Friday, February 3, 2017

Organize Your Linen Closet

Do you have more linens than you'll ever use? Many of us have this same problem, causing our linen storage areas to get cluttered and disorganized. Finding what you need becomes an impossible chore, generating frustrating and wasting time. Let's banish these everyday woes and make changing the sheets a more bearable task again!

PURGE - Grab a large garbage bag or two in which you can put sheets you want to donate. Then pull out all of your linens, and separate them one by one into two piles – Those you'll use and those you won't use. Any sheets and linens can be thrown into the donation pile, no matter what their condition is like. Items that are too worn or old for donation centers are often sent to animal shelters and used for animal bedding.

ORGANIZE - Place similar items together – For instance, place towels on one shelf, sheets on another, and blankets on another. Organize each type of linen by size as well. Neatly fold each item in order to maximize space. You may even consider labeling the shelves so you don't forget where to put an item each time you do laundry.

MAINTAIN - Each time you do laundry, make sure each item is neatly folded and put away in its proper place. Never let baskets of clean linens sit for too long; Instead, take the next step and put them away immediately.

We hope we've helped you de-clutter and organize your laundry and linen areas this week! Don't forget to post photos of your newly organized spaces on Twitterusing the hashtag #SimplifyIn40Days, and on our Facebook page.

Happy organizing!

Simple Ways to Take Control of Your Laundry and Linens

Happy February!

We're kicking off the Simplify Challenge's final week by helping you organize two areas that often go hand-in-hand – Your laundry room and linen closet. Although doing laundry might not be the most romantic of tasks, it is nonetheless a necessary one we often do for those we love. This utilitarian chore is much easier if your space is organized and de-cluttered. You'll maximize your efficiency and also save time, meaning you'll have more of it to spend with your loved ones this Valentine's day and beyond!

As always, if you need help at any point during this process, feel free to contact us. We have a team of awesome professional organizers who are always happy to help!

Organize Your Laundry Room

Is your laundry room cluttered with things that don't belong there? Clutter simply creates added stress to an often dreaded task, causing us to procrastinate while piles of dirty laundry build. This space should instead be functional and minimalistic, making it easier to focus on decreasing those dirty piles. Let's get to work!

PURGE – Get out a trash bag and boxes in which you can place items that don't belong in the laundry room. Sort through each item in the room individually, placing items you want to donate, or those that belong in another part of the house, in the boxes. Next, put items that belong in another part of the house away in their proper places. Get rid of anything you know you won't use. Old cleaning supplies can be dropped off at a hazardous waste collection site; Call your city to find out where the closest site is located.

ORGANIZE - Organize cleaning supplies by category on shelves or in cabinets. Keep those you use more often in easy to reach spots, and those you use less often in harder to reach areas. Also, keep cleaning supplies used for laundry close to where they'll be used – so detergent, softeners, and bleach should go above the washer, and dryer sheets above the dryer, etc. If you store mops and brooms in this room, save space by hanging them on the wall and off of the ground.

MAINTAIN - Each time you use an item, put it back in its proper space. It'll be easier to find and help ensure the room stays clutter-free!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Simple Ways to Organize Your Bathroom

Whether you have several luxuriously large bathrooms, or just a single, small one, these spaces are often less than the tranquil places they should be. Too often, our bathrooms instead hold cluttered jumbles of makeup and medicines well past their expiration dates, an excess of hair products, and stacks of towels crammed into limited storage space. That's why for week five of our Simplify Challenge, we're going to help you de-clutter and streamline your bathrooms, transforming them into tranquil, inspiring places to begin and end your day.

As always, if you need help at any point during this process, feel free to contact us. We have a team of awesome professional organizers who are always happy to help!

Organize Your Master Bathroom

The master bathroom is likely where you spend most of your time getting ready for the day ahead.
Clutter and disorganization have a tendency to become overwhelming here, making your routine longer and more frustrating. Let's de-clutter and organize to add functionality to this space and save you time and energy for whatever your day holds!

PURGE - We all purchase items we think are going to solve all of our beauty dilemmas. However, these products are often worthless. We hold on to them because they were too expensive to just throw away, even if they don't work. But if you haven't used these products in months or years, it's time to let them go and use that valuable space for products you do use on a daily basis. Get out your trash bag and go through every item individually, being honest with yourself about what you use and don't use. Check for expired medicines and get rid of those, too.

ORGANIZE – Maximize your space by using size-appropriate containers to organize, store, and separate the goods you've decided to keep. Group items by category (for instance, hair products go with other hair products), or by when you or your spouse uses them. Use baskets or bins you already have around your house to organize items, and drawer dividers for smaller items like makeup, nail polish, and whatever else you need at your fingerprints while getting ready. You may also want install a shelf to store larger items like towels. In addition to organizing, the main goal here is to clear surfaces so that the bathroom is easy to clean and use daily.

MAINTAIN – Keeping items in storage bins and baskets will make it easier for you to maintain order in your bathroom. As always, the key is putting items back after you use them. Taking the extra step to put items in their proper places rather than setting them on the counter top will keep your area functional and clean, ultimately saving you time and energy.

Organize Your Guest Bathroom

If you only have one bathroom, lucky you! You have one less place to organize. But if you have kids or are used to entertaining guests, that extra bathroom is a necessity. Keeping it de-cluttered will help keep it clean and fresh for whoever is using it.

PURGE - Go through each item in every cabinet and drawer, and get rid of any out of date medicines
and products you won't use. Don't forget surface areas as well! If your kids or spouse use the bathroom regularly, have them go through items with you.

ORGANIZE - Think of this bathroom's function and purpose. Is it for your kids, guests, or your spouse? Clarifying its purpose will dictate how this bathroom is organized. Use baskets or bins you already have around your house to organize items, and drawer dividers for smaller items. Store your containers of choice out of sight below the sink. If guests are mainly using this space, only keep items they'll find useful on hand, like soap, clean towels, and extra toiletries. Try to keep some empty space for their items as well.

MAINTAIN – As always, putting items back in their proper areas after each use is key to maintaining the order you've created. If this bathroom is for your child or children, you'll need to give them frequent reminders to keep this area de-cluttered. Not only will these reminders lessen your workload, they'll also help them form important, lifelong organizational habits.

Bathroom Storage Ideas

If your bathroom is small, storage space can be a huge challenge. Finding creative ways to store items you need can not only maximize your space and minimize your clutter, but also add some 
personality. Here are a few quick DIY ideas:

• Use a wine rack as a towel holder
• Wrap a rustic brown rope or twine around old coffee tins to store hand soap and lotion bottles
• Keep small items like toothbrushes and nail polish in clear vases or jars
• Use (cleaned) vintage planters from the garden to hold soap bars and sponges
• Repurpose a clear umbrella stand to store toilet paper rolls

Do you have more organizing and storage ideas? Let us know and post photos of your organized bathroom on Twitter using the hashtag #SimplifyIn40Days, and on our Facebook page.

Until next week, happy organizing!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Organize Your Dresser

We all know that things have a tendency to hide in dressers. If it fits in the drawers and it's out of sight, all is well - right? Not really. Storage space in your bedroom is valuable, and we want to help you make the best possible use of it.
    PURGE – Grab several large trash bags for items you want to donate, sell, or discard, and go through each item individually. Get rid of anything you no longer wear or that doesn't belong. Let go of items you haven't worn and let someone else enjoy them. Keeping them in your
    drawer is not only a waste of space, but also a constant reminder of your bad decision in purchasing an item you don't need or like.

    ORGANIZE - Assign each drawer a category of clothing – Underwear, socks, t-shirts, shorts, pajamas, bathing suits, workout clothes, sweaters, etc. Neatly fold each item of clothing and put it away in its proper drawer. If you have other clothes laying around the room that didn't fit in the dresser before, incorporate them into this system. Make sure the drawers are not overstuffed; if they are you might need to revisit step one and do another purge.

    MAINTAIN - Clothing seems to take over our lives. Keeping up with laundry helps you maintain a manageable amount of clothing, as you'll tend to buy more when you don't have any clean clothes available. Also make sure to fold and put away clothes as soon as they're dry. Using the one-in-one-out rule we used in the closet also helps maintain a manageable amount of clothing. For every item you bring in, get rid of an item. It's that simple!
We hope we've helped you de-clutter and reclaim your space this week! Don't forget to post photos of your newly clean bedroom on Twitter using the hashtag #SimplifyIn40Days, and on our Facebook page.

Organize Your Closet

It's easy to shut the door to your closet and ignore the cluttered stacks of clothes, shoes, and accessories you probably haven't worn in ten years. But having a functional, organized closet will not only make your morning routine more pleasant, it'll also help you feel less stressed the rest of the day as well. After all, who wants to begin their day with clutter?

    PURGE – Grab several trash bags in which you can place items you want to donate, sell, or discard. Go through each item individually, asking yourself if you'll ever really wear it again. Try to be as honest as possible, and get rid of anything you think you won't wear. If it's too big, let it go. You don't want to give yourself the option to regain weight. If it's too small, you'll only feel guilty for your weight gain each time you see it. If you do lose weight, you'll mostly
    likely treat yourself to some new clothes anyway, not the old clothes you wore ten years ago (or more). If you find clothes you haven't worn yet, pass them along to someone else. This will not only free space in your closet, but also relieve you of the guilt associated with purchasing something you never wore. Do the same for shoes, purses, belts and anything else you find.

    ORGANIZE – Now that you've pared everything down, arrange your clothing by style and color for easy access. Next, try to get as much as you can off the floor, as it will help maximize your space and minimize the time you spend digging for things. You may want to get new hangers and discard the miscellaneous ones that tend to get tangled together. Consider buying a hanging shoe rack as well, so you can clearly see your collection. Lastly, put purses on shelves and hang belts.

    MAINTAIN - To keep your closet manageable, use the one-in-one-out rule – If you buy something new, something old must go. Keep only a certain number of hangers. This will keep your closet from becoming overstuffed again.