6 Small Steps for Organizing Your Home

The post below is a guest post written by my friend, Laura. I am blessed to have wonderful friends, like Laura, who inspire me. I want them to inspire and help you, too.

Laura and I have been friends since college. We’ve been a bridesmaid in each other’s weddings. I am also honored to be godmother to one of her kids. Laura is someone who knows how to keep a house in order. Over one year ago, she created a Facebook page to share ideas to help de-clutter and organize your home.

So please welcome Laura. She has great advice.

******************************************

Storage boxes and green plant in a room

This is a guest post from Laura.
Organizing our homes and keeping it that way is a challenge for many people these days. Our busy lifestyles can make it easier for us to just throw things on a counter, or in a pile by the door. But then our clutter can get out of control, causing us to feel stressed when we are home- and that is no fun.

Here are my 6 favorite organizing tips that are simple enough to set up, and hopefully simple enough to keep up with.

1. Corral kid paperwork

If you have children, you know that the amount of paper they come home with could wallpaper your home. Important papers like schedules or permission slips can get misplaced easily when they don’t have a special spot. Consider getting a pretty accordion style filing system with a pocket for each family member to hold important papers. A binder with dividers or a notebook style pocket folder book can also help keep things safe. Keep your system in a location that you see often- on a desk in an office or kitchen, for example. Once you no longer need a paper, purge.

2. Don’t overlook the backs of doors

Doors can be a wonderful clutter buster, and the backs of doors are often over looked. Using a clear pocketed over the door shoe organizer is a great way to store winter accessories in your hall closet, and small toys and dolls can be stored in your child’s room. They are also great for corralling craft supplies.

3. Keep closets organized

Closets look wonderful if you have like clothes together. Investing in the same style no slip hangers also makes a closet look organized. Keep pants, skirts, long sleeved shirts, etc. together (and if you are really organized, try by color as well). Consider canvas bins for storing off season items on a shelf, adding a tag attached with ribbon so you know what is inside without having to take the bin down. Keeping shoes on a shoe shelf or in clear boxes helps you find what you need quickly, and keeps them clean and neat. Hanging bags and belts on hooks in the closet (or behind the door) is another way to keep things where you can see them.

4. Stop the search for kitchen utensils

If you are like me, you have a gadget for just about any kitchen need, but only use a handful regularly. Weed out what you only use occasionally, and store them in a pretty box in a pantry or kitchen cabinet. This will clear up your utensil drawer or crock, and you will not have to rummage through looking for what you need.

5. Have a peaceful bathroom

Again, bins work wonders here for keeping bath products together. Hair accessories store nicely in little baskets or those cute tin pails you see everywhere, and cosmetics can be neatly stashed in the small plastic organizers that have 3-4 drawers and can fit under a bath cabinet. And for towels and bed sheets, experts say that you should have 2-3 sets of sheets per bed- keep them folded together, or store sets in a pillow case.

6. No more drop and run (Foyer/entryway)

This is an area that can become clutter central- you walk in and drop what you have. If you are a household that removes shoes before entering, have a basket handy to corral all the shoes. Keep bags on a small side table or hook. End the great search for missing keys and phones by keeping a little tray or basket on the side table, or hang a small basket on the wall by the door for these items.

The key to keeping your home organized is putting things away when you are finished with them. The old adage “A place for everything and everything in its place” is really something to strive for- the time it takes to put something away will save you a lot of time later when you realize you have a major clean up on your hands.

Happy Organizing!

Find other organizing ideas HERE.

Laura Hoyler is a mom to 5 kids, and the owner and lead teacher of a small preschool. When she is not at one of the kids’ many activities, you can find her working on her backwards crossovers at the ice rink, or trying to find time to have a date with her husband.  You can “like” her on Facebook at Decluttering and Organizing or follow her on Twitter at @OrganizeNMore.

(Photo Credit: iStockPhoto.com)

Creative Organizing: Labels

Organize-LabelsCollage

Labels help to organize your pantry, kids toys and closets. There are many creative label options.

They come in different materials, sizes and shapes. You can make them  yourself or you can find free printables and templates online. Go to Pinterest and search “Organize Labels” and you’ll see many ideas.

Here are a few examples:

  • Self Adhesive Labels – This is an obvious choice and still works for me. I use them on the plastic bins in my kids playroom and for labeling my freezer cooking bags
  • Chalkboard Labels – I’ve seen this made from chalkboard contact paper or painted on jars or wooden tags.
  • Laminate your paper labels. This is a great idea for labeling baskets in a refrigerator or freezer.

VinylJarLabels

(Photo Credit: Vinyl Labels from Classy Clutter Designs by Mallory)

  • Purchase vinyl labels or make your own vinyl labels using Silhouette Cutter.

DecalTransferLabels

(Photo Credit: The Painted Hive)

How and what kind of labels do you use to organize your pantry, closet and other items?

Click HERE if you’re looking for other Creative Organizing Ideas.

(Photo Credits in above collage picture: MarthaStewart.com and BHG.com. Also our own Happy Clippings photos.)

Creative Organizing: Lazy Susan Ideas

Org-CreativeLazySusan

I love finding creative storage and organizing solutions and then sharing them with you. Here are a few ideas for using a lazy Susan.

  • Kitchen Pantry/Cabinets – The most common use but still worth mentioning. Keep spices and other pantry items organized.
  • Fridge Turntable – Use a lazy Susan in your refrigerator.
  • Organize Medicine – Organize your medicines in a lazy Susan.
  • Cleaning Supplies – Store cleaning detergents on a rubber-top lazy Susan
  • Craft Supplies – Store craft supplies in a lazy Susan. Keep your tools in reach on a table top of store in a cabinet or closet. 

Do you use a lazy Susan? Where do you use a lazy Susan in your home?

Click HERE if you’re looking for other Creative Organizing Ideas.

(Photo Credits: RealSimple.com, MarthaStewart.com and BHG.com)

Decluttering Tips: 30 Minutes a Day


I finally feel like I am getting the clutter in my home under control. Well, at least some parts of it. For example, my bedroom closet was a clutter hot-spot. Now, I am happy to report my bedroom closet is the cleanest it’s ever been in years. It used to be such a mess that I was embarrassed to show anyone. What am I doing? How am I clearing out my clutter? I have implemented a Declutter in 30 Minutes a Day program (This is my version of a How To Declutter You Home).

As the new year started and resolutions were being made, I noticed friends were planning to do a 40 bags in 40 days challenge. Basically, you commit to getting rid of 40 bags of “stuff” from your home during 40 days. You can give it away or throw it away.

In January, I was also in the middle of reading Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living. This book helped get me motivated. The book has a 10 Day guide for clearing out your clutter. You focus on one area of your home per day. Although, I liked the concept of getting my home in order in 10 days I knew this was not realistic for me. But, it’s another great alternative that may be doable and work for others.

The above methods are just two examples of ways to get your clutter in order. But, I’ve learned – one method doesn’t work for everyone.

So, I came up with a plan that works for me. Maybe, this decluttering strategy will help you. Maybe, one of the other methods will.

Declutter 30 Minutes a Day

Write down your Decluttering Goals:

1. List out the rooms to de-clutter.
2. List specific areas in the room you want to declutter. If possible, break it down into manageable pieces – areas that can be cleared out in less than 30 minutes.

Below is an example of part of my clutter clearing goals (I crossed out the ones I have completed):

DECLUTTER / ORGANIZATION GOALS

Storage Closet

  • Kids shoes
  • Clean/Organize Holiday Stuff
  • Unwanted home décor accessories
  • Kids art/school work

Bedroom Closet

  • Shoes
  • Purses/handbags
  • Old linens/towels 
  • Go through clothes
  • shopping bags
  • papers

Bedroom

  • Clean out dresser drawers
  • Clean out night stand drawers
  • De-clutter tops of dressers and night stands
  • Clean out tall dresser drawers

Assign a De-clutter task in your Daily To-Do List.

1. Each day assign yourself a room and a specific task.
2. Work on it for about 30 minutes. It may take you less than 30 minutes to complete it. You can do more than 30 minutes. If you have time and motivation to keep working – go for it. Make sure to dedicate the time to work 30 minutes or shorter only if the task is complete.

Below is an example of one of my daily to-do lists:

To-do List

  • Volunteer in kid’s classroom
  • Two loads of laundry
  • ****Clean out Master bedroom night stand drawers***
  • Bake bread
  • Read a book for at least 20 minutes
  • Workout
  • Schedule dentist appointment

If you find yourself always skipping over the de-cluttering item on your to-do list, then you need to make it a priority. Put it at the top of your list. Put a big star next to it. Better yet, make it your first task of the day. As the book Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time says – tackle your hardest task/goal first. If you don’t, then this leads to procrastination.

Clear out your clutter bit by bit or all at once. Experiment and see what works best for you.  The important part of this clutter cleaning process is to have a plan.

What are you doing to clean out your clutter? Have you tried any of the methods mentioned in this post?

(This is linked to Works for Me Wednesday.)

(Note: Some links in this post are affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.)

(Photo Credit: iStockPhoto.com)

Creative Organizing Ideas – Jewelry {2}

Org-CreativeJewelryStorage

 

I love finding creative storage and organizing solutions and then sharing them with you. Last month, I told you about some creative organizing ideas for jewelry using frames or boards. Here are a few more creative ideas I found recently for storing your jewelry.

Do you organize your jewelry like any of the above suggestions? How do you organize your jewelry?

Click HERE if you’re looking for other Creative Organizing Ideas.

Creative Organizing Ideas – Storing Small Items

Org-CreativeSmallItems

I love finding creative storage and organizing solutions and then sharing them with you. I recently showed you creative ideas to organize a drawer. Most of those ideas store small miscellaneous items. Here are a few ideas additional ideas I found recently to store small items.

What do use to organize and store your small items?

Click HERE if you’re looking for other Creative Organizing Ideas.

Creative Organizing Ideas – Drawer Organizers

Org-CreativeDrawers

I love finding creative storage and organizing solutions and then sharing them with you. Here are a few ideas I found recently for organizing drawers by using non-traditional drawer organizers/trays.

What do use as a drawer organizer?

Click HERE if you’re looking for other Creative Organizing Ideas.

Creative Organizing Ideas–Jewelry (Organize in Frames or Boards)

Org-CreativeJewelryFrame

I love finding creative storage and organizing solutions and then sharing them with you. Here are a few ideas I found recently for storing your jewelry using frames or boards. You are not only organizing your jewelry but you are displaying it like a piece of art.

Do you organize your jewelry like any of the above suggestions? How do you organize your jewelry?

Click HERE if you’re looking for other Creative Organizing Ideas.

Creative Organizing Ideas – Gift Wrapping Storage

Org-CreativeGiftWrapStorage

I love finding creative storage and organizing solutions and then sharing them with you. Here are a few ideas I found recently for storing gift wrapping paper.

How do you organize your gift wrapping supplies?

Click HERE if you’re looking for other Creative Organizing Ideas.

Creative Storage Ideas – 10 Ways to Use a Shoe Organizer (other than for shoes)

ShoeOrganizerGlovesHats

Are you using a shoe organizer to organize things besides your shoes?! There are so many things a shoe organizer can store. I recently placed one in my laundry/mudroom closet to help control all our gloves, hats and scarves. I place the kids outdoor accessories at the bottom so they could reach it and the higher slots are for the grown ups.

Here are nine more ideas for using a shoe organizer.

[Read more...]