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102 Best Tips to Get Your Home Super Organized

Lots of great tips to inspire you to get organized!  My favs: #2 organizing plastic food container lids, #3, organizing hot hair tools (that file box is The Container Store’s!) and #23 store your shoes heel to toe for maximum use of shelf space.

 

10 Strategies for a Stress Free Holiday Season

1. Shorten your to-do list.  Ask yourself, “If I don’t do this, what will happen?”  I’m usually a get-it-done-now-so-you-can-relax-later kind of girl, but in this case, see what you can put off until after the holidays.  When things get crazy and hectic, I ask myself, “will my kids/family/friends remember I did this?” and if the answer is “no” it gets knocked off my list.

2. Limit gift giving.  Not being Scrooge here, but try limiting gift giving to children only and consider do a “Secret Santa”.  You’ll only have to shop for a few kids in the family instead of all the cousins, nieces and nephews!

3. Wrap as you go.  Wouldn’t you rather spend Christmas Eve with a mug of hot chocolate (or hot toddy) instead of doing a gift wrapping marathon?  Label to/from right away, and use sticky notes if necessary to keep track of gift contents.

4. Buy, don’t bake. We bake and decorate Christmas cookies each year, but to save time, you could buy plain sugar cookies from a local bakery or supermarket for the kids to decorate.  I buy a pre-assembled gingerbread house that the kids decorate (baking and or assembling our own house was NOT contributing to the joy of the season!)

5. Use labels for addressing Christmas cards. Last post was about using labels to address your Christmas cards.  If you do it this year, imagine how easy it’ll be next year!!

6. Scale back décor.  We still get a fresh Christmas tree each year but there are several reasons why folks turn to artificial trees. It’s efficient (the lights are already strung), it’s less expensive over the years, and is environmentally conscious.   You can display a pretty door wreath instead of doing large scale outdoor lighting, and a tabletop tree instead of over-the-top entire home decor.

7. Put home projects on hold.  Wait, what?  Yup, just close the door on the messy office or spare bedroom that’s become the dumping ground.  Put off the organizing and house projects until after the holiday season.

8. Downsize dishwashing. Maybe you still want to use your fine china for Christmas day, but hand-washing fine china is no fun, so use everyday dishes or paper plates for other gatherings.

9. Less is more.  Consider serving a variety of appetizers and finger foods instead of a entree and sides.  We’ll always have a Christmas turkey at my in-laws (LOVE it!!) on Christmas day but for other gatherings during the holidays it’s easier on the host to do several appetizers than a big sit-down dinner.  Hosting a pot luck would make it even easier.

10.  Be a homebody. Staying close to home beats holiday travel any day. Staying close to home allows you more time to do the things you really want to do with your family.

Happy Holidays!!
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Garage organization. Getting ready for winter!

Just finished a project at a client’s home this morning. We had purged and organized items in the garage and decided what was going where.  I ordered an Elfa system for her from The Container Store (passing along my 20% professional organizer discount) was installation went well yesterday.  Today we got everything up off the ground. Nine bicycles in various sizes, 2 balance bikes, 3 scooters and 1 tricycle hang on one wall, along with all the helmets. One spot is was designated to hang wet snow coats and snowpants.  Gardening tools and shovels are along one wall and there is additional storage on shelves and in pull out bins for off season items like coolers, summer toys and gear, car accessories and cleaning supplies.  We both agreed, it was extremely satisfying to see the finished project.  Here are a few pictures for inspiration.  Now they can park their two cars in the garage before the snow comes!!!  IMG_2505[1]IMG_2508[1]

Schedule time to organize!

Whether you work with a professional organizer or you are motivated to do it on your own, you have to schedule time to get it done.  Just like working out and exercising, it’s not going to get done by itself!  Finishing an organizing project, large or small, is quite rewarding.  You can find what you need when you need it so you aren’t overwhelmed and you’re feeling less stressed.  Having 3 young children and busy schedules is stressful enough! Being organized helps you have the energy to do the things you really want to do and the time to accomplish more.

My clients are often energized and hopeful after an organizing session. I encourage them to schedule one or two hours per month to tackle an organizing project.  The project can be as big as organizing the basement or as small as one drawer in the kitchen.   In order to maintain the enthusiasm and forward momentum, take small steps and work only the amount of time you dedicated–one or two hours.

If you need some help to get jump started on your organizing projects, I’d be happy to help you!  Feel free to call or email to set up a telephone consultation.  Happy organizing!

schedule time to organize

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is my Dad’s birthday.  He is one of the kindest, most patient, loving, supportive men I know.  If there is an organizing gene, I get it from him.   In grade school he got me my own Franklin-Covey planner.  There were cartoons down the margin, but I had one, nonetheless.   Not sure if that makes me a dork or geek or what, but I do know that as a professional organizer, I am doing what I love.  Thanks, Dad, I love you and thanks for teaching me how to be organized!

do what you love

Organizing the girls’ bedroom

Our house is pretty organized although there’s always work to be done!)  Our girls’ bedroom was in need of an organization makeover!  Our daughters are 5 and almost 7 years old and they have lots of Legos, American Girl clothes and accessories and Barbies, books, stuffed animals, Roominate kits and more.  Our strategy of sorting toys into bins was no longer working.   Clean up was becoming more and more difficult.  That signals time for a change!

I used an Ikea Expedit bookcase in high gloss turquoise and used half of the cubbies for organizing American Girl clothes and accessories.  The other cubbies store their other toys.  When I was finished with the project, and unveiled it to my girls, my older daughter squealed, “Oh, thank you, Mommy!  I love it!”  That brings such joy to a professional organizer. 🙂 Hopefully we’re instilling in our children the value of being organized, so they can find what they’re looking for which will hopefully help them be more productive, efficient adults someday.

To organize the American Girl clothes, I bought narrow tension rods and doll clothing-sized hangers and hung everything up.  This way it’s easier for them to see what clothes they have for their dolls vs. having to dig through a bin to find something.  The bins on the bottom row now contain doll accessories.  When they become available, I will be purchasing drawer inserts at Ikea to store and organize these smaller items.   I also sorted through their books in their bookcase and took out all the board books and made room for more age appropriate books.  It was a small change but an impactful one.  It even opened up a shelf in the bookcase that is now home to their notepads, and current drawings and doodles that they’re still working on.  I still need a few more bins from the Container Store and to label everything but I love how it came together.

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