Benefits of Being Organized

free of clutter
Benefits of Being Organized
How it affects your mental health!

Article from Uncluttererorganize kids room

Every day at Unclutterer, we share tips, tricks, thoughts, and strategies for a clutter-free lifestyle. As 2014 begins, I want to step back and see the proverbial forest instead of the trees. Just what are the benefits of being organized? It’s potentially a long list, but I’ve narrowed it down to what has affected me the most. Read on for what I consider the benefits of an organized life, at home and at work.

  1. Less stress. Above anything else, this is the number one reason I burn calories to stay on top of things. Here’s a great example: This year, I’m making a concerted effort to keep my office neat and tidy (I work from home and my office is also my bedroom). I added a bulletin board and have designated a home for everything: inbox, keys, wallet, office supplies, charger cables, and more. Now, when I need something, I know exactly where it is. This fact reduces stress and allows me to …
  2. Relax more. I once saw a bumper sticker that read, “Organized people are just too lazy to search for stuff.” That’s cute, but I’d rather be the “lazy” one mentioned in the punchline. Less time spent running around means more time. Just, more time to do what I want to do, like …
  3. Spend time with my family. Getting clean and clear professionally and personally means I’ve got more time to spend with the kids and my wife. For example, my workday ends at 2:00, just as I drive to the school bus. I know that I’ll be spending the next six hours with my family. That’s easy to do when I took care of all my work stuff before then.
  4. I’m ready for a curveball. I’m sure you know how this goes: life throws a kink into the works that interrupts your plans in a major way. Being prepared ahead of time lessens the impact. For example, I have a designated “emergency” office and ultra-portable setup ready. That way, if my Internet connection goes down at home, or a construction crew sets up outside my window, I already know where I’m going to go to work and what I need to bring.
  5. The overwhelming seems manageable. I never would have believed this if I hadn’t experienced it myself. I don’t care if you’re talking about work, the kids, or home management, but it’s a great feeling to have every project defined, and every action step that stands between you and “done” clearly identified. When I do this, I can look at a daunting to-do list and feel like I’m on top of it and capable of doing what needs to be done.
  6. Improved health. The stress I mentioned earlier, which I feel when things start to get out of control, does not promote good health. There are numerous studies that demonstrate a link between sustained high levels of stress and a variety of health problems.
  7. I’m a better example for my kids. There was a time when I spent most of my time behind my computer, working on this or that. I felt productive, sure, but I also worried about the message I was sending to the kids. Adults work all the time? My job is more important than them? I want my kids to become productive, contributing adults, of course, but I want them to enjoy life, too, and that absolutely includes time spent not working.
  8. Fewer little jobs. There are four people in my house. If we miss a day or two of laundry, we’re behind. That means that, some day this week, someone has to spend an inordinate amount of time digging out from Mt. Clothing in the basement. However, just turning over a single load per day makes all the difference. Little things like making sure the kids put their hats and boots away each day after school improves our family’s ability to easily function.
  9. Greater productivity. When you know where things are, what your goals are, and take care of the piddley busy work as it appears, you’ve got significantly more time and energy for the big goals in life.

An organized life takes some doing, and you’re going to slip up. No one is clean and clear all day, every day! But when you strive to do the best you can, you’ll experience the benefits listed above … and more. Here’s to an organized and rewarding 2014, unclutterers! May you experience the best of an organized life.

To check out Unclutterer’s website, click here: https://unclutterer.com/2014/01/23/benefits-of-being-organized/

When you are ready to get help with your home organizing, reach out to Organize Me!

Declutter 101

open shelf small space
Declutter 101: Where do I start?
Article from Organizedhome.com

clutter mess piles

Standing amid the stacks and piles, it can be hard to find a good spot to dive in and begin. Too often, de-clutter efforts fizzle along with the light of day.

This time, resolve to succeed! To get your organized journey off to a good start, try these clutter-cutting start points. They will help free a strangled household from the clutter monster.

First Step: A Single Small Success

At the outset, adjust your vision downward from the big (cluttered) picture, to zero in on one small, solvable clutter problem. Clear one counter, de-clutter one shelf, or bring order to a single drawer–and do choose an item that nags at you daily.

Beginning your war against clutter with a small success provides welcome motivation for the long haul. When you feel yourself starting to flag, returning to that one clear space, shelf or drawer will remind you of the goal–and give a new burst of energy for the next step. You can do it!

Slow and Steady Progress

Clutter tolerance seems to run a fever cycle, much like the flu. Every so often, the cluttered household will become intolerable, sparking short-lived but fiery anti-clutter efforts. Piles will be shifted, boxes will be filled, stuff will be stashed–until the fever breaks. Then the clutter tide flows back in, confusion redoubled because of the flushed and furious attempts to get a grip in a hurry.

Just as clutter arises gradually, over time, so it must be fought gradually and over time. Beating clutter requires building new habits, applying new organizational methods, and creating new household routines. The clutter cure takes time, and can’t be short-cut.

Resist the temptation to go all-out in fevered, short-term sorties against clutter. Like the fable of the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the declutter race.

Schedule Declutter Sessions

A successful attack on clutter requires time, energy and motivation. There is no such thing as a declutter fairy, who works while you sleep!

First things first: schedule time to declutter. Even 15 minutes a day will make a good start. Better, schedule larger blocks of time, from two to four hours once or twice a week, for maximum declutter efficiency.

Scheduling declutter sessions brings the goal out of the stratosphere and into real life. By committing time to decluttering, you strengthen motivation and embrace the goal of a clutter-free home. By keeping the declutter appointments, you begin to create islands, peninsulas, then continents of decluttered space.

Trust me. It won’t happen magically behind your back, so schedule your declutter appointments today!

Change Begins With Me

In family settings, clutter accumulates for myriad reasons. Adults shed newspapers and personal items with abandon. Children clutter with playthings, art materials, and school papers. Poor housekeeping routines land clean clothing in piles on the couch, paperwork in stacks on the counter and mail in jumbled heaps everywhere.

When you need help beginning your decluttering project, reach out to Organize Me!

To view the article from its original source, visit Organizedhome.com

Tips to Help a Parent Downsize

grandparents aging downsize
20 Tips to Help a Parent Downsize

Moving an aging parent out of their home can be filled with emotions for all parties involved. For parents, it’s a place that they have likely spent a great portion of their lives and have a lot of memories there. As the child, it serves as added stress and something else that has to get done. With such high emotions, tensions can rise in an already difficult situation.

Caring.com put together an article of 20 tips to can help make the transition easier on both ends. From sorting, to trowing items away and how to deal with treasures, this article can be highly helpful. Below is an overview of the basic points, with the full article link at the bottom of the page.

  1. Avoid tackling the whole house in one go
  2. Frame questions as yes-no decisions
  3. Use the new space as a guide
  4. Banish the maybe pile
  5. Encourage parents to focus on the most used items
  6. Packs bits of a favored item (instead of the whole thing)
  7. For collections, ask which is the favorite one piece
  8. Take photos of remaining collections for a book
  9. If it’s meant as a give or legacy, encourage that now
  10. Think twice before selling on your own
  11. For high value items, consider appraisal
  12. Understand how charities work
  13. Target recipients for specialty items
  14. Try the ‘free books’ tactic
  15. If it’s chipped, broken or stained, toss it
  16. Weigh loyalty to recycling against your time
  17. Don’t be shy about tossing replaceable items
  18. For a price, you don’t have to haul it away yourself
  19. Consider bringing in the pros
  20. Investigate one-stop solutions if time is tight

Moving an aging parent from a home they have known for many years can be difficult. The parent-child relationship isn’t always understanding of each other views. The full article gives in depth details on how to better handle the challanges you may face. Click here for all the details and to gain additional assistance on estate planning: Caring.com/estateplanning

When you are ready to help your parent sort through the years of items, contact Organize Me! Together, we can work through the challenge of sorting, donating and trashing a household full of stuff. Visit Organizemefrederick.com for more information about Organize Me!

old hands aging old papers

Continue reading “Tips to Help a Parent Downsize”

Accessory Organizing & Storage

jewlery organizing
Accessory Organizing & Storage
Tips & Products from Organize Me!

ring storage

This one is for all of you with oodles of accessories and no where to put them! Whether it be earrings, watches, scarves or hats, there is a better way to get it organized! You probably have a piece of jewelry (or two!) that you know you have, but don’t know where it went. That means it is probably an excellent time to get organized and find it.

You might start seeing a pattern. With all my projects, the most important first step is to sort through everything. This is the one, sure fire way to make an improvement. If you simply take stuff out and put it back, nothing will change. It will take time (but that’s why Organize Me! is here) and thought but it will help. So,

  1. Sort everything and make decisions
  2. Trash broken accessories. If a pair is missing, set it aside for a week or two in case you find the other.
  3. Donate pieces you don’t wear (be honest!) or no longer like
  4. Store away accessories that aren’t season appropriate
  5. See what’s left. Find the best way for you to store each time of accessory separately. The best way for storing jewelry will not be the best way to store hats or scarves

The possibilities are endless for how you can organize your products. As always, the method greatly depends on personal preference. If you don’t like a certain method, don’t do it. You are more inclined to keep something organized if you like the method used!

  1. For hats & scarves: Hooks, hangers or clothespins
  2. For bracelets & watches: Pegs for sure. You can get creative with this and use an old bottle, a paper towel rod and so much more!
  3. For handbags: Multiple tired hooks maximize space usage. Hooks & hangers are also excellent
  4. For necklaces: Hooks that hang separately are essential to avoid tangling!
  5. For rings: You can get creative with this! No tangling here. The most popular choice is padded storage boxes or small jars
  6. For earrings: The challenge is keeping them paired! Try a cork board, ribbon or a storage box with small compartments

For the best collection of all these ideas and so many more, check out Organize Me’s! Pinterest page. When you are ready to sort through your tangled jewelry, contact Organize Me!

Shoe Organizing Tips and Products

shoe storage seat

Shoe Organizing from Organize Me!

Tips & Products

There are numerous ways to store the multiple pairs of shoes in your household. What you choose will depend greatly on your preference and what works for your home. Some of my favorite products are the ones that allow you to store the greatest amount of shoes without spending a great deal of money.

Before beginning your shoe organizing journey, it is important to keep this tips in mind:

  • Sort through your shoes to eliminate pairs no longer needed
  • Ensure all shoes have a match. If not, keep the singles for about a week and see if the other turns up
  • Trash shoes you can’t find the match to or that are heavily worn and no longer useful
  • Donate shoes that are still in good condition
  • If you have only worn the shoe, say, once last season it may be time to say goodbye
  • Bag up all the shoes you are no longer keeping and remove them from the area. This will help you get a better idea of how many shoes you have to work with
  • Store shoes that are out of season such a boots. Consider using a plastic, clear bin which can fit under your bed

Whether your shoes are stored in an entryway, a closet or a bedroom there are hundreds of products available for organizing. Products may range from storing a single pair of shoes up to dozens. Products generally come in a few different categories. While I’d like to spend time reviewing all the products, it would take me all day! Here are the general categories:

  • Shelves/Cubbies
  • Bins with lids
  • Buckets
  • Over the door hangers
  • Drawers
  • Hanging organizers

 

shoe storage seat

One of my all time favorites (and always has been since I was little!) is a product like this. While not always practical for the cost, I love that it also provides a bench. It stores about 18 pairs of shoes which is pretty decent sized but it does cost about $100-$200 depending on the style. That’s about $5-$10 per pair of shoes! Purchase here

 

4 tier shoe rackA more cost effective shelf is shown here. Great for closets or entryways. This particular rack is 4 tiers and stores up to 20 pairs of shoes for around $25! That’s better, for about $.80 per pair of shoes. Purchase here

shoe storage boxes clearIf you are looking for a storage solution which holds one pair of shoes per unit, then the individual clear storage box may be best for you. These are stack-able, making it easy to use space wisely. A set of 12 boxes cost about $13, making it just over $1 per pair of shoe. Purchase here
12-Tier-Overdoor-Shoe-Organizer12-Tier-Overdoor-Shoe-Organizer
Finally, I’ll review some storage solutions that are great for a closet. You can either get a product that hangs over your door or one that hangs in with your clothes. Both products types have pretty good value, usually around $1 per pair of shoes. They come in many different styles and sizes from 8 pairs to nearly 40!! Purchase over the door product here and the hanger here
For more tips & help on how to organize your shoes contact Organize Me! Also, visit my Pinterest to check out some more shoe organizing ideas.

Tips for Managing Busy Schedules

How to manage a busy family schedule

Article from The Organized Parent

family outside organize

Between carpool, sports practices, doctor’s appointments, school meetings and family dinners, family time is being stretched to the maximum. Often there are more items on a schedule than drivers and less time available to meet commitments. Follow these suggestions from the organizational professionals for taking the stress out of scheduling a busy family.

 

Here are the tips at a glance:

  • Use a scheduling app
  • Use a grocery store app
  • Meet weekly with whole family to review schedules
  • Create a central place for permission slips or school papers
  • Plan quality family time

One of the easiest steps to take is to have each family member download a family calendar App that can be shared with the entire family. One parent will generally have access to the master calendar of all family member’s activities and commitments. For sports practices and birthday parties, don’t hesitate to take advantage of the savings offered by Groupon coupons and call an Uber driver to make some of the trips. Driving can take an enormous chunk of time out of an already busy schedule.

There are many ways technology can simplify the tasks of organizing and errand running. Download the App from your local grocery store and keep a running list of grocery items. Encourage family members to add to the list as staples run out or household products are needed. Be sure to double check the list before sending it over for the shopping service! Most grocery stores offer shopping services and drive through pick up. This is a tremendous time savings.

Consider touching base with each family member on Sunday afternoon to review the calendars for the week. Planning for parties, school trips and holiday events is much easier with advanced notice. Have a central spot for permission slips and school papers requiring signatures. Habits can be developed within a few weeks and with that stress levels can be reduced.

Make sure to plan quality family time. This occurs most often around the dinner table. If you’re not a cook and have had a busy day, plan a simple meal. The most important thing is that the entire family actually gathers around the table to share the events of their day. This is where ideas are shared, relationships cemented and memories are made.

For help getting your family organized, contact Organize Me!

Click here for the article from The Organized Parent: http://www.theorganizedparent.com/tips-for-managing-a-busy-family-schedule/organize family together

New Baby Home Organizing

baby gift organize

Room by Room Organizing Guide

Here’s a welcome dose of reality—trustworthy advice from organizing pros that will help you prepare your entire home for baby’s arrival.

baby gift organize

Bedroom 
Many  parents move their baby into their bedroom for late-night feedings. Prepare your bedroom now! Create a relaxing space and be sure to place other necessities nearby. Include a low light, a CD player, tissues, and a pad of paper or feeding log. If you’re breastfeeding, include breast pads, soothing gel packs for sore nipples, and a case of bottled water underneath the table for late-night thirst attacks. A U-shaped nursing cushion to support the baby will be helpful, too.

Bathroom
After childbirth, your doctor will probably give you several medical supplies to help with your physical recovery. The key is to keep everything together. Your supplies could be kept on the bathroom counter, a shelf, or even in a basket on the floor. Just don’t keep them in separate places, or you may be frustrated by not having necessary feminine toiletries when you need them most!

Kitchen
Outside of the bathroom and bedroom, the kitchen is probably the most important place in the house. And the best thing for postpartum moms is to stay out of there as much as possible. To do this, ask your friends for help.Stock up on meals – It’s a great way to focus that nesting impulse that happens in the third trimester. A well-stocked pantry should also have simple foods like snacks.

The kitchen is also a good place to keep important contact information such as phone numbers of the hospital, your cell phone, your obstetrician and pediatrician, your lactation consultant, and your closest relatives and friends.

Family room
The family room is an ideal place to welcome guests, as long as you have a way to cut visits short when you feel overwhelmed! This could be as simple as keeping a robe nearby and putting in on before guests visit. Also, keep a mini-changing station in the family room to eliminate the need to trek to the nursery to change dirty diapers.  A portable diaper caddy can help you easily move belongings from room to room, while keeping your supplies within arm’s reach.

Laundry room
You have to do the laundry, and this chore is only going to get bigger when you add a new member to the household. Try not to tackle multiple piles of clothing at once. Try keeping soiled clothes in the laundry room, instead of spread throughout the house. It will eliminate the overwhelming feeling of having dirty laundry in several rooms. If your clothing piles stack up too high, ask for help.  The local laundromat probably offers a wash-dry-fold service for about the same price as having a few suits dry cleaned.

Home office
Even if your office is just a corner of a room, create a file system now for handling insurance information, hospital records, and manuals. Use baskets to organize incoming mail, plug in a baby-safe shredder, and collect junk mail and newspapers for recycling. Keep a large trash can there for tossing it all out. The items that you are not going to toss should be kept in a safe, dry place.

baby organized homeWelcome home
Using your last burst of nesting energy for practical organization and planning is a much smarter alternative to impulse shopping or over-decorating the nursery. If you take steps now to get your home ready, when the big day comes, you won’t have to worry about anything but getting to know your new bundle of joy. And when you forget a few things? No worries—your first few days at home with baby will be wonderful and exciting, no matter how scattered you feel.

To view the full article by Pregnancy Magazine, Click here: https://www.pregnancymagazine.com/baby/your-room-by-room-guide-to-organizing-for-babys-arrival

For help organizing your home or for gifting home organizing for a friend with a new arrival, contact Organize Me!

Organize Me! offers a “Baby Bundle” package for four hours of organizing time focusing on arranging your life around a new baby!

10 Secrets for Selling Your Home

home for sale

10 Secrets for Selling Your Home

Design & Decorating Ideas from HGTV

Getting ready to sell your home? It seems like the housing market is finally on the rise again.Most of us don’t know the ins and outs for selling a house or those tips that can make all the difference. Many years of stuff has accumulated and now we are left with the overwhelming task of sorting it out and presenting it to sell. We might consider how we think a house should look for buyers to be interested or if we need to get costly upgrades.

HGTV has some tips that can help your house look it’s best. Here are some useful tips to help get your home sold faster.

  • Pricing it right
  • Half empty closets
  • Light it up
  • Play the agent field
  • Conceal the critters
  • Don’t over upgrade
  • Take your home out of your house
  • The kitchen comes first
  • Always be ready to show
  • The first impression is the only impression

In the full article, HGTV explains just what they mean by all these tips. For the full review, follow this link:

http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/design-101/10-best-kept-secrets-for-selling-your-home

When it comes time to sell your home, contact Organize Me! to help you sort through your clutter and get your home looking its best.

Messy Car Solutions

clean car

Messy Car Solutions from Organize Me!

If you are anything like me, you might feel like you live out of your car. Life gets busy and we end up with tons of stuff in our car. If you are fed up with the stuff in your car and need a change then this article is for you!

One item that I am fond of helps keep the clutter you need to have in your car in order. A simple space organizer can make all the difference in keeping your items to a confined space (especially if you are driving on 270 and need to slam on your brakes!) Here is one example of such a product:

AutoExec® File Tote Grey with Black

This one is available from Staples (one of my favorite places!). It’s $55 and includes several different size and shaped pockets for various items. A product like this may be good for your front seat to keep things easily accessible, but not when you’re driving! It would also be excellent for kids in the backseat to keep their toys in order. The trunk, of course, would benefit from this as well. Instead of having things roll around back there, keep them contained.

 

Combining Classical And Bright Style High Rave Reviews Single Backseat OrganizerHere is a classic back of the seat organizer. This can be especially helpful for long drives or for everyday use if you spend a lot of time in your vehicle. This product can help to keep you safer while driving. Instead of tending to your kids or grandkids about whatever they may need, they can reach it themselves! You can stock this with books, tissues, snacks, chapstick or whatever else you need to keep them distracted while you drive. These are really affordable for approximately $15!!

 

Rubbermaid Mobile Triple Cargo Organizer

If you have a lot of activity in your vehicle, you may need something more heavy-duty. This product can store more and larger items. You may be taking your kids or grandkids to various athletic activities or other school events. An excellent idea for this product is extra changes of clothes. This product can strap into your hatchback or truck and be extremely useful! Depending on where you purchase it, the cost is approximately $20.

 

Here are some final quick tips to keep your car organized.

  • Try to only bring to your car what you really need
  • Anytime you stop for gas or anywhere with a trash can, take a few things out
  • When you get home at the end of the day, take a few extra items inside with you
  • On the weekends, spend 10 minutes removing and tidying items

For help getting your vehicle back in order, contact Organize Me!

 

29 Spring Cleaning Essentials

cleaning spring organizing

29 Spring Cleaning Essentials to Tackle your Mess

Here is a review of some spring cleaning products that can help you. Some are pretty basic and some are extensive but they will help you get the job done. Combine all the products and your are sure to have a spotless home this Spring!

  • Invisible Glass, glass cleaner
  • Bissell Cleanview Upright vacuum
  • Swiffer Duster 360
  • Mr. Clean Gloves
  • OxiClean Stain removers
  • Heinz Vinegar
  • Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Soap
  • Plant Therapy Cleaning set
  • Greenshield Organic Surface wipes
  • For the full list…..

Click here! http://www.bestproducts.com/home/cleaning-organizing/g1315/spring-cleaning-products-supplies/

Got a favorite product that you use to clean your home? Feel free to share it in the comments! For help tackling your spring cleaning clutter, contact Organize Me!