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

Toys, Closet, Organizen

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

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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Happy Christmas Tips From The Super Organizer!

Happy Christmas to everyone and I hope Santa brought you want you wanted!! Here a few tips for after the gift giving has happened:

 

Take all the gift boxes and if they are still in good use, fill them with stuff you don’t need and donate or give to a thrift store. Use them as holders for stuff. Kind of like the one in one out rule but a little more AND you are giving back! AND it reduces all the trash /recycling and clutter.

Of course throw away all broken ornaments, but here is one thing that is hard for people: an broken figurines, statues, wooden stars, etc…REALLY assess if its repairable AND are you going to take the time to fix it or have it fixed? If not and be honest with yourself, throw it out.

You want to really keep the holiday stuff manageable as you put it away till next year!!

New Years is next!!

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2017 in Organizing

 

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Forgiving The Clutter…and Yourself

 

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Some years back, I heard a guest on the Oprah Show say a phrase that changed my life! It is a sentence that I live everyday in every situation that it calls for and the phrase was:

Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be any different.

I invite you to re read that sentence. Read it several times if you like. Stop at that sentence and think about it. I found this statement to be true in MY life. I couldn’t truly move on from people or circumstances because I kept wishing they didn’t happen the way that they did. And what came from that was the forgiveness i was denying myself! Once I honestly looked at myself, I began to understand things and I was able to forgive me. It didn’t matter about the other person or persons I thought did me wrong or the situations I was currently in. I had to start with ME and forgive myself about feeling bad about the past and the present.

Forgiveness is really forgiving yourself first and always.

This can be related to organizing. For some people the clutter and disorganization in their homes and/or lives makes them feel bad or depressed. That depression and/or negative feeling can stop someone from doing something about it. This can lead to inertia. “Why bother” or ” its too much already.’ are thought and said. “How could I let this get so bad?” or ” I’m a bad person for being so unorganized!” All of these thoughts are really by products of not forgiving yourself.

In my opinion, for change to happen you have to forgive yourself of your past. Yes you made the clutter but why beat yourself up over it?! you can’t CHANGE the past and the clutter isn’t going to magically disappear. Yes you made the clutter but NOW you forgive yourself for it and want to make a CHANGE!

Forgiveness can lead to positive change.

How you got to your present state is important only for learning purposes. You want to LEARN from your past so that you don’t repeat it. Organizing you stuff, your time and your mind are very personal things. Just like forgiveness. You deserve the best and I want you to be able to get there and have the best life possible.

 

 
 

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Super Tip Tuesday: Declutter vs Unclutter

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I see the use of both words Declutter and Unclutter in relation to “getting rid” of stuff. sometimes I use one word and other times I use the other. The prefix “de-” suggests completeness and finality (i.e. destroy, demolish, deflate, depart). while, on the other hand, the prefix “un-” implies the reversal r opposite  of something than can also lead to finality (i.e. untarnished, unharmed, untainted, unencumbered). The dictionary gives them both the same definition: verb (used with object), verb (used without object) 1. to remove mess or clutter from (a place). 2. to organize and prioritize (one’s commitments, materials) ; to simplify or get rid of mess, disorder, complications, etc. 

My thought on this is that whichever word you use that the big point is to simplify your life and possessions. Take a look around your surroundings and REALLY ask yourself how much of the stuff do you use on a regular or semi regular basis; how much of the stuff is sentimental and really important for you to keep. Can you let go some of it? Does it free up space for you? Will life become easier?

I invite you to Declutter/unclutter!

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Organizing

 

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