Easy Organizing

Don’t Lose Your S*&$% in the Back of the Cabinets

Posted by on May 17, 2012 in Easy Organizing, Featured, Organizing Products, Problem-Solved!, Sanity Savers, Small Space Living | 0 comments

Don’t Lose Your S*&$% in the Back of the Cabinets

One way to lose your stuff at the back of a cabinet, especially the lower kitchen cabinets, is to not utilize every square inch to its fullest. To avoid disorganization and maximizing space, pull-out drawers work wonders. Years ago, pull-out drawers were only available as a custom option in cabinets, but today you can find them at Lowe’s, Home Depot and many online retailers.

Here are some examples of how you can make your kitchen (or bath) feel like a custom experience.

 

Storing and accessing cleaning supplies should be simple too.

Great for pots & pans!

This is my favorite because it reduces the number of appliances on the counter top.

Great for under a kitchen or bathroom sink to store cleaning supplies.

 Note: All images are of the Rev-a-Shelf products that are available at Lowes.com.
For more inspiring images and ideas, visit my Cabinet Organization board on Pinterest.
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Quick Tip on Tuesday

Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Featured, GOPACK Method, Mom Moments, Problem-Solved!, Sanity Savers | 0 comments

Quick Tip on Tuesday

Want to create more time in your week to relax? Group tasks together.

First, instead of literally running all over town, map out your errands and get them done in one afternoon, starting at one end of town. This will save time and gas. Make it a mission and don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked by a bargain or an unplanned stop along the way!

Next, take the time you have “leftover” and do something fun and rewarding like a walk outside or an afternoon at the beach. Try and make it something that doesn’t require you to spend money (other than perhaps the gas to get there), to get a sense of true relaxation (more time and no financial burden). Here are 15 ideas for how to spend enjoy some down time:

  1. Read a book
  2. Listen to music
  3. Drink an herbal tea
  4. Look up at the sky
  5. Write a letter to someone special
  6. Take a bath
  7. Give yourself a facial
  8. Take a nap
  9. Snuggle with someone special
  10. Prepare a healthy snack
  11. Go to the beach
  12. Paint something (if it relaxes you)
  13. Garden
  14. Knit or do a craft
  15. Do Yoga or stretch
Go do it and comment below as to how you spent your time!

 

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Come & Go with Ease: Front Hall/Closet Makeover

Posted by on May 3, 2012 in Easy Organizing, Featured, Problem-Solved!, Room-by-Room, Sanity Savers, What You Need & Where to Put It | 1 comment

Hall closet example photo credit Better Homes & Garden bhg.com

Photo credit: bhg.com

Some houses have an entryway with a closet and others don’t. Your main “entryway” for the family may be the back or side entrance that doesn’t have a closet at all. Whatever the circumstances, busy families need a dropping point for things that come and go every day, such as jackets, book bags, keys and mail.

Recently, a twitter follower of mine asked “How do you get coats, shoes, boots and all the stuff a family of 4 to fit in a hall closet?”

Good question! Here are three simple steps that will solve most problems:

  1. Limit the number of coats and shoes for each family member.
  2. Remove and store out-of-season elsewhere, creating space for what you’re currently using.
  3. Make a place for everything–When there’s room for everything, putting it away becomes effortless and easy for every one in the family to help.

Ideally, a front hall closet should be for items you use regularly. If you’re “storing” items here, relocate them. Think of the hall closet as a permanent place for items that are used frequently during a particular season. When it’s summer, consider packing up and storing winter items elsewhere. This will make it much easier to grab what you need without weeding through what’s currently not in use. Also, closed storage is a great way to keep the hallway from looking like a bomb went off (even my front hall looks like that from time-to-time, but having a hall closet makes it a quick fix to put everything away).

So, to effectively organize your space, here are solutions if you DO have a hall closet and if you DON’T.

If you DO have a hall closet, use it for:

1. Jackets and bags–Whether it’s hangers or hooks, make sure there are enough for what you’re using currently.

2. Shoes–Limit the number of shoes that are kept in the immediate are to two pair per person. Flip Flops and sandals take up minimal space, so consider a basket for those items.

3. Incoming/outgoing mail–Add an in/out box for mail so you know where it is. Sort regularly so it doesn’t accumulate. Hang a double on the inside of the hall closet to give new meaning to “dropping” the mail.

Photo credit: Staples

If you DON’T have a closet, here’s what you need to make your entryway functional and family friendly:

1. Coat Rack or Hooks–To hang jackets and bags

2. Hall Table–for a key bowl and place to drop mail

3. Chair–or a bench if you can fit one. Makes putting on shoes easier or if you want to sit and open the mail.

4. Shoe Storage–If your hallway is tight, consider a table (#2) where you can keep shoes that are worn daily. For busy families, it’s unlikely that you’ll put the shoes away in their permanent storage place every time you come and go, so make a space in the hall.

5. Mirror–If possible, a full-length mirror is great so you can “check yourself out” before you leave. If there’s only room for a standard size mirror, you’ll at least be able to check from the waist up.

For fabulous examples of entryways and hall closets, click here to visit my Pinterest board:

 

Please comment with additional questions or comments so I can continue to help you solve your organizing challenges! If you’re on Facebook regularly, pop over and “Like” my page too.

 

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Maximize Your Closet Space: Big or Small

Posted by on Apr 26, 2012 in Easy Organizing, Embrace the Urge to Purge, Featured, Organizing Products, Problem-Solved!, Room-by-Room, Sanity Savers, What You Need & Where to Put It | 1 comment

Maximize Your Closet Space: Big or Small

I want to feel like Carrie when I enter my closet. Don’t you? Hey, we start and end our days in the closet. It’s where we choose what we’ll wear to head out into the world. How do we make it a great space? Simple…

Unless you have a ginormous closet, you want to remove all out-of-season clothing AND clothing that no longer fits. We all have some clothing we hope to get back into one day or know we won’t, but simply don’t want to part with, but unless you have a clear fitness or weight loss goal that you’re working on, remove anything that doesn’t currently fit. Why? When you have a closet full of items that don’t fit, every time you walk into that closet, your subconscious is recognizing those pieces. That little voice is saying, “Oh, you’re never going to fit into those clothes again.” “I remember when those clothes fit.” It’s all negative and puts you in the past versus the present. TAKE THOSE PIECES OUT and fill your closet with items that make you feel good NOW! I promise you that removing those items will change your entire outlook on getting dressed!

Store the out-of-season clothing in labeled containers. If you’re seriously considering getting back into the smaller size, then keep them and put them in a labeled container (stored elsewhere). Maybe keep one pair of your favorite jeans for inspiration hung in a special place and attach your written goal to them. State the goal in the present. For example, “Now that I’ve lost 10 pounds, I’m wearing my jeans and feeling hot and sexy.”

Doing the above will solve or reduce many tight-space issues and the issue of not seeing clearly what you have available to wear NOW. During this process of removal, also take the time to purge clothing pieces that are out-dated, worn out, and items you never wear.

Next, identify the problems and implement the solutions. Here are the most common:
Problem: Underutilized vertical space
Solution: Use labeled containers to store items on upper shelving to maximize vertical space. You may want to consider moving the rod up higher to give you space below to store shoes.
Problem: Uncategorized items. For example, shoes strewn all over the floor (use clear shoe containers or a shoe bag), sweaters and tops tossed on a shelf (use clear sweater boxes), or hanging items shoved anywhere on the rod (sort by categories and color: short-sleeved tops, long-sleeved tops, dresses, pants, skirts, etc.)
Solution: Space plan the closet. Choose where items will live; contain items that sit on shelves to prevent co-mingling.
Problem: Unrelated items in closet
Solution: In addition to out-of-season clothing that doesn’t fit, remove items such as exercise equipment, gift wrap and anything else that accumulated due to not knowing where to put it (next week I’ll post on an organized hall closet, so perhaps you could put these items there).

 

Here are the main categories of closet items and tips for containing them:

  • Short hanging–tops, jackets, pants folded over the hanger. Double up your closet space by hanging two rods for short hanging.
  • Long hanging–dresses, long jackets, etc. Put all long hanging together to maximize vertical and horizontal space.
  • Shoes, boots & sneakers–remember to “remove” any out-of-season footwear. This will make room what you’re currently wearing. As mentioned, use hanging shoe bags or shoe containers that stack.
  • Handbags–Perhaps you put the more commonly used bags in an easy-to-reach place and the others in a basket on the top shelf. Another solution is a handbag file that holds up to 8 bags in clear pockets to keep them organized and dust free.
  • Luggage–if there’s room, store in the closet. Otherwise, store in the attic, basement, under the bed or spare room closet. Nest the bags to save space.
  • Jewelry–Hanging jewelry bags work well because they take up little space and you can see what you have.
  • Belts–Roll them up and place them in a basket or use a belt hanger to minimize space.
  • Scarves–Fold and place in a basket, a clear drawer so you can protect but still see them, or a scarf hanger.

To further maximize space, contain what you can. Mostly this will be accessories, belts, shoes, jewelry and scarves.

To really make the closet your own, add some personal touches such as a interesting light fixture, a shelf for your most-often-worn jewelry and a box that contains special mementos. For a full-blown closet makeover, hire a closet specialist to install shelving, rods and even drawers. Do yourself a favor though, purge and organize what you have first. Hire an organizer, if you want fast results!

To view a gallery of closets where you may find inspiration on taking your closet to the next level, visit my Dream Closet board on Pinterest.

Also take a peek at the fun videos Bluefly.com Closet Confessions with a handful of celebrities by clicking here.

 

 

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A Girl’s Dream Closet

Posted by on Apr 20, 2012 in Easy Organizing, Featured, GOPACK Method, Problem-Solved!, Sanity Savers, What You Need & Where to Put It | 2 comments

A Girl’s Dream Closet

Remember Carrie Bradshaw’s closet? The walk-through that housed her funky stylish clothing in her tiny New York apartment.

Or how about the super duper closet Carrie wound up with in her apartment when she finally married Big.

So most of probably don’t have either one of these closets. However, there are a few ways to feel like a princess in your own closet. Stay-tuned next week for a post on making the most of the space where you start and end your day.

 

Have a specific closet challenge? Comment below and tell me. I’ll incorporate a solution into next week’s post.

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