Room-by-Room

Post Labor Day Organizing Solutions

Posted by on Sep 3, 2009 in Easy Organizing, Room-by-Room, What You Need & Where to Put It | 0 comments

Everyone’s getting ready for the last celebration of the summer this week with the long Labor Day weekend. Perhaps you’re packing the car for a road trip or continuing a staycation or, better yet, completely vegging out and doing nothing!

Well, if you decide it’s a weekend to regroup and feel accomplished, here are some solutions that you can easily implement to organize those petty chores that must be done at some point…(click on bold to link to full blog entry on each task)

GO in Your Garage With the weather beginning to cool off, it’s a great time to get the garage in order.

Car Organization 101 Remember, your car is your home away from home! Check out these cool containers to keep your home on wheels organized.

Taming the Laundry: Five Simple Steps Who enjoys doing laundy, really?! Certainly, top-of-the-line machines can help, but you still need to sort and fold. Check out these simple steps for a new spin on laundry.

Five No-cost Strategies to Gaining Control of Your Home Who says you need to spend lots and lots of money on organizing products? Containing items comes AFTER you determine what you’re keeping. Use these strategies to eliminate clutter. Use shopping for containers as a reward for your decluttering efforts!

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Share these tips with a friend!

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Overwhelmed, Disorganized and Exhausted! Reader asking for advice.

Posted by on Jun 3, 2009 in Mom Moments, Room-by-Room | 0 comments

Dear Stacey,

Organized? What’s that? I’m disorganized from one end of my life to the other. From business, to car-office, home-office, home living space, nursery and space in my brain! I’m suddenly faced with getting everything done and quickly! I don’t even know where to begin! And on top of all of that I’m exhausted! Any and all advice is appreciated!

-Anonymous in Summerville, South Carolina

Dear Exhausted,

I completely understand! And your timing is perfect! Starting off a New Year is a great time to incorporate new habits and behaviors, as well as let go of what’s not working. Feeling burdened by the daily responsibilities of upkeeping a house, a family and a lifestyle can put one in a state of feeling over burdened and unfulfilled at times, which can then lead to guilt and frustration.

Dictionary.com defines guilt as a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined. These days, most women carry around a lot of guilt because they are generally over-committed or wanting to do it all that nothing gets done perfectly. But really, who is perfect, and who really wants to aspire to do everything perfectly? Then we wouldn’t be human.

Embrace the human experience and understand that there’s a finite amount of time in the day and nothing will ever be finished or truly completed. The raising of children is an on-going responsibility and although one day your little ones will be off to college, you’ll still be concerned for them. I asked my mom one day recently if she was worried about me regarding a recent decision I made. She responded by saying, “I’m always concerned about you. It doesn’t matter what it is.”

Look for specific information on organizing your car, home office, nursery and more in upcoming blogs.

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Tame the Laundry with Five Simple Solutions

Posted by on Mar 9, 2009 in 5-minutes-a-day, Easy Organizing, Room-by-Room, Sanity Savers, What You Need & Where to Put It | 4 comments

Tame the Laundry with Five Simple Solutions

It’s hard to believe that I’ve never blogged about Laundry. Whether it’s in an email, a blog entry, or face-to-face, this is one of the most common topics ever discussed. So, here it is…

We wear clothing everyday, obviously…which means there’s always laundry to wash, dry, fold and put away. Most people complain about what is considered a thankless task, but one that has to be accomplished. Here are my suggestions for simplifying the Laundry chore:


1. Hampers and Sorters
You can never have enough. Well, I guess you could, but first you want to make sure that you have one in each bedroom. If possible, have a sorter in each room (or a central location) and teach your family members how to sort: Whites, darks and delicates is the simplified method, and generally sorters have three baskets for clothes. If you combine everyone’s Whites, darks and delicates, then you may be able to do just three loads (whites, darks and delicates) in one day. On wash day, grab a bag and begin.

2. Choose a day once a week or every two weeks to wash sheets.This is a chore in itself, so best not to combine it with ALL the washing. Remove the sheets in the morning and get them started, that way you’re not ready to hit the hay and discover that you still have to make the bed. As children grow, you can have them remove the sheets and bring them to the laundry room. And as they get even a little older, they can put them back on the bed too! It’s worth the training!

3. Choose another day to wash towels. Although you may like colored towels, decorative towels or ones with designs, if you are pressed for time and want to be able to zip through washing towels, go with all white. For a couple of reasons: You can wash them together AND you can use bleach. Also, if you’re sticking with the same type of towels for everyone, then it doesn’t matter which towels go where, you can simply divide them by the number of towels per bathroom.
 4. Multi-task Fold laundry while watching your favorite tv show. This will make the time go by more quickly and your accomplishing two things at once.

5. Put it away Now that you’ve accomplished the washing and folding, make sure it gets into the closets and drawers. This is key for two reasons: You’ve completely accomplished the task and you and your family know where to find clean, sorted laundry.

As with any other container, be sure that your closets and drawers aren’t stuffed with clothing that isn’t worn regularly that might make it difficult to put clean clothing away. Rule of thumb is to leave at least 20% room in a container for growth. If you buy something new, go through your containers (closets and drawers) and see what you can eliminate by donating or consigning to be sure you’re able to clearly “see” all that you have.

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Office in a Closet: What to Do With All That Paper

Posted by on Feb 9, 2009 in Dual-purpose pieces, Easy Organizing, Organizing Products, Room-by-Room, Small Space Living | 1 comment

 

paperwork

When organizing your office, the only items that should be within arms reach are what you use everyday. Now that you possess this information, sit in your desk chair, put your arms out in front of you, and swing 360 degrees. If you’re putting your hands on or near items you’re not using daily/weekly, they can be stored in another space, leaving you to focus on the tasks at hand.

Next step is to eliminate unneeded papers that have likely wound up in stacks. Here’s what you need to know…

There are truly only three things you can do with paper:

1. Toss – Anything that can be easily duplicated does not need to be saved. If it’s a marketing offer and you’re not “looking” for that item, toss it. Magazines, tear out the pages that interest you, and toss the outdated issue.

2. File – Two ways to file: Action and Reference. Action files are the files in your desk drawer: that file drawer should NOT contain anything that’s not used at least weekly. Reference files are just that, for referring to: Paid bills, copies of insurance policies, legal document, mortgage information, etc. That said, your Reference filing cabinet could go anywhere. I suggest, however, that if you decide to place it in the guest room closet, make sure you can lock it. Not to say that family and friends are snoops, but this is for your peace of mind.

3. Act – These papers are the papers that you must Act on, including phone calls to make, letters and emails, to be written, blogs to written, etc. Stack these papers, enter each task on your Master To Do List, then place the back up in a file. When it comes time to take the Action, pull out the piece of paper associated with the Task.

So I challenge you to shrink your existing work space even if you do have room for everything. Purge papers, toss or archive out-of-date calendars and those dreaded Yellow Pages phone books (which we really don’t need anymore because of the Internet), archive your old paid bills, and just generally declutter. What most don’t realize is that the clutter becomes something that you can get used to…unfortunately. Once you’ve decluttered an adjusted to your new surroundings, you’ll be surprised at how much more focused you will actually be! 

Questions, comments…please enter them below. 

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What Happened to My Family Room?!

Posted by on Oct 26, 2008 in Dual-purpose pieces, Easy Organizing, Room-by-Room, Sanity Savers, What You Need & Where to Put It | 0 comments

A couple years back, I worked with a client who was about to put her house on the market to buy something bigger. Well, after decluttering and organizing her family room (and several other rooms in the house) suddenly, the need to move no longer existed. In fact, they liked their house and it felt like they had moved.

It’s nice when, at the end of the day, after the kids have gone to sleep for the family room to resemble an adult-like space, free of toys and kid paraphenalia. To accomplish this, choose a coffee table with storage that houses games and books. If you have them, utilize built-ins to house baskets of toys, and perhaps what was once used as a sideboard, you could place DVDs or other electronics. Dual-purpose ottomans are great too!

Always keep in mind that much of organizing has to do with how much space you give to something…and sometimes there just isn’t enough space. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a place for your child to play, it just means balance it out. If there are too many toys, pack some up and give those you “leave out” a home in the space.Making space for your children’s things is important, and having a dedicated space will not only help you easily transform your space to watch a movie late at night, but will assist in teaching your children to put things where they belong and to respect that it’s not just their space, but the family space.

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