weekly organizing Tips

Brought to you by Beautifully Organized

Month: February, 2014

Don’t Worry it looks worse before it looks better.

Here is a truth about organizing. When you are sorting an overcrowded disorganized space it will always look worse before it looks better.

I think one of the reasons people stop organizing projects, or never start them, is because we become overwhelmed by the middle stages; when everything is everywhere and we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. The trenches of organizing! It’s not where we want to be, we want to be on the other end with amazing systems in place and like items together.

So, how can you get there? Go through the process. Sort -> Edit -> Reorganize. Stick with this system and you will come out the other side successful, I promise.

I recently worked on a walk-in utility closet with a little bit of everything in it. It’s a fabulous example of the organizing trenches. I was so excited to dig in I didn’t get a shot of the closet in it’s natural state but I did get a picture of the contents of the closet all over the living room:

Living room before

This is how we started. We slowly brought everything out of the closet sorting them into like piles: gardening, hardware and tools, wrapping and ribbon, cleaning supplies, tape, etc. We did this until the closet was empty and the piles were complete.

The empty closet looked like this

Empty Closet

We took everything off the top shelf as well. It also went to the living room. And just as a reminder the living room looked like this

Living Room again

So here we are in the thick of it. By creating piles and slowly replacing items into the closet we were able to transform an overstuffed utility closet functioning at a low level with a box of Spick and Span spilling on the floor every time you reach for a sponge into a storage dream. Everything is visible – inside of clear bins or boxes cut down… labeled!

This took about three hours of focused work. Diligently working our way through the contents and replacing them with thought and purpose. The results are worth it

Closet After

Floor to ceiling storage. I can’t imagine a more beautiful site!

Now, back to the living room. It also returned to it’s natural, liveable state

Living Room After

Slowly chipping away at closets and cabinets make a huge difference in our homes. By maximizing storage space you open up space within your home. Things find homes, you become inspired to keep these spaces in their beautifully organized state. Organization breeds organization!

Stick with the system: Sort -> Edit -> Reorganize. It works and gives consistently solid results. Don’t be afraid to feel a little over your head. The results are worth the overwhelming moments you experience in the middle, guaranteed!

Happy Organizing!

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Preparing for Vacation Reentry

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We all know the feeling – you’ve just had an amazing vacation in a warm tropical locale in the dead of winter and now you are home – cold, in a messy house with no food on your first day home and depression is quickly setting in. There is noting I can do about the cold, I’m sorry. But I can help you reenter the normal non-vacation world a little easier by preparing before you leave.

I am leaving for a trip next week and this is my checklist to ensure vacation reentry is as smooth as possible:

1. Let’s be honest, coming home to anything dead is a bummer. Arrange for your pets and plants to be taken care of.

2. If someone is coming to take care of your plants or pets see if they would mind putting your mail, newspapers and any packages in the house so you don’t become a robbery magnet. Extra key required.

3. Put lights on timers. A few lights that turn on and off at different points during the day and night can also deter burglars.

4. Tidy your home before you go – or if you have a cleaning person have them come while you are gone. You are leaving a hotel where you’ve been pampered for the past week, the last thing you want is to come home to a crumpled bed with a dirty toilet. Just saying, it makes a big difference.

5. Take out all garbage and green bins. Unless maggots and really really bad smells are your thing, add this to the top of your list now.

6. On this same note clean out the fridge. Remove anything that will look like a science experiment when you come home.

7. Turn down your thermostat. Saving money on vacation – nice!

8. Unplug everything you can. This is also help save money and any weird acts out of your control like power surges. Replacing everything upon your return and dealing with insurance – not relaxing!

9. Think about dinner for the day you return. Stash a frozen pizza or something simple to make when you return. Don’t over think this, ordering in is also acceptable!

10. Do all laundry before you leave so pre-vacation laundry isn’t mingling with vacation laundry. This is just extra work for no reason.

11. Leave a copy of all travel documents with the person picking you up at the airport. This way if anything changes they can check flight status, updates etc. without having to get you involved, you’ll have enough on your plate.

Have a fabulous vacation! A little bit of planning and preparation will ensure a smooth reentry once the sunshine, sand and water have all disappeared.

Happy Organizing!

** photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net

Streamline Your Morning Routine

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Think about your typical weekday morning – how did that make you feel? Are you relaxed, excited about the possibility of a new day, a blank slate to fill up with new ideas and successes? Or is it a total meltdown of rushing around, yelling at the kid’s to get things done, getting distracted by email or texts, laying in bed too long, hitting the snooze button too many times? If you’re feeling more of the latter read on…

The first step to figuring out WHY your morning digresses into a state of chaos is to figure out what you are doing in the morning. Get out a pad of paper and a pencil or your smart phone. Write down everything you do in your morning routine for the next two weeks. Everything-  if you hit the snooze 4 times, write it down, took 15 minutes to pick out an outfit write it down.

After two weeks look at your list. Sort the items into two categories: 1. essential items (brushing teeth, breakfast, travel time etc.) 2. Non-essential items (picking out clothes, packing lunches etc.)

With this list you can analyze your routine and take out the parts that are holding you back and causing you to be late. I talk about specific examples and ideas for families to get organized in this blog about Back to School Routines. But what you really want to think about is preparing as much as possible the night before.

I still lay my clothes out like I did in school. I have my day planned the night before and I go to bed on time, meaning built in time to read and relax before turning out the lights.

If you have a problem preparing for the night before set a timer for yourself. Give yourself time to plan for the next day. Pick out your outfit, make your lunch, pack your purse or brief case, make sure your keys are where they need to be etc. When the timer goes off you know it’s time to prepare.

One little trick I read recently that was interesting is, if sleep is an issue for you, eat foods that promote sleep at night. Food like turkey, almonds, bananas, honey or potatoes. Click Here for a few more ideas.  Another thought is to switch your largest meal to the middle of the day with a lighter option at night. Food for thought 🙂

Don’t forget to breath in the morning. It sets the tone for the rest of the day so make it happy and positive.

Happy organizing!

**photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net