Getting organized: tips for a more organized home

Getting organized: tips for a more organized home

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It’s that time again- spring time. The time when flowers bloom, everything is green and fresh, there is pollen all over everything…and some of us engage in a little yearly tradition known as spring cleaning.

I don’t know about you, but my house needs some extra TLC, and I can’t always get to those extra things during the school year. Like many others, I choose to spend a few days in the spring giving my house some extra cleaning and organizing. Today, I’d like to share some tips for getting your house cleaned and organized but in a simple and timely manner.

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1. Give your closets some TLC 

One of the first things I tackle are our overflowing closets. and donate what I do not need, throw away what is damaged, and organize and put away anything else. You can read all about how to keep your closet cleaned here.  You can read about how to organize your child’s closet so that it grows with them here. 

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2. Clean your kitchen: clean your cabinets, fridge, freezer, and pantry.

Give your fridge a good cleaning before cleaning out your pantry and cabinets.

Remove any expired foods or unneeded kitchen items from your pantry. 

Use cabinet organizers to keep your needed items within easy reach. 

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3. Organize your bathroom!

Organize your linen closet by donating items you don’t use anymore, and throwing away expired items. 

Use drawer and cabinet organizers to keep everything in easy reach. 

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4. Organize your playroom

Get rid of any broken toys and donate or give away anything your kids have outgrown.

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5. General cleaning

I also like to do some extra cleaning, such as moving furniture and cleaning under or behind it, or cleaning our blinds. We also pressure wash the sidewalks, porch furniture, and outside of the house. We also take down the curtains and wash them.

What spring cleaning tasks do you do?

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Closet Recharge: making your kids’ closet grow with them

Closet Recharge: making your kids’ closet grow with them

My oldest daughter’s closet was kind of a hot mess.

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Well, more than kind of. It WAS a hot mess. It started out great, but as her clothes got bigger (and she did, too), her needs began to change. I decided her closet needed a bit of an upgrade. Since her boxes and organizer shelf were still in great shape, it didn’t need to be a big upgrade.

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The first thing I did was order her some new hangers. Now that she is older, her clothes were falling off the child sized plastic hangers. I’d flip through her closet and the clothes would slide right off.

I purchased a pack of fifty velvet hangers from Walmart.com, and also a ten-pack of the same hangers with pants clips for her jeans and skirts. For fun (and to make them match her boxes), I ordered them in hot pink.

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Pink Velvet hangers

Now that her clothes were no longer falling off the hangers, and her hangers were all the same size and width, her closet already looked tons better.

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I also removed anything that did not fit, or was out of season to give her more space. Afterward, I began to think about what she needed to store in her closet. She is a little fashionista, so there are plenty of scarves, hats and purses that needed a home.

 

She also doesn’t wear pantyhose or tights that often anymore, so we really didn’t need two baskets for those.

When I finished purging things, I put all like items together, and updated her basket labels. When I finished, I had this:

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A closet that meets her needs and is pretty to look at as well.

Have a wonderful weekend!

How to organize your closet and keep it that way

My closet, finally not looking like a hot mess

Does anyone else often find that their closet is a hot mess, despite their best efforts? Do you struggle to find things in your closet, even though you know they are there?

I have definitely been there, but at the moment, I’m in a much better place with my closet. Today, I’d like to share some tips for keeping your closet clean and organized.

1. Use matching hangers to free up space in your closet space 

It sounds a little crazy, but did you know that by using hangers that are the same width and thickness, you can actually save yourself some space on the closet rod? In addition, it also gives your closet a more streamlined, more uniform appearance. 

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2. Attach labels to the baskets and bins

Labeling boxes and bins not only helps you to find things more quickly, it also ensures that everything has a proper place, and that you put everything into its proper place each day.

3. Hang pants at eye level because it looks nicer

Pants will always hang more neatly than shirts. For this reason, hanging pants on eye level will make your closet appear overall more neat and clean. A cleaner closet also feels more organized.

4. Twice a year, purge what you don’t wear anymore.

I like to turn my clothes hangers a certain direction, and after I wear the garment that season, I turn the hanger the opposite direction. At the end of the season, I turn the hanger the opposite direction. At the end of the season, anything that worn that no longer fits is donated, sold or given away.

I hope you have enjoyed these tips for organizing your closet! Stay tuned tomorrow for a summary of week two.

21-Day Challenge: How we handle extraneous clutter!

21-Day Challenge: How we handle extraneous clutter!
21-day challenge: an easy approach to organizing your whole home

Last week, I shared with you how I reorganized our entry way, an out of control pantry, the area underneath our sinks in the bathrooms and kitchen, our linen closet, and our playroom. Today, I’m going to share with you how we handle extraneous clutter. Later on this week I’ll share tips for organizing our closets, and on Saturday, I’ll share numbers 6-10 with you.

But for now, extraneous clutter- as the mother of two small children who are both still in single digits, I have seen some clutter. A lot of it. On a daily basis. Don’t be fooled- the adult members of my household are pretty good at creating clutter as well. We just blame it all on the kids 🙂

Don’t let that sweet face fool you- she’s got a Master’s degree in mess making.

We have a number of habits we practice for managing clutter, but just like everyone else, we are not perfect and we definitely slip sometimes, too.

1. Create a daily declutter routine

We take an ordinary laundry basket, and we go room to room each night, putting away anything that was left out. When the basket is empty and everything is put away, we have a decluttered house, and a clean slate for the next day.

2. Manage that paper clutter!

Invest in some file folders and a good paper shredder. File your important papers, like bill stubs, school papers, etc, and shred the rest. No need to let paper pile up on your desk or your kitchen counter! Put it away or get rid of it.

3. Sort and purge anything you no longer need or use at least twice a year

At least twice a year, we have something we call a purge around here. No, we don’t go on a killing spree, like the horror movie. We simply go through closets, dressers, drawers, and cabinets and we get rid of things. We take what we no longer need or use and we either throw it away, repurpose or recycle it, or we donate it. At times, if the items were in good shape, I chose to consign them using a brick and mortar consignment store, or online services such as Poshmark or Thredup.

Yet another rule of thumb is to search or shop your own home for anything you can use prior to buying something new.

How do you and your family manage clutter?

21-day challenge: week one

21-day challenge: week one
Week one

Well, week one of the 21-day organizing challenge is under way. I had exactly five things I wanted to do this week, and even though I barely got them accomplished, I did manage to get them done.

First, I tackled our entry. It wasn’t terrible but it needed a little attention.

2. Secondly, I straightened up our out-of-control pantry.

And by giving it a good thorough cleaning, I got it to look like this.

3. Next, I worked on the area under the girls’ bathroom sink.

WhenI was finished, it looked like this:

And if you’re wondering what the inside of the drawers look like, they hold various toiletry items for the girls and they look like this:

I also cleaned and organized the area below my kitchen sink.

It looked like this when I finished.

4. Our linen closet wasn’t too bad, but needed a little extra love.

I put away a few things in the proper place and cleaned them up. I was pretty pleased with the overall result.

While “playroom” was on the list, our playroom just got a huge purging and organizing following Christmas, so it was still in good shape.

Just in case you want to play along, and you’ve forgotten what’s ahead:

Next week, we’ll share tips for clearing extraneous clutter, garage organization, and closet organization. Join us next Saturday for my room reveals!

21-day challenge: entry way organization

21-day challenge: entry way organization

Our entry way looked like this:

It wasn’t bad, but it did need some help.

I’m going to show you my before and after shots, but I also want to share some of my tips for a more organized entry.

1. Have a place to stash shoes.

See those big baskets under the table? I use those to corral shoes. Without the baskets, shoes were always all over the floor.

2. Have a designated place to stash incoming mail and other items.

Those two baskets corral items like mail, keys and school papers, which keeps them out of sight and off the counter tops.

I gave both baskets a little straightening up, simply by going through everything in them and throwing away what didn’t need to be there any longer.

We also thinned out some of the coats and extra things hanging up in our entry way. These hooks corral our book bags, purses and the dog leash.

Our entry is still not decorated the way I want it to be, but it’s certainly more functional and neat.

Let’s see that before:

And after:

Isn’t this a lot better?

Don’t forget to show me your organizing progress on Instagram with the hashtag #ons21daychallenge ?

21-day challenge: an organized linen closet

21-day challenge: an organized linen closet

Our linen closet wasn’t terrible but it definitely needed a little love.

We had some good things going in our linen closet but we really had been neglecting it and piling it up. I began the cleanup process by removing everything that didn’t belong and putting it in its rightful place.

I neatly folded up all the towels and popped them into the cubby shelves. I also used bins and baskets to corral smaller items. I took everything that was just sitting on the shelf and found a new home for it.

I also cleaned up and consolidated some of the luggage on the floor of the closet. The laundry basket is for dry cleaning.

Rolling up a quilt actually helps it to take up less space than if you folded it up.

Let’s look at the before and after again:

After:

All in all, I’d say that our linen closet is so much neater and more organized. What do you think?