Tag Archive: Home Organizing

If you live in Michigan like I do, or another state where the warmer weather has now arrived, you’re probably pulling out your spring and summer clothing and putting away the cold weather items.  When you do that, it’s also a good time to organize your closet.  Take a bit of time to look through what you have and remove the things that you no longer want and no longer wear (typically we wear 20% of the clothes that we have 80% of the time).  Put those items into a bag or box and give them away.

If you do this twice a year, for example now and then again when the cold weather returns, your closet will stay organized and free of items that you no longer wear or want.  Here’s another checklist that I like from Real Simple.  It will help you keep your closet organized.

  • Install double rods. You don’t have to get out the power drill or call a handyman to add a second rod to a closet. Do it yourself.
  • Add a valet hook. Install a hook for hanging dry cleaning before it goes into the closet or to plan outfits for parties.
  • Toss wire hangers. If you want to prolong the life of your clothes, don’t keep them on wire hangers. Wood is better.
  • Use baskets. Put all out-of-season purses in a basket at the top of your closet.
  • Put jewelry in boxes. Label the boxes by category to rid the clutter from your dresser.

Spring is here and it’s time to get in the garage.  The problem is that sometimes you can’t get into your garage because everything is in there.  Here’s an organizing check list that I like from Real Simple.

  • Assess the clutter. Start by creating three categories: keep, donate, and toss. As you go through the items, assign each one to a category. If you rarely use a piece, it’s probably a good candidate for the donate or toss pile.
  • Donate or toss. Contact local charities and arrange for a pickup of items to be donated; put the toss items out with the trash or recycling.
  • Edit the keep pile. Sort the items you’re keeping into new categories, such as sporting equipment, power tools, etc. Assign each category a location: Sporting equipment, for example, might go in a wall cabinet or a bin in a corner; power tools might be hung on a system of hooks on a large piece of Peg-Board.
  • Label items. Give anything that is not plainly identifiable a clear label. (Tuck a permanent marker and blue painter’s tape in a zippered plastic sandwich bag and have the kit handy for labeling anything and everything.)
  • Choose the right shelving. Consider installing metal shelving. It’s affordable, easy to assemble, and able to withstand heat and humidity better than wood. Shelves will also keep your valuables safe from any dampness on the floor.
  • Pick plastic storage boxes. Cardboard boxes, no matter how strong, bend and dent with frequent use and eventually succumb to dampness. Waterproof plastic containers protect their contents better, seal tighter, and are easy to carry or shift around on shelves (as long as they aren’t too big).
  • Hang items to save space. Think about putting up pegs or hooks for such items as bicycles, cords, hoses, tools, strollers, and shovels. String up a hammock in the corner of the garage to hold roly-poly gear, like basketballs.

Have you started an organizing project and then got stuck?  This usually happens when people get overwhelmed, which really is just a conversation.

When people start to organize a space in their home, it usually takes longer than they anticipate.  Once they realize that, the overwhelm conversation begins.  As a rule of thumb, if you think it’s going to take you an hour to organize one area, chances are that it’s going to take twice as long.  With that in mind, plan your project.  Schedule the days and times that you are going to work.  If you think it’s going to take four hours, then schedule four hours in your calendar to do the work, then stick to that schedule.  If, as you work you see that it will take longer, schedule additional time.

As you work, don’t allow the overwhelm and the emotions that come up to get to you.  Remember that getting organized is a process and that during that process your space may look a bit more disorganized, but it’s not going to stay that way.  Once it comes time to work on your project, leave everything else alone.  That means the phone, the television and other things that will change your focus.  Keep working on the task at hand.

When it’s time for your next session, work on just that for the time that you’ve scheduled and stick with the other scheduled times until you are completely done.  Don’t allow the overwhelm to keep you from moving forward with yor organizing.

How many times have you attempted to get organized and bought containers for your stuff and then not been able to use the boxes and bins that you bought?  This is the result of not doing the prep work before you start our organizing.

So many times I’ve seen people get excited about getting organized and then go out and buy containers that they think they need to organize their space and things and end up not be able to use them once they finish the sorting and purging.

Before you go shopping, do your prep work.  Look at what you have left to organize after your sorting and purging.  What do you need in order to store everything?  Filing cabinet, shelves, bins or boxes?  Measure the space you want your filing cabinet to go in so that you know what your space can accommodate.  If you need shelves, what’s going to go on the shelves? Are you just stacking books or do you want to house your books and containers for other items?  Determine the size of the shelves and the space between them according to the items that you want to place on them.  Do your homework first!  Then go buy your containers.

As for the the containers that you might have purchased before doing your homework, looks for places that you can store smaller related items in small spots in your bathroom, kitchen or bedroom and use the containers for those things.

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