okay to not organize anything while I am resting and healing. My health was number one! Half of my face was paralyzed, so It wasn’t hard to rest. In the meantime, since I had things in place, I did what I could to continue to keep them that way. I had a drawer by my bed that had all the meds and vitamins in it. My bathroom and kitchen were set up so I could find whatever i need. I was drinking certain types of tea, so I had those teas up front, on a shelf I could reach, easy to get to. I had a file for the medical records in a special spot. My clothes and towels and bathroom items, everything was easy to get to and they all had their places.It helped.

I didn’t think of this until now.

That the time of the onset of the Bells Palsy, my first and only concern was to  take care of myself. My health was number one. I like to organize and teach others how to get organized, so I knew I needed to stop everything and do what the doctors told me, so that I can return to organizing. Now as I look back, i have found ANOTHER reason that being organized is a great thing. Even if it seems like a little thing, little things counts.

As for actual organizing while being ill, I encourge you NOT to worry about that. My message to you is to get organized while you are well and it may serve you WELL while you are ill.

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2018 in Health, Organizing

 

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Sort Out Sunday: Bringing ONLY Things You WILL Use In Your Home

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I’ve written blog posts about repurposing and I’ve blog posts on getting rid of things as you bring things into you home. I’ve also talked about rotating your clothes. Now I am writing about something that I am practicing myself. Only bringing items into the home that will be used.ACTUALLY USED!  And I don’t mean in a year! And I don’t mean MIGHT be used. I’m talking about going to the store and only buying clothes, accessories, food items, appliances, etc that will have a spot to be and will be used.

I got the idea from a minimalist friend of mine. I didn’t want to go that extreme, but the thought is similar. The benefits are less clutter forming, money-saving, knowing what you actually have in your home, and  things get used. I am on a new crusade to use the items that are in my home. Get my money’s worth! AND as a Professional Organizer, I want to eliminate clutter! This accomplishes both! Think about this!

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2018 in Organizing

 

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