“Spring” into Organization!
Spring is the perfect time to purge out the old and start anew. I always find that the three areas that seem to fall subject to the most chaos as life gets busy are my Kitchen, my Closet and my Office. The more disorganized an area gets the more stress I feel so I’ve put together some easy solutions and quick tips to help you get organized and start the Spring season off right – Happy and Stress-free!
“De-junk” Your Junk Drawer – Instead of being jammed to the brim in a kitchen drawer, household necessities like rubber bands, pencils, and glue are stacked in clear boxes of varying sizes inside a cabinet. This makes things easy for you and family members to find. *I purchased these cute clear containers at The Container Store for $3-8 – www.containerstore.com
Tame the Tins! – Use an office filing folder rack to help organize your baking tins and cutting boards so you won’t have to dig and slide everything in your cabinet looking for what you need. Plus, it’s always a great tip to find multiple uses for items that you have in your home to help make your life easier. Office File Rack – Office Depot
Focus Your Fridge – Use clear plastic tray organizers to separate food in your fridge so you can not only easily get items in and out but you’ll no longer have to clean up spills and sticky spots since items will now be housed in these great containers that simply slide in and out. Plus, I’m famous for trying to reach something in the back of the fridge and inevitably knocking something over like a domino effect and having a clean-up in aisle “there has to be an easier way” when it crashes to the ground. So, I’m obsessed with these great fridge and freezer clear organizers where I now simply slide it out and get what I need without having to set off a domino effect! The Container Store – $6-15 – www.containerstore.com
Here is a picture of my actual refrigerator after I used these containers… It’s so easy and organized, I love it!
Kitchen / Office
“Free Money” Box – buy a bright cheery colored box that you won’t forget about and put all of your gift cards and discount coupons in it so all of your “free money” is in one easily accessible place to eliminate wasted time searching for that “I know it’s here somewhere!” gift card or discount coupon. This is one of my favorite things and I also alphabetize my gift cards so I can easily find what I’m looking for when I go to grab it… Being organized is about streamlining and making life easier – Free Money Box is a mission accomplished!
Frame Your Thoughts – Again in the spirit of finding multiple uses for items and using what you have around the house, here is a really fantastic and easy idea for a dry-erase board without spending a ton of money to buy one. We all have extra frames around our house or in our closets – Pick one and grab a dry-erase market (usually about $1-2) from the Office Store and voila you have an instant dry-erase board. You can write on the glass and simply take a paper towel and wipe off to start over. I even added a piece of light colored fabric to the inside of my frame for a lovely background and I can utilize a frame that was sitting in the closet for a running to-do or reminder list that “frames my thoughts” for the day…
Binder Bites – While we all do look more and more up on our phones, I do still have copies of the to-go menus of some of my favorite restaurants. I used a cute binder and some clear sleeve inserts to organize the to-go menus so they don’t sit in a messy stack, unused in a drawer. I alphabetized them by restaurant name or type of food (totally up to you) but then I can find any to-go menu and restaurant phone number the moment I have a craving without having to dig through a messy pile of menus hoping to find what I was looking for and disappointed or frustrated when I can’t locate it.
Kick the Office Drawer Catch-all – I still think function is essential but so is pretty! I like finding solutions that are not only functional but attractive or to look at so it adds an artistic touch to my office. In the spirit of “de-junking” the junk drawer, the same can be said for that drawer in your desk where you dig for a pen or scissors or stamps. I found the cutest rotating container in happy colors of purple, pink and lime green with a fun floral motif to organize my scissors, markers and pens so I always have what I need at my fingertips. I found this one at Hobby Lobby for $12.
Apothecary Jars – Use great apothecary jars to organize and house some of your fun items like colorful stamps, name tags, cards. They come in all shapes and designs so have fun with these decorative pieces while turning them into functional items that add some flair to your office! I found so many great styles and sizes at Homegoods – $7.99-14.99
“Stop the Madness” Mail Sort! – I don’t know about you but mail can swallow my counter or my desk but you can stop the madness with an easy mail sort method! I purchased (2) decorative letter boxes from Office Depot plus a color themed basket and two magazine holders. Here are three easy steps to stop the mail madness:
Step 1: I actually sort my mail in the garage over the recycle bin before I even walk into my house so I don’t bring the junk mail inside. It’s an easy, quick sort and then I only walk in with the actual mail that should come in with me.
Step 2: Open any bills and add those that require an action to the decorative letter box marked “Action”
Step 3: Add any mail needing to be filed to the second decorative letter box marked “File”
Step 4: Add any magazines or catalogs to the monthly magazine holder marked “Magazines” and any letters, articles or designs you would like to save to the second magazine holder marked “Keepsakes”
Step 5: Mark one day a week to go through the “Action” box to pay bills and then to file anything in the “File” box. At the end of the month recycle any of the magazines you didn’t have a chance to read yet so you don’t get buried in unread magazines that quickly tend to pile up.
Jewelry and Jars – We buy jewelry because it’s pretty and we like looking at it, right? I love the idea of displaying it in my room like sweet treats or art so I use a serving tray to keep it all together and a collection of colorful vintage plates and apothecary jars plus I multicycledTM a crystal sugar dish to hold my rings. It makes me feel special when I am picking items I love to wear off of beautiful and colorful vintage dishes, out of apothecary jars that remind me of candy jars and out of crystal pieces that scream special occasion so go ahead and find some special pieces to use for your jewelry, you’re worth it!
Decorative Boxes – I love using decorative boxes to organize my scarves and accessories in my closet. I always pick boxes that make me happy like the new Paris ones I purchased from Homegoods for just $6. It keeps everything from falling over or me from having to pull everything off the shelf to try and find the piece I’m looking for in that moment.
Huggable Hangers – Genius hangers that actually increase the space in your closet because they are so thin. Plus it makes your closet look beautiful when all the hangers are the same. Reminds me of being in a boutique and why shouldn’t you feel like you are shopping in your closet. I say go for it – you can buy Huggable Hangers by Joy Mangano at HSN – www.hsn.com Completely worth the investment and you’ll love your new closet – especially when you can find what you are looking for so much easier.
Don’t be intimidated by change, go for it and you will love the results and have a brand new cheery and organized environment to start the new season! No matter what area you’re organizing or how much space you have, follow these 12 simple tips to create a well-organized, efficient space. (12 Tips Courtesy of Container Store – www.containerstore.com)
1. Start in one place – If you have several areas in your home you want to get under control, start with just one. You decide which one to start with — is it the area that gives you the biggest headache, or the area that guests to your home most easily see? Whatever your priorities, select one area and stick to it. Many attempts at organization fail when the task of cleaning up the entire house seems daunting and folks give up. When you complete one area, celebrate and then move on to the next.
2. Allow plenty of time – Don’t expect organization to happen overnight. Depending on the area to be organized, schedule a couple of hours each day to work on getting the area organized. Getting a garage whipped into shape will take more time than it takes to organize a linen closet.
3. Clean house – Once you’ve selected an area, go through the contents. Donate or hold a garage sale for anything you don’t or can’t wear or use any more. Use the two year rule of thumb — if you haven’t worn it in two years, it’s time to say goodbye to it. These items take up valuable space and probably won’t be missed.
4. Take inventory – After you’ve removed extraneous items, take a look at what remains. Does it belong here? Does it make sense to keep it here? Is there another place where you’ve got more room to keep it, or another area where it would be more easily accessible for its purpose? For example, take that professional-grade mixer that you’ve been keeping in the back of your closet and move it to the kitchen. When it’s time to tackle that area of the home, you can incorporate the mixer into the new storage plan for the kitchen.
5. Look for wasted space – If you’re in need of more storage space, think creatively about additional areas that you can put to work. Prime examples include over doors and underneath beds. These areas are valuable real estate in your home and are often overlooked.
6. Maximize vertical space – If you don’t have a lot of room to work with, a surefire way to instantly create more space is to go “up.” Instead of only having a couple of shelves to house your kitchen items, take them up to the ceiling to really maximize the vertical space — you’ll store the things you need less frequently on the higher shelves.
7. Divide the space – By adding additional shelves to a single shelf, or by using containers that stack atop one another, you can divide the vertical space and make efficient use of the area you have to work with. By dividing the space, you eliminate the possibility of stacking tall piles of clothing, papers or other items that are destined to topple over.
8. Keep it moving – Consider storage options on wheels: to allow for greater flexibility and to help keep the clutter under control. Carts can hold an assortment of accessories in a small amount of space, and can be wheeled back into a closet or storage area when not in use.
9. Organize with color – Whether you’re working to organize the family room or striving to get your home office under control, use color to enhance your efforts. Assign each child a different colored container to keep his or her belongings in and keep them responsible for cleaning up after themselves. Organize projects, bills and other important papers by function and color in your home office.
10. Visibility – The three rules to organization are visibility, accessibility and flexibility. Choose containers that are either transparent or that you can easily label to help immediately identify the contents and save valuable time.
11. Accessibility – Make sure that the items you need most often are the easiest to access. Likewise, place the items you don’t need to get to as often on a higher shelf or in another area.
12. Flexibility – Select a storage system that can adapt to your changing needs. That way, you can reconfigure and reuse solutions to solve a variety of storage and organization problems.
What are your favorite organization tips? I’d love to hear them so please post a comment and share them with me below…
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