6 Steps to a Clean and Organized Garage

March 15th, 2011 — 9:30pm

The garage’s main purpose is protecting and storing your vehicle or vehicles. That can’t happen if your garage has turned into a glorified storage area, overflowing with boxes, toys, tools, bikes, skateboards, scooters, strollers and any other thing that makes it hard to just find a path through the room in the first place. Here are 6 easy steps to help you take control of your garage again.

  1. Remove everything from the garage and sort.  Categorize all your belongings in the garage by grouping them with like items.  For example, kids’ toys in one group, tools in another group, sports equipment all together, seasonal decorations, etc. all in separate groups. Identify anything that is broken, outdated or no longer wanted and sell it, donate it, or trash it.
  2. Determine and obtain proper organizational tools.  After you have categorized everything, determine what tools can help you organize these items.  For example, do you need to purchase any storage bins, shelving systems, cabinet systems, tool chests, peg boards, hanging ceiling systems, hanging bike racks, etc.
  3. Clean well before you put things back. Once your garage is empty it is important to take the time to sweep or mop out all the loose debris, remove cobwebs and layers of dust. You will enjoy your garage more if it is a clean garage so remember to keep up on sweeping and dusting on a regularly basis to maintain it.
  4. Beautification.  Talking about beautification does not mean I am suggesting you go out there and transform your garage into a living room, but consider if a new coat of paint for the walls to make things look cleaner and brighter and cheerier?  What about the floor?  Typically it’s concrete, but many people like to paint and seal the floor of the garage to protect it from spills and make clean up easy.  Changing the wall or floor surfaces can have a huge impact on the feel of the garage.  If this is something you wish to do, now is the time.
  5. Arrange.  Once your garage is clean (floor and walls) it’s time to put everything back.  It is best to place frequently used items within easy reach.  Place items less frequently used further back in the garage or higher up on shelving systems or within cabinets. Bins can be packed according to season, and then rotate the current season to the top of the stack. Label the outside of bins, drawers and cabinets to spare yourself the hassle of opening each one again and again to find something you may be looking for.  Putting labels on shelving or even peg boards can help remind you where things should be put away too.
  6. Lastly, make a resolutions and stick to them. For example “Always return items back where you got them after each use” it may seem like you’re saving time by not putting it back, but consider  the time and frustration spent looking for it the next time you want to use it.

These steps will help you achieve a clean and well organized garage in no time at all and just think of the satisfaction of knowing exactly what you have and being able to find it when you want it. Being able to park your car in your garage and keep it protected from the elements.  Best of luck!
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How to Declutter Your Home

March 15th, 2011 — 9:30pm

The beauty of a home is not only measured by its size. They say that a home and everything about it speaks volumes about the people who live there. If your home is a cluttered mess, it may leave people with a negative impression of you. On the other hand, if you have an immaculately tidy and pleasant house, your visitors will likely have a positive impression of you. Would you rather have a large house that looks like it was just hit by a hurricane,  or a modest-sized house where everything is tidy and organized? The choice is yours. With that in mind, here are some suggestions to help you declutter your home.

First, make a detailed plan of attack and stick to that plan. Determine which part of the house to clean first.  The ‘disaster areas’ of a home can vary greatly from family to family and from person to person.  Decide which room or rooms are the messiest and in need of the most help, make those your priority. Formulate a plan detailing the tasks needed to clean each room and try to estimate the time needed for accomplishing each task.  A time frame is very important because it will help you monitor how long you have spent on a task. It can also be helpful when you start to feel overwhelmed with the number of tasks you must do.  Focus on one task at a time and as you check them off your list you will experience a sense of accomplishment that will help keep you motivated to continue.

Second, start with the cleaning phase since this part will consume the majority of your time. Initiate organizing your things. Sort out your clutter into categories; everything gets separated into piles or even plastic bins. For example, all Clothes go together in a pile or plastic tub, shoes in another tub, all mail together, etc. As you pick up an item, determine, if you’re going to keep it or can you get rid of it – you can sell them at a garage sale or a consignment shop, give them to friends or family, or donate the items to the charity of your choice. Is it broken and worth repairing or would you be better off buying a new or used one?  Once everything is separated into piles or bins, continue organizing the individual categories and where they belong, until everything in that category has been dealt with. The specific technique you use to declutter your home can vary greatly.  Some plans take months while others can be accomplished in a matter of days.  Determine what works for you and your personality.

At times, it may not be possible to reach your decluttering goals in short order but don’t punish yourself. If you find you are becoming discouraged because the job seems too big or appears to be taking too long, take a breather, revise your plans, focus on the accomplishments you have achieved, then try again. Do not stop until you get the desired results. After all, you are the one who is going to enjoy the rewards of a tidy organized home, you’re worth it! You would not want to endure a dirty place everyday for the rest of your life now, would you? The sooner you start the sooner you can enjoy the rewards!
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Kitchen Organizers – Finding the One’s That Are Just Right for You

March 15th, 2011 — 9:29pm

For the majority of families the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house. You make three meals a day, plus snacks, in your kitchen not to mention the family togetherness time. This is why your kitchen needs to be regularly cleaned, put in order and kept in order.  The most common obstacle to kitchen organization is the ineffective use of precious space within the cabinets and any other available storage. Cupboards and shelves are sometimes spaced too far apart, leaving wasted space in between that could have been used for storage, storage which could help prevent clutter. Luckily, there are many kitchen organizers on the market that can be of tremendous help when attempting to maximize the storage and organization within your kitchen.

Like any other area you want to organize, start by assessing what you have and determining those items, which you would like to keep or get rid of.  If you have items that you no longer use, consider getting rid of them.  Examples of these types of items could be cooking or baking utensils, dishes, gadgets or appliances. These needless items that you don’t use will become the clutter in the kitchen you can’t stand and want to get rid of, so the sooner you get rid of it the better! Sell, throw out, or donate these items.

Using a standing or hanging kitchen organizer to store your cooking utensils and sometimes your pots and pans, near the stove is not only convenient but an excellent way to free of valuable counter, cupboard, or drawer space. Consider a spice rack that attaches inside a cupboard door or stores in a drawer – with spices, visibility and accessibility is important. There are organizers that fit into your drawers that can help you organize your medications so that you can remember to take them regularly. You should also remember to have a separate organizer for your cooking utensils, sprays and cleaners, and electric appliances that are best kept out of the reach of your children for safety reasons. Drawer inserts or counter top knife blocks can organize your knives while protecting their sharp edges from getting dull.

The large items that you regularly use in your kitchen such as the toaster, coffee maker, coffee bean grinder, or juicer can be placed in an appliance garage or Lazy-Susan for convenient access while keeping the counter free during times that these items are not being used.  The silverware and dining utensils can be kept in drawer organizers or movable caddies that can be left on the counter top or stowed in the pantry or Lazy-Susan when not in use.

These tips are relatively easy to follow and when applied, you’ll find that by using kitchen organizers you can enhance your work space and make effective use of your kitchen’s precious counter and storage space, improving functionality, appearance and effectiveness. Investing in kitchen organizers will help ensure you enjoy your kitchen to the fullest.
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Organizing Your Kitchen

March 15th, 2011 — 9:29pm

Your home is your starting point and final destination every day. It is the primary place you are supposed to experience a calm and relaxing environment, where you can feel at peace and in control.  Since your kitchen reflects your lifestyle and endures a lot of traffic, it is essential that you keep this area organized. Here are some tips to help you organize your kitchen.

Take an inventory.  Go through your kitchen and evaluate everything you have there.  Does it belong there or did it just take up residence? Is that item used on a regular basis?  Can it be stored somewhere else?  Is there anything that you don’t use at all?  Is there anything that’s broken or that no longer functions or that you simply don’t want anymore?  Sell, donate, give it away or throw it away.

Once you have decided what to keep and what to get rid of, you need to consider functionality.  Are there certain utensils or appliances or gadgets that you use on a daily basis?  Obviously, keep those things close at hand and readily accessible, can you also find a spot where they’re out of sight?  Cooking utensils, for example, can be kept in a standing or hanging container near your stove or oven rather than taking up valuable drawer space.  The primary goal for those items is accessibility. Can a basket or plastic shoe box sized tub contain those items be stored close by, ready to be pulled out and used and put away when the kitchen is idle?

Sometimes it is helpful to categorize areas of your kitchens.  Each area accommodates certain activities or functionalities like meal-planning, food preparation, cooking, serving, storage, and cleaning. There is often some cross-over in the use of these areas.  What are the key items that are used in each of these areas?  Is it practical or even possible to effectively store them near these areas?  Always consider the kitchen layout, it’s flow and convenience when you organize your kitchen. Would it make more sense to store the dishes, near the sink, the dishwasher, the dining room table or the stove? Glasses are commonly near the sink or the refrigerator. It all depends on you.

Next, remove everything from the drawers, cupboards, and cabinets. Group items together. Place glassware together, plastic containers together, pots and pans together, knives together, etc.  If you have not successfully purged all unnecessary items in previous steps, set aside anything you find that is broken or no longer useful or no longer desired.  Sell, donate, give away or throw away those items.  The same is true for items in your pantry, refrigerator and freezer.

Now it’s time to position things.  This is where we keep in mind the categorized areas of the kitchen and the items regularly used within them.  Also, consider placing the things that work together near each other. For example, pots, pans, spatulas, whisks and ladles should be placed near the stove; mixing bowls, mixers and measuring cups should be in the baking area, near the oven. Small appliances, sharp utensils and cleaning chemicals should be placed in properly secured storage areas when not being used so that children cannot reach them and harm themselves. Seldom used utensils, appliances and tools should be placed in non active areas such as on top or bottom shelves, nooks or even the pantry.  When it comes to the pantry, food cupboards and cabinets, categorize foods together. For example: Oils, sauces and vinegars together, canned meats together, canned vegetables together, dry goods- Flower, Sugar, and salt together in another area, breakfast cereals with other breakfast cereals, snacks with snacks, etc. When dealing with food items, practice what the supermarket does by placing your newly obtained items of the same thing behind older items thus using up the older item before the expiration dates.

Assigning a work area for everything will help you find what you are looking for – it’s imperative that once an item is used, that it gets put back where it came from. When you empty the dishwasher after the cleaning cycle, take the time to put the plates, glasses, pots and pans, everything back where it came from. So the next time you’re looking for that spatula or measuring cup, you know exactly where to look for it when you need it, thus saving you time and effort. Having a clean and effectively organized kitchen can make your tasks flow more smoothly, pleasing to look at, and all the more enjoyable for you to prepare and share those delectable home-cooked meals with your family.
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How to Organize Your Garage

March 15th, 2011 — 9:28pm

Does your garage look like a storage shed?  Is it packed to the brim with unlabeled boxes and bins overflowing with old garage sale items, Christmas decorations, beach toys, and Halloween memorabilia?  Is it almost impossible to find a rake or shovel or edger when you need it? Are your tools scattered around?  Do you have to shove aside stacks of winter sports gear in order to get to your lawn mower, bike or stroller?  Has your garage become so cluttered, you can’t even park your car in it?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it’s high time you organized your garage.

Getting your garage organized and cleaned, means you would be able to park your car inside of it.  Imagine having a place where your car is protected from the elements. Being able to enter and exit your car and stay dry and warm or cool, depending upon the weather.  Aren’t these the reasons why the garage was invented in the first place?  Primarily to house…or garage… a car, and not as a storage place!  Here are some ways to help you repossess your garage and make the most of it.

First, decide the primary purpose or purposes you want your garage to serve. Determine what types of things you would like to store there. For example, do you want the garage to exclusively store your vehicle or vehicles and nothing else?  Will it serve as a wood workshop or workout area? Do you want to store you lawn and gardening tools, bikes, strollers, fishing equipment, scooters, ride-on toys, sports equipment or maybe off-season yard/house decorations in the garage?

It is essential to make a list of all the things you want to use your garage for and all the things you would like to store in it.  Using that information, determine which area of the garage will be used for which function and what types of things you would like to store in various areas within the garage.  Determine if any additional tools or materials are needed to accomplish this.  For example, do you need to buy any shelving, storage bins, bike racks, tool organizers, peg boards, hooks, labels etc.  What tools, if any, will you need to install these items?

Set a specific date and time to start sorting and organizing items. Setting a specific date and time will help you actually start doing things rather than procrastinating. Use boxes, bins, bags, or designated areas on your driveway to help you sort and organize.  The key is to empty your garage completely and sort items with like items.  Tools go in one bin, decorations in a pile, sports equipment in another pile. Once the items have been sorted into categories, sort through those categories. Put wood working tools together, automotive tools together and store them in an appropriate container. Having everything out and visible at once gives you an opportunity to really see how much stuff you have and help you identify items that are broken or no longer wanted and get rid of those things.  Be sure to properly dispose of any old paint cans, batteries or other hazardous solvents properly.  Give your empty garage a good sweeping or cleaning at this time.  Consider touching up the paint. You want a nice clean surface to work with.

An important part of organizing your garage is assessing the amount of available space. Storage is a common issue, remember to make use of vertical space. Utilizing the walls and ceiling are a great way to increase available storage.  There are many types of shelving available ranging from free standing to floating, organization grids, cabinet systems, stackable bins, hanging bin systems and hanging bike racks available to help maximize storage capacity.

Once you’ve sorted items into their respective categories, make sure to keep the items together as you place each category back into the garage.  For example, children’s toys should be stored within their reach and in a manner that makes it easy for them to access and put away those toys. Gardening and lawn tools should be readily accessible and easy to get in and out of the garage. Multi drawer organizing bins are useful for storing and organizing small items. If you have more time, you can also create toolkits with proper labels from buckets or jars for your tapes, knives, switches, screws, nails, or anything that you use on a regular basis.

Following the suggestions given here, will not only give you a place to store your vehicle again, you will also be able to know exactly what you have and enjoy the ability to find what you want, when you want.  As you work towards organizing and decluttering your garage, imagine your sense of accomplishment and pride you’ll have every time you walk into your clean and organized garage and know that you did it all on your own.
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Closet Organizing: It’s as Easy as 1-2-3

March 15th, 2011 — 9:28pm

Whether your home has luxurious walk-in closets or more modest closets, one thing is for sure, everyone enjoys having clean and organized closets.  Who wouldn’t like being able to find what they want, when they want? Organizing closets is not as hard as people think.  In fact, it’s really as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Group like items together.  Take everything out of your closet and place pants with pants, shirts with shirts, sweaters with sweaters, skirts with skirts, shoes with shoes, belts with belts, coats with coats, , purses with purses, etc.
  2. Arrange.  Now that you’ve sorted your items into groups, you can further arrange them in numerous ways.  You can arrange by season, color, by fit (tight, fitted, loose), by length (long, medium, short), by material (silks, linens, wool, cotton, denim, etc.), or by purpose (every day wear, evening wear, formal wear.)  For shoes, arranging by color and heel height tends to be a rather effective method. Discard items that are worn or have holes, out of style or no longer fit.
  3. Maximize storage.  If you are finding it difficult to fit everything in and actually be able to browse the items, you might consider investing in some efficiency items to help you maximize your storage.  Use clear plastic bins with lids to stack and store off-season clothing or clothing that doesn’t fold cleanly and effectively.  Bulky clothing that doesn’t wrinkle, like sweats and hoodies and sweaters are often best stored in bins.  Placing seasonal items together in bins and stacking the bins allows you to have the current season’s bin on top and accessible.  Stacking bins extends your storage vertically, which is highly important when dealing with small closets.  Shoes are another item that can be effectively and efficiently stored in clear plastic bins or even the original shoe boxes (if you saved them.)  Label your bins, even though they may be clear, sometimes having a quick description visible saves you time by bypassing the wrong boxes.

Cabinet(s), drawer(s), and shelving systems are additional options available to maximize your closet space and organization.  Smaller items like undergarments, socks and stockings are best stored in drawers or bins.  Purses, hats, belts, scarves and ties can more effectively be managed with hanging or wall mounted organizers and dividers.

It’s important to maintaining your organized closet to put things back where they came from with their like items. When putting clean laundry away, place the dress pants back with the dress pants, the jeans with jeans and the dress shirts with the dress shirts – it may take an extra minute or two on the front end but you’ll never be late for work again because you couldn’t find that long sleeved blue shirt.

Whether your closet is modest, average, or as big as most people’s bedrooms, taking the time to organize it will lead to many benefits.  You will enjoy being able to see the full contents of your closet with a quick glance and be able to locate what you want in a quick and efficient manner.  With little effort, you can take charge of your cluttered closet and start enjoying it today!
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Organize Your Office or Work Space the Professional Way

March 15th, 2011 — 9:27pm

Who would want to go to their office everyday only to be faced with a mountain of unfiled documents in one corner, folders and documents spread all over the work surface in layers several inches deep, piles of old disks pushed here – landsliding stacks of reports there?  Old soda cans here, discarded reports and magazines pushed there? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to find the stapler, scissors, a pen, pencil or even just your keyboard and computer mouse easily? Do you sometimes get reprimanded because you totally blew by a deadline at work that you completely forgot because you didn’t have it written down on a calendar? There is an easy solution:  organize your office or workspace.

First, create some elbow room in your office or work area. Focus on clearing the walk-way in your office or work area. Take out any and all unnecessary office equipment, boxes stored along the walls or under a table or desk.  You will be impressed with the extra space that you acquire by doing this, less clutter leads to less stress.

Focus on clearing and cleaning your desktop first. Your desktop is the one thing in your office or work area that is used constantly. Your desktop or work surface area is more than just where you conduct small chit-chats with your coworkers, it serves to hold important files and documents, your laptop or computer, telephone, and possibly a fax machine.  Discard any and all trash – soda cans, coffee cups, old newspapers and magazines. Clear everything off your desk and group like items with like items on the floor or in one or more boxes nearby.  Place folders to be filed with other folders to be filed, place loose documents to be filed together, group pens and pencils and highlighters together.  You get the idea.  Discard or shred any papers that are no longer relevant to work you or doing or have done.  Any first drafts of finished documents, newsletters, old post it notes for completed tasks, etc. shred or throw them away.

Consider your desktop, high priced real estate. Once you’ve removed everything, ask yourself if what you’re about to put back on your desktop, “Is it worthy” of occupying space on your expensive real estate? Replacing your traditional stapler with the new style that balances on its ‘nose’  buys you several square inches of expensive real estate. Think vertical – racks that hold file folders vertically on your desktop, buys you some desktop real estate and holds them in a way that you can read the labeled tabs quickly at a glance.

Determine what items you use frequently and try to keep them within arm’s reach, if you can keep them within arm’s reach and easily stow able out of sight, all the better. If you find you need more support with your organizing, purchase or request more file folders for your filing drawers or desktop shelves and bins. Drawer organizers for writing devices, staples, staplers, paperclips, etc are also a great help.  There are even hanging bins that attach directly to a wall or hook over the top of a cubicle wall.

Can you automate? Are there any papers that you are constantly referring to? Can you type or scan them into a document on your computer and eliminate those pieces of paper? Is your computer’s ‘Desk Top’ just as cluttered as your real desk top? Time spent categorizing and organizing thos files into a flder structure is time well spent.

If your type of work requires you to move from one style of work to another or from one project or client to another, consider one large file folder for each project so that when you grab that folder, all information about that project or client is in one place, and when you close that folder you’re done with that project and can move smoothly and confidently to the next project or client. If you have to move from one set of tools to another, consider placing all tools associated with each type of work together in a basket or bin. Set a specific time of day when you do that type of work, so that you can concentrate on it. For example processing the mail, it comes once a day, pull out your basket containing a letter opener, staple remover, roll of stamps, paper clips, ink stamps with ink pad etc. Once you’re done processing the mail, all tools go back into the basket and the basket is put away clearing your desk for whatever comes next.

Label. Label. Label.  Label your bins and shelves and file folders so that you will know where to find something when you are looking for it.  You can take this organization one step further by organizing labeled files alphabetically or by task or job or client or other relevant criteria.  Hang a bulletin board or magnetic dry erase board on your wall to help you remember important appointments. You can also use a paper weight to help hold down and secure loose papers on your desk.

It is very important to organize your office or work area because it greatly reflects your character and personality.  If you want to give the impression of being put-together, organized, efficient and capable, it would be highly advisable to have a work space that reflects and projects this attitude.  Being organized can also help inspire your coworkers and team members to not only become organized, but stay that way. Missed deadlines, misplaced documents and the stress associated with them can be a thing of the past. A little time and effort organizing your office can have many lasting positive effects, you just need to do it.
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How to Organize Your Closet

March 15th, 2011 — 9:27pm

When you open your closet door, do boxes, clothing, or hangers tumble out? If so, it’s time to organize your closet. Since getting dressed is typically the first thing you do to start your day, wouldn’t it be nice to begin each day stress-free, by not having to rush around in a panic or become frustrated because you can’t find what you are looking for?  Wouldn’t it be easier to decide which shoes, shirt, pants, skirt or etc. to wear and which top or shoes goes best with this or that if you could view all your clothing in an orderly manner? Organizing your closet can make all this possible.

The first step you need to take when starting a closet makeover is purge.  Get rid of all the items you no longer wear or want, worn out or no longer fit you.  The One Year Rule:  is commonly used – if you haven’t worn it in one year, throw it out.  Some people will hold onto clothing they haven’t worn or items they haven’t used for a little longer than one year, but this time frame is a good reference point that works for many, but not all.  For example, if you take a major ski trip every two or three years and thus need to hold onto your ski equipment for those future events even though you haven’t used the clothing and equipment in the last year, it clearly makes sense to do that.  Use your best judgment here and do what works best for you and your lifestyle. Sell, donate, give away or throw away the items you’re purging from your closet.

The second step is to evaluate each section of the closet that you want to organize and formulate a plan about which items you want placed in which area. Make written or mental notes of all the things you are keeping, place them in certain sections and add labels if you like.  Labels can be added to both shelving, boxes and bins to help you get organized and stay that way.  You purged thing in the previous step so now divide the remaining items and clothing into two categories: things/clothing you presently use in a regular basis, things/clothing reserved for future use.

Once you have sorted everything divided upt, you can start putting things in their new places in the closet by organizing them in a way that makes the most sense to you.  For example you can arrange your clothes by season, by garment type outdoor vs indoor clothing or by color all white shirts together or by practicality such as having a grab-and-go section. For example the items found in this section are those that can be worn everyday; your favorite pair of jeans, a plain white shirt that can be mixed and matched with anything. Then another section could be allotted for items you will wear for special occasions such as ruffled or beaded blouses.

If all the items don’t f it, it’s time to invest in shelving or storage bins to help organize and store shoes, sweaters, workout clothing, or other items you don’t use on a regular basis.  The inside of the closet door can be used for hanging ties, scarves, belts, purses and other accessories. You can also change your hanging clothes rod placement.  For example, instead of one rod, you might be better off with two parallel rods at different heights to accommodate more clothes in your newly organized closet.  Most closets have one shelf, a second shelf can easily be added, It is essential to put things back into the area of the closet where it came from. It may seem like a time saver, just to shove the stuff in where ever it’ll fit. It’s that kind of thinking that got you where you were in the first place. Concentrate on how much quicker and stress free it will be when you open that closet door and effortlessly find what you want.

Having a newly organized closet can help you save time, money and lower your stress level. You might also find that you save money, because you won’t be buying identical items by mistake and you’ll find that you can give new life to some of your old classics in your wardrobe by accessorizing with newer trends.  Best of all, your new and organized closet will make it a pleasure to get dressed every morning, it’s like having a private little boutique right in your own home that’s open 24 hours a day!
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Organizing the Clutter: Tips to Help You Organize Your Room

March 15th, 2011 — 9:26pm

Do you have one of those catch-all rooms in your house that is packed full of stuff you never really use, but you never got around to getting rid of? Does one or more of your rooms always feel like they’re messy and crowded? If so, decluttering your room and organizing it can do wonders to help make you feel good about that room once more.

The effort spent decluttering and organizing any room is well spent. The benefits include  being able to find what you want when you want it.  How much of your life is spent searching for things you know you own but just can’t find? Have you ever been unable to find something, gone out and bought another, then later found the first one? Organizing and decluttering is also about creating a calm, clean, and welcoming environment where you can relax without the burden of stress that clutter can create. As with any process, you need to decide on the purpose you want that room to serve. Next is  to organize, identifying the major things you want to keep or get rid of, taking everything out and then putting back only those items that serve the room’s purpose. It will take quite a bit of time and effort, but with enough determination, it can be done with positive and lasting results. With that in mind, here are a few helpful tips on how to organize your room to achieve that place of calm and peace that you can consider your sanctuary.

You need to form a plan, by deciding on the purpose of the room and what activities will be performed in that room.  Will that room be used exclusively for TV viewing or will exercising, playing games, reading, sewing/crafts be done there? Maybe the room will serve for sleeping, a home office or surfing the internet? After deciding on the purpose and function of that room, make a list of the items required to perform those activities done there.  How much space will each activity require, and where can the items required for that activity  be stored when they’re not being used?  Some people find it useful to make a sketch or drawing of the room to get a better perspective of the space requirements and to just play “what if” with possible furniture placement.

Next, in order to organize the room you need to purge, sort, replace and maintain. Begin by selling, giving away or throwing away any items that are unnecessary. Go through the closets, drawers and any storage areas within in the room and purge them. Identify any items that you want to stay in the room. Which ones will be used the most often and place them in strategic places within the room so that they are conveniently available.  You must consistently place similar things together so as to be able to find them easily the next time you need them. If you find that you’re running out of space; reconsider some of the items you decided to keep, could it be purged? Does it belong someplace else or can it be stored elsewhere until you need it? Next consider some of the organizing products on the market, shelves, bins, racks etc. If the room has a closet, cay you add a second shelf, use the back side of the door for hanging things, maybe add a length of hanging hooks?

If you have left over storage space within the room, it is perfectly acceptable to store other less frequently used items in closets, cabinets, shelving and drawers.  Clearly labeling drawers, and shelves etc. will help keep things neatly organized and in place.  If you have an old bulky TV – consider replacing it with a newer more space efficient thin one. Make some rules and stick to them: When placing something in the room, put it back where it came from. If you don’t plan on engaging in and activity for a period of time – put all items associated with that activity away, so that you can engage in the next activity without having to clean up the previous activity first. Lastly, you need to keep your room clean. Maintaining a tidy and organized room can take some effort but the rewards are worth it.

Having an organized and efficiently planned out room can be a very stress-less positive thing.  Just visualize the room you desire, be bold enough to purge the junk, take the time to categorize and organize and then be consistent in maintaining your organized room. It all comes down to you.  If you want to achieve it, it can happen, you just need to begin.
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Clearing the Clutter: Helpful Tips

March 15th, 2011 — 9:24pm

When you stand in the middle of your living room and look around, are your eyes assaulted by the clutter that is threatening to take over your home? Is the couch covered with clean or dirty laundry? Are there piles of newspapers, magazines, bills, and mail? Are the end tables holding plates from yesterday’s dinner? Are there children’s toys all over the floor making it hard to walk from one room to the other?

If you look to your right, are there shoes, hair brushes, stray clothing pieces? Does a glance to your left reveal sports gear, soda cans, DVDs, and paperback books? If you lift that opened up newspaper will you find that cable TV bill that should have been mailed yesterday?

At first,  the decision to organize your clutter can seem overwhelming. You might wonder what to do first.  Burning down the house is not an option. Sadly, there is no easy way out, but making the decision and sticking to it is the first step. Concentrate on the final results, a clutter free living room, where you can relax and enjoy one of the main rooms in your house. A place you can proudly invite in a friend who has unexpectedly dropped by, to sit and enjoy their company without having to clear a chair or forgo the pleasure of their company because you’re too embarrassed to invite them in.

You made the mess.  You have to clean it up. As intimidating as it may seem, clutter clearing is not that hard.  The most important element is to stay focused. Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.  Eliminate or at least minimize the distractions, If possible, send the kids to the house of a friend or family member so that you can work in peace and without interruption. Clear your schedule, block out several hours to devote to this process. Keep the TV off, take the phone off the hook.

Decide what purpose the living room will serve. Will it be a formal sitting room, or a more relaxed family room? Next, list all the clutter that you see, then, prioritize the list from most to least.  Where is the most clutter?  Where is the least? What one thing will make the biggest impact? What’s the next thing that you can do that will make a big impact? This will help give you an idea about what you need to focus on first.  Before you know it, you’ll have cleared much of your clutter, you just need to put your mind to it and stay on task.

After you’re done with your list, purge, grab a garbage bag and put all the trash in the bag. What else is in this room that can go? Is there anything that can be given away, sold, thrown away, and repaired? The most thorough process is to take everything that you possibly can out of the room, and before you move it back in, ask yourself does this item serve the room’s purpose? While everything is out, use that opportunity to sweep or vacuum the floor, dust the cabinets or shelving, use glass cleaner on any mirrors or glass surfaces, and touch up or repaint.  Another process is to pick a specific area, put everything from that area elsewhere (another room, bins etc.) clean that area, then taking the items that belong in that specific area and place them there. Place items no longer desired or needed into large bins for later sale, donation, or trash.

Once the room is cleared of the clutter, eternal vigilance is required. When you’re done reading the newspaper, throw it away. Books go back on the book shelf. Either don’t eat in the living room or take the time to clean up as soon as you’re done eating, don’t just place them in the sink, process them all the way out of sight – into the dish washer. The living room isn’t a parking spot for the laundry – can you sort it in the bedroom(s). When returning from a sporting event, put the equipment directly back where it belongs, perhaps the garage?

Clearing the clutter from your home or a room may be a tough practice, but it’s a good one.  Once you’ve experienced the positive results of having a well-organized, clean and tidy home, the better you will feel about the room and your home, and even yourself.  You’ll be happy you took the time to clear the clutter.

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