weekly organizing Tips

Brought to you by Beautifully Organized

Category: Reduce clutter

Sell Online Items Faster with Standout Photos

Camera2One of the most effective ways to remove items you no longer need, use or love from your home is to sell it online. This could mean online through Craigslist, Kijiji, Ebay, Etsy or any of the other numerous sites. A good picture will make it much more likely that your item will sell.

First – make sure the item is clean, in good condition and ready to have its closeup. Clean up the area around pieces if you can’t move them to a clear area. Nothing turns a buyer off like a bunch of clutter around the piece for sale.

Second – choose a neutral background. If the item is small enough, create an inexpensive DIY light box. From a cardboard box cut off one side. Then add white paper on the remaining sides – including the bottom. Clip a clamp light on top of the box so there are no shadows on the object you’re photographing. Here’s a great video tutorial.

With larger items hang a white curtain and clip on a clamp light  or two to shine lights from different angles to get the desired lighting effect.

With great lighting you are 99% of the way to great online photos. The last thing to consider is what to take a photo of.

For clothing: Tags – both on the clothing or store tags if the garment was never worn. Close-up of any detail. Don’t forget a full shot of the front AND back.

For Furniture: Any designer stamps, unique detailing, different angles, any imperfections.

Use this as a general guideline when shooting other objects. The basic idea is to give the buyer as much information as possible to help them make their decision.

Don’t forget to include important details in the post to compliment the picture. Size, condition and brand. Type of materials, measurements and quality details. Again, the more information the better.

Go for it! List a thing or two and see what happens!

Happy Organizing!

**photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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Make Room for Relationships

“The best things in life… aren’t things” Art Buchwald

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Keeping with the theme of my happiness project, I am focusing on relationships this week. One of the biggest motivators for a declutter sessions is the people in our lives. Our spouse is upset about the mess we create, your kids don’t have a place to do their homework, your in-laws are coming to visit and you can’t imagine them stepping foot in your home. It might not be a specific event, but rather a general frazzled feeling that keeps you from spending time with loved ones.

When the physical spaces in our home are full there is no chance, but to have a full mental life as well. It’s time to step back and take the time to make room for your relationships. It is proven that the people in our lives make us happier than any amount of stuff ever will.

Find ways to honor the your relationships in your spaces. I love the idea from Gretchen Rubin in Happiness at Home about rotating family pictures based on the season or holiday. Why not put out pictures of your kids in their different Halloween costumes over the year to help celebrate the season and cherish the memories in the mean time.

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Another great idea from Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love is happiness jars. They can be anything from a small jar of sand to remind you about a family beach vacation or slips of paper that you write memories and happy moments on, put in the jar and pull out to read from time to time. My happiness jar is a glass vase full of smooth white rocks I’ve collected from bodies of water around the world. It reminds me of fabulous vacations, quiet walks with my dog, adventures with my husband or exotic places.

Of course any of the two suggestions above only work if you take the time to sort, edit and reorganize the spaces you work and live in to create space for the relationships in your life.

Happy Organizing!

* photo courtsey: freedigitalphotos.net

Transform a Closet into a Home Office

I’m sharing quick tips and tricks today to turn unused space into a functional home office.

Eliminate Clutter for a Good Cause with Monthly Donations

One of the biggest challenges about organizing is what to do with the stuff you want to donate. I have a simple solution you can use to motivate monthly decluttering. Set-up a monthly pickup with one of the charities below. Or see if your favorite charity offers free donation pickup.

If you know you have a truck coming to pick-up donations then you are more likely to go through your clothing at the start of a season, your children’s toys, the books that are filling the shelves or the tools in the garage that your replaced for your husband this father’s day.

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Here are a few options for donation pick-up:

Canadian Diabetes Association – 1-800-505-5525

Click Here for More Information

Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy – 1-888-238-6327

Click Here for More Information

Oasis Clothing Bank – 416-751-0553

Click Here for More Information

For Furniture:

Furniture Bank – 416-934-1229 **they charge a small fee, but provide a tax receipt

Click Here for More Information

For Tools & Building Supplies

Habitat for Humanity ReStore – 416-755-8023

Click Here for More Information

Get your pick-ups set for the rest of the year. You will notice a decline in the amount of stuff hanging around and the clutter that comes with it.

Happy Organizing!

**Image provided by freedigitalphotos.net

Organizing Travel Keepsakes

It’s the last week of school for the kiddies here in Toronto and that often sparks the beginning of family vacation time. Family vacations are usually chock full of memories… good, bad and funny. We want to preserve those memories and one way to do that is to creatively organize and store the keepsakes that come home with us. For more tips on organizing your trip click here for a blog I did a few weeks ago.

Have you come home from a trip with a bag of maps, brochures from museums, cultural spots or restaurant menus. It all made so much sense in the heat of the trip and you want to remember these memories forever!

Ok, flash forward three weeks, your home and now you have a bag of randomness from the trip and no idea what to do with it. However, you still love it and want to keep it.

If you take the items out of the bag and arrange it in a way that you can see it, love it and remember the good times you had on the trip than it’s not clutter. If you keep it in a bag in a box or filing cabinet never to see the light of the day it’s clutter.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Take a simple wooden box and paint it with the name of your vacation location. Limit the number of keepsakes to the size of the box and display them artfully on a shelf. They are easy to take off and look through or share with family and friends.

Keepsake Box

I love this idea from Martha Stewart, oh Martha you’re always full of the best ideas! Take a silver ring and a hole puncher and create a simple keepsake you can hang up or keep on a shelf.

Organizing Travel keepsake

Another very simple way to organize keepsakes is in a photo box. Take all the tidbits of this and that and keep them in labeled photo boxes.

Also, consider a journal while you are away. You can log funny stories, memorable restaurants and little moments you don’t want to forget. You can add pictures, ticket stubs or metro cards to the journal as well.

On a side note, here is a great idea for all the foreign coins you have stored from your travels!

 Foreign Coins

Have a great time out there in the world and hold the memories dear and a few organized keepsakes!

Happy Organizing!

Photos credits: pinterest.com and marthastewart.com

Getting Crafty – Repurposing Old Items

Today we’re getting crafty and using our imagination. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter than you have seen me share a post from Terracycle.

Terracycle is an organization in Toronto that collects and recycles items that are not usually considered for recycling. Items like Ziploc bags, vinyl records, wood pallets and countless other items find a new life.

So in honor of their ingenuity and creativity I am going to share a few ways to could repurpose items in your house. Items you’re hanging onto just in case – here are some just in case examples.

Did a window shutter fall off the house and you’ve been saving it “just in case”. These are great idea – very simple too!

Mail Shutter holderShutter Magazine Rack

Have a doily collection that you stuff in a drawer and have no intention of ever using? This is a fabulous way to modernize them and bring them back to your dining room table!

Doilie table runner

Ok, some of my all-time favorite transformations are to wooden shipping pallets. Check out these brilliant ideas below:

Pallet 1

Pallet 3

Pallet 4

Pallet 2

Light blub vase anyone??

Lightbulb Vase

Old Skateboards! Love this for a boy’s room.

Skateboard Shelf

Old Socks as a vase cover… seriously!

Sock Vase Holder

Pool Noodles to hold up boots.

Pool Noodle Boot Holder

Use  T-shirts or shopping bags and frame them for funky inexpensive art – again, great for a kid’s room, closet or game room.

Framed T-shirts Framed Bags

Ok and for a grand finale, I can’t really even believe it, but a house made completely from the waste materials of a 747 airplane!

747 House

Inspired? I hope so. Transform a “just incase” today! Share your own ideas in the comment section below.

Happy Organizing!

 

Photo credit: Terracycle and Pinterest.com

Wrangling Hair Tools in the Bathroom

Today we are going to get right to the point. In a small bathroom it makes it difficult to wrangle the hair dryer, straightening iron and the brushes, sprays, moose, bobby pins and clips that go along with it. So, here are a few ideas to help you arrange those items in a way that are functional and of course beautiful!

Simple, yet completely effective – a PVC pipe – and it can withstand the heat. Love this. You can also paint it to match your bathroom and mount it on the wall.

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How about this – buckets on the wall to hold accessories and brushes while your hands are full with the styling tools. They won’t slip off the counter forcing you to crawl around looking for them.

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A divided basket keeps everything in order on the counter.

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Another Simple idea is a magazine holder. Flip the hair dryer upside down and you have a simple way to keep the hair dryer and it’s cord in check.

file folder

This is my favorite idea yet! Hang PVC pipes on the back of the cabinet door for a fast, easy and super inexpensive way to store the tools when you are not using them. They even have a separate place for the cord, i love it! Is there anything you can’t do with a PVC pipe? Ask the person helping you at the hardware store to cut the pipes to the correct size so you simply have to screw them in when you get home.

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Get those styling tools, accessories and products in order and make your bathroom experience more enjoyable!

Happy Organizing!

Creating a Family Command Centre

Turn the drop zone by the front door into a functional command centre. Watch the video for tips and tricks from Sage.

Happy Organizing!

Exploding Closets

I’m sure there are a few people out there that can relate to this!

Reasons Mommy Drinks

nothingtowear

Every inch of storage in Mommy’s house is bursting at the seams. Mommy has stopped inviting people over because she fears an innocent play date will turn into a hoarding intervention before your impressionable young eyes. Back when they were searching for real estate, Mommy and Daddy failed to account for the 500 square feet in additional storage they’d one day require for the baby gear, clothing and toys you’d outgrow before your second birthday. And Mommy’s convinced that the day she trucks it all to Goodwill will be the same day she discovers she’s pregnant with baby #2. And who knew Mommy’s wardrobe would one day include pre-baby wear, maternity wear, maternity-leave wear, back-to-work wear, and replacement wear for all her baby-stained wear?  To be fair, you’re not totally to blame for Mommy’s storage woes. At some point, Mommy may want to consider parting ways with her teenage diaries…

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Solutions for Your Mini-Artist’s Treasures

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We’re making the final dash to the end of the school year and if you have collected your children’s art pieces through the year, I’m sure you are starting to notice an overflow. Art projects are treasures that you and your children should enjoy for as long as you’d like, but there is only so much space in your home and before long the treasures can turn into clutter if you don’t put a system in place.

Here are some clever ideas to wrangle the art pieces, creating functional spaces and pieces you can truly treasure and enjoy.

I love this idea! Do you have a scanner? Try scanning you children’s drawings, paintings, sketches or any other flat piece of work and create one piece with mini images of the work. Apply this to 3-D structures too. Take a picture from different angles of the flat piece to capture all the details and then create a piece of the different angles and frame them for you and your children to treasure.

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A gallery in the home guarantees there will always be space for new pieces as they come into the home. Take an awkward wall or hallway space and hang a few rod with clips to hang art. They are on display and easy to rotate. Wondering what to do with the pieces when they come down. Consider the idea below for those treasures.

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This idea is an oldie, but a goodie. Take a corkboard, cover it in fabric and create a cool gallery in the kitchen or your child’s room that is versatile, beautiful and easy for your children to add pieces too. When it’s full it’s time to consider what stays and what gets repurposed or stored.

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Parents often over look grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends that might love a piece of art from your children. If they don’t receive them regularly they will be treasured all the more!

Lastly, think outside of the box. Hang your children’s art in unexpected places. Decorate the inside of their closet – or yours with pieces. What about the back of a door or hang frames to create a rotating gallery in the garage. Have a cool landscape watercolor from your son’s art class? Hang it in the garden shed.

Would you like to check out additional ideas for your child’s art? I have tackled this subject before. Click Here for additional tips.

Do you have creative ways to store your children’s art? I would love to hear about them, reply in the comments section or Click Here to share them on Facebook.

Happy Organizing!

(Photos courtsey of Pinterest and FreeDigitalPhotos.net)